During what Good Sam's calls our "disablement", we were fortunate to be close by a truly great National Monument. We spent portions of two days walking the grounds of the reconstructed North West Company summer Headquarters and soaking in the exhibits. The modern Heritage Center tells the story of the Ojibwe people, their history, and the essential skills they shared with the traders of the Scottish-owned North West Company and which made them the most profitable enterprise in the world for the years a Beaver felt Top Hat was the fashion. The emphasis is on the respectful nature of the partnership between the two cultures and the canoe-building, forest navigation and established trade routes of the Objibwe.
This is the Great Hall where the richest men in the world ate and entertained at "corporate headquarters" in the wilds.
Wild rice and maple sugar, two Objibwe trade goods in addition to pelts.
Alexander Mackenzie's luxurious quarters, quite a change from living on snowshoes all winter just a few years before.
The Park Service interpreters were incredible. This young man quietly carved a lacrosse stick while spinning yarns and answering questions about the period. We could have listened all day. Over this weekend ( second weekend in August) three hundred reenactors will join them for the combination Rendezvous and Pow Wow of the Grand Portage Band. This is an event for the Bucket List.