Historical Route Back to Colorado

Pipestone National Monument is all about the perfect stone to make pipes. This Indian face looks out over the quarries where the best veins of the stone lie.
I appreciated the Colorado  connection – imagine Freemont’s time and traveling this country in 1838. We spent the night in South Dakota at an Indian Casino – how times have changed!
We spent the day at Lewis and Clark Lake, a dammed up area along the Missouri. We took a tour of the dam, watched a movie in the visitor center, and had found this spot to camp for the night!
Spirit Mound Historical Site was one of the first land areas along the Missouri that Lewis and Clark came ashore to explore.
This is a description of what L & C experienced.
And we did see the buffalo at this monument for the signing of a Sioux treaty.
Looking across the Missouri River from South Dakota to Nebraska.
The cliffs along the shore – very picturesque!
The country side near the Niobrara National Scenic River.
Believe it or not – we have put 9,000 miles on our van as we head across the plains of Colorado!
We spent another wonderful evening with our friends in Ft Collins. G helped H level the van with a lift and we were shocked how much off level we had been!
Our nephew is trying to patent a game the has invented – we got to watch and learn the rules.
Such a joy to spend time with this delightful girl…
and her happy, fun loving brothers. So glad we had some more time together!
Our camping spot on Vail Pass with a morning hike to Shrine Pass.

Voyager National Park and more of Minnesota

Desert following a nice dinner at The Chocolate Moose in International Falls
Ranger led pontoon all day boat trip to experience the waters of Voyager National Park.
A lot of islands but this is not really a canoe/kayak type of park as the distances are greater and water is not calm.
We spotted over 23 bald eagles on our voyage – the ranger knew where many of the nests were as well as the juveniles that were getting ready to be on their own.
What a joy to watch them take off and soar!
Kettle Falls Lodge was the historical destination for lunch.
We chose to picnic by the dam/falls and enjoy this view.
This international border marking was under the boardwalk so needed to be pointed out by the ranger.
This beautiful private beach in Chippewa National Forest on Cass Lake was our home for three nights.
Nice to relax and take some time off driving. Life doesn’t get much better than this!
Sunset #1
Sunset #2
Sunset #3
The artistic shot!
This is Rividoux CCC Camp – a volunteer/camp host gave us an amazing tour. He really brought that era to life and we could envision the men in the camp between their park work.
The Cass Lake State Park visitor Center was built by the CCC.
Amazing stone fireplace – notice how the rock placement is so symmetrical.
This is the Supervisor Office in the city of Cass Lake – also built by the CCC.
We could not leave Minnesota without visiting Paul Bunyon! Where is Babe? I think he left her back in Michigan!

North Shore of Lake Superior – Grand Portage, MN and Thunder Bay, Ontario

The cliffs have given way to multiple islands. There is Isle Royal in the distance – about 60 miles – this is the closest we are going to see it on this trip.
Imagine being on the shore when these voyagers came in.
This is the first tall water falls they were needing to portage around – it is on the border – those on the right cliff are in Canada.
This is the replica of the fort at the Grand Portage National Monument.
With the birch bark canoe ready to launch.
This historian was telling us about the history of gun powder and the fur traders acquiring those skins and food. We also went to another talk on food storage.
This birch bark was being prepared to use as roof shingles but it is a similar process for the canoe. We learned the inside of the bark has an antimicrobial property that protects food from mice and other insects as well as having preservative properties.
The Travoto is going International! We have decided the quickest route to Voyagers NP is through Canada.


Overlooking Thunder Bay.
Down on the harbor we found this interesting sculpture in a concert area.
It enclosed a space without blocking any of the views.
It is all in the details!
Fun architecture and sculpture. Refreshing to see!
Nature and Industry
Hi to our friends traveling British Columbia this summer and finding all these red chairs in scenic locations – we found our own to enjoy for a few minutes in Ontario!


