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Campsite Photo Trip - 2013

Highway 61 Revisited we visit more Minnesota campgrounds.


A section of this iconic road follows the shore of Lake Superior from Duluth, Minnesota to the Canadian border.


It so inspired a local singer that he named one of his best albums after it. You have probably heard of him. His name is Bob Dylan.

But first I had to get there.

I left Father Hennepin State Park on Friday morning, accompanied by darkening skies.

Stormy-Skies Leaving-Father-Hennepin

Notice how the bike rides at an angle due to the frame design? That would come in very handy in a few days.

I drove about 75 miles northeast to Jay Cooke State Park just south of Duluth.


Almost exactly one year ago the park was hammered by almost a foot of rain in 24 hours. I guess mother nature miscalculated the date because I am normally present for such events.

There are 83 sites here and they were mostly unaffected by the storm.


But what was affected were the hiking trails, most of which are still closed. And the Swinging Bridge.


I hiked down to check it out.


Yep, it was gone.


The St. Louis River still had piles of dead trees along the banks.


Nifty. I went back to my campsite and made cheeseburgers.


Before I left in on Sunday morning I worked off the burgers by taking a spin on the Willard Munger State Trail.


Oops, there is a bike in the photo. I said I wouldn't do that anymore.



Duluth is on the shore of Lake Superior. I didn't know what to expect but it wasn't a huge harbor.


Also on the shore was Leif Erikson Park.


This park was built in honor of Leif and his Viking buddies who visited the area in 1000 A.D. 492 years before Columbus claimed he discovered America. Kids, ask your teachers about that.

There are beautiful gardens and a smashing view of the lake.

Leif-Erikson-Park Lake-Superior

Also, if you were there on June 30th at 8:00am, you could have taken a photo of Leif's statue with the sun just peeking over his shoulder. Like this one.


Even Duluth's sign honors the Vikings with a representation of one of their ships.


Vikings. Such a strong, powerful word. Minnesota should use it as the name for one of it's professional sports teams.

Just north of town I jumped on Highway 61 and headed up the coast.



The are many waysides along the road where you can stop. I used one to eat breakfast.


The beaches reminded me of the Pacific Northwest, just without any seaweed.


I stopped at the town of Two Harbors because they claim to have a lighthouse. I found a harbor and a cool old tugboat.

Two-Harbors Tugboat

But the lighthouse must have been bad because it was in jail.


I continued North. Passed through a tunnel and arrived at Gooseberry Falls State Park.

Tunnel Gooseberry-Falls-Sign

Like all the state parks on the lakeshore, this one features a river that drops several hundred feet shortly before entering the lake. That creates waterfalls.

The parking lot was full, however, so I just quickly walked the campground's 70 sites.


And admired the view.


There was another lighthouse along the way so I stopped to take a gander.


They have an interpretive center and guided tours. All I wanted was a picture. All they wanted was nine dollars. Not gonna happen.

My next stop on this busy Sunday was Tettegouche State Park.

The visitor center was being rebuilt so there was no sign. So I made do.


There are 34 regular sites here and 13 cart-in sites. Which means you put your stuff in a big cart and haul it.


I didn't check out the cart-in sites but I did take a photo of the Baptism River where it enters the lake.



I finally arrived at my spot for the next three nights. Temperance River State Park.


I set up camp, tent included, and went for a quick bike ride.

Temperance-Campsite-2 Temperance-Campsite-1

Monday morning I headed down to the beach, which mainly consisted of going up and down a lot of stairs.

Stairs-1 Stairs-2

And crossing a bridge where I took this photo of the river mouth.


The beach was empty at 7:00am and simply stunning.

Temperance-Beach-3 Temperance-Beach-4

I hiked back up to Highway 61 and took a photo of the bridge I crossed earlier.


This sign intrigued me so I decided to keep hiking.


The Temperance River Gorge Trail.

I was the first hiker on the trail Monday morning so as a public service I used my face to clear out all the spider webs.

Hidden-Falls Temperance-Gorge-Sign


There were more stairs.


And another bridge, which is part of the Gitchi-Gami State Trail.

Gorge-Bridge Gitchi-Gami-Sign

And some raging water.

Waterfall-1 Top-of-Gorge-2 Waterfall-2


At the top it flattens out and the river slows down.


I headed back to camp, hopped in my car, and drove north to Cascade River State Park.


There are 40 campsites here I think. It's hard to tell because the numbering is so goofy.


I took a short hike to see the river and falls.

Cascade-River Cascade-Falls


I drove back to Temperance and walked the campground. Oh, see all the cars in the picture below. They belong to hikers using the web-free Gorge Trail thanks to me.


Anyway, Temperance has 60 campsites, several with great views of Lake Superior like number 15.


I spent most of Tuesday processing the campground and blog photos, then packing up for an early start on Wednesday to Bear Head Lake State Park for the holiday weekend.

The spiders build webs fast here. My driver's window had one complete with food in only 12 hours.


I wiped it off and hit the road. I stopped in the town of Ely about 20 miles from the park for supplies. As I was loading them into the back of my car I heard a loud noise.


It was a gal in a black suburban backing into the corner of the trailer.

But that is for the next post.

Regards, Park Ranger


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