A life worth living

a life worth living poplar lake rockwood reflected sky

“I have found that people go to the wilderness for many things, but the most important of these is perspective. They may think they go for the fishing or the scenery or companionship, but, in reality, it is something far deeper. They go to the wilderness for the good of their souls.”

Smart phones vs. a life worth living

This quote from the beloved writer and wilderness advocate Sigurd Olson, who died in 1982, well before mobile phones were a thing, is a call to make a wilderness retreat and get on with a life worth living. 

reflected lake - a life worth living

According to the Pew Research Center, 97% of us own a cell phone. The great majority are so-called smartphones. Across the board, we average almost two and a half hours daily focused on our mobile phones. 

We aren’t bashing smartphones or the people who use them. We use them every day except when we venture into the BWCAW. 

People use mobile phones for numerous practical and entertainment reasons. We exchange emails and texts and keep up with our social media accounts. We are using navigation apps to find where we need to be. Playing any of the hundreds, if not thousands, of games to help pass the time. Sometimes, we even receive and make telephone calls. 

The routine of checking texts, emails, and social media accounts can become a self-reinforcing pattern that adversely affects relationships and personal well-being. 

Redirect that pattern

A great way to redirect that pattern is a trip into the canoe country wilderness of the BWCAW or the Quetico Provincial Park with your phone turned off and packed safely away. Periodic breaks from cellphone use, sometimes called a technology fast, are highly recommended by professionals who see handheld devices becoming addictive and harmful to relationships.

A life worth living

Cell service is virtually nonexistent in the wilderness. In an age of ever-present technology, canoe country offers a real-life experience in the solitude of nature.

David Attenborough, a British broadcaster, biologist, natural historian, and author, is quoted as saying, 

“It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.”

When you get aboard a canoe or kayak and venture into the protected wilds, you’ll be struck first by the smells, sights, and sounds of a purely natural environment. 

The haunting call of a loon will beckon you across the water. 

The soothing sounds of the perfect paddle strokes will lower your blood pressure. 

The splash of a smallmouth bass near your shoreline campsite may startle you at first, but when you see the concentric waves it leaves after devouring another insect, you’ll smile contentedly.

Sit in solitude

John Muir, a Scottish-born American naturalist, author, and early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States, said, ”To sit in solitude, to think in solitude with only the music of the stream and the cedar to break the flow of silence, there lies the value of wilderness.”

walk in the trees -

None of us can imagine abandoning the technology and devices that have become such an essential part of our lives. But any of us can enjoy a technology fast in the beautiful wilderness of the BWCAW and Quetico.

So, in the words of singer, songwriter, poet, painter, and author Patti Smith, “Put down your cell phones, put everything away, and feel your blood pulsing in you, feel your creative impulse, feel your own spirit, your heart, your mind. Feel the joy of being alive and free.” 

All of us at Rockwood Lodge and Outfitters would like to help you get into the wilderness for solitude, excitement, and a life worth living. 

Call us at (218) 388-2242. 

Email us at info@rockwoodbwca.com

Or visit our website to get outfitted for a technology fast.

Rockwood’s Editor note

(Rockwood Editor’s Note: By all means, bring your phone into the wilderness with you, set at Airplane Mode for battery life,  to take pictures of your “Life Worth Living” adventure. We’d love for you to share those photos with us. We especially like pictures of Moose and Canada Lynx and healthy Lake Trout and Walleye. You may decompress from your wilderness experience in our century-old log lodge or bunkhouse before returning to your real world.)