Circling the Pond

This is our first long adventure with our “new” Little Guy teardrop-style camper. We enjoyed being off the ground, dry and warm during the mostly damp days of June 24 – July 7.

Our major interests were fly fishing, canoeing and finding EarthCaches, but the tour guide led us to other treasures including many well-done visitor center displays.

Our tour began in Grand Marais, Minnesota, where we spent two nights at Devil Track campground. In Grand Portage State Park, we hiked to High Falls. Flow was high, misting us on the lookout point.

The next stop was Amethyst Mine Adventure. Friendly staff helped us choose a rock garden addition.

On to Rainbow Falls Provincial Park for two nights from where we explored Aguasabon Falls and Terrace Bay. A barred owl hooted for us all night long and we saw a moose and a bear alongside Hwy 17.

Going clockwise, we stopped at Little Pic River overlook where we saw a CP train come ’round Coldwell Peninsula, Pebble Beach in Marathon and the Wawa Goose which was being replaced for the 150th Canada Day celebration in a few days.

Our next four nights were at Rabbit Blanket Lake Campground in Lake Superior Provincial Park. While there, we hiked South Old Woman River and Nokomis trails, explored Old Woman Bay and canoed Rabbit Blanket Lake with a portage hike to Peat Lake. The sun came out finally on Canada Day for a few hours. In celebration we had Lake and Brook trout for dinner, got a fire going and enjoyed the waxing moon and stars.

Out on the road again we paused at Katherine Cove, Agawa Visitor Center (where the bird call display helped us learn the bird songs we had heard), Montreal River Bridge gorge, Batchawana Bay PP and Chippewa River Falls. Night found us at Andrus Lake State Forest Campground north of Paradise, Michigan. Nice spot if Tahquamenon Falls State Park is full.

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point was much better than expected. The personal stories of nearby wrecks were very moving.

It was a very busy day at Tahquamenon Falls. There was a long traffic backup for the upper falls parking and a parade of people on the stairs to the overlooks.

Continuing on, we drove down the Newberry main drag just before the July 4th parade came through. The day’s stops were Munising Falls, Au Train wayside beach, Lakenenland Sculpture Garden, the tip of Presque Isle Park (Marquette) where people were jumping off the rocks, and ended the day at Van Riper State Park, Champion, Michigan. Our rustic campground was mostly full but the modern campground was a zoo. Not our style.

We woke to a thunderstorm so got going early. Stopped briefly at the Ford Center in Alberta but the saw mill was “closed for renovations.” Brunch was had at the yummy Hill Top Restaurant in L’Anse. While there be sure to buy some raffle tickets for the Bird’s Eye Maple and Gem inlaid Coffee Table, made by Nature’s Way Woodworking, on display there. Even though the Father Baraga Shrine needs some TLC it was still worth the visit. On to Fort Wilkins State Park in Copper Harbor. Really didn’t need an electric site but that is all they offer. It was a very nice park with lots to do in walking distance. While there we explored Hunter’s Point Park, Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary and Brockway Mountain Drive. Touring Calumet we had the requisite Pasty and enjoyed the Keweenaw National Historical Park Visitor Center then wandered around the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse and meet people participating in the 60th International Guts Frisbee Tournament.

Now on the home leg, we briefly stopped at the Quincy Mine in Hancock and the Gogebic County Court House in Bessemer, Michigan, where my second great-grandfather, William J Haggerson, was the first justice of the peace, hired in 1887 the year the county was formed. Enjoyed the Wisconsin Visitor Center in Hurley with the mine core bore sundial display and the Northern Great Lake Visitor Center west of Ashland.

Home after dark with 2,030 miles on the GPS. Fine adventure. Where will we go next?

Tom & Joan Heinrich, Baudette, MN