Saturday, July 25, 2009

Way Up North

I last updated this in Grand Marais, MN and can't resist adding a couple more pictures from this pretty little town on Lake Superior.

Then we headed further north where the highway caution signs changed...notice the red nose on the reindeer on the sign. (Click on the picture to enlarge it)

Mosquitoes grew bigger and a little thicker (though not too bad due to this very cool summer here). Here's how I like mosquitoes......smashed on the window.

This is the view we had from our campground in Grand Portage, just a few miles south of the Canadian border.

We climbed 175 of these steps to the top of Mount Rose to overlook Grand Portage Bay.

View from the top...
the building below is in the National Monument that depicts the life of the Voyageurs who hunted and trapped all over Canada to send furs to Europe. Grand Portage was the site of the 8 mile long portage used to get furs and supplies from Lake Superior into the mainland river system. That was necessary due to all the rivers here crashing into the lake from huge waterfalls.

John & Patti drove up from the Twin Cities to join us for 2 days in this area.

We all tried the beach chairs at the historic Naniboujou Lodge, once the playground of Babe Ruth and other notables.

But the really BIG attraction for all of us way up north was our day trip to Isle Royale National Park, one of the least visited national parks due to its remoteness. 3 hours each way on this boat to spend 2.5 hours on the island.
We braved clouds, mist, rain, cold and bugs and lived to tell our tale. It's a beautiful unspoiled place, lush like a rainforest, but I wouldn't want to live there! We took a hike of about 1.5 miles and were soaked through from the wet foliage along the 12 inch wide trails - not your typical national park! The bugs were so thick I hardly even stopped to take any pictures. We didn't see any of the many moose on the island but learned all about how they survive winters there with as many as 100,000 moose ticks on their bodies and their skin rubbed bare from the itching. Not a paradise here by any means!

Flower deep in the forest on Isle Royale. it was so shaded that flowers were few and ferns and leafy plants abundant.

Rock of Ages lighthouse at the western end of the immense Isle Royale. This is the largest island in Lake Superior which is the largest freshwater lake in the world.

Back to Grand Portage.

She politely waited for us to pass on a trail this morning before crossing to the other side... we are now in Duluth for a couple of days before we will head down through northern Wisconsin for the Door County area.