S: Minneapolis/St. Paul and the Minnesota North Shore 2012
FC: Minneapolis/St. Paul and the Minnesota North Shore 2012
1: We flew out from TPA on United at 8:30. We were a bit nervous as Tropical storm Debbie was churning in the Gulf. Lots of turbulence til we got to Houston. At 11:00 we got on a small United Prop jet (claustrophobic) for Minneapolis. Got there at 2:20. Had a cab arranged and off to the Normandy Inn and Suites. Very nice hotel. At 5:00 we all walked 6 or 7 blocks to Nicollet Mall. This is a 4 or 5 block area, pedestrian friendly, full of restaurants and stores. Ate dinner at Brit's Pub, upstairs. As we looked out the windows there was a huge grass lawn and people were lawn bowling. Also a big TV and lots of outside dining and drinking going on. Walked to find a grocery store, Lunds to buy some breakfast items and back to the hotel. | Skyway connecting buildings | Nicollet Mall | June 24 | Schmitt Music Mural
2: June 25 Very cool today; needed a jacket! Met Jeanne and Stan at 9:15 and walked 5 blocks to the Hilton (not getting our rental for a few days). We met a group there for a "Highlights of the Twin Cities" tour. Ron was our tour guide, and he was a hoot! He was very knowledgeable; just great! Drove all around Minneapolis, Lake Calhoun and to Minnehaha Park and falls. We got off for about 20 min. there. It was absolutely beautiful, the water was especially high because of all the rain they had before we arrived. There is a fish restaurant here too , the Sea Salt Eatery. The park is on the banks of the Miss. River surrounding Minnehaha Creek, a tributary of the Mississippi River. Minnehaha means "falling water".
3: This is the Stone Arch Bridge; the oldest RR bridge. Only pedestrians,bikes,and trolleys allowed. It's a viaduct with 23 arches. | We drove around St. Paul and saw this beautiful Capital building.
4: Below is taken from the Warehouse district of St. Anthony Falls on Miss. river. Had lunch at Mall Of America. Took light rail home.
5: Took a cab to Boon Island to take the paddle boat Mississippi Queen. Unfortunately the river was 6' higher than usual, so we couldn't fit under many bridges-had to go North, away from the city. Saw the blue heron rookery. Lunch at Nicolette Mall; Min.wild rice!
6: June 27 Guys walked 3 blocks and got on the light rail to go to the airport for our rental car. Jeanne and I walked to the big "market day" at Nicollet Mall. Stan and Bud picked us up there around 11:30 and we drove to Stillwater in 30 min ,"best little town in U.S". A quaint, cute hilly town on the St. Croix River. Had lunch at Whitey's and then drove to Interstate Park in the town of Taylor Falls.
7: The Dalles of the St. Croix is a gorge with pine-topped cliffs jutting up 200 ft. out of the river. Rock climbing is permitted 100 days a year. Glacier formed potholes are here,too. Hot today for hiking-93 degrees. Went to a winery on Main st. for a tasting. We had almond crusted walleye for dinner . We're loving the walleye fish here.
8: Drove back to Minneapolis to the Warehouse District, over the bridge to Nicollet Island and St. Anthony Main (the old historical Mn.). Here is the mighty Mississippi and St. Anthony Falls. It's very high due to previous rains. Reflections are beautiful See the Pillsbury A. Mills bldg. FLOUR!
9: June 28 Driving up "Nort"today to "Dulut" (No "th's"up here). They had a lot of flooding up here. We left around 11:00, stopped at Subway for lunch . Expected detours but mostly road construction. Drove thru Two Harbors (largest town on North Shore) and on to Beaver Bay, where we rented a condo. | Lake Superior is the largest lake in the world. It looks like an ocean. It has enough water to cover North and S. America with 1 foot of water; it's water is pure and clean! | Temps. on the shore are a lot cooler; 80's. Storms can bring 30' waves. Dinner at N. Lights Roadhouse. Yum! June 29 Our condo is great! Left around 10:30 for Ely. Got lost. The International Wolf Center is there.
10: We drove thru the Superior National Forest to get here. Should have taken 70 min. Had lunch in Ely, then to wolf center. Saw the display area and then a 20 min. talk about the wolf pups. Two pups are brought out and we learned how they socialize them and eventually bring them into the pack. Shopped around Ely a bit. It's an "outfitter"town for Boundary Waters canoe Wilderness Area. Back to Beaver Bay and to dinner at the Lemon Wolf Cafe (appropriate)
11: We rented the corner condo in Beaver Bay; 2bedroom,2 bath. It was very nice. Outside deck area overlooked Lake Superior. It was cool out there at night or in the morning. We'd sit out there in hopes of seeing a huge barge. A few condos over there was a path down to the lake. Water at 39 degrees.
