Had a great weekend in the woods and wanted to share a few of the sites with you. Grand Marais’ a small town of roughly 1300 that sits in the extreme NE corner of Minnesota at the bottom of the Sawtooth Mountains. Very scenic with a great harbor.
We kind of planned this trip around the change of colors of the leaves and usually by mid September, things have started to color up a lot more. This year, they haven’t had a heavy frost yet and the leaves are slow to turn. BUT, the scenery was great anyway. This was one of those roads that started out as a fire road and they finally improved it to handling logging trucks. It’s about 14 miles from one crossroad to the next with no more than a dozen cabins scattered in the woods in between.
We’ve been visiting this part of Minnesota for 40 years and we never get tired of dropping in and enjoying the food and some of the ‘local color’ and Trail Center can be about as colorful as it can get.
It’s sits halfway up the Gunflint Trail (Trail Center…get it??) in the midst of a pile of lakes and wilderness. To say the place is decorated with odds and ends pretty well sums it up. No two coffee mugs are alike and most have advertising on them from someplace else. There’s a resident dog called Roger (an enormous Rottweiler), most of the paint’s worn off the floor and a homey feeling like you just belong there. You can sit and listen to the conversation for hours and it’ll cover everything from the problems Ben’s having with beavers cutting down his trees, the bears have been kind of a problem around the trash cans this fall, reports have it that the wolf pack is still hanging around Gunflint Lake and so on. There was a group of 12 hunters that were up for a weekend of grouse hunting discussing their adventures as well. And halfway through breakfast, a pair of deer ambled across the parking lot past the picture window as if on cue.
But this is the big reason to stop in…… breakfast…..
Ya got eggs, hash browns, peppers, onions, sausage, ham, cheese…. oh man, let me tell ya!!! And if that doesn’t fill you up, they make a pancake 1/2 again as big as that plate that puffs up about an inch and a half thick, light as a feather and gooooooood. Eat 3 of them and they’re free. They don’t give many away.
Cruisin’ around the back trails and fire roads you’re gonna see signs you just don’t come across where there’s lotsa tall buildings. Like this one for instance…
There’s a pretty active group of dog sledders in the area that trek up to Alaska every winter for the Iditarod and of course the John Beargrease race is a BIG attraction in the north country. If you get a chance, look up John Beargrease sometime. Interesting fella. It’s always interesting to be traveling the trails in the summer and come across a team of dogs harnessed to a 4 wheeler pulling it along. The trainers just leave the 4 wheeler turned off in nuetral and let ’em run.
And in the evening, the view over the harbor as the sun goes down can be a real treat.
I have to admit I didn’t shoot any knife pix while I was up there but I sure gave my Hess Caper a workout. Different times of the day I made it a point to find ‘something’ or another to cut up. If I was really in a pinch to cut on something, I could always call on it to clip the end of a stogie. I’ve really gotten fond of it as a belt knife as it’s a comfortable size to carry and one less thing in my pocket!
Well, I finally packed it in and headed home Monday only to find out that the yard has been taken over by turkeys. We’ve had a flock of anywhere from 4-7 hanging around for a number of years, but I’ve never had them move in like this.
That guy’s sitting on a brick window ledge about 4″ wide. Guess he just felt the need to be ‘lookin’ in’. About the time I looked out the front door for the rest of the flock, I was face to face with this one at the front door. Could be an early Thanksgiving at our house this year…..
Anyway, had a great time and I’m pretty well settled down now for a few months….I think. I’m caught up on shipping from the weekend and thanks to those of you that were patient enough to wait and especially those of you that were waiting on the 76’s. Catch ya later!!!