We had an extra day in Grand Portage, MN. I planned on sewing for most of the day but before that we made the short drive to Grand Portage National Monument. This is a reproduction of one of the largest and busiest Forts during the fur trade. We saw a lot of similar Forts when we were in Canada but still enjoyed this visit. The “living history” was excellent and the movie was by far one of the best we’ve experienced at a National Park or National Monument.
The birch bark canoe was key to the fur trade – sturdy but lightweight so you could carry it where there was no navigable water.
One of the obstacles included the Pigeon River Falls. One of the interpreters suggested we visit the falls and we did the next morning (despite that it meant driving in the wrong direction for six miles but it really shouldn’t matter considering we’ve already driven more than 3,000 miles and not gotten very far across the country!)
The volunteers and rangers at the National Monument were all very enthusiastic and knowledgeable.
This National Monument is jointly operated with the local tribe, the Ojibwa, and is on the Reservation. It all works well since the Fort and fur trade were very important to the Ojibwa people for a long time until the Fort operations were moved north after the border between the US and Britain was set at the Pigeon River.
We continued South along the Lake Superior shoreline and made a brief stop at Grand Marais. It was a lovely little village where we planned on lunch at the Subway but it turns out that it was closed on Sunday! Yes, closed! We had to eat lunch in the trailer of the Subway parking lot.
Next stop: Soudan Mine