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Vacation Blog: Week 2: Great Lakes (Continued)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

This blog is a continuation of my blog from yesterday covering week 2 of our two-month long road trip.....

Sunday: Aug. 30
After visiting Mackinac Island and camping one more night at the Straits State Park, we packed up our car and drove to Sault Ste. Marie. On the U.S. side, there are several huge locks to raise and lower the water level to allow big barges and other vessels to by-pass an area of waterfalls and rapids in the 21-foot drop between Lake Superior and Lake Huron. It takes a while for each barge to pass through, so it's kind of like watching paint dry as they raise and lower the water levels. It's amazing how big the barges are. The big one's barely fit in. I didn't take this picture, but it's a good one to show the size of the locks.

We decided not to go on the Canada side of Sault Ste. Marie and instead drove on to our campsite for the night at Brimley State Park. It's close to SSM and right on the shoreline of Lake Superior. We set up camp and then walked over to the lake. The shore was sandy so we took a beach blanket and I went for a swim. The bottom of the lake in that area is nice and sandy and has a very, very gradual drop off. It was amazing how far I could go out.

After dinner, we walked back down to the beach to watch the sunset. It was so peaceful and a wonderful ending to the day.

Monday: Aug 31: Pictured Rock National Shoreline: Bay Furnace Campground
Monday morning, we packed up our campsite and drove 2 hours to Pictured Rock. It's a shoreline along Lake Superior with beautiful rock formations and bluffs. We took a boat tour of the shoreline. It's a great way to get to see a lot of it and learn about the geology and history. We saw people kayaking along the shoreline. If we ever go back again, we will rent kayaks and get to see it "up close and personal." I liked this photo because it looks like there is a horse "pictured" in the rock.

We camped at the most "rustic" campsite of our trip that night complete with pit toilets. Other than that....the campsite was very nice and private and we could easily walk to the shoreline of Lake Superior again. This time the shoreline was filled with rounded stones of all different colors. It was fascinating to walk along the shore and see all the different stones.

September 1: Duluth!
The next morning we packed up camp and drove to Duluth. It was a longer drive than I had anticipated so we didn't get there until about 3pm. We checked into a hotel and "fluffed and buffed". After three nights of camping we were ready for nice warm showers and clean sheets. I didn't realize how hilly Duluth is....they call it the "San Fransisco of the Great Lakes". It's a cute town in the downtown waterfront area. We watched their famous lift bridge go up and down to let boats through (and tie up road traffic something terrible). I have a good friend from my chemo online support group that lives in Duluth. We had a wonderful time getting together for dinner and letting her show us some of the sights. They have a great rose garden along the shoreline that had beautiful roses in bloom.
This is me with my friend (I'm in the striped shirt)

This is the lift bridge off in the distance.

Sept. 2: Minneapolis
The next morning, we drove to Minneapolis and arrived around lunchtime. We had lunch in the old town area and went for a Segway tour afterward! It was our first time on Segways. They are so much fun. We had as much fun riding the Segways as we did learning about the area!

We camped in a small city park that night about two hours drive west of Minneapolis. It was interesting because we had to go to the local police station to register to camp there. They were very friendly. I think it cost about $15 dollars to camp there. Lots of small cites out in the rural areas will allow camping at their local city parks. It's something you just don't see often in larger towns....but it's nice!

Thus ends the "Great Lakes" portion of my vacation blog!

Next up....Mount Rushmore, Devils Tower and more....

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