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Minnesota Boundary Waters

We visited quite a bit of Minnesota. Along the coast. Up to Grand Portage National Monument and over to Voyagers. But it seems that I only took pictures of the BWCAW (Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness).

I was a bit worried that it would be underwhelming because of how much I’d heard about it, but it turned out to be a pretty special few nights on the lakes and rivers.  We booked a canoe and some food through an outfitter; In hindsight we would have just gone with the canoe because the food turned out to be overpriced standard backpacking meals. But we didn’t really know what to expect and didn’t want to accidentally make an ignorant tourist move.

The bugs… oh they were as bad as you’d expect:

We dropped in our assigned point early and in less than 30 minutes had a portage. Kate really had no idea what to expect here and it took a few stops to get our method down.

Dog in front? A bit cramped for Kate and not as much room to see around. Dog in middle turned out to work best:

The park regulates how many people enter the wilderness, so despite being “full” we felt pretty alone out on the waters. There is well worked out system of campsites with potties marked on their topo maps so explorers can chose where to camp as long as someone else isn’t there. This means that for the popular spots it’s best to try to grab them early lest you be paddling around for a couple of hours trying to find an empty one in the evening.

We briefly talked to other travelers and they had been rained on for five days and were glad to be headed out. We had maybe two hours of rain total, and even that gave us some pretty cool views:

Next time we’ll bring more bug gear.

Afterwards we crept up and down the coast, enjoying the the towns. Most of the coastal towns I’ve visited are limited to: Southern California. So it was nice to see some different building types and shops! Grand Marais was gorgeous, and had some cool lighthouses and walks right next to town.


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