I learned to canoe in Northern Minnesota and the BWCA. I recently returned for a five day trip with an old friend. We went to the extreme northeast corner along the Canadian border. The lakes in this area are mostly long and narrow, running west to east between steep hills. The water clarity was remarkable. We saw bear, beaver, loon, eagle, osprey, and many smaller birds. Our route included the Royal River, which was beautiful and very different from the large lakes. Wild rice was falling into our canoe as we passed. At one point we even had to pull over a beaver dam.