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An Autumn Getaway

I enjoy the kind of vacation where you actually forget about the “real” world, don’t you? My husband and I took 4 days off and experienced such a vacation — it was great! We went to the “north shore” of Minnesota. Last year we drove through Duluth but did not head further north to see what all the Minnesota rage was about. This year we headed north-er.

The day we started our journey, it was gloomy and drizzly. Our final destination was the town of Lutsen which is approximately a 4 hour drive but we like to “mosey along” so it took us closer to 7 hours to get there.

Our first stop on this “moseying” journey was at a small town called Two Harbors where we stopped to take pictures of the Lake Superior coastline.

Two Harbors Trail to Shoreline

Two Harbors Trail to Shoreline

Agate Bay, Minnesota

Agate Bay, Minnesota

The water was choppy when we were there.

Two Harbors, MN Shoreline

Two Harbors, MN Shoreline

Flowers were still in bloom — does anyone know what kind of flower this is? We saw it everywhere we turned — even on the hikes we took.

Flowers, Two Harbors, MN

Flowers, Two Harbors, MN

We saw the Two Harbors Lighthouse while we were there but weren’t able to get close enough to take good pictures. There is a small gift shop that we walked through while we were there but it wasn’t much to brag about.

The lighthouse is the oldest operating lighthouse in the state of Minnesota and overlooks Agate Bay on Lake Superior. Click here to read about the history of this lighthouse.

Two Harbors Lighthouse

Two Harbors Lighthouse

The “Keepers Quarters” of the lighthouse now operates as a bed and breakfast.

Keepers Quarters Bed and Breakfast

Keepers Quarters Bed and Breakfast

Across the bay we saw a couple of ships — the one called the James R Barker was built in 1976 and was the first one to be built entirely on the Great Lakes.

James R Barker, Ship

James R Barker, Ship

On the other side of this ship was a steamer named the Philip R Clarke which was built for the Pittsburgh Steamship Company back in the 1950’s.

Philip R Clarke, Steamer

Philip R Clarke, Steamer

There is a LOT of history to be read on these two ships and some people follow their navigational journeys.

It appears that they were preparing to load coal while docked — but this is just a guess as nothing was moving while we were there.

Coal Dock, Two Harbors, MN

Coal Dock, Two Harbors, MN

A short drive from Two Harbors, we stopped at the Gooseberry Falls State Park to see the waterfalls.

Joseph Alexander Visitor Center Sign

Joseph Alexander Visitor Center Sign

There is a very nice visitor center here with interpretive displays, a Nature Store and videos.

The trail to the waterfalls is handicapped accessible and starts out paved. Later on, there are steps one can walk down or a paved walkway.

Gooseberry Falls Trail

Gooseberry State Park Waterfalls Trail

See the paved walkway on the right?

Gooseberry Falls Trail

Gooseberry State Park Waterfalls Trail

The waterfalls are beautiful! There is an upper, middle and lower fall area. Many people were taking pictures and walking around the rocky area. Swimming is not recommended.

Gooseberry Falls

Gooseberry State Park Middle Waterfalls

Gooseberry Falls State Park

Gooseberry State Park

Gooseberry State Waterfalls

Gooseberry State Park Waterfalls

Gooseberry Falls State Park

Gooseberry State Park

The view below is looking downstream from the waterfalls.

Gooseberry Falls State Park

Gooseberry State Park Waterfalls

My husband took a picture on his iPod of the “lower” waterfalls.

Gooseberry Lower Waterfalls

Gooseberry State Park Lower Waterfalls

Although it was a gloomy day, this park left a peaceful feeling in my heart but water tends to do that to my soul.

Gooseberry Falls State Park

Gooseberry Falls State Park

I was intrigued by the formation of this rock.

Gooseberry Falls State Park

Gooseberry State Park

A little color amidst gloominess always stands out beautifully.

Gooseberry Bush

Gooseberry Bush

And that, my friends, was the first morning of our trip to the “north shore” of Minnesota.

I’ll post more pictures soon of the afternoon’s adventures. I like to take a lot of pictures because it helps to remind me of everything I saw. But — it makes for long posts so I have to break the day up …

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