May 26, 2017
And so our section-hike of the North Country Trail begins!
Ed and I drove up to Grand Marais today in two cars, so we could shuttle ourselves on/off the trail. There are some trail angels up here, and a shuttle service, but the U.P. is a large area, and nothing was working out. Part of the reason was that cell service is often nonexistent here, and it's next to impossible to set up or confirm any shuttle arrangements if you can't reach people. But no big deal. If we shuttle ourselves, we're in control of our schedule.
Since it took six hours to get here, and then the time zone flipped from Central to Eastern and we lost another hour, we weren't able to start hiking until about 4:30. All we had planned was an easy four-miler from a spot just east of Grand Marais into town. Most of this hike was on the road, but it was a little-traveled road so it was pleasant.
Grand Marais is quite small, but it has a beautiful beach and cove. According to signage, "Marais" means refuge (it's French, from early explorers), and that's just what the cove looked like. That night we had great whitefish tacos at a little brew pub. It was graduation day; three kids graduated from the local high school, including twins. We stayed at Hilltop Cabins.
Four miles down, about 4,596 to go!
Snowshoe and Cheese Ed