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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Grand Portage

The Powwow and Rendezvous is going on at Grand Portage and Over The Waterfall (the band I play in) got to play for the public in the afternoon and the reenactors in the evening. Dancing is encouraged and one of our long time callers and sometimes musician, Barb, called the evening dances for kids and adults. It was on the lawn of the of the fort while we played from the porch. I wish I would have taken more pictures, but other people did and I will post them as soon as I get them.


The kind folks at the National Monument gave us tickets to go out and see the tall ship Mist of Avalon out of Liverpool, Nova Scotia. It will be one of the ships sailing to Duluth next weekend for the Tall Ships festival.
Because the bay at Grand Portage is shallow we were shuttled out to the ship for  a closer view. The Coast Guard, however, decided the general public should not board due to safety concerns. While you see some brave kids swimming in the warmer bay the deeper water is very cold. I would personally be happy to risk my safety, but I'm not the one stuck with scooping out clumsy tourists.



The Voyageurs were regularly canoeing out to the ship with their packs of fur gained from the winter's trapping activities, re-enacting the trade that was going on in the late 1700's.

Here is the some of the voyageur encampment that can be seen from the lake. Must have been well over one hundred tents.


It was a misty, moisty day with a few light showers, but in the end it cleared up for the evening dance opening with a rainbow over the bay and later illuminated by candle lanterns reminiscent of the time. We, the band, were also in period clothing provided for us if we didn't have our own. I always seem to have troubles with the provided pants, however. They always seem to have strange button configurations that take me a while to figure out which is really annoying when I have to pee, but with practice I get pretty good at it by the end of the day. Hopefully, I will have more pictures soon.

As always, click to embiggen.
 

27 comments:

anne marie in philly said...

interesting tall ship. this sketch comes to mind:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITLXo19248g

Pixel Peeper said...

Any audio somewhere (on YouTube or somewhere?) of your band playing?

Janie Junebug said...

What fun! Congratulations on getting to play. I would like to hear your band.

Love,
Janie

Elephant's Child said...

Oooh. And Ahhh.
Tall ships have an immense charm. Dangerous as they were. Beauty, romance, excitement (and lots and lots of work).

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Sounds like fun! I love anything to do with the fur trade (glad I didn't have to live it, though). You know, I read somewhere that the average height of a voyageur was 5 foot six inches. Small but tough, eh?

Sioux said...

And hopefully there were no accidents resulting from too-long fumbling with buttons. ;)

chlost said...

Sure wish I'd been able to get my granddaughter up there. She is fascinated by anything of this period, and of the native American culture, as well. She would have loved this.
It is an annual event?

Jono said...

anne marie, Thanks! I used to only get Canadian TV until about the time The Kids In The Hall went off the air. They kept me laughing!

Pixel Peeper, Nothing that I am aware of on YouTube, but there were a few CDs recorded every now and then. I gave my last one to my brother.

Janie, We've been around so long in one form or another that I used to have a fund raiser recording on video tape. If I can ever find anything I'll try to post it.

Elephant's Child, I know that some of the ships get several thousand applicants to crew them . Hard work, yes, but what an adventure!

Debra, Yes, they were tough, but many of them died at an early age of strangulated hernias. I think 5'6" might have been on the tall side, but they carried fur bales weighing about 90 pounds. Very hard work.

Sioux, The first time was starting to push the limits, but It got easier as I started to figure out which buttons to undo first. I didn't cut the margins too close, either.

chlost, It has been an annual event for the last thirty years, at least. It just keeps getting better and usually happens the weekend after Fisherman's Picnic in Grand Marais. The Powwow is a beautiful celebration of culture and I learned where the best Indian Taco can be had. It was delicious!

Jono said...

P.S. here is a link.
https://www.nps.gov/grpo/planyourvisit/rendezvousdaysandpowwow.htm

jenny_o said...

This may sound like a stupid question, but do you have any idea how they got the tall ship to the Great Lakes? (via Quebec waterways, maybe?) What a neat celebration and how cool that your band got to play in costume! I've dressed in period costume for a couple of events and it was a lot of fun.

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

Cool ship! So do you play square dance music? I always kind of secretly loved square dancing. I should start up again, so as to thoroughly embarrass my kids!

