With our damaged trailer hitch preventing us from circling the lake with our camper in tow, we were still committed to making a trek across the border, and to spend a few days exploring the Canadian lakeshore.
I found us an off-grid cabin on Airbnb, and off we set!
And, well, it was glorious.
The lack of running water, grid power, or an indoor toilet did nothing to dampen our spirits. If anything, it only added to the charm. And to have a bit of space to stretch out in after living for a week in a pop-up, a morning coffee view that was nothing short of breathtaking, and the perfect Northwoods sauna might have just been the sweet spot of our entire vacation.
Every corner of this cabin was it’s own work of art. Every drawer pull, every window sill, every handrail: intricately carved, painted, or otherwise adorned. We were entranced. And the birds just beyond the deck railing bordered on tame, nibbling seeds from Lupine’s hands and delighting us with their antics just a few feet from our chairs.
In short, it was perfect.
The cabin, situated at the top of Sibley Peninsula, was perfectly placed for us to enjoy the Thunder Bay region and all that it has to offer, without our needing to set foot on the busy city streets.
We took a few hikes, Pete made some time for fishing (in the Wolf River, no less), and we headed to an amethyst mine to pick crystals (a field trip that ended when we were surprised by a full-on downpour, the four of us running to the car with our hands full of crystals, all of us soaked clean through).
Rain! It’s the theme of this trip, I tell you.
But also there was sun. Thank goodness! Sun for hiking, sun for wading in the Big Lake, sun for picking rocks along the shore. And we relished it.
After a few days across the border, it was time for one last lingering visit to the sauna, to sip a final cup of coffee on the deck, then pile in the car and drive south toward Minnesota once again. We took one more detour through Fort William Historic Park (a place I haven’t visited since I was Lupine’s age), and then rolled back into our friends’ driveway and our awaiting camper just before bedtime.
This weekend we’ll be wrapping up our last few days of travel. We’re repacking our gear, saying goodbye to our over-the-top generous friends who have hosted us (and/or our empty camper) for the majority of this ill-fated trip, and heading back to the Driftless.
We’ll be home by Monday–one week and one circle tour around the Big Lake short of our original plans.
Plans change. And the theme we established for our first ever month-long road trip back in 2009, remains our road trip motto: “go with the flow”.
And so we did.