"Of all the paths you take in life make sure a few of them are dirt" US Forest Sevice

Friday, August 21, 2015

Moose Lake, MN by way of the Munger Trail

We rode our bikes into Carlton to find the Willard Munger Trail and Jay Cooke State Park. At the trailhead, we found a couple of retired local gentlemen who said they were riding to Moose Lake and we would like having lunch at Joe Jitters if we rode that way.
One man is 74 years old so we figured that sounded good and headed the direction they suggested.

They had some great red beans and rice soup and sandwiches with wild rice and cranberry bread. They wouldn't tell me where I could buy some. They looked like such nice ladies but not giving up their secrets. 
The leaves are stating to change and feels like fall in the air even though it is August. 

As we entered Moose Lake we found more rails to trails to ride. Maybe the Soo Line someday.

More of the Munger Trail

Never trust a 74 year old local in spandex. That was one long 51 mile ride.

                                                Ahhh a little Danger Ale after the ride.

Naniboujou Lodge and Temperance Stte Park

The rain in the night was windy and very heavy.  Waking to the rumbling waterfalls thru the forest, we had to take a short hike, less than a mile from our site, to check it out. the water level had doubled. Standing on the swinging bridge, we spent some time reflecting on our journey. The sound of the water just makes my mind wander.
We had driven to Naniboujou Lodge after Hans from Metamorphosis blog had suggested it. Driving north the rain stopped and sun almost came out.

The lodge was built in the 1920s and painted by a French artist with Cree Indian designs. Shortly after opening, Black Friday hit and it closed shortly after when members could no longer pay their fees. Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey were original members.

Breakfast was served on china. Wild rice is grown and harvested in Minnesota and served in many dishes.

On our drive, there are many waterfalls and beautiful views. We stopped and took a hike at Temperance State Park and Devil's Falls before returning home.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tetteguache State Park, MN and Split Rock Lighthouse

We were so glad to have a secluded camping spot with all of the rain and wind last night. When we got out this morning, many of the tent campers had left. I would have slept in my car if I had a tent.
After getting all set up, we headed out to the waterfalls.

We have been amazed at how nice the Minnesota trails and parks we have seen are. The Superior Hiking Trail, which we have spent time on, just won an award from REI. We can see why.

Upper Falls from above.

From below

After hiking up and down lots of stairs and arriving at Two Steps Falls, we realized that the walk back was a long ways. We climbed the side of the falls and walked thru the river, which wasn't running very high. I bet it is much higher after all of the rain last night and this morning.

The Gitchi-Gumi was a nice ride with hills., much nicer than the flats we had before.

Split Rock Lighthouse has been beautifully preserved and has great docents that tell the stories.

After walking down to the beach for a picture, we got to walk back up the stairs again. Who needs a gym when you have 172 stairs.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Two Harbors, MN and Gooseberry Falls

We changed our plans when our slide quit working to get it repaired and had a couple of extra days unplanned for. A camp host in South Dakota told us about a city RV park in Two Harbors that was on Lake Superior. This is the view from the site. We met the nicest people next to us and they brought over cucumbers and tomatoes.

While waiting for our site to clear, we went to Vanilla Bean for breakfast. Since wild rice is locally grown, I had a veggie omelet with rice. They put vanilla bean in the butter for the toast. I took the remainder of my butter home for breakfast this morning.

We took a walk on a path along the shore that was so peaceful we had to return in the morning.

We took a bike ride along the harbor to the lighthouse near where the barges are loaded with iron ore.

Gooseberry Falls seems to be a stop off for families leaving the North Shore on Sunday afternoons. Kids were swimming in the river and felt good while we walked in it.

This is also a stop off for chicken and pie for families on the was back to Duluth after vacation.

The temperatures are much cooler this morning after having heat and humidity highs.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Willard Munger Trail and St Croix State Park

We decided a 40 mile bike ride on the state trail would be good after spending the past days driving. Who cares that temps would be 88 degrees with high humidity? I thought that riding on a flat rails to trail would be a piece of cake after riding in Colorado. Not so. When riding flat terrain, if you stop pedaling with a head wind, you stop all together. We stopped in the next town to get cold drinks. Our ice water was warm. A lady asked what we were doing riding in this humidity. I looked in the mirror and my bright red face looked like the windshields of the cars, covered with bugs.
Along the trail, there are places to camp.

The blackberries were ready for picking and we did.

It is hard to tell but 3 horned owls flew over our heads. They were huge. One stopped and was looking at me with those great eyes. I tried to get a pictures but totally missed him before he backed off. Mike was only able to get a distant picture.

The persevered railroad stations along the path in each town.

How could we pass up a farm stand on the way home? I bet we stop again tomorrow for more tomatoes.
St Croix State Park has a fire tower that was built in 1937 and we thought we should climb it.

As we got higher, it got cooler since the breeze could go thru the treetops and less bugs.

It is flat here.

Good thing we got out early for our walk. We decided against kayaking because of the heat. There are shuttles to take you up river. Things are supposed to cool down Sunday. It almost feels like Costa Rica here. We are still having a good time just spending the afternoons in the air conditioning.