Friday, May 27, 2016

Bear Head Lake State Park

Bear Head Lake State Park
is near Ely, MN

May 27th- 30th
45 electrical sites
14 miles of hiking trails

about 4 hour trip from the twin cities

There are so many big lakes in and around the park.  This park is great for fishing or canoeing/kayaking but not great for people who mosquitos love.  So many lakes and standing water are prefect for breading blood sucking mosquitos.

There was so many different areas to enjoy a private paddle around the lakes.  The long drive into the park brings you deep into the heart of the park.    

This park has 45 electrical sites and 26 sites which our RV would fit in.  But most of these sites are hard to mover around the trees.  This was an issue for us, but after a couple tries we were able to get the RV into our spots.  

Room for a picnic but not a tent.
Not a lot of room on either side of the RV to back it into it's spot.  This is 31e.  

Next time this will be our spot.
Wide open to back the RV in.  Room on both side.  

Not as many trails can be found here.   These trails are in the woods so make sure you use bug spray. We walked the Norberg Lake Trail, which was the hiking club trail. 

Close to Bear Head park is Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park, only 15 minute drive.  Tours take you down the mine about 2700 miles in 2 minutes.  The cars would hold 12 mines and only 8 visitors.   

After the tour we checked out all of the buildings that was part of the mine.  The park has 7.4 miles of trails where you can see other parts of the mine.  

Monday, May 23, 2016

Tettegouche State Park

Tettegouche State Park
May 23rd

22 electrical sites
23 miles of hiking trails
no dump stations - dump station at Silver Bay 

Tettegouche State Park is located along the Lake Superior.  The main office is also a rest stop on 61 hwy, with nice restrooms and a huge lodge.

It also has small museum and gift shop.  There are a number of tables and chairs to rest in.  Free WIFI for those who need send messages home.

Make sure to ask for a map and ask any trail question.  We asked about all of the falls and trails.   Any thing that we might need to know before heading out for a hike.

22 Electrical Site and a number of these site were long sites.  We picked site 27e, which back up to the back of a rocky hill.  Out of all the sites this one was the most secluded site in the campground.

Our back window had views a jack rabbit wondering around on many days.  We have found in most state parks you normally see snakes, squirrel, chipmunks and small birds.  Seeing a jack rabbit is rare.

Tettegouche has a number of waterfalls and two are just located near the campground.  Trail to see the High Falls and the Two Steps fall offer many views of the falls.  Check off the swinging bridge to see the falls from the other side of the river.  The Cascades Falls can be views by parking in the cart in camping parking lot.  After you check that falls out, check out the bridge and the waterfalls there.  There are trails leading down to Lake Superior.

When at the main office we asked about the Illgen Falls.  We were told it was off of hwy 1 and entrance is after #5939.  A small spot off the road could hold two cars only.  As we walked to the falls we could see the Illgen Falls cabin.

On our last day we walked out to Shovel Point, which had a number of stairs.  It was a long walk in the cold windy day.  You could see the main lodge as you walked alone the trail.  There were places to look back.  We could see the fog setting in.  By the time we got to the end it was hard to see anything.  We know where the lodge was but could not see that far.  On a clear day it would be
a nice place to look out into Lake Superior.

Lady Slipper Lodge Civilian Conservation Corps built in 1935 first had open shelters but due to the cold weather doors and windows were added to the structures.  These building are so beautiful in color and structure.  And to think of how many people use these building of the years.  Money well spent.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Temperance River State Park

Temperance River State Park
May 20th

18 electrical sites
22 miles of hiking trails.
Carlton Peak Trail 3 mile round trip
no dump stations - dump station at Silver Bay

Temperance park is my favorite park.  I wish the campground wasn't right off of the highway, but if you can get right on the outside of the loop back facing Lake Superior it makes up for it.  Waking up drinking your coffee to water hitting the rocks and hearing the sound is how I choice to wake up.

But for this trip I wasn't able to find that perfect camping spot, but I totally now know which one I want for my next trip.  

18 electrical spots, but if you want to camp here book your trip a year a head of time.  There is no dump station here, but Silver Bay has a dump station and water services.  The grocery store has a lot of food items, which is nice to stop at on long trips.  We used the showers one day so we wouldn't fill our gray tanks.  The shower rooms were nice and clean.  

For this trip we were in 27e with a lot of space around us so we had a lot of privacy.  

The best views of the waterfall can be found right from the parking lots.  The water falls here are the best falls in Minnesota.  They remind me of the falls in Colorado.  Careful of your step, because it can be slippery if the rocks are wet.  As you walk back away from the road the fall drown out the highway noise.  These falls twists and turns the river as it falls hard on the rocks creating a loud roar like a freight train.  The falls drowns out all the surrounding felling and noise of the world bring you back to nature.  
One can imagine others who have came before to see these falls just like you.  How many years and how many people have stood there just like you.  It is a very humbling feeling to know this has been created hundreds of years before and will be here hundreds of year later too.  Nature is all around us, sometime we just need to have the roar of river to remind us she is all around us just open your hearts and let it in.
Carlton Peak has wonderful views from the top, but it can be a hard hike.  It is a 550 ft elevation over 3 miles round trip.  It is part of the Superior Hiking trail.  Parking at Britton Peak trailhead  located just off of county 2 from hwy 61.  Follow the superior hiking trail back over county road 2.

Temperature can change 20 degree from the bottom to the top, so bring water.  On our hike it was highs of 50 and by the time we got the top it was in the 80s.  

We brought our lunch and enjoyed it from on top.  Even had a chipmunk watching our every move as we eat our lunch.  And no we did not share.  

It can be windy up so high, as you can see from the picture.  Metal should not bend.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Nutty Pumpkin Soup - Fairytale Pumpkin

Nutty Pumpkin Soup

  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/4 diced yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 diced carrot
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 small clove of garlic minced 
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup of fresh pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cup chick broth
  • 4 oz diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey

  1. Head the oil in a large pot on medium heat and add onions, bell pepper, carrots, cayenne, black pepper, garlic and ginger, cook for about 5 minutes.  Stir in Pumpkin, tomatoes and broth.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium, cook for 20 minutes.  Stir in peanut butter and honey and let cool.
  2. Blend with a hand held emulsifiers blenders.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Frontenac State Park

Frontenac State Park                     
May 6-8

Hiking trails - 13 miles (path along the river is very hard)
Camp sites are good and offers privacy on some sites
Dump Station in Park

Frontenac has four camping loops.  Two loops have 19 electric sites.  Non-electrical site are located in all four loops.  
This trip we picked a pull through site 23e which is 101 feet long.  Next time we might try 19e because it is at the end of the of the curved loops, no one is to your right of you.  

One of the trails is just feet away from both sites.  This park has a dump station and water fill area.