Summer Camp Part 2 here; for the beginning of this trip, you can read about our trip to northern Minnesota's beginning here. Our destination for Day 2 in the North Shore was the northernest part of the shore: the town of Grand Marais.
About a 2 hour drive farther north than we stayed, we set out for this quirky town. We had lunch at the most popular joint in town, The Crooked Spoon, shopped around in a few galleries, walked down by the water, and headed toward our next hike!
Walk didn't take photos of our most-exciting-detour ever, but I was beyond excited that on the way back, we passed the Lutsen Alpine Slide. I'd read about this when we came skiing in the past, and absolutely loved getting to try a ride. Of course, the ticket seller told it was "good that I was wearing a sweatshirt because three people have already been hurt today," which made me a little nervous, but it was such a hoot, and completely safe. You basically slide plastic sleds down a concrete track, but it's hard to go very fast. No photos, but very warm memories. And it was fun to take the ski lift over the hills of wildflowers instead of snow!
Continuing back, we braked for at our traditional coffee stop at Coho Cafe in Tofte, and then continued on to Tettegouche State Park for an evening walk. The views were panoramic! I think the loop we did was about a mile there and back again.
It's a little hard writing about hikes because the experience is the pine scent and feel of the stones under your shoes, but this was a good one. I always love a good water view along the way.
Our final stop for the day was Split Rock Lighthouse. We hit a little jackpot arriving at 5:50 here, and not having the pay park pass fee to enter the buildings, since the park closes at 6pm, and it's free thereafter.
All we really wanted to do was catch the view of the lighthouse that is perhaps the most famed in the midwest, but we also got to watch the 20 minute video on the history of the Lighthouse. Of course, writing this now, I don't remember much other than that rocky abutment it sits on had been shockingly dangerous for ships carrying ore across the lake, and when it was completed around the turn of the 20th century, it made passage much safer.
Oh, another thing I remember is it was a long, long way down! I counted the steps and I believe it was around 180.
The view at the bottom was noteworthy;
but the mosquitoes were a-bitin', so we left Walker to fiddle with his filters and lenses.
and we climbed back up.
Our final stop the next morning was Gitchi Gami State Park, or at least that's the closest thing our GPS will track us to now. We honestly can't remember the name of this trail, but it was very near the town of Castle Danger.
It was actually a pretty scramble-y hike, although was a short distance. Here's the view!
You were peaceful and good to us, Minnesota! Can't wait for next summer already!