Wednesday, October 27, 2010

200 Miles!

Take some time to contemplate on exactly how far 200 miles is. For a good reference, 200 miles is approximately the distance from Chicago to Green Bay. Now take the time to imagine 200 miles of nothing. No roads, no cities, no cars....just miles and miles of vast green boreal forest. So, take away I-94 and I-43 that run north out of Chicago to Green Bay. Take away Milwaukee, Sheboygan, and Manitowoc. Replace all of that with nature. Kind of tough to do, right?

Witnessing 200 miles of forest is an experience that one must see for themselves. As you cruise thousands of feet over the earth surface in a Cessna Caravan northbound out of Red Lake, ON your eyes continually search for signs of life. Your brain has trouble processing the simplicity of nature. You witness no human influence, just trees, rock and water; repeat that mile after mile after mile. Your mind keeps repeating "There has got to be something!" however your eyes just provide visions of pristine lakes and endless forests of pine and poplar trees.

For the past 25 years our family has operated Big Hook Wilderness Camps 200 miles from the end of the road in Red Lake, ON. Situated in the Opasquia Provincial Park, Big Hook is the most remote outfitter in Ontario. We offer guests the opportunity to witness true isolation and escape from the modern world. No cell phones constantly ringing, no daily commuters to battle, no endless hours at the's just you and Mother Nature.

On your next visit to Big Hook try an experiment to appreciate the remoteness of the Opasquia Park. While you are out fishing turn off the motor, close your eyes and just listen to nature. I mean, really listen. There will be no honking horns, no motorcycles accelerating down the street and no sirens wailing in the distance. What you may hear is the faint cry of a loon or the water lazily lapping at the side of your boat. However, most of the time, silence will consume you and your ears will begin to ring. That in my opinion, is when you can take a deep breath and relax because only then you truly know you are isolated.

For another experiment, try stepping on shore somewhere. Just pick a random shore line and dock your boat for a moment. Chances are, you are the only person to stand in that spot, ever! That is how remote Big Hook Wilderness Camps truly is. The miles and miles of forest sprawling before you probably is unexplored. The Opasquia Provincial Park has a population of three. Myself, my mom and my dad. Thus, there is extremely little human influence on the park.

All in all, what I am trying to convey is traveling 200 miles from the nearest road or town can be exciting and at the same time difficult to process. From a business point of view the distance is very challenging to overcome. Months of planning is needed for an efficient season. From a guests stand point, you are witnessing Mother Nature as she has existed for the past thousands of years undisturbed by man. On your next Big Hook vacation, take a step back and a deep breath because it is just you and Mother Nature.

Good luck on the water in your fall/winter fishing adventures everyone. Please remember to practice catch and release.
Big Hook Wilderness Camps

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