The Travelogues of Diane and Dave
Travelogue Index
D & D Home



Week 2 - Touristing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area

After finishing the bike ride, we drove north to Duluth where we stayed in the very nice Comfort Inn at Canal Park. We had a real nice room on the 3rd floor overlooking Lake Superior. We walked around the Canal Park area a little bit that evening, but the weather was not real cooperative with occasional fits of drizzle. We stopped at the Maritime Museum next to the lift bridge. There you can find out the schedule for ship departures and learn when the lift bridge will be going up. Unfortunately, the ship schedules are rather loose. Their departure times are within 2 to 4 hour windows. While we were there, one ship was going to depart between 8pm and midnight (we missed that one) and the next was going to depart between 2am and 4 am. Needless to say, we missed that one also.

The view out our motel window.
Unfortunately, it was late in the day and it was rather misty, foggy, drizzly.

Mon, June 10
The next morning we drove north along the north shore of Lake Superior. We stopped at Split Rock Lighthouse and Cascade River State Park. The lighthouse was very scenic and we took the guided tour after which we wandered around on our own. At Cascade River S.P. we walked about a half mile up the river to check out the gorges, falls and rapids. We couldn’t dawdle too long because we still had to drive up to Grand Marais, buy groceries, and then head inland up the Gunflint Trail to our rental cabin on Little Ollie Lake.

The long set of stairs down to the shoreline.

Split Rock Lighthouse from the shoreline.

The rushing river gorge at Cascade River State Park

Our rental cabin on Little Ollie Lake was very nice. While it did not have a great view of the lake (you could only see it thru a bunch of trees), it was very quiet and secluded. Click here for a separate page about the cabin.

That evening we went to the Windigo Lodge for supper. While the food was good, we were the ONLY customers there that evening. While driving along the Gunflint Trail we came across a small pond with a moose in it! The moose was only about 20 yards off the road so we got a good view of him, along with some good photos.

Male moose in a pond.

Tues, June 11
This morning we got up nice and leisurely. We were enjoying the peace and quiet of our northwoods cabin. We eventually got our act together, made up some sandwiches for lunch and took off in the canoe that came with the cabin. We canoed across tiny Little Ollie Lake and passed thru into the much larger Poplar Lake. We had a good headwind so we stayed close to shore or behind some of the many small islands in the lake. We found a perfect little island with a small sheltered cove where we pulled the canoe up on the shore and had our picnic lunch. After lunch we headed back to Little Ollie with a nice tailwind this time. Along the way we stopped off at the portage trail to Lizz Lake. We pulled up the canoe, tied it to a tree, and walked the trail over to Lizz Lake which was a long skinny lake. Then on the way back to the cabin, Diane decided to take a snooze in the canoe, so I just held the paddle up in the air like a sail and the tailwind gently blew us back home, with occasional course directions from me with the paddle.

Paddling across the lake.

Lunch on a small quiet island.

Diane on the portage trail to Lizz Lake.

That evening we enjoyed supper at the Trail Center Lodge. That restaurant also had good food and was a lot busier than Windigo.

After supper, we went back to the moose pond. This evening there was another moose there, along with several cars parked along the road and several photographers “shooting” it. It was a real treat for us seeing the moose in the pond again.

Female moose in pond.

Weds, June 12
Today we had a long hard hike planned for ourselves so we got up early, packed up the car and checked out of the cabin. We were planning on doing the Caribou Rock Trail to Rose Lake Falls. The guide books said it was a very difficult, steep at times, hike of 3 miles out and then 3 miles back. The book said it should take about 6 to 7 hrs. They were right. The first 1.5 miles was fairly easy. The second 1.5 miles however was very difficult and steep. The trail wound itself around the shoreline of Duncan Lake. It had several long steep descents and ascents with no switch backs. We eventually made it to Rose Lake and the falls. From the shoreline of Rose Lake you can look across the water and see Canada on the far shoreline. After our lunch, we headed back along the now known arduous trail. We were glad when we saw the car at the trailhead 7 hours later. We stopped at the nearby Hungry Jack Lodge for our ice cream reward.

View out from the trail.

View out from the trail.

The trail is steep, rocky , and rooty at times.

Here we are at Rose Lake Falls.

Then it was goodbye to the Gunflint Trail as we drove back to Grand Marais and our next motel, The Cliff Dweller, in the town of Tufte, along the north shore of Lake Superior. That evening when I went to take my shower I found 3 ticks on my leg and a fourth on my shirt. YUCKK !!

Thurs, June 13
Today we visited Temperance River State Park where we hiked 3 miles up to Carlton Peak and back (6 mile RT) for a real nice 360 degree view which included Lake Superior.

The view out from Carlton Peak with Lake Superior in the far distance.

We then continued our drive south and when we got to Duluth we got on the Scenic Parkway. We thought it was supposed to be a scenic drive along the ridge behind Duluth with great scenic views. It was just a different complicated route thru the city where you had to constantly be on the watch to see where the Parkway route turned next. However, the Parkway did take us to Enger Park. It’s a wonderful park high above Duluth with great views out over the city, the harbor, and Lake Superior. The views are best if you walk up the 4 story Enger Tower where the views are stupendous on a clear day which we fortunately had.

The port area of Duluth (click on photo for larger image, 322 Kb)

After enjoying the park, we hightailed it out of the city, onto the interstate, and headed south to Eau Claire, Wisconsin for the night.

Fri, June 14
From Eau Claire we drove about 2 hours south to Baraboo, WI where there the International Crane Foundation (ICF) is located. There they have at least one of each of the 15 crane species of the world. By the way, that’s crane as in the type of bird, not as in construction crane. We took their 2 hour guided tour of the facilities. Diane enjoyed talking to their staff as she volunteers at the Paxtuxent Wildlife Research Refuge where they also do work with the nearly endangered Whooping Crane.

^ Above shows part of the exhibit area.

> To the right is a Sandhill Crane.

v Below is a Whooping Crane.

After our time at the ICF, we headed south down to Indianapolis, IN. After the ICF, our vacation was basically over and it was just a matter of driving as many miles as we could to get closer to home.

Sat, June 15
Today, we drove all day long from Indianapolis, IN back home to Laurel, MD. We only stopped for gas, food and potty breaks. We finally got home around 8:30 pm. We unpacked the car, downloaded our 253 home emails, and collapsed in bed. The next day, Sunday, we have at home to do laundry and get ready for work on Monday.

Week 1 - The Minnesota River Bike Ride.

Minnesota 2013 top page




Travelogue Index
D & D Home
last revised : September 12, 2013