Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Relaxing at Rockwood Volume 5
by Spartan2

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/09/2019
Entry & Exit Point: Other
Number of Days: 12
Group Size: 3
Trip Introduction:
This will not be a report of a wilderness canoe trip. We took our last canoe trip in 2013. This report shows another way to enjoy the canoe country, and it highlights the idea of a "cabin week." For reasons due mainly to a variety of daunting health issues, we have not taken our granddaughter on a "real" BWCA or Quetico canoe trip. We have, however, given her the option of a "cabin week" with us on the Gunflint Trail, ever since she was four years old. She loves to go and she never declines an invitation. With the exception of two summers (both involving Michigan vacations) Anna has accompanied us to the canoe country every summer since 2007. She is now 16, beginning her senior year of high school, and will graduate next June. She insists that she cannot go off to college without her quiet week in northern Minnesota, so perhaps we will get the chance to do it again next year. Our entire trip consisted of 12 days, traveling from the Chicago area to the Gunflint and then back again. Spartan1 and I left Michigan on August 8th, which was his 74th birthday. And the fun began on the next day, when we headed north.
Part 1 of 13
Anna's Minnesota Vacation/"So many rocks, so little time!" Friday 8/9/19, Day One:

We left Wilmette on Friday. It was a beautiful day!

How quickly the years pass by! This was the 11th Minnesota vacation with us for Anna, and suddenly she is a young woman, looking forward to her senior year of high school, visiting colleges, and taking advanced science and language courses. She is also an accomplished photographer. We felt blessed to be sharing this time with her.

It has been our tradition to stop at the Bevidere Oasis for our first stretch break. A quick ice cream cone at McDonald's and the obligatory "pose" on the compass heading north. As she stands there, Grandma always remembers the past.



For most of our years traveling together, we have made a very short first day. Our favorite place to stop is the Hilton Garden Inn at Middleton, Wisconsin. They have a beautiful kid-friendly swimming pool, and every "kid" gets a "Middleton Bear". Anna has a collection of these, and they still humor her request, even though she is a couple inches taller than Grandma now. After we check in, we head across the street to Johnny's Italian Steak House for our dinner. (Anna mainly goes for the Italian bread and olive oil.) After dinner it is pool time. This year there was even a teenage girl to play volleyball with!