The Long Trip
We left home on July 13 at 6:30 AM, leaving our son, age 20, in charge of the house, sheep, yard and garden. [He had an internship position that summer with Consumers Power in Jackson, so he was spending the summer break from MSU at home, and working days.]
We enjoyed our traditional pasties in view of the Mackinac Bridge, and supper at Grandma Grooter's near Bruce Crossing, Michigan. Stayed at the Crest Motel in Ashland, Wisconsin, which has a nice view of the bay. We took a one-hour walk in the evening along the bay, and saw a little bit of Ashland. [Note: according to the motel sign, "two people, one double bed, $27.95.]
Breakfast on the 14th was at Rustic Roost, Iron River, Wisconsin. By lunchtime, we had traveled through Grand Marais and were at Devil Track Lake, where we had a sandwich at the Skyport Lodge. The significance of this place is that it is the site of Neil's only flying lesson, back in 1967. He was pleased to see the little yellow airplane was still there.
We continued up the Gunflint Trail, which is quite a nice highway, and not a "trail" at all, until arriving at Rockwood Lodge. [This was our first experience in the Gunflint area.] We had arranged to stay at the Rockwood bunkhouse the night before our trip, and to park the car there. I was quite impressed with the main lodge, a lovely old log structure with a magnificent stone fireplace. The bunkhouse is OK, but I was expecting linens. The sleeping bag will be used enough in the next three weeks!
Time was spent driving around looking for our last-minute supplies, more freeze-dried food, post cards, and such. We purchased food from Rockwood, from Poplar Lake Resort, and from Gunflint Outfitters. We also paddled on Poplar Lake for a warmup, and located the portage to Meeds Lake, which would be our entry into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in the morning. [Photo is of Rockwood Lodge from Poplar Lake.]
We enjoyed a lovely steak dinner at Rockwood Lodge. The atmosphere is so warm and the people who run the resort are very friendly. I always experience apprehension before a wilderness trip, and staying in such a relaxing place is a really good idea for the night before. [Photo is a post card--the only interior shot we have of the lodge.]
To bed early, for a good night's sleep before the "Ultimate Trip" begins!