We got an early start out of Duluth on Friday morning. We headed fifty miles north along Minnesota’s “North Shore” to Gooseberry Falls State Park. Even though we arrived at 10am, we were still number 6 on the waiting list for a campsite. Luckily after an hour or so wait, 6 sites had cleared and we got the last available campsite.
After getting settled, we went on a few mile hike to check out the falls themselves. Phin fought through the crowds to get to the water. He absolutely had to go for a swim, and in the process entertained two young boys with his antics. We hiked upstream to the Fifth Falls, and moved away from the crowds that massed near the lower falls and visitors center.
Later on, Amanda cooked us a delicious meatloaf on the grill. After dinner we walked down to see the other main attractions at the park-Lake Superior. The shoreline here was a grassy field that sloped down to a cliff edge where huge train car size pieces of the cliff have fallen into the lake. Quite a contrast from the fine sand beaches we saw on Lake Michigan.
Saturday we went to visit the highly publicized farmers market of Two Harbors. What we found was 2 live rabbits, a few herbs and some lady selling tutus for either dogs or kids. Definitely not a large population on this north shore, though there were a good number of people visiting and enjoying summer. Lunch was eaten back at the state park on these sweet picnic tables made by the CCC back in the 1930’s.
The CCC built this entire park back in the 30’s, and included some really cool buildings. Minnesota has kept them in near perfect condition.
Braving the heat wave, we hiked ~3 miles around the park. First we let Phin get wet down in the river, then once again left the crowds behind and explored the north side of the park and the Gitche Gumee Trail (Ojibwe indian word for “Big Water”). Even though the parking lots were overflowing with cars, we didn’t see a single person on this loop.
Our buddy Phin had a rough week. First was a midweek vet visit for a uti. He added a few new scratches to their exam room door. Then a minor skunking on Friday night which resulted in a traumatizing repeated spray down with a water hose (luckily it was dark, so no one got to watch that spectacle). Saturday was a few wasp bites while he was just trying to relax in the grass. Luckily he was able to brush all those incidents aside and still have a great time. (He is passed out right now under the end of our bed in his new favorite spot).