As we travelled through Minnesota we followed part of the routing from our RV for Dummies book. We stopped in Bemidji to see the Paul Bunyan statue and we found a great little campground Pokegama Recreation area where we had one of the best views of any campsite we’ve been in. Next we visited Judy Garland’s Birthplace in Grand Rapids and had some fun in the Children’s play area;-)
From there we drove towards Duluth and we had the worst winds of any drive so far. It was all I could do to hold the wheel and keep the vehicle on the road. That same night some people were killed in a campground when a tree blew over due to the wind! We didn’t stop in Duluth as we wanted to visit many of the parks on the North Shore of Lake Superior. The first stop was Gooseberry Falls State Park where we did a 6 km hike to see all the falls and to go down to the Lake Superior shore.
We stayed that night in Tettegouche State Park and went for a 9 km hike the next day to see Two Step Falls, High Falls (Minnesota’s highest waterfall), and the scenic walk out to Shovel Point on Lake Superior. We sure climbed up and down a lot of stairs to see the falls from both sides of the gorge but it was worth the views.
We continued along the North Shore and stopped in Temperance River State Park to see the gorge on the river. We camped that night in Judge C.R. Magney State Park. Apparently the Judge was a big advocate to get the parks along this shore established so they named one park after him. The next morning we hiked up to see Lower Falls and Devil’s Kettle Falls (235 stairs to go down and back up).
We decided to stop in at the Grand Portage Monument before we went across the border back to Ontario. We just thought it would be a statue to see but instead it was a great Visitor Centre and interpretative area so it took us 3.5 hours to see it all! We learned all about the North West Company which was actually much larger than the Hudson’s Bay Company. We learned about the fur trade and specifically about Beaver furs and how they were made in to Beaver hats for the Europeans. We learned how critical Grand Portage was as an area for trade, goods coming inbound via long birch bark canoes and furs going out and how the Ojibway were involved in the trade. Also how devastating it was when the fur trade finally declined and the North West Company was bought out by the Hudson’s Bay Company. Very fascinating place to stop!
Next post will be the parks in Ontario for the North Shore of Lake Superior.