After the first time I headed to the border to have a socially distanced beer with my Canadian friends, I thought there might be a better spot to do this. The old border crossing worked for us to sit on our respective sides of the river, but we had to really raise our voices.
After that visit, I drove to Grand Portage State Park to scope it out. I found a spot that looked like it was much closer and would be easier to talk. This location was reaffirmed when Jonathan Wilson from CKPR in Thunder Bay reached out and suggested the same spot. He wanted to do a news story, so I agreed and I picked a time with my Canadian friends to meetup.
On Friday after work, I got in my car and drove a bit north of Duluth. I spent the night sleeping in the car and the next morning was a bit chilly.
Fall was just starting to show itself, and it made for a scenic drive up the North Shore of Lake Superior to the Canadian border.
I made it to Grand Portage State Park. It had been raining on and off, and things were a bit wet and muddy on my walk down to the river.
I made it down to the river and the water was a lot lower than last time. This would make it much easier to get out to the island near the center of the river and get closer to the other side of the river.
I had some time to kill before my friends would arrive, so I set up my chair and enjoyed the views.
We all started talking and Jonathan setup his camera for the news segment.
Jonathan suggested that if we move a little bit up the river, we could get even closer. I think we got about 30-40 feet (9-12 meters) away at the point he suggested.
Ryan got an awesome shot of me from the other side.
We had an awesome conversation, but eventually it was time to say our goodbyes. Hopefully, next time we visit the borders will be open so we can visit each other in the same country and not have to sit on our respective sides of the river.
I would say the spot I visited in Grand Portage State Park is the optimal location for both sides to visit. It’s a short walk on the trail on both sides and you can get 30-100 feet (9-30 meters) from each other depending on where you go. You can easily stay on your respective side of the river without crossing the border and it’s easy to see and hear each other. The following are the GPS coordinates of this location if you want to do the same type of visit: 48° 0′ 16.64″ N, 89° 35′ 41.868″ W.
Finally, here’s the news segment that Jonathan did: