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Boundary Waters Yurt Camping

Early in the week I found out that we had a chance to stay at a yurt in the Boundary Waters. Hipcamp's an awesome new site that helps you find pretty much any campsite. Since we didn't have any plans and we could stay in Duluth halfway we took the bait. We didn't need our tent or camp pads, so we packed a little different than normal.

I checked out a book on the Boundary Waters and got out the map. We were on our way.

We figured that we could use some advice on canoeing up there since this was our first trip.

Had we known we'd be back in Duluth again we probably would've skipped our last visit. But we always enjoy coming here anyway.

One thing we don't miss about Duluth are the lousy sidewalks. I know winters are extreme, but come on.

They need to put less money into their obsessive plowing and more into paving.

We had some time to kill. Why not go for a walk?

We cut through Merrit Creek to find a playground for Meadow. 

That is after we meandered around Duluth's Denfeld neighborhood.

After we got back Meadow played more songs while we waited for Blake to get home from work. 

Since we've been biking every day this month we brought our bikes along. We told Blake to take us somewhere interesting.

Blake wanted to take us somewhere he hadn't been to. On the way he took us down the wrong street, which brought us to some old rail cars. 

Eventually we found Grassy Point. The trail floats over the water normally, but somehow it was partially submerged.  Of course our shoes got soaked.

I couldn't believe Blake said he had never been here before. I was surprised there was still areas he hadn't seen yet.

(What? Are you sure about this?)

We took the one bike lane in the city back to Blake's house.

I think you're exaggerating. If you stare long enough I think you can see the Thirsty Pagan and Anchor Bar over in Superior.

Back at Blake's Meadow and I had a dance party while Scott made dinner.

While dinner was baking Blake whipped out his Easter candy. First of all, my mother-in-law still sends Blake an Easter basket. Second, Blake hadn't eaten it all.

Sorry mom, but the chocolate did not taste like chocolate.

Dinner was late, but oh so good.

I made a Grits-and-Greens Breakfast Bake. I know, we're rebels. We eat breakfast whenever we feel like it.

Although with how long it takes to bake not sure any of us are going to get up early enough to make it.

I was actually the first to wake up. I had hoped to wake up early and get breakfast ready before Blake had to work, but I was 15 minutes too late. 

My version of red flannel hash.

I poorly poached eggs. It's our thing the last month of so.

Since we'd be up in the Boundary Waters we had to get our bike ride in before driving up MN 61.

Apparently Denfeld and Lincoln park have a new bike trail along Superior Street on the west side.

We somehow missed the turn on the trail and ended up biking through Lincoln Park.

That was later, but we did miss it. The neighborhood is home to world famous Duluth Pack and less famous Frost River Trading Company. They both make excellent packs.

The trail meanders south of Superior taking you under I-35 and onward to tourist traps. 

After the ride we quickly got in our car and headed north. 

You know you're on old highway 61 when you find a lady taking a picture with her iPad.

It's been awhile since we've driven up the North Shore. It's been fun getting to explore all of Minnesota this summer.

Meadow insisted that we stop to peer out at Lake Superior at the mouth of the Beaver River.

You could also say that I took her out of her car seat.

Some folks down below the big bridge waved at us.

When we got back to the car Meadow played with my old camera. She doesn't quite get the idea of a viewfinder. Instead she puts her eye up to the lcd.

We stopped for pb & j's at Cut Creek. I also finally remembered to make homemade granola bars for this trip.

Meadow wanted to play by the water all day, but we had a yurt to get to.

When we arrived we met the owner, Ted. He got his ATV and we packed it full of our gear and food.

We probably could've hiked in, but the free ride works too.

This place had everything we needed. I wish we had stayed more than a night.

Yurts are the future, dudes.

We we're going to bring our kayaks when I read on the site that a canoe was included.

I wasn't expecting this place to be so secluded.

We spotted a bird right after we'd arrived. That would be the last wild animal we'd see other than fish in the bog. I think we have a curse.

"Mama, nap too."

Okay Meadow, if you say so.

The yurt includes six beds, a nice table, a camp stove and pretty much everything you'd need to cook. We weren't hungry quite yet.

We decided to test out our complimentary canoe first.

Our host, Ted, mentioned that there was a way to portage to another lake. 

We couldn't find the portage trail at first. Instead we took a short break. I suggest if you ever get up here that you don't wear shoes and enjoy the squishy magnificence.

After getting back in the canoe we found the portage trail and hiked over to the other side. 

The sun was setting so we decided to wait to try again in the morning. 

"Fishies, fishies."

The yurt also had a few board games.

Too bad Meadow wasn't older.

She managed to make fun out of it.

I didn't know there was going to be a vintage stove here.

Well, I did. I figured we could just cook as if we were at home. I fried some sausage, added cherry tomatoes and cooked that all for a while. I then added some fresh-from-the-garden green beans for the last few minutes.

At the last second I added basil from our neighbors yard.  I tossed some pasta with it and we had a meal.

Scott and I actually built a decent fire. 

Meadow just wanted some roast marshmallows.

The next morning Meadow woke up first and started exploring.

I should also mention that they also provide water for your stay.

We rarely wake up too late or too early. She's got a great internal clock.

Scott whipped us up some pancakes for breakfast.

We had a few extra eggs so I made a few birds in a blanket.

Mr. Mike would be proud.

Meadow stuck to plain old pancakes.

The outhouse had a nice window view.

FYI GFT = Gunflint Trail. That's the road you take in from Grand Marais. Don't believe your GPS. It's only a half-hour between the yurt and there.

I love yurt life!

We decided to pack everything before getting a canoe ride in.

This time we were ready for portaging. 

While Scott carried the canoe, I wore Meadow in the Ergo and carried the backpack and paddles.

We planned on canoeing to a nearby creek, but it was blocked by beaver dams. There are few other portage routes to neighboring lakes besides the portage from Hooker Lake to Swamp lake.

I was expecting it to be cold up here, but the weather was perfect.

I think a canoe works better for our family. Meadow, more or less, sits in the middle. She did request to paddle a few times. If we do get a canoe we may have to look into a child size one for her. 

Anyone want to trade a canoe for a fridge?

Meadow saw a rock in the middle of the lake and waved a friendly hello.

After a trip around the lake I put the canoe back on my shoulder and trudged onward.

If we get up here again we'll have to bring some venison sausage.

We finished up packing after our return.

The sauna was a bit of tease. It would be great after some snowshoeing.

I would love to come back here in the winter.

Meadow wanted to stay too.

Don't expect the ATV. Ted had to go to town so he lent it to us overnight. It made everything a bit easier.

We let Meadow ride her balance bike before we drove back to Duluth.

She's getting a lot more confidant and faster. 

On the way home we made a pitstop in Duluth to check out Blake's friend's senior show. I love any gathering that includes a potluck.

It was great seeing Justin's work. Really impressive work. The music was great too.

Meadow just likes any excuse to clap.

There was even a monologue.

 Before heading home we got in a quick bike ride. At this rate we will be back in Duluth in a couple of weeks.


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