Photo of Pierre, the Voyageur, a statue on the north shore of Lake Superior

Weekly Gem #40 Have a paddle, need a creek

Published 9/26/2015

Location:  This 'hidden gem' is located in Two Harbors, MN (see Clue Me! Map). This is the very fellow we thought might like the chairs from last week. While we may poke some fun at Pierre due to his state of (un)dress, it's worth reminding ourselves about the voyageur career path, which entailed a lifetime of paddling and carrying hundreds of pounds of canoes and furs from roughly the Great Lakes and points north, to the Great Lakes and bays that reached the Atlantic Ocean. From there, the furs were sent to Europe and the Voyageurs headed back west for another load.

Back then, in the 1700s and early 1800s, this area was almost totally inaccessible except by canoe. In the 200 years since, that remains the case across a huge swath of North America.

Just for fun, and before reading further, find Pierre (Two Harbors) on the North Shore of Lake Superior. When you find Pierre, come back and follow the next instructions.

OK, now slowly zoom out a to see all of Minnesota and note all the water bodies. Move around in the state and zoom in, and the smaller lakes will come into view. They're everywhere! It's the land of 10,000 lakes for a reason, and it's really kind of amazing. 

Now, slide northward on the map, and feel your jaw drop as you scroll across the land of a million lakes, moving north into Canada, continuing all the way to the Arctic, and east to the Atlantic. Minnesota may be the land of 10,000 lakes, but Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec, Newfoundland & Labrador, Saskatchewan, Navanut, and the Northwest Territories are just plain wet.

It's pretty impressive to think of Pierre and his comrades walking and paddling through these places, perhaps giving a wave and a smile to the people who already lived there.


Here's the hidden gem entry from our Clue Me! map.


Have you ever had one of those nightmares where you're out in public and you suddenly realize you have no pants on? (I never have.)


Pierre, the Pantless Voyageur

Why It's Interesting

There are a number of voyageur statues along the North Shore, but poor Pierre has no pants! As the comedian Joe E. Lewis once said, "Show me a man with both feet on the ground and I'll show you a man who can't get his pants on."

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