Savannah Portage

As I write this, we are in Duluth, MN. We weren’t planning on coming this way but were having difficulties with the itinerary – mostly internet difficulties. As in, there was none.

We were camping at a lovely, remote campground in Savannah Portage State Park. I really hate to support any stereotype about Minnesota but this place was buggy – really buggy! Alan got swarmed in seconds as we stopped to put water in the trailer. I got totally bitten up just getting to the trailer door.

We weren’t going to let that stop us from enjoying some hiking in the woods and we had our mosquito nets, yes, real mosquito nets. Don’t leave your Airstream without them. We picked these up at Ax-Man Surplus Store. Alan wants to move to the Twin Cities just to be able to shop at this place!


The hike was quiet but very hot (and you guessed it, buggy!) It was pretty boggy and swampy so you really couldn’t expect much else. I at least came home without more bites due to a liberal coating of the strongest bug spray available and all exposed skin except my hands covered. You needed both since the mosquitos would bite through your clothes. The real bummer about the bugs is that we didn’t bother to venture out again and we missed the Continental Divide Trail and the Savannah Portage (an important route for Native Americans and early explorers to get from Lake Superior to The Mississippi River more than 200 years ago.)

There were several lakes in the Park that were gorgeous. Lake Shumway in the photo below was right behind the campground and turned out to be less buggy than expected. We took a drive across the Park to Loon Lake for a bit of swimming and that was fantastic – no bugs, clear water, fresh breeze, and a sandy bottom. You couldn’t ask for a better spot.


So, back to the story … this campground had no cell service except at Loon Lake. We were trying to plan our trip to Voyageurs National Park sitting in the truck but it was going slow. I was using an actual paper map and realized that we really weren’t far from Isle Royale National Park. The Park is technically in Michigan so we hadn’t been considering getting to see it but it is actually closer to Minnesota. New plan:  head to Duluth, drive up the coast of Lake Superior, visit Isle Royale then turn west towards Voyageurs National Park.

The new plan has worked out great so far! Duluth has been beautiful and we have our boat tours and most camping booked for both Isle Royale National Park and Voyageurs National Park. That is pretty much the only way to see both of the these Parks. Isle Royale is an island in the middle of Lake Superior and Voyageurs is mostly water. Not our typical kind of destination but they are supposedly both beautiful and I would hate to miss two of the 59 National Parks when we are this close.

Next up: Duluth