Friday, May 30, 2008

SUN 25 MAY: Grand Portage National Monument

After a short drive north from Grand Marais, we decided to stop at Grand Portage National Monument, located in the Grand Portage Indian Reservation.
We paid the $3 admission apiece, and decided to look around. We watched a short video about Grand Portage, and learned that it used to be a meeting place for Canadian merchants and fur traders, "way back in the day." We toyed with the idea of hiking the 8-mile portage, but decided against it -- the weather was cloudy and a bit drizzly, and we weren't really prepared for an 8-mile muddy hike. So, we looked around the monument instead.
I enjoyed poking around the kitchen building. The guide noted that the kitchen was considered to be extremely well-equipped for its day!
We also walked out on to the dock into Lake Superior, and explored several other buildings.
The fact I found most interesting about Grand Portage was that it was used for years by Canadians, and then one day, someone decided to hire a surveyor and figure out whether the Portage was on Canadian soil or not. It wasn't, so they tore everything down, threw all the materials on rafts, and moved the Portage upriver onto Canadian soil. Ha! (Now, the Portage has been moved back to its original location, on US soil. Well, I guess technically, on the Indian Reservation.)

After poking around the monument, we were itching to do some "real" hiking -- northward bound, we decided.

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