As a part of the Hot Reads for Cold Nights adult reading program this year, the Preston Public Library will be hosting an event about the Boundary Waters on Thursday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m.

The Preston library staff previously journeyed to the Boundary Waters and greatly enjoyed the trip. Because of this, they hoped to create a fun opportunity for others in this area to learn more about that part of the state. Those in attendance who have previously vacationed in the Boundary Waters are encouraged to share their experiences during the event as well.

Library director Elizabeth Anderson stated, "We want this event to be fun and hope the people will talk about the Boundary Waters together."

John Goutcher is the featured speaker for the program. He himself has taken trips as a guide to the Boundary Waters three to five times a summer for the past 56 years. In keeping with the Boundary Waters regulations, each trip consisted of only eight people, including the guide. As of now, there are three trips scheduled for this year.

Even with the regulations of the Boundary Waters, Goutcher prefers to take only a few people. "The point is not to have some people coming all that way simply to sit in the bottom of a canoe and do nothing," he said. He wants them to experience creation to its fullest extent.

During the five-day trip, all the equipment, food and water is provided. One merely takes their own personal items, but only as much as can be carried. The only exception is there is no technology allowed on the trip.

Goutcher hopes the chance for individuals to be without technology will bring someone better understanding of God's creation. "No technology is allowed to give a person a chance to live by all five senses that God has given him," he shared.

One of his favorite parts about traveling to Boundary Waters with several people, some of whom he may not know and have completely different backgrounds, has to do with the silence, serenity and beauty of God's creation.

"There are many times when I get to see the hand of God at work because the people are using their senses and spending time getting to know each other," he said.

One particular story he related described the breathtaking wonder of the sunset. "One day, seven of us sat together watching the sunset over the Canadian horizon. It was a beautiful, blood-red sunset," he recalled. "When the last light shown, the trees were black and no one could turn around or even move."

The longest trip he has ever taken encompassed six weeks of travel from the tip of Minnesota to the Hudson Bay. His favorite place within the Boundary Waters is Esther Lake Bluff.

He also enjoys acting out the history of that area. People on his trips have often been given the chance to dress up and become a part of the history with those who portray the British and French camps rendezvousing at Grand Portage.

Within his hour-long presentation at the Preston library, Goutcher will be relating stories he has from his many trips. His presentation includes some videos and personal books and booklets elaborating his philosophy and beliefs of that particular area.

Goutcher is very entertaining, so people attending the event will have a great evening, Anderson promised.

He may tell some of his one-liners or favorite questions people from the metropolitan areas have asked him. One of these may be, "How many years does it take for a deer to turn into a moose?"

The library invites anyone to participate in this event. More special events at the library will occur later this summer, possibly including a Minnesota Historical Society player who portrays a 16-year-old soldier during the Civil War, pretending to be 18.