Our destination today is the Gunflint Lodge, which has welcomed visitors to the shores of Gunflint Lake since the 1920’s. It is a Minnesota classic, so I wanted to check it out for myself.
The lodge itself doesn’t look very fancy, but the view from the window is lovely. Hmm. . . maybe we should check-in, drop our luggage in the cabin, and then sit here taking in the view along with a nice glass of wine.
The otherwise helpful woman at the front desk gives us the bad news: A group of geologists is staying at the lodge and they have reserved the bar for a private party. It will close in five minutes.
Our cozy little cabin almost makes up for the disappointment. While our view of the lake is mostly obscured by trees, the well-stocked bird feeders ensure a continual variety of bird, squirrel, and chipmunk antics. There is also a fireplace, which is stocked with wood and ready to be lit.
Since we can’t sit in the bar and since the sun has reappeared, maybe we should do another hike.
We pull out the trail map and start off.
The sign showing the trails is easy to find, but kind of vague. Where does the trail actually start?
It takes a couple of false starts and an equal number of encounters with a man who is (apparently) pulling the same boat back and forth, but finally we are following a trail through open meadows toward the wooded hillside beyond.
From the meadows the trail heads along the lower ridge, leading to a look-out over the lake. The sun is low in the sky, making the poplars on the hillside below glitter almost blindingly.
It is a beautiful place to enjoy the close of the day.