Motor Coach Tours

    Thursday Motor Coach Tours

    Tour A
    This tour will start with a visit to Spirit Lake Maple Syrup and Wild Rice. Owner Bruce Savage will provide a fascinating tour of his sugaring facilities and wild rice processing operation. Bruce is a member of the Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa and serves on the Tribal Advisory Council. Next stop will be at the Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa Cultural Center and Museum. The Fond du Lac Band is one of six Chippewa Indian Bands that make up the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. Archaeologists maintain that ancestors of the present day Chippewa (Ojibwa) have resided in the Great Lakes area since 800 A.D. The bus will take a scenic route through Jay Cooke State Park on its way to the Maple Ridge, a 2000 tap sugaring operation of Steve and Kathy Burgess. The Burgess family built/purchased all new sugaring facilities and equipment in 2017. After a tour of their 2000 tap operation the group will gather in their facility for a Cooking With Maple demonstration conducted by Chef John Plante, followed by lunch prepared by Chef John. From there the tour will go to near-by Farmer Doug Hoffbauer’s local food operation. Farmer Doug has a small maple sugaring set-up and also raises “apples to zucchini with Christmas trees in the middle”. The operation should be in full swing assembling Christmas wreaths during the tour. The last stop of the day will be at Simple Gifts Maple Syrup operated by Dave Rogotzke. They run 4000 taps, making syrup in a unique timber sugar house Dave designed after spending a sugaring season in Quebec. Dave is a commercial salmon fisherman in Alaska during the summer months.

    Tour B

    This tour will begin with the historic Glensheen Mansion built on Lake Superior in Duluth. The 12-acre estate features gardens, bridges and the famous 39 room mansion built with remarkable craftsmanship. Chester and Clara Congdon built Glensheen between 1905 and 1908. The family is known for opening up iron mining in the region when the Rockefellers and Carnegies were battling for dominance. Eventually the entire industry consolidated into U.S. Steel making investors like Chester Congdon very wealthy. The next stop will be at Simple Gifts Maple Syrup operated by Dave Rogotzke. They run 4000 taps and make syrup in a very unique timber sugar house he designed after spending a sugaring season in Quebec. Dave is a commercial salmon fisherman in Alaska during the summer months. The next stop will be Maple Ridge sugaring operation of Steve and Kathy Burgess. The Burgess family built/purchased all new sugaring facilities and equipment in 2017. After a tour of their 2000 tap operation we will gather in their facility for a Cooking With Maple demonstration conducted by Chef John Plante, followed by lunch prepared by Chef John. Last stop of the day will be the historic Split Rock Light House at Two Harbors. The horrific shipwrecks of 1905 fueled demand for a lighthouse along Superior’s north shore. The amazing construction process was completed in 1910 and the light at Split Rock shone until 1969. Now a state park facility, the complex includes visitor center, exhibits, gift store and the original light house, fog signal building and lighthouse keeper’s residence and other buildings.

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