North Shore of Lake Superior – Grand Marais, Minnesota

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When we arrived at Artists Point in Grand Marais, The Boss (Lake Superior) was no longer calm and placid.
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The big noisy waves were very interesting to watch.
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I enjoyed the cascades and waterfalls made with each wave that crashed on shore – such a pleasant rock outcropping added a lot of appeal.
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Fun to photograph! Trying to catch the wave as it breaks on the rocks.
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Can you feel the spray?
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We left the storm behind us as we headed to Superior National Forest and the Boundary Water Canoe Wilderness Area.
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A view from the top of Eagle Mountain looking over all that wilderness!
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This is the highest point in Minnesota at 2,206 feet above sea level. Lake Superior is about 600 feet above sea level for a reference point.
We returned to Artist Point after a very lovely community picnic at the Grand Marais library – a very nice town. A talented stone artist left these balanced pinnacles for all to enjoy.
It is wonderful to have the opportunity to experience the same beach in the calm after the storm with these great puddles full of reflections.
And the late afternoon sun added such a nice warm color to the detail.
Even the birds were enjoying themselves.
Fabulous sunset – it was difficult to know which direction to point the camera.
The harbor had its own beauty
But this captures it best – just being out and enjoying the colors and the beauty. I am so glad we have had this opportunity to spend time this summer with the Great Lakes!

North Shore of Lake Superior – Duluth to Tofte, Minnesota

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Sunday morning in Duluth to see the Tall Ships (see separate entry) and we visited with some friends of friends to get some ideas of what to see along the coast.
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A quick stop at Gooseberry Falls on our way to a night at Silver Bay.
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Gooseberry had this monument to the CCC workers – we appreciate their craftsmanship and all they did to build our great parks.
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Beaver River Falls as seen from Highway 61.
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We hiked up river for a closer look.
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Some nice little cascades as well.
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And some fun patterns made by the water.
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The rugged coast line of Lake Superior – Volcanic Basalt here not sandstone.
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Split Rock Light House in the distance.
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It was interesting to study it a while from this vantage point – and to people watch as many came down to the beach to look at it after their tour.
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Interesting proportions but it works very well.
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The other direction is just as beautiful.
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This is Black Beach in Silver Bay. Well worth the visit. They also have Pebble beach, Agate beach and Peach beach.
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And looking the other direction on Black beach.
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A detail shot of the Black beach and the peach granite. It looked like a fish to me – ha!
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Palisade Point cliff is full of rock climbers this morning.
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The view from there is breathtaking! There is a freighter pulling in for iron ore in Silver Bay.
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We hiked to High Falls in Tettegouche State Park.
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Oh – there is a third one around the corner – very loud!
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Interesting to hike to the top.
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And across this swinging foot bridge.
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Back on the coast admiring this view of Palisade Point.
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And looking the other direction where a friendly visitor took our picture.
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We enjoyed wine o’clock looking at this view – noting the 15% slant angle on all of the outcroppings
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Temperance River Falls – Look another falls and another walk through thick forests where you can’t see anything until you are right at the falls.
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Sugarloaf Interpretive Center was a large logging area and this ring is left over from that era of collecting all the logs on shore to be pulled across Lake Superior
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Tofte Town Park was a nice place to enjoy the water along with the seagulls.
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And to catch a nice sunset.

St Croix / Namekagon National Scenic River Area

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At the Pacawong Dam Flowage area on the Namekagon River we parked overnight. We enjoyed seeing the wild rice on the river.
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A porcupine crossed the road during our evening walk.
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There was a peaceful sunset – too many bugs to sit out for us.
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But not for those wanting to fish.
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Just as picturesque in the morning.
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Another picture of the Namekagon.
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St Croix Falls is also the Ice Age trail where we saw Glacial pot holes.
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And a hike in the rain for a different perspective.
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We were in Danbury for Oktoberfest and enjoyed some German beer.
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Along with some entertainment and good food.


Visiting Minneapolis Area

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We stayed at my uncle’s who has a condo on a lake. We made cherry pies over the fire while watching the sunset.
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And what a great sunset! This was actually from their balcony after we went inside.
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My aunt: Let me brace myself as there is a lot of wave action on this pontoon boat!
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But she got the shot! Our “snow bird” friends we met in Tucson came over for a ride on the lake and lunch. Good fun!
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We went on a bike ride to Stillwater, the birthplace of Minneapolis. It was a bit humid but I guess it is true, we don’t melt, even though it feels like it!
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We went to St Anthony Falls which is a national park site in Minneapolis.
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They no longer use the locks but this is one of the largest drops of water in the Mississippi.
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This is an old stone bridge and there is a park there as well telling about the history of the flour mills.
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We went down the river a bit to Lock Number 5 and enjoyed exploring that area as well.