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A trip to remember

By Staff | Jul 26, 2013

Yvette Rozmarynowski and her dad, Larry, celebrated her earning her veterinary technician degree by taking a five-day canoeing trip to the boundary waters near Ely, Minn. Submitted Photo

When Yvette Rozmarynowski completed her veterinary technician degree late last year, she had plenty of people to thank, but just one wish for a celebration.

Rozmarynowski got her wish, and took a 5-day trip canoeing trip with her dad to the boundary waters near Ely, Minn., at Burntside Lake.

“It was a difficult challenge for me to go back to school at this stage in life,” she said. “I had several family and friends that really supported me. My dad was one of my biggest supporters. I could tell that he was proud of me for going back to college. I wanted to do something special with him, just me and my dad. I love to canoe and camp. I had heard about boundary waters canoe trips several years ago. I added it to my “bucket list” and thought this is something I would really like to do with my dad. I asked him when I finish school if he would do this trip with me. Of course he said yes.”

But just because the pair agreed to take the journey, it didn’t mean the trip was a go.

Rozmarynowski’s dad, Larry, wasn’t in the best of shape, and his daughter worried about what would happen if there was an emergency while they traveled through the wilderness.

Submitted Photo Yvette Rozmarynowski, left, and her dad, Larry, paddle a canoe during a trip to the boundary waters near Ely, Minn., earlier this summer.

But when he agreed to take the trip with his daughter, Larry’s outlook toward his health changed as well.

“I told him if he was serious about this trip that he would have to lose weight,” Rozmarynowski said. “He must have been serious, because he went on a weight loss program and lost over 60 pounds.”

Larry, who lives in Devils Lake, needed the newfound stamina from his weight loss, as the duo had to do many miles of portaging, or carrying the canoe, before they could get the canoe in the water.

The first portage was nearly four miles, which included a second trip back to get all of the gear.

Rozmarynowski, a former Girl Scout and leader of Girl and Cub Scout troops, was pretty experienced in the outdoors. Her dad was an experienced fisherman, but had never been in a canoe.

But once they got on the water, the beauty and serenity of the trip was revealed.

“The water was so calm for canoeing and fishing,” she said. “I would let dad fish while I would fish and troll the canoe. It was so quiet and peaceful out in the wilderness. I could hear the wind coming, it would pass and then it was calm again. The weather couldn’t have been any better, the bugs were not bad and there were no bears.”

The father/daughter team even saw a couple of bald eagles and had a chance to catch up over games of pinochle.

“The goal was to finish school and pass the boards, but also spending quality time with my dad, just having him and I,” Rozmarynowski said.

She said she’s definitely considering another trip and would recommend it to anyone looking to get away from the daily grind.

“If somebody wants to get away from everything and doesn’t mind a little physical challenge,” she said, “this is the way to go.”

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