June 29th, 2016 – Voyageurs National Park – International Falls, Minnesota

The majority of Voyageurs National Park is only accessible by boat, making it very popular with canoeists, kayakers and boaters.  Its name commemorates the voyageurs, French-Canadians who worked to move goods through the Great Lakes and into Canada.  We signed up for a very informative presentation about voyageurs.  It was a very hard life moving products through the Great Lakes and into Canada.  The voyageurs rowed for 16 hours a day, unloaded and reloaded the canoe every day and carried the goods and canoes around rapids and waterfalls.  As part of the presentation, we (along with 8 other people)  rowed a canoe for a little while.  Hard work, especially when you cannot change sides and always have to paddle with the same arm.  We also took a 2 1/2 hour boat ride.  Our luck continued with boat rides – there was a huge storm.  Luckily we were on a very small lake so it was not a problem.

Something else we have enjoyed during this trip is seeing all of the small towns that still exist.  We have gone through many towns with populations from 200 to 2,000.  Very different lifestyle and very interesting to see.

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