Shammickite said...

Oh I love seeing the Tall Ships. The not-so-tall ships came to Toronto back in 1985ish... then in 2000 the really tall ships were at Halifax, Nova Scotia and I was lucky enough to spend the whole week there.... fabulous!
Well done playing in your band... but I have to ask if you have to wear period costumes, do you play period instruments too? No electric guitars?

A Beer For The Shower said...

Yeah, I'm with Pixel Peeper and Janie, I want to hear this band in action. I also want to hear/see you do a 5 minute kazoo solo (that might just be wishful thinking, though).

JACKIESUE said...

wish I had been there.

Jono said...

jenny_o, Basically through the Great Lakes. There are locks and rivers between them to be able to go upstream. Superior is at 600 feet above sea level so the locks raise them up. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Lakes_Waterway

Dawn, Mostly international folk dances. Schottisches, waltzes jigs, contras and whatever the caller wants to call. There is a whole other group for square dancing. Everyone embarrasses equally at our dances.

Shammickite, A bunch of tall ships will be in Duluth next weekend as will about a hundred thousand visitors. I want to g, but the crowds are unmanageable to me. We play all acoustic instruments, fiddles, guitars banjo, hammered dulcimer, Irish flute, bodrhan (and other percussion), but we had a p.a. system because of the physical size of the dance area.

ABFTS, If I can find something I'll post it. I could do a five minute kazoo, but it's not likely you would want to hear it. Especially my version of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida . Look it up if you don't know it and keep a barf bag handy.

JACKIESUE, I wish you had been there, too. You would have had a blast.

Tom Sightings said...

Sounds like a lot of fun ... both entertaining and informative as well. I'm with Pixel Peeper. Why don't you see if you can get a few band numbers up on youtube!

jenny_o said...

Thanks for the link - interesting how ingenious mankind can be.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I like these photos, though I was hoping to see you wearing period pants. Imagine having to wear period pants when you're on your period. Not that I ever had to; it's just where my braincells wandered. Sounds like a very cool experience.
Hugs to you.

Jono said...

Tom, I suppose that is a thing to do. Maybe one of the more tech savvy members would do it.

jenny_o, We haven't evolved all this way for nothing, you know. Sometime we actually achieve something useful as a species, but don't expect it all the time.

Robyn, And the period pants were white! What were they thinking!

Vapid Vixen said...

Oh that's so cool! I grew up in Ontario and spent summers with my Grandparents in Nova Scotia. I had no idea how spoiled I was until I got older. I still love tall ships. I think they're just magical.

Onevikinggirl said...

Tall ships are indeed magical. I once was invited to spend a few days on the Europa who sails around the world, including Antarctica!!- and takes guests: https://www.barkeuropa.com/ Not for me, I prefer the canoe, but a fantastic experience for the truly adventurous.

Scandinavian dancing is indeed not for the easily embarrassed - but fun! I wish I could have been there.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

There is something just poetic about ships...I love those photos

Jono said...

Vapid Vixen, You were spoiled beyond belief, but a great way to spend summers!

Onevikinggirl, Every time I have been to Norway there were always sailing ships nearby. I grew up near the sea and need to be near large bodies of water. I'm not much of a dancer, so I play in the band.

Optimistic Existentialist, There are a bunch of them in Duluth this weekend and tens of thousands have turned out to see them.

LL Cool Joe said...

I'd love to hear your band too. As a dj my biggest joy is watching people dance, so I'm sure you must love it too!

Jono said...

LL Cool Joe, I have sometimes forgotten what I'm playing if I start enjoying the dancers too much. That's why it is good to be in a band with more musicians. It's fun to watch people have fun!

Diane Henders said...

What fun! I hope you'll be posting a video of your band's performance, too! The tall ship brought back some nice memories - we got to sail on the Bluenose II back in 1988 when they were still giving rides out of the Halifax harbour. Very cool.

Jono said...

Diane, Maybe someday on the performance thing. As Stan Rogers once sang, "Now I'm a broken man on a Halifax pier." The Bluenose is a beautiful ship and to be immortalized on your dimes (the original Bluenose) is pretty cool.