Monday, September 27, 2010

Temperance River State Park, September 8-15, 2010

The past three years, we have spent the week after Labor Day at Temperance River State Park. It seems we have fallen into a pattern on these trips up north.  We book our favorite spot a year in advance.

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! 


Abby said...

WOW! That looks just incredible! I have never seen that part of the country, and am now dreaming of camping there. Looks so peaceful and perfect!

As I was treking on a 2 mile straight downhill slope this weekend on our hike....I was wishing I had some hiking poles....

Freely Living Life said...

What a peaceful place on this planet! Truly beautiful. I can feel the tranquility beaming through my computer screen.

Your pictures are amazing. Thank you for sharing your adventure with us! And thank you for mentioning the link. I'm off to check out his blog! =0)


Marlys said...

I was so excited to see your blog post today - I have been anxiously waiting for it and it was wonderful! Thanks for sharing those beautiful sites with us! The north shore is so beautiful and serene! Just looking at the pictures calmed my inner soul!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

What a great trip - love the photos. It is calming to look at them, so must be really, really calming to see them in real life!

April said...

I'm going to this park this fall and am wanting a great view of Lake Superior. What campsite # is the one you guys stay in? it's beautiful! Any great ideas for this campsite? I'm wanting to go in September or October. Thanks!

Barb Geier said...

Temperance is obviously one of our favorite spots to camp. If you look at a map of the park, you will notice there are two campgrounds, Upper and Lower. We stay in the Upper Campground, as we have a travel trailer and want to have an electric site. The site we had was 26E, but 22,23,25 and 28 are also right along the lake. In the lower campground, which is nonelectric sites 40 thru 44 are right near the water. Good luck! We will be back there this fall as well.