Quetico Trip #2: Seasick in a Canoe?
We live in Southwest Florida, so it takes some doing to reach the north woods. An early-morning flight out of Ft. Myers, connecting in Detroit, put us on the ground in Duluth by early afternoon. We arrived in that lakeshore community just a few days after their devastating flood and were immediately sobered to see the cadre of Red Cross disaster assistance volunteers that were picking up luggage at baggage claim. We felt a bit sheepish about being there for fun at time when so many were in crisis, a reaction to the situation that was probably made stronger by the fact that in 2004 our home town (Punta Gorda, FL) was smashed by Hurricane Charley. Your comfortable view of life seems to change after you've stood in a food line or two.
Anyway, we picked up our rental car and drove along Lake Superior's shore to Grand Marais, then took the Gunflint Trail almost to it's terminus to reach our destination: Seagull Canoe Outfitters. Deb's staff at Seagull gave us the same warm welcome and efficient orientation that we experienced last year (which is why we came to visit them again this year!) We were traveling light since we were being supplied a complete outfitting package by the Seagull Outfitters team, and since we'd pre-shipped our fishing tackle, clothing and personal gear. We retreated to our bunkhouse room and unpacked our boxes, relieved to find all equipment and rod tips were intact, transferred the gear into backpacks, and made ready for the next day's adventure.
Soon it was time for lights-out, and each of us reclined in our own bunk at opposite ends of the dorm- style room, preparing to drift off to sleep. At least that was the plan, because within a few minutes I heard quite a bit of rustling and scratching noises coming from Elissa's end of the room. I figured that she'd remembered something in our packing that needed adjusting or something that she'd forgotten and that she was trying to take care of it without bothering me by turning on the lights, so I was really surprised when after several minutes of rustling she said: "Dad, what in the world are you doing that's making so much noise?" When I told her that I wasn't making the noise we both realized that we weren't alone in the room, so we clicked on the lights and sighted the first wildlife of our trip, a tiny mouse that had climbed into the trash can, probably attracted by a leaky package of Berkley Gulp leeches that I had abandoned to the garbage.
He ran under the bunk room door and we didn't see or hear him again. Apparently the mouse agreed with Berkley's promos that Gulp products really are as good as live bait!