Once again we broke camp at the Gunflint Trails End Campground and said our goodbyes to our traveling friends from Texas and Wisconsin. We ambled back down the Trail checking out some of the other campgrounds and many of the lodges for future reference. We stopped for lunch at the Windingo Lodge
about midway up the Trail on Poplar Lake. This lodge is not the prettiest site on the lake. It is an oversized out of proportion building. I believe this is a rebuild after a fire.
The lunch was OK but it certainly was not of the calibre of Trail Center Cafe
less than a half mile away or the Red Paddle Bistro
at the Gunflint Lodge 20 miles up the Trail. Nancy had the BLT and I had a Denver omelet.
Before we got off the Trail we encountered a bald eagle and a turkey vulture hovering in the same area. So we stopped to investigate. It turned out there was a dead deer in the woods and it had already been pecked considerably. Sorry, no picture for you of the grisly scene but here is one of the bald eagle before we spooked it deeper into the woods. This is a hand-held shot using my 300mm DSLR telephoto lens.
In Cook County, the northernmost county up the North Shore are three dead end road trails terminating at the BWCAW. The longest is the Gunflint and it is paved. The other two are gravel roads and are called the Arrowhead and the Sawbill Trails. We haven't traveled the Arrowhead yet but we were taking our second trip up the Sawbill. The Sawbill was where I captured the moose shots previously. NancyPalooza
called the area the Wolf's Nose
in her report. It certainly could be interpreted as that but most call it the Arrowhead
in references. Maybe because Arrowhead Realty might be a tad more appropriate than Wolf's Nose Realty for a business name.
What do you see? Arrowhead or Wolf's Nose?
The Sawbill Trail is every bit as alluring as the Gunflint Trail. There is much less development since it is mostly all forests for its full length with the exception of the beginning few miles of paved road. We explored this area last May. This time we camped, if you call it camping, at the Sawbill Lake National Forest Campground. This is camping. Sleeping in the B van and making campfires. We grilled our brats on this campfire for dinner.
Once again our campsite was on a lake, the Sawbill Lake, and look across into the BWCA.
The Sawbill is another embarking and debarking place for canoeist. So, the first connection to civilization on coming out of the wilderness is in Tofte at the end of a 24 mile drive where right across the road intersection with US 61 is the Coho Cafe Bakery & Deli
. Our goal that morning was to stop at the Lemon Wolf Cafe down the road in Beaver Bay, but we too as did wanderingjew
found it closed on Mondays. Luckily, we decided to stop at the Coho Cafe if for nothing but coffee. It turned out to be fortuitous and we stayed for breakfast.
The Coho Cafe
The Coho Cafe is an order at the counter and take a number place and have your food delivered to the table except dinner is full service. Nancy had an Eggs Benedict Wrap.
I had the Sunrise Breakfast Pizza
What we didn't try but would have if we weren't planning on stopping at the, as it turned out, closed Lemon Wolf Cafe was their full array of baked on premise pastries, pies and cakes. Definitely another stop is anticipated in the future.
From there we beat it straight home. I think after 5 trips this year we have exhausted the season and the North Shore. We do have the itch to head north again but may aim for Voyagers National Park
. We have been to most of the national parks in this country but have never been to Voyagers in our home state.