Sunday, July 22, 2012

Gunflint Lodge

 Our final destination on our Great Drive North was the Gunflint Lodge on the Canadian boundary waters.  We met up with my Mom, sister, her husband and three children where we all bunked in the same HUGE cabin where my Mom and Dad use to stay when they would vacation there.  The resort was well equipped with two restaurants, boats of all kinds, hiking trails, naturalist programs and more.

They also had some wonderful kid only programs including the Kids Fishing Trip that the boys did three times!  Their first trip out Logan caught a small mouth bass and a northern pike.

 While the boys fished, we took advantage of the boat ride and hike to Bridal Falls.  So beautiful.

The next day the girls got to try out the fishing, but it was rainy with lightning so they couldn't go out on the boat.  Instead they tried fishing from a bridge, but no luck that day.

Most of what you do up there is fish, so fish we did!  Just about every day.
Then Amanda caught a northern pike and that was the last time she put her fishing pole in the water.  I'm not sure if it was a case of Been There - Done That or if she was afraid of catching one of these monsters again!  The one she caught was just a baby and still bigger than her arm!!!  Couple that with the hundreds of sharp teeth in their mouth and she said NO THANK YOU!

With the whole family coming together, there were lots of opportunities for some adult only time.  We shuffled the kids back and forth between us so we could hike, boat, or look for some illusive moose!
 On one of those moose searches, Eric and I ran across a baby bear climbing a tree!
 For some reason, the bears were more plentiful than the moose.  We sighted them multiple times!

One of the activities that the Lodge offered was trail rides.  Eric and I took 4 of the cousins one afternoon.  Everyone did super great and the smiles lasted for days. : )

We also had to try out the Hobo Hike.  We packed up our lunch into a handkerchief, tided it to a stick and headed for the overlook trail.  The view was breathtaking.  But we just didn't get enough hiking yet, so after our snack we headed back down the mountain to the Lonely Lake.  And who should we find on this Lonely Lake?  Why, a Lonely Loon, of course! 

The kids made good use of the swimming beach at the Lodge.  The water was CRAZY COLD but that didn't stop these Monkeys!  Although Amanda did try to keep as much of her body out the water as possible.  She's so much like her Daddy when it comes to cold water.  : )  Where are all the adults, you ask?  Why we're no fools.  We're sitting on the terrace sipping adult beverages well away from the splash zone!

 I tried to do as much bird watching as possible, and while I did see some new birds to add to my life list, mostly I just enjoyed the wonderful scenery...

... and wildlife.  We saw beavers, bears, foxes, deer, ONE MOOSE TRACK (but no moose), two different turtles laying eggs, loons, eagles, and more!

Our last day there, we took the kids on a canoe trip to Iron Lake.  It was so beautiful and peaceful and if we had paddled a little faster we would have seen a mamma moose and her calf.  But two kayakers got there first and scared them away (the only two people we saw all day, by the way!).  It just wasn't meant to be, I guess.

On our way back south, we stopped by Gooseberry Falls State Park.  I could have stayed there all day, and next time we make the trip I'll make a note to camp here, but we had to hurry on to get Eric to the Airport in time.  More about that soon!

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