Sunday, June 17, 2018

Lake Superior Circle Trip Day 1 to Duluth, MN

Our Lake Superior Circle trip started out like all of our trips.  What shall we bring?  I looked at the weather forecast, and there was a huge fluctuation in temperatures.  I decided that layering would be the best.  I got out all my outfits and noticed my husband had a pile of brand new undershirts ready to pack.  Hmm, I wonder where they came from.  A couple years ago I bought him a dozen new undershirts from Jockey.  Doing the laundry every week, I noticed that his shirts weren't holding up very well.  They were looking pretty thin and flimsy.  I asked him if he bought himself new shirts.  He said he saved the new shirts because his old undershirts were perfectly fine.  We have officially entered old age.  I remember my grandparents having several pieces of new clothes in a drawer when they died.  Thank goodness he decided to break out the new shirts before that happened.  He asked me if a couple of the old shirts were still ok.  I told him if you can read a newspaper through the fabric, then it was ready for the rag bag.

After a lot of changing our mind and paring down the amount, we were all packed.  Early in the morning we set off on our journey.  It was cool and rainy when we left, and I wasn't looking forward to a trip in that weather.  Fortunately about two hours into the trip, the sun came out and it became a lovely day.  Our first stop was Copper Falls State Park.  We hadn't been there for twenty years or more so we both were looking forward to it.

We headed across the parking lot with water, my camera and a skip in our step.  A short distance down the trail we saw a sign for an observation tower.  We have climbed them before so how hard could that be.  We started up the steps.  We climbed and climbed getting more out of breath with each step.  I counted about 150 steps but we made it to the top moving over for a few sets of young people bounding up the steps.

Looking down the steps from above.

When we got to the top there was a trail and then the "real" observation tower appeared.  We couldn't stop now so up we went.

We climbed to the top and what did we see?   Nothing, a big fat nothing.  The tree canopy was so leafed out and the trees were so tall, they blocked the view.  I think fall might be pretty and early spring before the leaves emerge.  So down we went.  Fortunately going down was a lot easier for me.

We reached the bottom of the stairs and after a little rest, we continued on the path we should have taken in the first place.

It was a little challenging at times, especially when there were more steps to go up and down.  We were able to see a couple nice falls.  One was Brownstone Falls.

Another was Copper Falls.  Copper Falls got its name in the mid 1800's.  The first prospectors came because they thought there was copper to be mined in that area.  As it turned out, there wasn't any copper there.  The copper color in the Bad River was from tannin.  Tannin is a natural dye formed when tamarack, cedar and other trees decay in the bogs.

The brown colored water is from all the tannin in the water.

While we were climbing down from the observation tower, we met a couple of men with a drone.  We didn't think much about it but ran into them again at another observation area.  We were there when the drone took photos of the falls.  He was nice enough to send me those pictures.  The drone took a picture of us standing on the deck.

We finished up our visit to Copper Falls State Park with a picnic.  Then we headed for Ashland, WI.  We had to get our first stamp at the visitor's center.  There is a map of Lake Superior in the travel guide with spots marked.  If you get all the stamps, you will get a certificate.  Maybe we will get all of them or maybe we won't.  Time will tell.  When we were walking the trail, the temperature was 81 degrees.  When we got to Ashland, the temperature was 52.  It was really cold by the lake.  We continued to Duluth, MN and thats where we stayed for our first night.  I'm not sure about Duluth, it seems like we were either going up a steep hill or down one and it was cold.  Time to move on.

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