Running (Long trail jog) 4:30:00  17.0 mi (15:53 / mi)
Kitchi Onigaming - Grand Portage - Great Carrying-Place
Today I decided to run the Grand Portage, an 8.5-mile (one way) rugged trail between Lake Superior and the Pigeon River. As it goes through a gap in the hills, it isn't very steep, but it is quite rough and scenic, passing through stands of old growth white pine, white cedar, balsam fir and quaking aspen, which are quite full of vibrant color and wildlife. One can hardly notice that this trail is actually a several centuries-old superhighway of people and commerce.
Some interesting facts about the Grand Portage:
-It's first use by Europeans is not recorded, but it was probably used as early as the 1670's by independent, illegal French fur traders. It was officially "opened" to French use in 1731, when it was shown to the explorer La Verendrye by some Cree guides, who had been using it since time unremembered.
-It bypasses the lower 21 miles of the Pigeon River (the official border between the US and Canada), which contains many unnavigable rapids and falls.
-Under the Border Treaty of 1842, the Portage, along with the Pigeon River and all other border lakes and stream, remain an international right of way, open to free use by any US or Canadian citizens.
-The voyageurs, whose job it was to transport furs out to Montreal and trade goods in as far as Lake Athabasca in the Canadian northwest, made runs of the Grand Portage with at least 180 lbs of goods on their backs, and did it in about the same amount of time I did with just a water bottle and map to carry. Now that's what I call training!