One of the things I wanted to do when I lived in Minnesota years ago was a trip to the North Shore, including Grand Marais. Well, it’s finally happening, albeit 11 years later. I’m ticking off a bucket list item!
We started last Tuesday, the 4th, with our destination for 3 nights being Two Harbors, MN.
First evening, down to the harbor
Dave rode his bike each morning, and we had two lovely main meals out during our stay. The big thing here is the harbor and the iron ore docks, which are still in use today.
Cargo ship taking on iron ore at the docks
Dave having worked in the taconite mines a bit during our time in Hibbing (on the Iron Range) and with his history of being a pipefitter on naval vessels, this was interesting to both of us. Using a website that lists harbor traffic, we made two attempts at being down at the harbor for their arrivals. Unfortunately, shipping schedules allow for quite a bit of leeway. We did get to see one fairly close to the harbor entrance, but its ETA was bumped out a couple of hours, so we decided not to hang around. Good thing, because the ETA was later extended until 11 PM! Really was interesting to see one that close, and would have been awesome to get a truly “up close and personal” experience as it entered the harbor but … oh well.
After a relaxing stay in Two Harbors, we headed off on the 2nd part of our adventure up to a cabin on the shore of Lake Superior just outside Grand Marais. Check-out time at the hotel was 11 AM with check-in at the cabin at 4 PM, so we had 5 hours to travel about 87 miles. We had plenty of time for stops along the way!
We stopped at Cascade River State Park and took a short hike to view the falls
Whenever we saw an interesting scenic overlook (and there were a bunch!) along Highway 61, we’d pull over for a bit. Our next planned stop was Split Rock Lighthouse.
View of Split Rock from scenic overlook
View from base of lighthouse
You’ve probably heard about the Edmund Fitzgerald from Gordon Lightfoot’s song. Interestingly, the maintenance guy for our community had a grandfather who sailed on the Edmund Fitzgerald, although he was not aboard that fateful night.
Traveling north on 61, Lake Superior is to one’s right. There is so much to see and do, but the predominant feature is the lake herself.
Lake Superior at Knife River
Looks like this will need to be a two-part effort, so I’ll end here for now!
Thanks for stopping by! Stay safe out there, okay?