It was a quick 72 miles from Two Harbors to Gilbert, MN over the back roads through the Superior National Forest for the most part. With the exception of one seven-mile stretch the roads were remarkably good for being back roads. This route did save us 17 miles and about 30 minutes had we gone back through Duluth instead. There was a heavy mist for a good bit of the trip. That and going through the same type scenery we had been in on the Gunflint Trail limited the quantity of travel pictures.
We have a huge space at the Sherwood Forest Campground in Gilbert. It is a city park that is really nice and only about a quarter-mile from downtown. We have a 30 amp, full hookup site with a clear shot to the satellite and good Verizon service. The campground also has a pretty good WiFi, at least until the weekend when the campground will fill up. As a matter of fact, we liked our site so much we went ahead and extended our stay three days rather than take the Mothership to International Falls. We will make the trip for just one day in Libby.
Wednesday, we mad the 121 mile round trip to Ely, MN which is a touristy area near the NE top of Minnesota, in the middle of a large number of lakes. While there we visited the International Wolf Center
and saw a small pack of wolves as well as hearing a couple of discussions on wolf behavior and the drastic drop of the moose in Minnesota. It was OK but this is the third similar place we have been and, while it seems to be the best funded, it still wasn't all that much. It did have some very nice pictures of the Aurora Borealis in Minnesota the last couple of years. Surprisingly, many of the pictures were taken in the middle of the Summer. We then went a few miles farther east and walked the trail to Kawishiwi Falls. It was graded as an "easy" trail but then maybe an Olympic decathlon athlete graded it. It definitely wasn't easy, especially for Doris. There were many areas of boulders that had to be navigated and the worst was the washed out roots which tried to reach out and grab you. The view was worth it though when we reached the falls which are about 70 feet high in multiple areas.
Thursday was a lazy day sitting at the campsite and trying to figure out where we are going the rest of the trip. It seems we will head back going down the center of Wisconsin as we didn't find much we hadn't already seen in central/western Minnesota. The problem with doing this by the seat of your pants is holidays. This weekend is Labor Day and the first place we tried to get a reservation for that time frame had no sites available out of their 185 sites! We did finally found a campground not too far from where we want to be and we will be there until September 2. We have to be back in Red Bay on October 7th so Chris can put in some new LED lights and Brannon can install new carpet for us.
Friday was an alarm clock day! We rarely set an alarm anymore but we needed to get an early start for the 259 mile trip up to Voyageurs National Park
on the border of Canada and Minnesota. We had planned to take the Mothership up for a few days but liked our current campground so much we decided to just stay here and make the trip in Libby. As it turns out, that was a good choice as there isn't much to do if you are just touring the park. Most of the activity is lake related with fishing and boating taking up most of visitor's time. We walked a couple of short trails and visited all three visitor centers. We had reserved a boat tour of Rainy Lake
and that departed from the Rainy Lake Visitor Center. It was 2½ hour tour and very enjoyable on a sunny, cool afternoon.
The rest of our stay was spent enjoying the cool weather and puttering around the Mothership. We did go into Virginia for Doris to get the laundry done, me a haircut and a bite to eat at one of the excellent restaurants there.
Tomorrow we head for the small town of Arbor Vitae, just outside Woodruff, WI. We are not sure if we will have Verizon or not but the campsite is close to a county highway so hopefully so.