July 7, 2017
When we move around our part of the world, we talk about “exploring the northland.” Since we are neither fish nor birds, we usually wouldn’t talk about exploring the “north waters” or even the “north air.” As much as air and water are part of the earth, we usually spend most of our time bound to the solid part of this globe.
With a little help we can “slip the surly bonds of earth” and get a very different view of our surroundings. Sailing on the Hjordis sailboat is an exciting way to experience the area by water, while getting a lot of help from the air. Exploring by air can be conveniently done by booking scenic airplane tours at Sawtooth Aviation.
The Hjordis is a 50 foot schooner, which is much like the schooners that sailed these waters in the late 1800s. Though the guides sometimes have to use the motor, when under power of the sails you are able to glide through these waters quietly and peacefully.
How far the tours go depends on how strong the wind is that day. The crew of the Hjordis tries to make it onto the lake, but sometimes stays on the harbor.
But even the harbor is pretty big. There is a lot to see and you get to watch the magnificent sails in action. If you’ve never sailed before, a trip on the Hjordis will give you a better feeling about how sails work and how they are adjusted to get the maximum benefit out of them.
North House Folk School, which operates the Hjordis, offers daily tours and has some special cruises too. During the sailing season, you can check out their schedule and sign up for cruises by going to their website here.
Sawtooth Aviation’s “Flightseeing Tours” can bring your enjoyment of the Northland to a whole new level. Even seeing this area from Google Earth is nothing like flying low over the hills and trees.
Just flying in a single-engine plane is a whole different experience than flying in a commercial plane. Instead of flying at 30,000 feet, the smaller planes are allow to go at altitudes closer to 1,000 feet, and they can also go much slower.
This means you can actually spot moose and get a detailed view of the various river canyons, through which the raging water rushes toward Lake Superior.
Once you go on one of these tours, you will later spot places on the ground and be able to better visualize what these areas are like. Views from the air will make it clear how little civilization is in this area, and how even Grand Marais appears to be a small settlement lost in the woods.
Sawtooth Aviation offers tours year-round from Grand Marais/Cook County Airport, 8 miles from East Bay Suites. They offer half-hour and hour flights. You can get more information by calling 218-370-0373 or by going on their website.