It’s still morning of day 2 – we’re back to where the previous day ended and where the current day began – the Grand Portage National Monument Heritage Center. After a brief perusal of the center, we went out to take the tour. Lisa led the tour and ladled delicious tidbits on the history of the place. Grand Portage in its heyday (1790’s) was a major international trade center – furs from all over northern North America came here (well, not by their original wearers, but were canoed and portaged in by the trappers) for transportation through the Great Lakes to Montreal and then on to Europe.
Lisa told us all kinds of cool stuff – like history – such as this place maintains heirloom seeds from the original genetic stock of the area. That tepees are Sioux and made of hides, that wigwams are Ojibwe and made of bark – we were in an Ojibwe area.
Then it was on to transportation – the canoe. The birchbark canoe came in various sizes. The largest canoes of all-time – 36-40′ long and weighed 400 pounds empty – were birchbark and were used to haul the furs across the Great Lakes. They could amazingly carry 4 tons – the people and all the supplies shown in one of the following photos. And remember – for whatever reason, the people who traveled in and paddled these boats were not swimmers; and the temperature along the northern route of Lake Superior even in summer would create hypthermia in a matter of minutes; and they could not beach these canoes at night, at their size and weight they would crumble upon contact with land. Hallelujah, Moby Obie!
Then on to the stockade where all the wheeling and dealing took place . . .
[As I recall, Lisa said it took 3 years to become a doctor in those days – and 7 years to become a bread baker!]
We were told we had to cross the street to say we had walked on The Grand Portage!
The bridge to nowhere?
A few moments in Grand Marais as we headed south.
Then a short skip and a hop to Temperance River State Park.
[Our waving shadows.]
Finally, as promised, the old front doors ended up in a pole barn 9 miles north of Itasca State Park – where the kids are establishing a homestead for retirement.
Up next? We’ll be surprised together.