Jul 11, 2015

Up North

Around these parts any time people are going to the North Shore, Duluth, the Boundary Waters, a lake house or fishing they always say that they're "going up north", nowhere specific, just "up". Well, we went "up north" on Friday. 


We have been trying to go to Duluth since Spring Break.  We've had three failed attempts, all because of rain.  We bought tickets to go to the Alpine Coaster and Zip Line at Spirit Mountain this past Spring Break.  That didn't happen.  We wanted perfect weather, that's all.  Thankfully, our persistence and patience paid off and we finally found a day that was hot, sunny and perfect. After flying through the trees (sorry, no pix) we headed up to one of our favorite places, Gitchigami Park.  It is a shoreline littered with huge rocks that are perfect for jumping and hiking. 


It is here that we had our picnic lunch before racing off to the rocks.  There were plenty of picnic benches in the shade but we purposely picked this one right out in the sun because WE LOVE THE SUN!  Bring on the heat.  That seemed to be our motto and we made the most of this amazingly hot day for Duluth.


It appears that Chuck is bowing to Lake Superior.  He is actually submerging his head in the cold water in order to cool off a bit.  We got our 'hot' wish and were all sweating like pigs.  It felt good to get a little wet.  However, after reading a little article on Lampreys in Lake Superior, we opted to not submerge our bodies in this disgustingly, gross, infested water.  We value life too much.  Sweat has never hurt anyone and a little water on the head makes everything better.


As you can see, we did a lot of rock jumping.  A lot.  So much so that the kids began encouraging me by calling me Goat Mom.  They were all like, "You can do it mom, just pretend you're a goat." Which eventually morphed into plain ol' Goat Mom for short.  I had no problem jumping, but only from small rock out-cropping to small rock out-cropping. No large leaps for this goat mom. I admit, it was rather empowering to know your kids think you can do anything, even with a large camera dangling precariously off your shoulder.


Here is looks as though Chuck is walking or hovering on the water.  In actuality, he was jumping to that little rock in between the two large ones.


A little later in our adventures we came upon this rock that looked like a pyramid.  It was a little hard to jump to and once you did, it felt a little ominous.  It looks like Bennett is surfing the rock.


Of course once one person does something cool, everyone has to try it and up the ante.  So, Chuck gets out to the rock and decides to lift his foot.


Miss "Perfect Balance" has no problems.


Then there's me...let's just say I had a few problems. I didn't fall off, which I'm proud of.  But it took a good 5 minutes for me to get to this state.  It seems that my leg did not want to lift.  My brain kept telling it to lift, but my leg kept staying put and shaking.  But I'm Goat Mom so I can do anything.   I decided to pull my foot up which ended up looking like a cool yoga pose, which it was not.


This was Gavin's second time on the rock.  He wanted to mimic the cool yoga pose and not be outdone by Goat Mom.


After all the fun at Gitchigami, we decided to head over to Jay Cooke State Park that was close by since we didn't get to enjoy it very much the last time we were there.


It was as beautiful as ever.  The thing that amazes us about this river is the rock formations.  They look as if they were just heaved up and over.  Most of the rocks are all laying diagonally.  It was an amazingly fun climb.


You can see the bridge way in the distance.  The bridge was where we started.  That is how far we climbed the rocks straight down the river.  No trails for us - we like to off road it.


Another amazing view of the sideways rocks with the St. Louis River rushing by.


This picture is amazing because of one, the rocks on the far side look like a bulldozer pushed them back.  And two, the water was rushing and was very loud.  It doesn't look like it's that far between rocks, but it's farther than you think when you're trying to jump.

Another day, another hike.  Life just doesn't get much better!
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