Page 3 of MisterParks Travel Blog Posts

North America » United States » Minnesota » Ely July 13th 2018

Ely, Minnesota and Arnold’s Fishing Camp, International Falls, Minnesota We moved almost 200 miles northwest to an RV Campground just a mile or so from the Canadian border. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen ‘International Falls’ on weather maps, usually in winter reporting the coldest temperatures in the continental US. Well, here we are staying at a campground that apparently doubles as a fishing spot. When Joan called to make reservations, last January, she asked the guy if he was freezing his ‘nose’ off. The reply was a simple ‘yes’, as if the question was so obvious as to be insulting. Anyway, it isn’t cold here now - temps last night when we came in were in the 70s, and it is forecast to get in the 80s today. This is a private campground, ... read more

North America » United States » Minnesota » Two Harbors July 13th 2018

Gooseberry Falls State Park, Two Harbors, Minnesota We had plans for an outing yesterday, but it remained overcast all day and rained off and on. We weren’t sure that, with bad weather, we would be able to see very much. Furthermore, we looked at a map and determined that we could include that outing on today’s itinerary fairly easily, so we’ve done that. It will make for a full day. Instead, I managed to get through the Isle Royale pictures from our last day and wrote up that post. Unfortunately, since we are dry camping, and we didn’t travel yesterday, our phones are nearly dead and I won’t be able to post either the final Isle Royale picture, or this one, until later today after our devices have recharged in the car. Dry camping does impose ... read more

North America » United States » Michigan » Houghton July 13th 2018

Isle Royale, Houghton, Michigan We were up early again on our third day at Isle Royale - I couldn’t miss my free breakfast. (OK, pre-paid breakfast is more like it.). And we had another full day of hiking planned for us. Weather was a bit uncertain, but we decided that even if it did rain, it wouldn’t be a downpour and we wouldn’t melt. So, dressed in layers, we were going to hike, rain or shine. The day before we headed northeast up to the point of the little peninsula that Rock Harbor is on. This isn’t a huge chunk of the island, by any means, but as I indicated yesterday, unless you are prepared to do some serious backpacking, wilderness camping, and/or boating, then there are going to be limits to how much you will ... read more

North America » United States » Minnesota » Two Harbors July 11th 2018

Gooseberry Falls State Park, Two Harbors, Minnesota We declared a downday of sorts yesterday. I managed to lose the screw on the earpiece to my prescription sunglasses several weeks ago. We tried one of those repair kits with the itty bitty screw drivers. I worked at the damn thing for more than half an hour, but with no luck. Either the tiny screws they gave me with the kit weren’t the right size, or I was simply unable to hold my hands steady enough to keep the parts aligned, get the screw in there, and turn it the right direction. Crap, I can barely see the little things, much less manipulate them. So I’ve been driving without sunglasses the last couple of weeks. Having to squint a lot to keep the sun glare down, I have ... read more

Grand Portage National Monument, Grand Portage, Minnesota It is hard to imagine that the European demand for hats made of beaver skin would be responsible for opening up an entire continent. But that is pretty much what happened up here. I was aware of the general history that French trappers had a great deal to do with exploring the interior, but I wasn’t aware of some of the more interesting details. Trapping for furs has been around for quite some time - clothing was originally made from animal skins before we figured out how to make them from plants or petroleum. I’m not quite sure why the French ended up monopolizing the industry, except that they happened to first colonize North America in the area that was once scraped clean of good soils by glaciers. So ... read more

Gooseberry Falls State Park, Two Harbors, Minnesota In yesterday’s post I mentioned that it seemed like the storms blew in from the northwest and then picked up the moisture and energy from the lake before pounding the southern and eastern shores. Well, as if to tell me how wrong I can be, Lake Superior sent us one hell of a storm last night. And, just to prove who was the boss, the storm formed over the lake and then blew back westward onto shore. So whatever I said about how the weather works up here, well, I was just plain wrong - the Lake can deliver storms on any side of the lake it chooses! Rain was in the forecast all day to start around six in the evening. It arrived right on schedule. Soon the ... read more

North America » United States » Minnesota July 8th 2018

Gooseberry Falls State Park, Two Harbors, Minnesota As the crow flies, or the fish swims, we only moved 41 miles northwest of Bayfield, Wisconsin. But because my LandCruiser neither flies nor swims, we had to drive around the western edge of Lake Superior almost 130 miles. It wasn’t a particularly difficult drive, although Wisconsin doesn’t maintain its highways along this part of the lake very well, and, so that portion was pretty bumpy. We basically took route 13, which parallels the lakeshore all the way down to Superior, which is the twin city to Duluth, right at the tip of Superior. There we we caught US 53 which took us up and through the cities and onto US 61, which rides up the north shore of the lake. In addition to being bumpy, the Wisconsin portion ... read more

North America » United States » Wisconsin » Ashland July 7th 2018

La Pointe on Madeline Island, Wisconsin Geographically, Madeline Island is one of the Apostles. In fact it is the largest of the 22 islands stretching for 14 miles along the southernmost part of the island group, just a short ferry ride from Bayfield. At the maximum, it is five miles wide. At the time French explorers discovered it in the 1600s, it was a major homeland for the Ojibwe Indians, who still maintain a substantial presence on the island. But Madeline Island is not part of the National Lakeshore. As such, it is developed, and has private property available for purchase. There is one town, pretty much on the point closest to the mainland, named, appropriately, La Pointe and this town has been there for centuries, first as a fur trading post, and later as a ... read more

North America » United States » Wisconsin » Ashland July 6th 2018

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Bayfield, Wisconsin Seems like every big park has its iconic feature. Yellowstone has Old Faithful, Yosemite has Half-Dome, and Glacier has, well, used to have, big glaciers. The feature that captures more photos than any other here at Apostle Islands has to be the sea caves. There are two sets of them in this park. The ‘Winter’ caves are those here on the mainland, on the northwester side of Bayfield peninsula. They are called the ‘Winter’ caves because they are sought after in the winter because of their ice formations. Photos of these caves are often taken from the frozen surface of Lake Superior and they are stunning. We tried to see them on the Fourth of July, but essentially got rained out. The ‘Summer’ caves attract tourists, and cameras, in the ... read more

North America » United States » Wisconsin » Ashland July 5th 2018

Myers Beach Trail, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Cornucopia, Wisconsin I can appreciate that forecasting the weather around the Great Lakes can be next to impossible. As they say, the Lake is the Boss, and when she decides to send some weather towards the mainland, well, there’s just no arguing with that. The recent storms at Houten are testimony to how angry she can get. So if the forecast calls for partly cloudy skies but no rain and it ends up raining cats and dogs, well, that’s just luck around the lake. The forecast for the Fourth was really not too bad - the day was supposed to be cloudy, but rain wasn’t supposed to come in until six or so. We figured that would work in our favor, by putting a damper, literally, on the noisy ... read more

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