12: June 30 Lake Superior is called "Hiawatha's Gitche Gumee. It contains 10% of world's fresh water.This is one if the 3 places in the world that grows WILD RICE. So we see on menus: wild rice meatloaf,wild rice and leek soup,etc. Oh, and yes, Lake Superior has frozen over completely many times. Left at 10:30 and drove to Split Rock Lighthouse (down the road). This is one of the most historic sites in MN. Completed in 1910. Built because 30 people were killed when ships crashed. | There were no roads and all of the supplies had to be hoisted up this magnificent 130 ft. cliff. Had a tour.
14: Saw a great 30 min film, toured the light and 2 keeper's cottages, and drove down and finally found the beach where we could photograph it from below. Had lunch at the park.
15: Lake Superior is a bit gray/blue here and in Duluth due to all of the rain,but up the coast where we are it's gorgeous blue. Jeanne and I shopped in Two Harbors. Not much to see. The Edna G. Tugboat is a coal-fed steam powered tug that served 2 harbors for 100 yrs. Went to see Gooseberry Falls and back home to have chicken and try our Kohlrabi we bought at a farmers market.
16: July 1 Off to Duluth! About 2 hrs. or less to get there. 75 degree temp. Got our tickets for a boat ride and grabbed some lunch. We're in beautiful Canal Pk. on the waterfront; lots of shops that go up to 5/6 stories, restaurants,and ships, boats barges. We're touring the harbor on Vista Fleet. The first and most famous sight is the Aerial Lift Bridge over the Duluth Ship Canal. It's fun to watch giant ships(up to 1000ft. long) cruise in and out of port. Oceangoing ships are "salties and the others are "lakers". These huge barges carry iron, coal, ore, taconite etc. Here are the "Twin Ports"; Duluth and Superior Wi. As we tour between the twin ports we see big ships, grain elevator freighters, and the hills of Duluth going up from the harbor,like a little San Francisco. Lake Superior is so deep you could put the Statue of Liberty in it and still have 8 stories showing. We drove to Fitgers Mall and shopped, the back to Canal Park to the Great Lakes Aquarium. And on back to Two Harbors for dinner,Blackwoods. Home by 9:00.
18: Silver Bay Marina, taconite processing plant. Drove up to Palisade Head. It's a 350 ft. cliff that goes straight up out of Lake Superior. This is a part of Tettegouche State Park. We are going along scenic Hwy 64, up a ways today; "going nort" Minnesotans say and"ya betcha" and"ya hosers". We paid $5 to get into Tettegouche and drive up as far as we could. It's hot today to hike.
19: But we hiked a steep pebbly, muddy trail for over a half mile to where we could see the rapid Baptism River. Here there lots of stairs and lookouts. Agates here!
20: And more on July 2nd. Ate our lunch at the beach at Temperance St. Pk. then climbed to see where the Temperance River empties into Lake Superior. Gorgeous!
21: July 3 Driving way up to Grand Marais; a couple of hrs. It's a beautiful day, glistering waters. Ever so often you'll see what looks like a rock sticking up out of the lake, but not a rock; lake is so deep! Grand Marais is actually a town. many others are villages; very small. GM is about 6 square blocks, or a bit more. Cool, 71 degrees. Walked out to Artist Point, by a little lighthouse. You have to walk partway on a seawall. All kinds of balanced rock formations; so cool. We even watched a few guys building one.
22: Had lunch at the Crooked Spoon Cafe; wonderful rosemary popcorn or dill pickle chips w/sand. Above is the unique ceiling of the Naniboujou Lodge.Still open as a lodge, restaurant, afternoon tea. Cree Indian pictures on walls,too. Primitive. | One of the many chipmunks we saw.
23: 3 o' clock- off to Portage, on the border of Canada. We follow Lake Superior beside us on the right. Can't believe we saw kids swimming in Grand Marais - 42 degree water. Fur Trading post and stockade. We saw a sample of a Obijibwe village.
24: July 4 We slept in today and did laundry. Went down the street to Cove Point Crossings Resort where they had a little restaurant. Started raining and kept on thru the night. Going to Wisconsin tomorrow. Stan and Bud visited Castle Rock Brewery. Picked up t-shirts for each other and for Stefan and Drew. Except they were women's v-neck! Will be able to exchange tomorrow.
25: July 5 Left at 9. Exchanged the shirts at the brewery. We're on our way yo Hayward, Wisconsin. Got there by 11:30. Very busy and lots of shops. We were surprised. Had a hard time finding the lumberjack show as we drove right past it. It was Scheers Lumberjack Show and it was great! | Log rolling, axe cutting,pole climbing,power sawing,underhand chop. Drove to Ashland to stay 2 nights.
26: July 6 - 68 degrees; drove into Bayfield (Apostle Islands) Not nice weather. Drove onto the Madeline Island Ferry - 20 min. ride. Went all around the island,had lunch and ferried back. Shopped in the rain. Hilly.
27: Unusual cloud formation on our last day in Wisconsin.