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Thread: Northshore Weekend

  1. #1
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    Default Northshore Weekend

    (Sorry, no photos)

    Wing and I went for a weekend on the Northshore of Lake Superior. A resort had two for one rooms, as this is the off season, and we needed some time away. Unfortunately, I'd misjudged the opening of deer season, and heard howls from my sons, but when I checked on the rooms - I found I couldn't get a refund. I packed a rifle - just in case - and forgot the camera.

    We drove north on the Northshore highway, and stopped at the Rustic Inn for lunch. Best food on the Northshore, and this time was no exception. They also have the best pie, but we were too full to eat any, though we did buy a blueberry pie for later.

    Further north, we stopped at the Satellite Cafe to look at some photos of my g-g-g-grandmother, Suzanne Artichone. The proprieters are not sure where the photos came from, but they've been hanging on the walls for many years. One of the photos shows Suzanne, and her son Frank, butchering a moose. Another shows Suzanne building a wigiwam. Suzanne was born in 1837 and died in 1942, still in the woods.

    We stopped at Caribou River so I could show Wing a portion of the Lake Superior Hiking trail. We'd no sooner got out of the car than we jumped two deer. I took my gun and hiked up the ridge, hoping to head them off. After about a 1/4 mile, from the top of the ridge, I saw four deer drinking from the river. I don't think these were the same deer. There was a large doe, two yearlings, and a hesitant buck. I waited for the buck to come out into the open, then decided I was nuts and took one of the yearlings, a doe, about 100 pounds. It was tough enough to drag her out. The buck would have been way too heavy. This area is known as the "Sawtooth Range," and is the nearest thing we have to mountains in Minnesota.

    As we were going to be away for the weekend, I butchered her on the spot. I'd had the foresight, for once, to bring some plastic bags, I rinsed my hands in the river and we were on our way.

    We stopped at Schroeder to clean the duff away from my g-grandparents grave stones. They sit on a high bluff overlooking Lake Superior. We also gathered up all the old ribbons and packs of cigarettes left there. I didn't know if we should do this. Ojibwe often leave tobacco, which is considered sacred, at grave sites, but this was all old crap, and the gravesites were starting to look like a dump. Besides, I'm a Christian, and I don't really believe in all that stuff, though I did throw some new chewing tobacco to the wind.

    We also checked the trees planted over some of my great uncles. They didn't have money for grave stones when they died, so they planted spruce trees over their graves. They are now about 75 feet high and 20 inch through the butt.

    We puttered on, and finally reached our hotel. This is an older place - at least in our neck of the woods - started in 1885. The original builder was a contemporary of my g-grandfather, and g-grandfather stayed there many times while working as a timber cruiser. At that time, the only way to get there was by boat, along the Northshore, or by walking through the woods. They've had some interesting visitors over the years, Eric Severeid, Agnes Morehead, Teddy Roosevelt, John Dillinger, and Al Capone - who shot his cabin so full of holes the propreiter asked for, and received, an extra $20.

    The interior of the place is all heavy carved beams and old knotty pine paneling. Our rooms were rustic and snug, with a large wood burning fireplace and full kitchen. The view of the lake was breathtaking and, as the lake was pretty calm, we took a canoe ride first thing.

    Well, once we got out on the lake, we found the NE headland was sheltering the cove where we started. Once we got around the point, I was wishing we'd taken a larger canoe. We'd only brought the Bell CJ, which is, by rights, a solo canoe. We sat on the bottom on boat cusions, and we were doing fine, though we did ship some water. The wind stepped up a notch, and I had some concerns about broaching if we turned.

    We headed to shore at a slight angle, and came along side a large rock fall. We carefully approached the rocks, and as the canoe was raising and lowering by about three feet with each wave, I told Wing to hunker down and be ready. I timed my jump to the rock and got it just about right, only getting one wet foot. I scrambled up on the rock and pulled the canoe close as I dared with my paddle, and grabbed the gunwale, steadying the canoe as Wing got out. We pulled the canoe up on the rocks, and switched it end for end. I steadied it again while Wing climbed aboard, and shoved off, pulling myself over the stern. Wing did an excellent job of balancing while I got in place, and we paddled like mad to get away from the rocks.

    The return trip was through following seas and we shipped a lot of water. We reached the headland just in time to keep from sinking. As the water was about 5 degrees C, we didn't want to do that. We had a two liter bottle we could have used for bailing, but I don't think we could have taken time to bail as we were busy keeping the canoe on course.

