Thursday, September 10, 2015

24 Hour North Shore Adventure

We absolutely LOVE the north shore of Lake Superior. In fact, we love it so much we decided last minute to take a drive up the North Shore for a one night stay on Labor Day weekend. We left Sunday late morning and we were home Monday early evening so it was definitely a quick trip but again, so WORTH IT! This trip was a bit different than our last, which was a very romantic couples adventure, in that we now have our daughter Ellie in tow who is about 15 months old. Really thankful for the boba carrier which worked great on this trip. She was a champ along the shorter than usual hikes (taking in account the extra 25lbs. we were lugging around and the heat) and I think she loves the waterfall adventures just as much as we do.

The last time we had ventured up the North Shore a couple recommended a waterfall book to us that we have continued to use as our guide to discover all the waterfalls along the north shore of Lake Superior. They also stated that their favorite waterfall was Caribou Falls so we decided that would be our first stop on this trip. While Matt was busy taking "real" pictures on the trip Ellie and I worked the selfie-stick. Yup, I fell for it! It's all for fun but also does work great when you want to get landscape shots in the background of photos and no one else is around to grab a photo of your family on your adventure.
Heading down to Caribou Falls on the Caribou River

Caribou Falls on the Caribou River
Caribou Falls is a great place to jump in and cool off! I think we will definitely head back there if we visit the North Shore in the hot months of summer. It did feel great to cool off by wading in! Another spot we kept hearing about were the Cascade Falls on the Cascade River which is just north of Lutsen so we headed that direction. If you want to see a lot of waterfalls this is a place to go. Again I'm a sucker for the smaller magical looking falls and the Cascades are exactly that. They are small, all unique, and beautiful!

The Cascades, Cascade River
After those couple of hikes we checked into our hotel room at Eagle Ridge Resort at Lutsen Mountain. These accommodations were also quite the upgrade from our last trip staying in a cart-in campsite. Another adjustment because of having the little one along, but also an experience in itself. When I reserved this room the night before our trip I did not realize I had reserved a CONDO for the same price of an average hotel room. We had a full kitchen, living room, bedroom, XL bathroom, and a balcony! It was absolutely beautiful and we got a great rate! I would highly recommend it.

After checking into our room we ventured down the mountain for dinner at Moguls Grille & Tap Room which was absolutely delicious! Another place I would highly recommend. Afterwards we settled back into the condo for the evening, letting Miss Ellie have some time to run free as she was either in a car-seat or baby carrier almost all day. The next day would be coming sooner than later, especially for my hubby who woke up extra early to catch the sunrise at Hollow Rock Resort just north of Grand Marais! I was happy to sleep in and not wake up Ellie super early, but I also am still envious that he was able to experience such a beautiful site!

Hollow Rock @ Hollow Rock Resort
Since we were staying only a block away we started out our Monday morning by taking the Mountain Tram up to the top of the ski hill on Moose Mountain. It was September and the leaves were just beginning to change colors. It was a gorgeous day for a ride in a Gondola! While at the top of the mountain we also stopped and had lunch at the ski chalet!

Top of Moose Mountain with Lake Superior in the background!
This is a Gondola!
Top of Moose Mountain with Lutsen Mountain in the Background!
Our resort and the tram were all built around the Poplar River which has upper and lower falls. We first hiked up to the upper falls, and someone fell asleep along the ride. This river was one rocky area but a very easy and short hike. We checked this river off in our book of waterfalls!

Upper Falls, Poplar River
After the Upper Falls we visited Lutsen Resort on the shore side of Highway 61 where we were able to view the river from a covered bridge. 

Poplar River Lower Falls Covered Bridge. 
The covered bridge over the Poplar River
We started to head south looking for another short hike to view another waterfall, procrastinating our drive home. We decided to head north on hwy 1 to the Illgen Falls on the Baptism River, a river we have hiked in the past, but still found more waterfalls that were new to us. The short .3 mile round trip walk was easy and rewarding with this large and powerful waterfall at the end of the trail.
Illgen Falls, Baptism River

This was the last selfie taken with my selfie stick as I left it on the roof of the car when we were loading Ellie back into the car-seat and it flew off as we drove away... with my phone attached, that thankfully had 0 damage! After this we headed south on hwy. 61 towards Two Harbors where we eventually headed inland towards home. 

This trip was another adventure I will never forget. It's so nice to not have a plan and just go out and find some place you'd like to hike or haven't seen! We literally could spend countless weekends on the North Shore before we see all of the Waterfalls in this book.
Until next time.......

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