Duluth, North Shore of Lake Superior

Since I haven't finished a project I am working on, and can't even finish my laundry, I decided to take a vacation in my mind.  I went back to May when we took the two youngest on a four day trip to Duluth, and the North Shore of Lake Superior.

Lake Superior Shore as seen from Split Rock Lighthouse
First of all I have to say after many years of taking 6 kids on trips, it still feels a little out of the ordinary to travel with only two.  For this mom of many taking only two along, it's sort of.... well.... a piece of cake.

The Duluth weather in May can be unpredictable.  We were lucky, it was sweatshirt weather and sunny half the time, but as any history buff knows, Lake Superior can turn in the blink of an eye, often for the worst.

Killer Whale as Seen from Coldstone Creamery booth.
Sometimes the lake even tosses forth a killer whale to a Coldstone Creamery.  This was the first time my two sons and Brawn had been to Coldstone.  Not sure they will remember the ice cream, but the Orca maybe.

View of Split Rock Lighthouse
Most of our travels involve heading out of state to a beach or tropical destination when it's freezing here, so taking the scenic route in Minnesota was a lot of fun for us. 

We headed to Split Rock Lighthouse and Gooseberry Falls and stopped in at everything between Twin Harbors and Minneapolis that looked interesting.

A vivid memory of our last trip to Duluth was having our just about four year old throw a full blown temper tantrum in the train Depot because her siblings left on a second cable car ride and she didn't make it back aboard in time.

The Depot conductor came over to see if she lost a limb, then as politely as he could say it, told me to ask her to stop crying.

I asked.
She screamed louder.
He asked us to leave as her wails echoed through the whole place.
I took her to the restroom as folks stared.
I smiled pleasantly back at them.
If they only knew I was contemplating tying her to the train track with a gag in her mouth. 
Split Rock has a tour about life here in the days when the light house was in use.  I loved going back in time and seeing how they lived.

Gooseberry Falls had these trees along the shore with the roots exposed from the water eroding them.
They were really creepy looking to me, yet interesting.  I kept waiting for a troll to step out from behind one.

There is an upper and a lower falls.

And of course my family wanted to take the hike alllllllll the way around.
With miles of path, some gravel, some boardwalk.
And 10,000 stairs.
Thankfully I had on my most favorite shoes in the whole world.  They were a gift from #2 daughter......

 My all terrain Dansko's.

I'm no hydrologist, but I concluded that the yellow and rust color of the water was due to the fact we were on the Iron Range, and iron ore probably causes this.
I know this because if I leave iron in water, that's what happens.

I'm Einstein I tell 'ya.
At about this point in our walk, while I was enjoying the view, I determined I was approximately half way around, and worried I would starve or pass out from dehydration.
Dansko's don't fail me now.

But I stayed strong, I knew what was down the road......

And there's nothing like a looooonggg hike to work up an appetite and a hankering for pie.

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  1. A trip to the North Shore is always fun...your stories brought back memories of the fun trip we took there years ago when I had to Heimlich two of my kids in the car within minutes of each other when they choked on lemon more hard candy! My daughter was stung by a bee in the car, and got a stomach bug on that trip, too. That was the last time we traveled there with the my husband and I just go there for getaways! Beautiful photos, Bliss!

  2. Great pictures! Looks like a fun time.

  3. Well that was fun to read. And're an Einstein for sure. I'd walk all of those steps for pie too!

  4. Gee that looks refreshing about now!! Great pics, Bliss, and some fun memories to boot. :)
    xo Heidi

  5. My DL loves some Duluth! I'd like to be there right now, as it has been too hot to even have the laptop on.

  6. wow such a beautiful place!

  7. Such beauty... great shots!

    And PIE, it can be a GREAT motivator ;)


  8. The Orca is hilarious...I think I HAVE tied my daughter to a train track...and do you not see the troll in the picture? Seriously, he's there...look again. And I'll take a piece of 5-layer chocolate with a Butterfinger chaser...


  9. Bliss, great post Orca and all!! It must have been a bit trying with your daughter at that moment. I can only imagine since we have fury babies. Great pictures and I hope you enjoyed a big piece of pie!!


  10. Haha! I remember a trip over a waterfall in a tram with my daughter crying her eyes out spoiling the whole trip for everyone. I think she still hates me for making her go. Ugh!

  11. Well Einstein...I would love to visit Split Rock. I think I need to experience Minnesota, don't you? Looks like a great time out with the family.
    I'll have a blackberry peach pie or three when I visit. Prepare yourself.

  12. I knew I liked you... I wear Dansko's too!
    Looks like a great trip and I know what you mean, when I took 4 on a trip it was hard.... 2 high schoolers is a piece of cake! And about tying her to the tracks.... That would have been my #2 about 17 years ago... thank goodness they grow up!

  13. I hope you ordered one of every flavor!

    PS - I stop what I'm doing to read you, too. Tying kids to railroad tracks is MY kind of humor!

  14. Such a fun read - I remember days like that in crowds with a howling kid.
    I don't know why I think it's funny that you have one. Mine's going to be a principal soon. ha!
    Have a great day,

  15. Oh yummmy on that pie shop!! What beautiful photos of your trip! We recently traveled with just one and it was much easier!! I need a pair of those Danskos!

  16. What a fun day! Except for the tantrum...and the hike I suppose. BUT, pie AND Coldstone in the SAME day?
    Hoo-eee baby!!

  17. Very lovely! Those tantrums are always amazing and embarrassing! But payback comes when they have their own...hhheeee!

  18. Follow the rusty brick road to pie?? That was bad, I know, but your photos are beautiful, I love that shot of the light house from a distance! You tell a great tale, Bliss, it looks like you all had a lovely day.

  19. It looks like a fun trip. Did you sometimes look round wondering where the rest of the kids were !
    Walking should always be rewarded with treats. We don't really do the whole sweet pie thing over here but I'd sure like to try some of those on the list. I love anything where pastry is involved !

  20. Oh my gosh Bliss, I want to go there! GREAT photos! I love your shoes, hate the stairs! And I want some pie :)

  21. It looks GORGEOUS Bliss - the stairs would have blown my mind out I think - seriously - I think I would have stood there and had a tantrum ( much like your daughters many years ago ) - screaming and crying - and John would have definitely gagged me and laid me on a train track!!!
    How was the pie?

  22. great pics thanks for a looksy.My Mom and Dad traveled this area.

  23. I'll be heading to Maine soon where I hope to see plenty of lighthouses as beautiful as this - and hopefully, I won't have to leave my kids on the train tracks (but you never know)!

  24. A vacation in your mind, I love it! Your pictures were beautiful and funny. I loved hearing your memory of the time you were at the train depot with your then 4 year old daughter. Temper tantrums are the best :)

  25. Never been there before but I want to go now. Looks awesome. I loved that tree too btw...yes creepy but cool.

  26. Mr Man and I love to go up there and usually do a couple of times during the summer and fall. Never have seen an Orca in a Cloldstone Creamery tho. You see all the BEST stuff!!! ;)


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