Land of 10,000 Lakes and a few loons
The Land of 10,000 Lakes (low estimate) and a few loons would be Minnesota, of course. My husband is a native and we lived there for 36 years after his four year stint with the Air Force. I did five years with the Air Force as a civilian and after closing down three air bases, they asked me to leave. Kidding. We decided we had had quite enough of long, dark, harsh winters in 2006 and moved to Arkansas. We used to drive home every Christmas until it just got too crazy. The State of Iowa in December can be treacherous and sometimes they close the freeway. This year we opted to visit in June, the week after Memorial Day week. Driving was a breeze.
My husband’s family has history connected with a great attraction, Gooseberry Falls State Park. Travel on Old Highway 61 instead of taking the expressway to Two Harbors. You used to be able to see Lake Superior a lot more than you can now–poplar trees have grown up and block some of the view, but it’s still spectacular. Stop off at one of the turn offs such as Brighton Beach or Stony Point.
Gooseberry Falls State Park was built by men in The Civilian Conservation Corps. Formed in March 1933, the Civilian Conservation Corps, CCC, was one of the first New Deal programs. It was a public works project intended to promote environmental conservation and to build good citizens through vigorous, disciplined outdoor labor. My father-in-law worked in the Gooseberry Falls camp before he was married. Here he is quoted on a sign in the park.
Here is a statue of a buff worker–the sun was not helpful here.
Here is a view of the lower and medium falls. I have been here in years of drought where there was only a trickle–sometimes you have to learn to live with disappointment. But not this day.
And the upper falls.
I climbed up to the Gateway Plaza, where you can view Lake Superior from the highway.
We (sister-in-law, niece, and I) had lunch at the Rustic Inn in Castle Danger on the way back, all three of us trying one of the walleye lunches and sharing. Highly recommended. Our last stop was at Brighton Beach. We should have stopped there first because it was so cold, we were done in five minutes. Cooler by the Lake is not an idle expression.
The weather was great during our visit and I managed to get some shots of some of the local loons but not one of the resident bald eagles. I should have recorded the loons going crazy with their ululations when the eagle was soaring overhead. It was warm enough our last day for a pontoon ride, which is when I got these shots. The sun was shining so brightly on the loon, that I didn’t think these would turn out.
As always, we had a wonderful time with family. If you head to Minnesota, go up the North Shore–it never disappoints. Safe travels, wherever you go. End of the trail.
And then back to Arkansas, where summer has shown up with a vengeance. There is still no place like home (insert ruby red slippers).
Posted on June 19, 2016, in Road Trip and tagged Brighton Beach, CCC, common loon, Gooseberry State Park, Highway 61, Minnesotta, Missouri, North Shore, Stony Point, Two Harbors. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.