    Soon as we got to shore, we carried the canoe up to the building and placed it on our balcony where we could keep an eye on it during the night. At some more recent date, our rooms had been remodeled to include a jakuzi, and we quickly made use of it, Wing jumping in, while I built up a nice fire in the fireplace. After a bit, I cut up small red potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, venison backstrap, and tomatoes and set it on the range at a low heat, in a kettle half full of water. We sat and read while our stew cooked, eating it later with hard rolls and madeira. Wing says I make the best venison stew she's ever tasted - and it is pretty good. For desert we had the Rustic Inn pie and hand ground coffee. A perfect way to end a very good day!
    Last edited by pierre girard; 8th-November-2006 at 06:25 AM.
    The perfect canoe -
    Like a leaf on the water

  2. #2

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    Pierre,

    Really enjoyed your story, could almost taste that stew

    What rifle, calibre?

  3. #3
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    Last edited by pierre girard; 8th-November-2006 at 09:35 AM.
    The perfect canoe -
    Like a leaf on the water

  4. #4
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    It like a different world you live in compared to here. Things you take for granted are almost unheard of here. Stopping to take a deer and butchering it at the side of the road would be really unusual here.

    It certainly seems that your family are well established and well spread across Minnesota. It must be good to have such strong and well recorded roots in an area.

    Also it is good to see you are still getting out in the canoe.

  5. #5
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    As MagiKelly says - it's a different world-

    It's so refreshing to read about life elsewhere - the UK can seem so tame at times.

    Thanks.

    Q

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiKelly View Post
    It like a different world you live in compared to here. Things you take for granted are almost unheard of here. Stopping to take a deer and butchering it at the side of the road would be really unusual here.
    Exactly what I was thinking, our weekend consisted of going to Tesco and then letting off some fireworks, no comparison!

  7. #7

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    Pierre,
    I just knew you were going to say an underlever, probably 30/30 I thought mabye a 38/55, which is probably my favourite calibre right now.

    John, Quercus and Dano, it isn't that "Oot Thi Windy" to take a Deer at the side of the road here, as long as you don't shoot from the vehicle and have the right to do so Can't remember ever doing it with a canoe on the roof rack though

    There's nothing like venison stew cooked over a campfire

  8. #8
    monkey_pork's Avatar
    monkey_pork is offline a wind age, a wolf age - before the world goes headlong Super Moderator
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    Excellent, that's exactly what weekends are for, getting out doing stuff you enjoy.

    We had an excellent weekend too just gone, we spent two days hand forging blades on an Iron Age forge in a small woodland about 40 minutes up the road, under the ever helpful eye of Dave Budd. Dave is a great tutor, and the setting is perfect. We were blessed with the best weather we could have hoped for too.

    I wonder what it must be like having so much recorded family history so easily to hand. I know that my maternal line runs through the farmland hereabouts, and after that we have links into the local town for a few later generations, but before that, it all goes blank. My paternal side is looser still, Irish, by way of Liverpool for a brief stop over of a generation or two.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by John View Post
    Pierre,
    I just knew you were going to say an underlever, probably 30/30 I thought mabye a 38/55, which is probably my favourite calibre right now.

    John, Quercus and Dano, it isn't that "Oot Thi Windy" to take a Deer at the side of the road here, as long as you don't shoot from the vehicle and have the right to do so Can't remember ever doing it with a canoe on the roof rack though

    There's nothing like venison stew cooked over a campfire
    Yah, here you can't leagally take a deer from a vehicle or shoot across a roadway. You can't have a loaded long gun in a vehicle, though you can have a loaded pistol if you have a permit.

    38-55 is an expensive cartridge. 30-30 is about half the cost. I had a chance to get an old 38-55 recently and passed due to the expense of the cartirdges.
    The perfect canoe -
    Like a leaf on the water

  10. #10

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    Pierre,

    Never bought any ready made 38/55s, cast the heads and load my own, after buying the Brass it cost pennies to load them

    Lovely round to shoot and pretty accurate too.

    Sorry for digressing

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkey_pork View Post
    Excellent, that's exactly what weekends are for, getting out doing stuff you enjoy.

    We had an excellent weekend too just gone, we spent two days hand forging blades on an Iron Age forge in a small woodland about 40 minutes up the road, under the ever helpful eye of Dave Budd. Dave is a great tutor, and the setting is perfect. We were blessed with the best weather we could have hoped for too.

    I wonder what it must be like having so much recorded family history so easily to hand. I know that my maternal line runs through the farmland hereabouts, and after that we have links into the local town for a few later generations, but before that, it all goes blank. My paternal side is looser still, Irish, by way of Liverpool for a brief stop over of a generation or two.
    I believe it is a peculiarly American trait to be concerned about your lineage - because almost none of us are "from here." To me it has always been the part of history that made sense.
    The perfect canoe -
    Like a leaf on the water

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