Every time my high school and college friend, Steve and I would drive up to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA in NE Minnesota) to go canoeing, we listened to Gordon Lightfoot’s music much of the way, and would stop at Split Rock Lighthouse. I remember once cooking our macaroni and cheese in a crack in the ground by the cliff, since it was so windy.
Driving about 50 miles further up Lake Superior, the Gunflint Trail took us to big Lake Saganaga, where we canoed into Canada for our multi-day adventure, checking in at Canadian Customs on an island.
We loved that area, because it was hilly with many cliffs. So much of the BWCA is flat. We would usually go up in September, after the children were back in school, but Fall Trimester hadn’t started yet at the U of M. So we had the area all to ourselves. Plus, there were NO MOSQUITOES that late in the season!
Four of us (myself, Steve, Mike and Paul) first did this while still in high school (summer of ’74, St. Croix Lutheran HS, W. St. Paul), stopping in at Split Rock probably for the first time.
Gordon”s song ‘The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald’ (1976) hadn’t come out yet, but Gordon’s music was my favorite during high school (graduated in ’75), so it was in the car’s cassette player (my Dad’s Ford Custom 500) on that first journey north to Lake Superior and then into Canada by canoe.
Lake Saganaga map, end of the Gunflint Trail, Canadian border; customs upper right: