I wake up each morning and look out at the sunrise over Lake Superior. Then, I go back to bed and read and maybe fall back to sleep.
Paul gets up and makes coffee. We listen to the weather report on the radio while we enjoy our morning cup. We don't have phone service in the park, so there are no emails or phone calls to distract. We enjoy listening to KTIP out of Grand Marias.
While we sip our coffee, we determine what we will do for the day, depending on the forecast. Watching the lake sometimes distracts us from our topic.
To help plan our days on this trip, we used "Camping the North Shore"
by Andrew Slade. I follow his blog, so when I saw his book, I ordered it. It turned out to be a perfect guide for our week. The book highlights his favorite campgrounds in the region. We toured many of the spots he described and appreciated all the work he has done to help make the region more accessible to visitors. Although we weren't exactly looking for a campground, we used the book to find spots to canoe and hike. We found some "off the beaten path" places we most definitely want to camp at in the future. This isn't a book review, but I do recommend this book if you ever consider camping near Lake Superior.
Back to our daily pattern. We determine our "lesson plan" for the day, pack a picnic lunch and drive to our destination.
Our first hike was Carlton Peak. This was our first trip using our new trekking poles and I doubt I will hike without them for the rest of my life! I love the balance and stability they provide, which I very much need stepping over the roots and rocks of northern Minnesota.
We take our time, stopping to take pictures along the way and to admire the terrain.
When we get to the top, we enjoy our lunch. Because it is the first week of school, we generally remark how nice it is to be retired. This trip to the North Shore is our yearly celebration of our careers.
No need to hurry back down.
If there is a spur off the trail, we go see what there is out there. Rarely are we disappointed.
We also go to the ranger station in Tofte and pick up maps to get ideas for hikes that are up the Gunflint Trail.
This year, we hiked Honeymoon Bluff and the Bearskin Lake Overlook.
This spot made me sing the Hamm's Beer song, "From the land of sky blue waters..."
Paul surprised me with a harness strap for my binoculars. No more neck pains after a day of hiking for this girl!!!
One day was foggy and a little rainy, so we drove all the way up the shore to Grand Portage.
We enjoyed our visit to the National Monument.
On a calm day, we put the canoe in the water at Baker Lake, thanks to information from Andrew Slade's book.
We hiked up Leveaux Mountain.
Although early, we could see the leaves showed more color as the week progressed.
We try to make mental images of the lake so we can keep it in our mind until we return!
We used our Minnesota Atlas and Gazetteer to find the fire road where the Manitou Overlook trailhead is located. What an adventure that drive was!
Every day, a new spot for that sandwich and can of pop. I told Paul if I were a moose, I'd live in this lake. Except in January. It has to be really cold down there.
We even found a little old bench to sit and rest our feet.
After our daily explorations, we then returned to our lake view to make supper and have a campfire. There was only one night too rainy for sitting outside. We might have worn several layers of sweatshirts, but we enjoyed our campfires. I was in bed by 9 each evening. I didn't want to miss that sunrise!
At the end of our week, we packed up and headed down the road for Jay Cooke State Park. It made leaving easier, knowing we had a few more days to enjoy a different park.
Our spot at Temperance River is already booked for next September! We have so much more we need to see!