A day that started with packing up in the rain didn’t get much better in terms of the weather.
Our next stop was to be the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Similar to Sleeping Bear Dunes, we had read tons of good reviews about Pictured Rocks and were looking forward to seeing it for ourselves.
Sadly, the weather didn’t cooperate and our trip to Pictured Rocks was cut very short. We attempted to see the Log Slide overlook but the rain/fog/mist combination made sightseeing all but impossible.
We had planned to visit a couple other scenic places in the park but decided to forego those and head to our hotel. This was already going to be one of our longest travel days so deciding to cut out a few things helped us get to our hotel a little earlier.
The drive from Pictured Rocks to our hotel in Duluth, Minnesota was a good five and a half hours. We said goodbye to Michigan and hello to Wisconsin. Actually, we only spent about two hours with Wisconsin before parting ways and entering Minnesota. We’ll see Wisconsin again in a few days.
Arriving in Duluth we found ourselves on the shore of Lake Superior once again. We have now been on or around the Great Lakes for 10 days!!
Minnesota welcomed us with open arms, temperatures in the mid 50’s and 20 mile per hour winds!!
Needless to say we were glad to be indoors!
This was our planned laundry time as we had gone through nearly every article of clothing we packed. This is also the half-way point of our trip. We spent most of the evening, night and morning washing, drying, folding and re-packing our clothes.
Not exactly what you would call a restful time!!
I would quickly like to give a shout-out to the manager of the Days Inn Duluth Lakewalk. He was very accommodating and even granted my request for a later check-out time so we could get our things together. There was also a nice view of Lake Superior from the second floor.
After getting the van re-packed we hit the road. This was one of the days I had been most looking forward to.
Highway 61. The scenic road that followed the north shore of Lake Superior all the way to the Canadian border. Even in subpar weather the drive was beautiful. While the boys napped, Shannon and I took in the incredible Lake Superior views.
I had researched a handful of stops along the way but we waited until the boys woke up before stopping at any of them. If there’s one thing we’ve learned about having kids, it’s don’t mess with nap time, ever!!
Honestly, the weather wasn’t great during most of our drive. It was foggy and misty. By the time we were able to make some stops we had driven past the poor weather and some bursts of sunlight were finding their way through the clouds.
Our first stop was at Cascade River State Park. I had read it wasn’t a long walk to see Cascade Falls. The reviews were right and we were rewarded with a beautiful view of the falls.
Another stop we made along the way was at the Wayswuagoing Bay Overlook. Shannon and I both agreed to never even attempt to pronounce that word.
Regardless of pronunciation, the views of Lake Superior were amazing.
One of the signs said, on a clear day, it’s possible to see Isle Royale 22 miles away. If you have some time, do some research on Isle Royale. It’s the largest island on the Great Lakes and plays host to wolves and moose!
It is a three hour drive from Duluth to Grand Portage. Those who make the drive are treated to the High Falls of Grand Portage State Park. This was one of our favorite experiences of the trip so far. I guess the rain from earlier in the day had kept people away because during our time at the falls we didn’t see another soul!
We had the falls all to ourselves!!
And what a sight they were!
The recent rainfall did two things for us. It kept people away and it made the falls even more impressive. The roar of the falls as we were walking up the steps to the overlook seemed to shake every bone in our body.
Cresting the top of the stairs was truly a breathtaking experience. The mist in your face. The sound of the water plunging over 100 feet and crashing on the rocks. The power and magnitude of the falls made it something very special.
In taking a picture of a waterfall it’s difficult to capture its’ enormity. I hope that by seeing how small the boys and I are in this picture it will provide the proper perspective.
The boys also thought it was neat that Canada was just across the river from us.
After tearing ourselves away from the views of High Falls we made the hour and a half drive back down to our campsite at Tettegouche State Park.
The weather forecast for tomorrow is calling for clear skies and plentiful sun. We hope they are right!!
Quote of the day: As we were getting out of the car at the Wayswuagoing Bay Overlook, the boys asked what we were doing. We said we were getting out at the overlook. Jackson says, “What are we overlooking for?”
One last note.
Ever since Carter’s “I don’t see any muscles” comment, I’ve been diligently working on improving my muscle strength. It looks like all the work has finally paid off.