Canoe the Heart

Yesterday, the kids and I had a chance to see the Canadian/US team of paddlers come into Saganaga. Check out the Heart of the Continent activities occurring this summer, in part to celebrate the 100th birthday of Superior National Forest (and Quetico…which is sort of 100 years old as well).

Wilderness Canoe Base and Gunflint Wilderness Camp came with North Canoes (the kind the Voyageur Fur traders used to travel the border lakes) and escorted the expedition members into Chikwauk (a former lodge/historic site, future museum on the Sag channel). Local people gathered for a little shindig welcome/shore lunch (sponsored by the Gunflint Trail Histoical Society) program on the pleasant July day.

And here is our friend Jim Wiinanen, one of the US paddlers of this leg of the journey. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to take a trip with Jim, you’d realize that he wins the prize for really-fun-guy-to-paddle with, knows-everything-but-won’t-tell-until-you-ask, full of ingenuity and playfulness, most stable/longest-lasting trails wardrobe. I’ll bet you a dollar that he’s got his own personal T.P. partial roll right there in his right breast pocket–can almost guarantee that. Don’t be alarmed by the subtle change in his tripping attire—he is showing his pride for the Centennial Event in his best Finnish manner, by wearing the little centennial pin on his collar. (Can you tell he’s one of my long time favorites?—even from when I was 16 at Wilderness Canoe Base, and he looked exactly the same and I was just a little bit afraid of him. Pretty sure he still had that green hat, but he didn’t wear it when he was working, of course.) And he really does know an awful lot about camping in the Northwoods and the people…and the places..and…..

At any rate—the new crew, on the next leg of the journey, is paddling up the North Shore of Lake Superior today, back to Canada.