Bower-Trout to Ram: Cherokee - Vista Loop
Planning, packing, and researching for our trip were now ghosts of the past and we headed north at 5 AM. We are creatures of habit, and we stopped at our usual spots for food and fuel. We motored into Duluth at about noon, ate lunch, and then drove along the “big one”. I never stop marveling at the expanse of Lake Superior and her sparkling waters. At the Tofte Ranger Station we picked up our permit and continued on to Grand Marais.
Around 4 PM we checked into Wedgewood Motel and met the proprietors, Amy and Peter. The Wedgewood is a small motel on the north side of GM. The motel is clean, tidy, no-frills, and inexpensive (on par with a “bunkhouse”). Amy and Peter shared a wealth of information with us. They are fellow paddlers and North House Folk School Instructors (Teaching the art of bread and beer making, respectively). Following, a quick room break, we headed into town for an “Uffda Zah Pizza” at Sven and Ole’s. Along the way, we took note of the turn to the Gunflint, and located the South of the Border Café for our 5 AM breakfast.
Recommendations for our digs at Wedgewood and breakfast at SOB came from my post on BWCA.com. We called our plan the “Bannock plan”. Thanks, Bannock. I also picked up many tips about this country from trip reports and other posts. So, for those of you who write about your adventures, others do read them. Thanks for sharing.
After pizza and a few beers, we headed back to Wedgewood to prepare for the next day. In a moment of stupidity, I convinced Matthew that we should look for ways to lighten our food pack. Never ever again will I remove “too much” trail mix (my mix of M&M’s, salted peanuts, and raisins) from the food pack. Before retiring I listened to Amy’s weather radio. The big question on my mind was the direction of wind for our crossing of Brule on Day 2.
Pictures: 1) Packing and checking the list twice, 2) On Highway 23 south of Marshall, MN, 3) Lake Superior