Drop Down

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Painted Desert



The Painted Desert is an expansive region of rocky badlands and buttes, encompassing more than  93,500 acres in Northern Arizona.



This vast landscape features layers of rock in hues of lavender, red, orange ,pink, and gray. The various colors are the result of the different mineral content of the sandstone, mud stone, and shale of the Chinle Formation. It is amazing how beautiful dirt and rocks can be!



The section of the Painted Desert that we visited is located in the northern part of the Petrified Forest National Park. Take exit 311 going east or west on I-40.



I would recommend allowing at least a couple of hours for the 28-mile drive through the park. The first part, north of the interstate, will be the Painted Desert. The rest of the drive is the Petrified Forest. Both have many place to stop and walk around.



Address:

1 Park Road, PO Box 2217
Petrified Forest, AZ 86028





Happy Travels! 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Cascade River State Park - Lutsen, Minnesota


As the name suggest, the main attraction to this park is the waterfalls. The water from the Cascade River flows down the black volcanic gorge for a total drop of 900 feet in the last three miles of its journey to Lake Superior.





The park has 18 miles of trails for hiking. If you are looking for a short hike to see the waterfalls, a small parking area on Highway 61 will get you there quickly. It is near the start of trail and will take you through a forest of aspen, birch, fir, spruce and cedars to a beautiful series of waterfalls.




The falls are lined with green moss and fern that add a magical feel to the place.





Camping:

Camping is available year-round. The park has 40 drive-in campsites, 5 backpack sites, and 2 group campsites.




Winter: 

Check here for winter facilities and activities.



Hours:

Spring, Fall & Winter: Daily, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Summer: Hours extended.


Location:

3481 West Highway 61
Lutsen, MN 55612

Phone:

 218-387-6000




Happy Travels! 




Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Lighthouse Point - Two Harbors, Minnesota


Located in the beautiful little town of Two Harbors, Lighthouse point is a magical place.



 Winding trails through cedar, spruces, grasses, and wild flowers will lead you along the rocky shore of Lake Superior.



The high light of the area is a red brick lighthouse on the top of a hill over looking the harbor.  The Two Harbors Lighthouse is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on Minnesota's North Shore. It is a private aid to navigation and is no longer maintained by the Coast Guard.



A head keeper's residence is attached to the lighthouse. The walls of the tower are three bricks thick and the walls where the tower and house meet are five bricks thick. The structure was built with the safety of the keeper's family in mind.



Tours of the lighthouse are available through the gift shop.

Lighthouse Tours: Information



Stay as a guest  in one of the four rooms at the Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast.

Lodging: Information



Address:

#1 Lighthouse Point
Two Harbors, MN 55616


Phone:

(218) 834-4898 




Happy Travels! 












Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Gooseberry Falls State Park - Two Harbors, Minnesota


Waterfalls, waterfalls, and more waterfalls is the main theme of this park! Hiking to, climbing through, or just relaxing by one of the many beautiful waterfalls is a great way to spend the day!



There are five waterfalls  located near the Highway 61 bridge and in the gorge. In this area, the Gooseberry River rushes over the 30-foot Upper Falls into a pool, then flows to the two-tiered Middle and Lower Falls, descends 60 feet to the last pool, and then runs through the valley to Lake Superior.



The lower and middle falls are a short walk from the parking area past the visitor center. A descent down several sets of steep steps is required to reach the falls area.



Once there, you can climb on the rocks and boulders and wade through the falls and pools.



 Continue hiking over the bridge to the other side of the river and under the highway bridge to get to the upper falls.




Amenities:

 Bathrooms, phones, water and picnic sites are located at the visitor center



The park has 18 miles of hiking trails. Park Map



Address:

3206 Highway 61
Two Harbors, MN 55616

Phone:

(218) 595-7100





Happy Travels! 





Friday, September 8, 2017

Grand Portage State Park - Minnesota


Grand Portage State Park is a 291 acre state park at the northeastern tip of Minnesota, USA, on the Canada–United States border.





The hike to the waterfall is only a half of a mile and is on a part paved trail and boardwalk. Stairs at the waterfall will take you to three different viewing areas.



Visitors may see osprey, great-blue heron, eagles, otter, beavers, white-tail deer, black bear , or even moose while hiking in the park.



There are many different spices of plants and trees growing in the park. We found the red berries, know as Thimbleberries, to be very interesting. They can be eaten, but are very tart.



Sitting on the United States - Canada border,  roaring water plunges 120 feet over High Falls into the Pigeon River in the Grand Portage State Park.




Hours:


Hours vary by season. Check here for times.

Directions


From the town of Grand Marais, Minnesota, travel north on State Highway 61 for about 36 miles to the Canadian Border. The park entrance is on the west side of the highway, just before you come to the U.S. Customs Station on the US/Canada border.

Camping/Lodging


The park is for day use only. There are no campsites at this park. However, camping is available six miles south of the park at Grand Portage Marina and RV Park.


Parking


Permits  are required for most state parks in Minnesota.  We paid $7 for a day pass (good for all state parks) and it is well worth the money.  You can pick up a pass at any state park.





Happy Travels! 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Charming Harbor Village in Minnesota - Grand Marais


The small harbor village of Grand Marais is located in Minnesota along the north shore of Lake Superior. It quaint, quite, charming and absolutely beautiful.





Walking along the shoreline of the harbor you will notice  several boats, seagulls, pebbles, a few friendly people, and tons of beautiful scenery.





The artsy side of the small village is evident with it's art galleries, festivals,  and store front decor. It's not unusual to see a painter, with easel and canvas, at work on their latest piece at Artist's Point . The beautiful coast of Lake Superior, the harbor lighthouse, and sailboats are some of the greatest inspiration for artist.



Artist's Point is a barrier island formed from lava and connected to the mainland by deposits from lake currents, forming a tombolo.




Artist Point and the lighthouse can be accessed from the parking area near the coast guard building. Turn right past the building and a concrete trail will lead you right up to the lighthouse.






Follow to trail left from the coast guard station to get to Artist Point. To explore the whole area will require an fairly easy climb on the rocks, but it is well worth the effort to see the place.



We sat on the rocks , talking  to a couple about their recent visit to Oregon and watching the sun set. It was a nice way to end the day!



Grand Marais is located two hours north of Duluth and just 30 minutes south of Grand Portage making it a great place to stay for exploring the north shore of Lake Superior.




Happy Travels!