Saturday, July 10, 2010

Heading Home {Camping Trip Day 4}

-July 4, 2010-
We awoke to a quiet, woodsy campsite and to our surprise, the ground wasn't really wet. I guess the only downpour was the 3 minute sprinkle we got right after we got in our tents. I was expecting everything to be soaked (well the tent, trees, and ground) I did leave my bathing suit and towel hanging out on a tree and it was also dry!

Our plan was to pack up camp, hike out of the park and stop at a little restaurant we saw on the road a few miles outside of camp for breakfast.

We loaded up the tent, you can see a little evidence of the rain:
tent room 1

Oh I also got some picture of our 'penthouse' campsite. That above is our 'tentroom'. Then here is the second tentroom to the north of ours:
tent room 2
The latrine (which you already saw) is there yonder down the hill north of tent room 2.

Here is the 'common area' which leads to the latrine 'hallway' even though you can get to it through tent room 2 as well.
common room

Then you saw the kitchen. All connected by little dirt and stone paths. So we got all loaded up and made sure we were leaving no trace. Harpo was very ready to leave, he had enjoyed his outdoor time, but was in desperate need of recovery!
harpo waiting

We hiked the trek out, making it in record breaking time of about 35 minutes. Got to our car, loaded our packs in the back, changed into flipflops and went down the road about 7 miles to a little restaurant called "Our Place" in Finland, MN. If you've never heard of Finland Minnesota, well don't worry - we never had either, lol. They have a population of 603 people, a gas station, Co-Op grocery store, and this perfect little eattery. We went inside, went straight for the bathrooms - YES running water. I washed my hands, twice. Then we sat down to look outside at a terenchal DOWNPOUR! Thank you Lord again, He was really watching over it. Oh the nightmare it would have been to had to have hiked to our car in the RAIN! Luckily all our gear remained dry packed away in the jeep!!

This restaurant brought us back to our roots! $1.00 coffee and $2.50 half order of biscuits and gravy, we were in heaven. Heck I would drive 4.5 hours just to go to this place again. We love going out for breakfast, but we don't do it as often because B&G usually cost close to $10 (they never offer a half order) and coffee alone is something like $2.50!! This place was so quaint and 'northern' :-) "Good thing you're in here outta the rain, eh?" We enjoyed our breakfast and also asked our waitress about where we could find a MOOSE!?! She was surprised we hadn't seen one and said usually about 5 minutes down the road (away from the north shore) we'd have a really good chance of seeing one, although it being the time of day it was - 9:00am and it pouring outside she said we probably wouldn't have a good chance. But we thought what they hay, might as well try. We were bound and determined to find a stinkin' moose! So we drove north west for a while... looking.... looking... nothing. Nothing except strained eyes. I have learned that looking for wild animals from a moving car is just as bad as reading while riding in a car. Headache city. We headed back to Hwy 61 and got back on the road to drive home. It had stopped raining by this point and we were wanting to stop at Gooseberry Falls State Park just for a quick look. We have never been or stayed at this park... and now we know why. When we pulled in it was cloudy and I was thinking "Perfect weather for taking picture of falls! It's a little dark out because of the clouds so I can get my shutter slow enough to get some good shots, even though it was middle of the afternoon and I didn't have my ND filter with me" As we started walking back to the falls, (oh after seeing a packed full parking lot) the sun started to come out and so did all the PEOPLE! And not just country people like the only ones we'd seen at breakfast and in the last 4 days, but CITY people! Gooseberry Falls is a BIG touristy place. No cart in or hike in campsite... I don't think we'll be staying there.

But we made it to the falls, it was super sunny at this point and so crowded. Not fun. This is the ONE picture I got without random people running around.

I will definitely have to come back at 6 in the morning to get some good pictures... while we're camping down the road at Split Rock. :-)

Of course we had to stop at Betty's Pie on the way home, and it was perfect timing - lunch!
betty's pie

We noticed the funny little coat hooks: do you recognize what they are?
betty's pies coat hook

We continued our drive south and stopped at Two Harbors again, although this time we went to the other bay. We also kept our eyes peeled to see if we could see that 'moose' we might have saw a few days ago.... no luck there either.
two harbors other bay 2

It had turned into a beautiful afternoon, after the rain the sun came out, but still left me some nice clouds to shoot.
two harbors colored moss

This was our last stop (well besides the outlet stores outside of the cities) before making it home.

Happy Independence Day!

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