Another trip to my favorite lakes, and island camping sites. For once we stayed on the North end of the Northern island on Shell Lake, and it was worth it. Great view overlooking the lake, with a nice protected campfire, ample room for tents, and a great view of the sunset. Fishing sucked, per my usual luck on Shell, but all in all, a great trip.
We decided to dodge the incoming rain and left Friday afternoon, hitting the entry point just as dusk turned to night. Hiking the gear out over that 40 rod, all-uphill portage, in the dark, was … tricky. But everyone made it out, no broken ankles, all is well.
We crashed in Tower for the night, before dropping the rented canoes off with the outfitters in Ely. (Voyageurs North – can’t say enough good things about them – great people) It was pretty early Saturday so we hit the wolf and bear centers to get our wildlife fix.
The wolf center, while educational, was a bit of a bust on seeing animals. They were advertising wolf pups all over town, but in reality they were adolescents and basically just small wolves. The bear center ended up starting off worse – until we learned of the in-park tours to see them up close. The tour didn’t disappoint, with up-close feedings of a few different bears in the center’s care. It was a little more comforting seeing them in a controlled environment vs. approaching your campsite looking for a meal.
After the wolf center we headed to Eveleth to check out the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. There’s enough on that it gets its own post though.