My nice thick air mattress did the trick and I enjoyed a peaceful night sleeping in our tent. Light showers danced on the tent fabric in the early morning–they lulled Jeff into sleeping again while I read a bit. The showers stayed light and stopped by 8 am. It was the only “bad” weather we experienced the whole trip. After quick showers we headed north into Duluth again. Jeff wanted to show me one of Duluth’s grand historic buildings…

the Graysolon Plaza, built in 1925 for $2.4 million. It was originally a hotel that has been restored and converted to senior apartments. Here is a view of the lobby from the balcony:

The upstairs ballroom could only be viewed from the stairway, but from what I could see it was spectacular. As we were headed towards the north shore out of town I got a text from Dad and Jolene warning us about the traffic delays. They had been hiking the previous few days along the Superior Hiking Trail and were heading home. There were two delays, one of which had us stopped for about 20 minutes. We first stopped in Two Harbors at the harbor. Side note: Two Harbors is the birthplace of the 3M company. The sights included a long breakwater protecting the harbor and the loading dock.

The Corps of Engineers saw fit to warn visitors that the breakwater was designed for navigational purposes, not for walking on. It didn’t seem to be stopping anyone.

We made it safely.

The wind coming off Lake Superior was a bit cool so we had to wear our jackets.

There was one large ore boat at the loading dock.

Hiking along the shore Jeff noticed this

unusual growth on these trees–if you have any ideas what this is let me know.

We sat on one of the benches overlooking the harbor to have our picnic lunch.

After a few moments we both had the weird sensation that we were being watched as the seagulls kept a hopeful eye on us. Soon they were joined and run off to the side by the geese. We were not generous with our lunch and soon the birds all moved off to a respectful distance. See that tree on the right of the photo above. This is important to the rest of the story. The geese had all settled around that tree resting on the ground preening themselves by the time we finished eating. Jeff had wanted to see what would happen if he threw just one chip to this little gull that had stayed closed the entire meal. I made him wait until after we were done eating and packed up. That was a good decision because within a matter of seconds of throwing that one chip this is what happened…

Those geese converged on us.

It was time to make a quick get away.

It was on to Gooseberry Falls, a favorite stop of Minnesotans traveling along the North Shore. It was the most crowded we had ever seen, but after only a 5-10 minute hike, the trail was ours alone.

Jeff overlooking the lower falls.

Stealing a kiss above the falls.

I reminded Jeff that diving was not allowed at the falls.

We managed to keep our boots dry during our rock hopping.

This guy cooperated long enough for me to get this shot.

We have a similar picture that we took on our 5th anniversary trip. We hiked around Gooseberry at the end of November in the snow. The falls were partially frozen. And we were bundled up in our winter coats, hats and gloves.

The sights were beautiful. We had one more stop this day before dinner. I wanted to see the Split Rock Lighthouse which was only about 5 miles up the road and one road construction later. See part two of Camping Day 2 later.

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