Sunday, July 23, 2017

Exploring Minnesota: Voyageurs National Park

After our backpacking trip in Michigan, we continued to hug the Canadian line to drive into Minnesota. Another national park lies in this far-reaching section of America: Voyageurs National Park.
Voyageurs is a HUGE park, something like 200,000 acres. It has 3 (maybe even 4?) visitor centers/entrances. We knew we wouldn't be able to spend a whole lot of time here, so we picked the Rainy Lake Visitor Center and entrance as a focus.

The park showcases the interconnected water routes used by several generations of Native Americans to make trades with French Canadians. Using birchbark canoes, the adventuresome voyagers traveled hundreds of miles back and forth trading things like fur (particularly from beavers) and wild rice.

The main way to explore the park is via the extensive water highway. There are more than 500 islands within the 56-mile stretch of the historic water route within the park! We did a short 1.7-mile hike near the Rainy Day Visitor Center, mainly to see if the bugs were still just as bad as they were in the rest of the North Country (they were). Then we hopped on a tour boat to take us to around some of the islands.




It was gorgeous, as expected, but the best part was all the eagle sightings! Many just had their babies and we caught a few bringing food back to the nests.
 Mama (or Daddy) bringing food back to the nest

Baby eagle waiting in the tree. Fun fact: their head doesn't turn white for a few years! 
 Skimming for fish! They can actually spot them from a mile away!

We have a few more northern adventures to chronicle here, but for now, we need to focus on our LAST presentation of our tour in Denver Monday night (and the 17-hour drive that is getting us there ...).
Pssst ... we just arrived. But hot damn, we don't recommend anyone drive 900+ miles in one day. Ever. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

900 miles in one day! Insanity.