Out of the Desert
Updated: Jun 14, 2018
Four the Water Crew checking in from Paradise!
We had an amazing time in Grand Marais, meeting all the fantastic locals that were more than willing to share stories of the daily life in a small town. We were sent off by Len, Char and Dave in a canoe to the beat of a native-inspired, deer hide home-made drum.
We paddled out of the bay as the fog dispersed; it had been looming over Grand Marais all day. We proceeded east around the break wall and headed towards shore where we were met by sand dunes. There was plenty of evidence of how strong last falls storm was, as trees were lining the coast. Followed by the coastal erosion we started to see a never-ending stretch of sandy/rocky beaches.
The first week of paddling was quite uneventful when it came to weather, this is when it all changed. Lake Superior finally started showing her true power. Progress had been slow as we had been paddling into headwinds of 20+mph winds and powerful waves that continually crashed over our boats. Fog came and went and approaching every point made it that much more exciting. We had tried to wait out the winds because the amount of effort it took to paddle and the lack of progress wasn’t worth it. With that being said, we camped the next couple of nights in what we called the ‘desert’. All you could see around you was sand and rock, a feeling of deprivation from the outside world.
Weather finally cleared enough for us to make the final stretch to Whitefish Point. On the way we met some fantastic locals who were willing to dispose of 30lbs of trash that we accumulated since Grand Marais and showed us their property which was full of sculptures made from trash that washed up on their shore.
The lighthouse is in sight! We landed the kayaks and grabbed our UGO’s and proceeded to the Shipwreck Museum. There were so many amazing stories from the past that really gave you the shivers; touching indeed. We also walked up to the bird observatory and chatted with Gary who is a Hawk Counter and he shared some amazing information about the migration of birds through the area on their way to Canada. We stocked up on fudge at the visitor center and set sail.
Coming around the point into the bay was intimidating, we saw whitecaps crashing in close to shore. Some people may have stayed on land, but not the SUP Riders! We had a blast messing around in 2-3 foot breakers close to shore, getting accustomed to the waves in case we see them in the future and they come unannounced. We made camp for the night on a nice sandy beach, where we finally encountered our first batch of hatching mosquitos (delightful).
This morning we arrived in Paradise! Finally we are able to have coffee and a nice breakfast in town, relax and escape the mosquitos and the rain. We appreciate the Berry Patch for having us and for the delicious food!
We are getting close to Canada, see you guys in the Sault!