Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Grand Portage National Monument
This morning we woke up bright and early and hit the road. We made it to Grand Marais where we got coffee and muffin tops for breakfast and then drove up to Grand Portage. Our first stop was the Heritage Center where we checked out the exhibits and watched a short film about the monument. Then we headed over to the reconstructed fur post. It was interesting to see how life in the late 1700s and early 1800s in the frontier would have been. We attended a short program on how people throughout history have started fires and saw one of the interpreters playing bagpipes as well.
After touring the post we obtained a permit to camp at the Fort Charlotte site. It would be an 8.5 mile hike from the Heritage Center to our campsite.
The hiking was pleasant and the weather was gorgeous. We saw a few birds and chipmunks, but none of the moose or wolves we were really hoping to see. The most interesting part of the hike occurred when the portage trail passed near a beaver pond. While the resident beaver(s) were nowhere to be found, it was interesting to look around at the plants and birds.
Soon after leaving the beaver pond area, we arrived at the Fort Charlotte site where we set up camp and explored a little bit. Fort Charlotte was the site of the beginning of the portage around the waterfalls and rapids of the Pigeon River.