So first we went north, then we went *more* north. After two months of 100 degree days at home, we couldn’t get close enough to the north pole. However, we did settle for the north shore of Lake Superior. It was totally rad. Except the part where our beloved dog Blue tore her other ACL. But it was still just as rad, AND we built up our triceps caring around that poor 50-pound dog.
We moved from the Duluth area to Two Harbors and the Penmarallter Campsite. Though there are several amazing state parks in this area, not many of them have RV sites, and the sites big enough for us were booked up when we were in our planning stages about a month earlier. So we used this as our base camp. The Penmarallter Campsite is well located off highway MN 61 (the main road along the lake). The camp can accommodate any kind of camping, they have full hook ups available, internet, and clean restrooms. And it was here that poor Blue, already hobbling with one torn ACL and surgery scheduled for the week of our return home, tore her other ACL while jumping up on the bed in the Airstream.
Luckily we had doggy-pain killers for the existing problem and she was so strong and brave. After calling our vet in a panic, we decided the best thing to do was to carry her everywhere and give her as much love as we could, and regular doses of pain killers. It worked okay, and she was pretty much her same old silly, loving self within 20 minutes, but mommy-fretting also stretches to the canine members of our family so I think she probably gained five pounds with all the treats I kept sneaking to her. (For closure on this topic, the poor thing underwent two rounds of ACL repair surgeries within eight weeks of our return, has completely recovered, and still loves to jump up on the bed in the Airstream.)
OK, back to the fun stuff. So we’d been hearing all about this restaurant just north of Duluth called the New Scenic Cafe, and as it was on the way, of course we stopped. TJ and I are still talking about this meal. It was AMAZING. They have, like, the most perfect kids’ food too. If you are anywhere within 100 miles, you really should just go. Be warned that you may have a wait, but hanging out in the garden with a view of Lake Superior is a lovely experience itself.
So just go. We took photos of the food and I’m drooling right now just looking at them.
After our heavenly lunch, we hit the parks. Up first: Tettegouche State Park, which is also fun to say (literally saying it aloud now… “teddaGOOOOCH”)! There are tons of trails here, but we stuck to a short trail to the High Falls on the Baptism River which was easy for all of us and involves crossing above the falls on bridge–oh the thrills! We packed a light lunch and picnicked at the bottom of the falls.
Then we threw rocks. It was a great day for all of us.
On the way back to Honeysuckle Manor, we stopped at Betty’s Pies, where I waited in the car with a sleeping toddler and sent TJ in with our oldest to pick up a treat. They retuned with a chocolate pie. I rolled my eyes thinking, no fruit (!?!?). But I can’t lie, it was amazing, and we may have demolished that thing after the girls went to sleep.
Split Rock Light House was our history geek stop, and we went twice, because we ran out of time the first visit. The lighthouse and keeper’s home are preserved as they would have looked in the 1920s. There are costumed interpreters who are well informed and super nice (of course, it’s Minnesota) and you can climb up into the lightroom.
There are also several nice hiking trails to explore that will take you down to the lake. The girls loved scrambling over the boulders.
Of course we also had to visit the very popular Gooseberry Falls State Park. The falls at this park are beautiful and it’s a large park. We were a bit limited for time, so we stuck to the main attraction, which was really easy for the girls and our uninjured dog, Gus, to explore.
The north shore of Lake Superior is nothing but beautiful. Every last birch tree or bend in the trail is scenic. Oh north woods!
Do you have a favorite north woods park or attraction? We’d love to hear about them, because we will be going back!