Grand Portage and some State Parks

The same weekend we went tent-camping, we popped into Grand Portage National Monument for a visit. It is a small National Park preserving the 10 miles portage that trappers from Western Canada had to deal with each year to get to the trading post stationed here. Here I learned that teams of 10 burly men would arrive in a 40-foot canoe made of birch bark and molasses (as a sealant) carrying up to 8000 pounds of furs and other goods to trade. That means, one of these canoes could carry the Airstream – fully loaded – across the great lakes!

Just off the shore, some miles, is Isle Royale National Park. While it was originally on the plan, we scrapped it. We did not have the time to do any backpacking on the Isle (which would have been awesome) and the day trip consists of hours on a ferry, for about 90 minutes of Island time, all with a $160 price tag.

We think ahead now, you know. We are experienced nomads and try to plan around the general public’s weekends so ours is the least impacted by theirs. For example, we have been leaving many established campgrounds on Friday nights… because full-timers are the ones pulling out of your local campground on Friday night when the weekenders are arriving. The same applies at the end of the weekend. We do not want to arrive to an established campground until Sunday night or Monday morning.

Luckily, and thanks to the Two Harbors Moose Lodge, we were able to stay through Saturday night to avoid arriving in a National Park on the first weekend of school-is-out-summer-vacation in Minnesota. That allowed us a Saturday to just go out and explore the shoreline some more. Kerri had it planned out, as she always does the more detailed plans. Off to visit a few of Minnesota’s State Parks to see some more lighthouses and waterfalls. As it turned out, we were not the only ones with that idea. It was National “Get out and crowd your local park day” with no fees being charged at the State Parks in MN. We were among those masses, but still managed some nice hikes, and few moments of solitude, and all in all a very wonderful afternoon.

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