Today is the last day traveling on the big lake Gitchi Gummi. Only 5 miles left and I was determined to get to Grand Portage today. I left at 5:00 AM and paddled into 5-foot waves the whole way. Once I got to Grand Portage Island I could see the fort and stockade the wind went down. It seemed that Superior wanted me to know that it was still in charge and if she decided today was not the day I would still be on shore 5 miles back.
I paddled over to Hat Point to try and find the Ojibway sacred grounds where the "Little Spirit Cedar Tree" is growing out of the rock towards Superior. I have never seen this historical and religious tree before but I was told generally where it was. I did not know for sure if I would recognize it when I saw it. I paddled past the place I felt it should be and I was wondering if I missed it but I kept going--then there it was.
When I came around the corner my eyes went directly to it and I knew without a doubt that that was it. This tree is over 400 years old and is literally growing out of a rock. For hundreds of years the Ojibway would stop at this tree before venturing out on Superior and make a offering of tobacco into the water to calm Lake Superior and allow them safe passage. In talking with a local Indian from Grand Portage, he said this is a spiritual place. I could understand because I could feel what he tried to describe to me. Although I visited the sacred grounds and spirit tree after my voyage I still felt a closeness to this place and thanked the tree for allowing me safe passage on Gitchi Gummi.
Once I had found the sacred grounds and spirit tree I knew my journey on Superior was complete. So I paddled the rest of the way into my final stop at the Grand Portage Historical Monument.
The Ojibway Indians call this place Kitch Onigaming which means "Great Carrying Place" now known as the Grand portage. I will start the 8-½ mile portage tomorrow.