Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Winter Tracks 2
by Kiporby

Trip Type: Dog Sledding
Entry Date: 02/16/2012
Entry & Exit Point: Other
Number of Days: 3
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
Given the great experience that Lauren and I had last year at the Gunflint Lodge, I decided to return and bring my fiancee, Lisa along this time. We had visited the Gunflint Trail last summer with the kids when we stayed at a cabin on Seagull Lake and Lisa loved the area. So, I made the arrangements with Sheryl at Gunflint Lodge. Even made surprise arrangement for Lisa with Sheryl's help.
Day 1 of 3
February 16, 2012

We arrived at the lodge the night before later in the evening. We had planned to stop along the north shore for the 1st night and stay in one of the towns there. However, the car just kept going and we found ourselves in Grand Marais. We called up the trail to the lodge and they were kind enough to put us in a cabin for the night. Why not just get there, right? Well, we stopped for a nice dinner at Trail Center and then got settled in for the night.

We spent the first day hanging around the lodge and we took a hike down the Kekekabic Trail and returned on the Centennial Trail. Great views and we pretty much got to blaze on our trail. It sure is quiet in the woods in winter.

I was anxious for tonight's suprise. Sheryl helped me book a sleigh ride at Ocontoe which is down the trail a few miles before you get to Trail Center (on the way up from Grand Marais). It would be a night time sleigh ride. They have Belgian Horses there. Our team would be "Rex" and "Bob". Beautiful animals and very gentle. And full of gas! Anyway, it was a great time and we were pulled around under the stars for almost an hour. Very cool experience. Lisa really enjoyed the suprise.

The part of the suprise that didn't happen that night was our engagement. I had planned to ask Lisa to marry me at this moment while on the sleigh ride, but the silly boy that I am couldn't wait to ask her. I had actually asked her the day before Thanksgiving about 5 minutes after the ring arrived in the mail (it was custom made in Arizona by her best friend). When you're in love you do silly things. Alas. :)

The folks (the Patten Family) at Ocontoe are super nice and after the sleigh ride we visited with them in their lantern lit home sipping hot chocolate and munching on warm cookies. What a great experience! Highly reccommended.

Patten Family Sleigh Rides at Ocontoe