Minnesota’s North Shore Part 1

As promised, with this post I’m sharing images and narrative from my trip north from Duluth (after Dean replaced my freshwater tank) to Grand Portage way up near the Canadian border.

The image above is very typical of the drive along the north shore of Lake Superior.  Truly lovely, and as you can see I continued to have amazing weather.  I’m actually writing this while staying at Straits State Park in St. Ignace, Michigan.  I’ve been driving way too many hours each day then poking around the communities and lake area where ever I land to post to this blog.  On top of that, WordPress and.or my Mifi have been incredibly SSLLLOOOWWW.

I had a fairly long drive (for driving a motorhome) and had planned to stay in Grand Marais.  One of the first things that caught my eye on the drive was this log structure that is Norwegian in type:

I’ve been fascinated with these structures for decades after I saw one on Washington Island.  I even corresponded for years with the person who had a small business importing complete cabins directly from Norway that were built there, disassembled, and then put in shipping crates to the United States.  This particular structure is actually a business, not a home:

Here are more details of this log structure (except for the teddy bear that is a bonus):

In the parking lot was a station wagon with alot of nice things to say:

I stopped at Grand Marais with the intention of getting settled into my reserved space in the campground.  As I posted previously, in the few moments I opened my door to check things out at the extremely small, tight space that I was assigned (and the last one available), I had black-fly issues.  One black fly flew into Ecovision right onto my front window while another flew straight to my neck.  I was able to squish both before they grabbed a chunk of skin off any part of me.  Unfortunately, I strongly attract and strongly react to black-fly bites.  I get red lumps the size of a quarter that hurt and persist for over a month.  I had about a dozen of these in May while on photo safari in Tobermory, Ontario, so I knew I had to get out of there and did.

I headed further north about 40 miles to the Grand Portage Reservation.  The Reservation is very large at over 73,000 square miles.  It is 12 miles from the first Reservation sign to the town of Grand Portage.  The “town” is mostly a casino complex and the marina and RV park where I stayed.  When I arrived several anglers were cleaning their fish:

After I picked my site and paid, I got back into Ecovision and headed further north.  I wanted to see where one catches the ferry and half-day tour boat to Isle Royale.  It was closed at that time of early evening and I’ve found it difficult to communicate with the company other than through their website where they take (and prefer) on-line reservations.  I did see one of their boats at the dock, the Sea Hunter III:

The Sea Hunter III

It might of have still been possible for me to get on the next day’s 8:30 a.m. trip to Isle Royale, but I just cannot leave Henry alone for the seven hours I would have to be gone.  Next year I’ll have to figure something else out.

On the way back to the campsite I stopped to take a photo of what I believe are wild-rice fields:

I continued south of MN-61 the mile or so back to the campground.  I had plenty of freshwater in my new tank so I just plugged in electric for the one-night stay.  No black flies or even mosquitoes so Henry and I had a nice long walk before cozying up for the night.

To finish this posting, this is a photo of the peek-a-boo view of Lake Superior’s Grand Portage Bay that Henry and I enjoyed the next morning while eating our breakfast outside:

Next I’ll post Part 2 that will include images of the Grand Portage National Monument, a second and much better visit to Grand Marais, and the iconic Split Rock Lighthouse.

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