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Tettegouche Camp Birthday Weekend 2.0

Another year around the sun means another birthday cabin trip. I originally thought going to Canada would be fun. We also looked at a few Hipcamps in Wisconsin and Minnesota. I was worried a few weeks ago with the warm up that we'd have to find somewhere north to find snow. Then we had the huge snowstorm. Long story short, we found ourselves heading back to Tettegouche Camp. 

I spent a whole day looking for the perfect rustic AirBNB or Hipcamp, but then Brooke brought up Tettegouche Camp. I always forget about the long hikes or wood fired stoves. 

When we got to Duluth we decided to try out the new Duluth location of Grand Marais' Hungry Hippie Tacos.

As usual our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. 

We shared a chimichanga and nachos, but should've went with there signature fry bread tacos.

Daniel was really excited for us to play games on the VR headset. 

So, that's what they did the rest of the night.
 
Meadow and I shared a bed. I just couldn't get over how beautiful she is when she's sleeping.

She looks so young here.  

We needed to get breakfast before heading up the North Shore. We hadn't been to Uncle Loui's and their famous french toast in something like a decade.

The food here is pretty good. And no wait if you go on a late Friday morning. 


Next door to Uncle Loui's was a gear exchange store. While a cool idea, some of the prices seemed a bit high for used items.

They did have some sweet Duluth stickers, which we were somehow missing from our collection.

On the way up the shore we passed by Betty's Pies and told Brooke to turn around. It seemed like winter was the perfect time to stop here.
 
We've always been curious but during prime tourist season it's always packed with a long wait. 

Theo chose caramel apple and kept saying it was the best thing in the world. Meadow chose coconut cream. 

I went with Butterfinger. 

We'd never been here since it's PACKED in summer. Despite some lukewarm reviews from the hipsters out there, we all thought it was pretty dang good.
 
Apparently Brooke thinks you ought to remember that this a long hike in. And it is steep, both ways.


The trail had been freshly groomed when we arrived. 
 
I towed the food and Theo's gear behind me. It was easy enough for the first 1/5th of the trail, but soon got intense. It doesn't help that I sometimes have trouble breathing during intense workouts.

Thank goodness Meadow can carry her own stuff now.

This was a son of a gun of a trail.


We made it to the top. It's all downhill from here. 
 
On the way down Theo carried his own pack.
 
Not sure we would have made it up in our skis but going down would have been fun and much faster.

This time we stayed in Cabin A. After unpacking, Theo and I went straight to the games and puzzles. 


We stick to some pretty basic recipes and try to bring as little food as possible. Broccoli garlic pasta fits the bill.
 
We originally thought we'd be able to fit the food in our packs, but everything is bulkier when winter camping

Just as it got dark Blake and Daniel arrived. 

Of course they had snacks in tow.

One of the top bunks had a nice view of the living areas. 

The wall only goes up about ten feet, allowing the wood burning stove and backup propane heat to keep the whole cabin heated.

My new trick for these winter cabins is to make ahead hash and freeze it. Then reheat for breakfast. This cabin had comically small skillets that made it a bit challenging. How is a 3qt pot and 8" skillet supposed to feed 6 people? 
 
And this pan. Why?
 
It felt like they mixed up the cookware with the one room cabin.


Our cabin did also come with a toaster. 

We got some Gunflint Trail Jam from SuperOne for PB&J, but left the peanut butter in the car. So we used it for toast instead.

 
Good breakfast, Brooke.

On our way in I saw a trail that said "To Mt. Baldy." That sounded like a fun snowshoe hike to check out. 

Meadow was not into this idea and took a lot of convincing to get her to change and come along. Meanwhile I explored the camp. 
 
I liked the hooks in all the cabins.
 
There must have been a good 3-4 feet of snow up here. We had a straight entrance to our cabin where the stairs would be.

Theo and Blakey checked out the Lake before we made our way up the mountain.
 
Eventually Meadow cooperated and joined us for a snowshoe hike. 
 
Theo's at that weird age where he's too big to be carried but too little to go long distances. 

I had again forgot that I'd be towing Theo along (instead of the food). Don't let this pic deceive you I dragged Theo up most of the way with some help from Blake.


It was too warm for coats today. 

It was too warm for coats all weekend.


Sorry Theo, we can't pull you forever. 


 
"Take a picture, it looks like baby Yoda."
 

Walks 30 feet. "I'm so tired." 


The way up wasn't actually that bad with a five year old. The shorter, steeper inclines were almost better.


Blake lead the way up the last stretch to the top of Mount Baldy


Meadow was still hating life. 

She was fine, she just didn't want to cross the peak. The view was pretty much the same from where she was, to be honest.
 
Now I want to come back in summer or fall. Or maybe hike to one of the other hills.

Nah, I'm good for a while.  Daniel snowshoed with us up the mountain and then made his way back to his car. Party pooper had to work.
 

Blake was rolling a snow boulder off the edge of Mount Baldy when I came over to see what they were doing.

Then Theo and Blake threw snowballs off the mountain.


Reggae Blake was over snowshoes since the rest of the route was packed down by Daniel.


We told Theo he had to walk back to the main trail on his own. He put on his snowshoes even. 

I thought we should take a snack break to motivate the kiddos.



To motivate Theo, Blake drew pictures in the snow. 




Around each turn was a new surprise.


Once back on the main trail the kids got to sled back to camp. 

These guys were booking it down the trail.

They must have been excited for the Switch. 

They loved watching Blake play Minecraft.

After a little rest we headed back outside before it got dark. 

Blake found the perfect sled hill and Brooke went off on her own. Typical, Brooke.
 
I was exploring the lake. 

The kids followed her to the old dock, but quickly came back to sled with me.


Blake and I were trying to figure out where Mount Trudee was. 


The rest of us sled.




We all got a go. 

You did go once.

One of my legs fell in a hole next to the dock. Theo wanted to build a tunnel under the dock.

But we had no shovels.


 
There's some picnic tables there somewhere.
 
Canned black bean and yellow rice tacos for dinner. I made too much, honestly.

Blake and Meadow played Tiny Hands

The cabin had an assortment of board games and puzzles. Because I guess that's what you do at a cabin?
 

It was pretty entertaining watching them play Tiny Hands charades.


Theo even joined and did a good job. 

When Theo would get crazy Blake would have him align his chakras. 

But that just made him crazier. 
 
These two still love checkers. 
 

We debated on making breakfast in the cabin or having granola bars and eating at Rustic Inn. In the end pancakes won.

It would do.
 
 
Theo must nim at all hours of the day!!!

I got the bunk room all clean for the next guests.


Blake entertained the kids while Scott and I finished cleaning. 
 
And then we had to hike back out.

See you again someday Tettegouche Camp.
 
The climb up on the way back is more gradual, but it's a long trek.
 

We were all too warm for coats but when I tried to unzip Theo's coat he claimed he was freezing. 

I keep thinking we were almost there, only to turn around a bend and still be climbing up the path.

Theo kept complaining he was tired. To distract him I would let him talk all about his video games. 




On the way back down Theo and Meadow got tugged down the trail.

When we told Blake and Daniel that we'd gone to Betty's Pies they poopooed my review. We had to go to the Rustic Inn!. We'd been there before, had a great lunch, but didn't have pies. After trying both out I'm on team Betty's.

Back in Duluth we were hungry for pizza. We tried Lulu's and Sammy's but both weren't open. Vitta Pizza it is.

See you back in a month, Duluth.

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