Friday, September 27, 2013

Minnesota Trip (part one)

Hubby and I just took a great vacation to Minnesota.  We were gone for 12 days, so, you will see our trip in installments.  What a great trip!

We headed up to Duluth, MN, to catch the coastal road up to Grand Marais, MN.  All along the coastal road there are places where you can park and check out the scenery of Lake Superior.  We've seen Lake Superior from Wisconsin (Bayfield), and from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  This time we get to see it from Minnesota. 

We stopped along the Skyline Parkway, where we saw several people surfing in Lake Superior.

surfers on Lake Superior

It is really hard to get a picture while they are standing up and surfing.  They spend most of their time waiting for a good wave to come in.  Most of the surfers we saw were near Duluth. 

rocks on Lake Superior

Lake Superior shoreline near Duluth
 We stayed in Two Harbors, MN for the night.  We had to check out the breakwater in the harbor.

John in Two Harbors

start of the breakwater

light house at the end of the breakwater in Two Harbors, MN
I had to check out this little bird that was hopping along with me on the breakwater.  Every time I'd take a picture of him, he'd move. 

little bird on the break water wall

Here is a different shot of Lake Superior at Two Harbors.

Lake Superior at Two Harbors, MN
We saw lots of deer in town at Two Harbors.  We saw deer grazing on the veterinarians lawn, and also on the main street in town.  They didn't seem to notice the cars or people.  We finally got a shot of some deer after they crossed a road.

some of the deer in Two Harbors, MN

The next morning, we drove to Gooseberry Falls State Park.  The falls are just a short walk from the parking lot.  Well worth stopping for (we stopped both ways). 

John by the falls

Look in the top, right corner of this next picture for the cave opening.  Before we left, there were several youths trying to figure out how to get to the cave (it's harder than it looks).

Gooseberry Falls with a shot of the cave in the corner
This is a view of down river, from the falls.

view from the falls
At the headquarters building (they have a great gift shop, too, with better than normal prices), they had several stuffed animals to represent the animals from the area.  I just had to take a picture of the snowy owl (think Hedwig from Harry Potter).

snowy owl at Gooseberry Falls
We reached Grand Marais, MN in time for a late lunch.  We ate at the Dockside Cafe on the harbor.  This was our view, while we ate lunch on their balcony.

view from Dockside Cafe's balcony
Dockside catches their own Lake Herring each day.  We ate the Lake Herring fish and chips for lunch.  YUM!  We came back the next week for more.

After lunch, we headed inland on the Gunflint Trail road.  We stopped just outside of Grand Marais, at the overlook on Pin Cushion Mountain (did you catch that name?). 

overlook at Pin Cushion Mountain
We had to stop and hike the Moose trail overlook.  No moose, but a nice hike in the woods.

We stayed at Heston's Lodge on Gunflint Lake. Across the lake was Canada.  We stayed in Birch cabin. 

our cabin, from the lake
We'd happily go back there again, and bring more family members the next time.  This is the view from the dock near our cabin.

the dock at Heston's Lodge
That is Canada in the distance.  I never sat in the chairs, I just walked down the dock, to the step down, and sat there.  The water is so clear.  I just wanted to jump in, but it was too cold.

water off the dock at Heston's
We didn't think ahead about eating supper (we did bring food for breakfasts), so, we headed to the Gunflint Lodge restaurant (Heston's doesn't have a restaurant).  Here is the view from our table.

view from our table at Gunflint Lodge restaurant
Dinner at Gunflint was pricy, so, I bought some supplies from Heston's the next day (it was way too far to drive to a grocery store) and we cooked our own supper.

On Tuesday, we headed to the starting point of the Magnetic Rock hiking trail.  Hubby planned on walking the trail, then continuing on, all the way back to our cabin.  The whole hike he took was 12 miles.  Magnetic Rock is only 3 miles.  I hiked most of the way to Magnetic rock before I turned back to the car.

John at start of Magnetic Rock trail

me, sitting on a rock at the beginning of the trail

tiny water fall on the trail
Hiking isn't my thing.  I have bad feet (arthritis) and bad balance.  I've also injured my ankle repeatedly over the years, starting in junior high.  It just isn't worth having to watch every single step I take, and not getting to enjoy the scenery.  There were lots of places to stop and check out the view on this trail.  I also took a hiking stick to help me along. 

I had my day at the cabin planned.  Of course I brought along a hand crank sewing machine (more about my machines in another post, oh my!).  I needed to work on some exchange blocks that are due on Oct. 1st (still not done as I write this post, Oops!).  I took parts of my blocks to pin, and pinned them while sitting on the dock and watching the water ( I love being by water).

pinning my exchange blocks
See, I was getting stuff done.  These blocks are more 'fiddly' than I thought, and, I also had to fix a few of the pieces.  I had to quit when my tendonitis started shooting tingly pains up and down my arm. 

This is my view while I ate lunch.

view of Canada while I ate lunch
When I couldn't work on the blocks anymore, due to my tendonitis, I just sat here and read a book.  What a lovely day!

More on our trip in another post.....

REMINDER!  If you are near Yorkville, Illinois this weekend, check out the Kendall County Historical Society's Fall Festival at Lyon's Farm.  There are crafts, a flea market, lots of booths with fun items, lots of historical buildings to tour, food (yes, it's yummy) and lots of fun activities for the kids.  There are also tractors and a car show.  Oh yea, did I mention that I'll be in the newest building with several of my vintage sewing machines and lots of my quilts?  Come visit me and play with some of my machines. 


  1. Looks like you had a fabulous holiday!

  2. You just make me SMILE, Girl. I've been to Gooseberry Falls! We took the kids in the 1970s sometime. Grand Marais, Gunflint Trail are all in my vocabulary! Love Lake Superior, but you are right, without a wetsuit it's too cold to swim - at any time during the year.
    And then the quilting - we are sisters, somehow.

  3. What a wonderful and scenic trip. I love all the Great Lakes and have not been to the Minn part of Lake Superior. That lake is cold no matter which state or country you look at.

  4. What a fabulous trip! Hubby and I are planning a trip to the maritime s in a couple of years.

  5. What a beautiful vacation! That water certainly was unbelievably clear! Best of luck at the fall festival this weekend . . . I wish it wasn't such a long drive for us or else we definitely would make a stop over the weekend.

  6. You were is such a gorgeous part of our country! I love going up the north shore. We have traveled but never stayed on the Gunflint Trail - we'll have to do that! ~Jeanne

  7. Looks like you are really enjoying your trip except for the tendinitis, bummer!! Love all of your pictures and makes me want to be there too.

  8. Oh my goodness - what fun!!! That bird following you is too, too funny :*) I never thought of people actually surfing on a Lake - my world is much too small and I need to get out more, I know! I love to be by the water too - give me a seat at the side of the sea and some sewing to do, and I'm a happy girl :*)


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