She’s a vast lake, deep blue waters reach from her shores as she spreads out across a great region. This van tour will circle Lake Superior and we will have the opportunity to explore some of her hidden gems as we go.
Depart Monday July 22, 2019 Depart Ontonagon, MI, overnight at Memorial Park Campground-Washburn, WI
The plan is to keep the daily driving to a minimum and take our time as we make our way around this large body of water. We drive west toward Wisconsin and end up camping at Memorial Park in Wakefield, WI. This park is located on Lake Superior just south of Bayfield.
Tuesday July 23, 2019 Lakehead Boat Basin-Duluth MN
Highlights: Houghton Falls State Natural Area, Bayfield WI, Bayfield Penisula Sea Caves, Duluth Waterfront
Just north of Wakefield was this incredible nature preserve. The hike was short but it took us through a remarkable ravine to the edge of Lake Superior.
Bayfield, WI is a delightful town but quite touristy. We enjoyed a pleasant stroll after a visit to a great coffee shop.
This was a difficult location to get to, we attempted first by driving into Meyers Beach but left quickly as it was wall to wall cars and no parking available what-so-ever. We backtracked onto a narrow, gravel road and found ourselves at a dead end. This was perfect. After a short walk, we were able to link into the Bayfield Penisula Sea Caves Trail. This was phenominal and the views of Lake Superior was pristine.
Wedneday July 24, 2019 Lakehead Boat Basin-Duluth
Highlights: Fitger’s Brewery, Duluth Rose Garden, Blacklist Brewery
Fitger’s Brewery did not disappoint! We enjoyed a relaxing lunch while sampling some of their on-tap delights.
The Duluth Rose garden is a showy delight of flowers and roses. It was a pretty long walk today, but well worth it.
Two breweries in one day, what’s not to like!
Thursday July 25, 2019 Little Gulch Lake Campground-Lake George, MN
Highlights: Driving, lunch on the Mississippi River near Jacobson, MN and camping with Haley, Dena and Maple
We stopped for a quick lunch at a rest stop in Jacobson, MN where we saw the narrow spance of the Mississippi River. It was pretty mosquito infested so we did not explore. We did locate a wonderful campsite at Little Gulch Lake where we were joined by 3 fellow travelers, Dena and her daughter Maple and Haley from Alaska. These bold young women were delightful as I watched Haley tackle some remarkable bead work and Dena was creating a pair of buckskin pants. Such talent! Dena and Maple live in a recently purchased school bus.
Friday July 26, 219 Six Mile Lake Campground-North Cass, MN
Highlights: Lake Itasca State Park
The headwaters of the Mississippi River, where the great river begins. I have wanted to see this state park for a very long time and we had the time now so here we are. We dipped feet into the river before heading out on a hike along Lake Itasca. Great areas of wild rice grown along the banks, butterflies and dragonflies were in abundance. This was so incredible to finally get to see.
Saturday July 27, 2019 Four Mile Lake Campground-Toft, MN
Highlights: Gooseberry Falls State Park, Visiting with friends Bill & Gina
Zig-zagging across Minnesota took us back to the North Shore. We stopped by old family Friends, Bill & Gina’s house in Proctor but they were not home. We left a note and continued on to Gooseberry Falls State Park. This place was packed but within a short distance on the trails, the people dispersed and we enjoyed a great hike up.
Bill & Gina called and met up with us at Gooseberry Falls. I was still in diapers when Bill first met me. Our family lived in a house near Fish Lake and Bill was a great help to my mom while dad was overseas in the military. It was wonderful seeing them again.
Sunday July 28, 2019 Wild Camp near Eagle Mountain, MN
Highlights: Palisade Head Park, Hike Eagle Mountain 2301′
We walked up the hill to enjoy this location, it was rather busy though.
Mushrooms and fungi, I love these things, so many varieties, including the Indian Pipe flowers. Not many flowers today along the trail up to Eagle Mountain, but still plenty of things to look at.
The hike to the top of Eagle Mountain is 3-1/2 miles each way. We enjoyed the trail today immensely and when we approached the summit we were surprised by wild blueberries.
In the summer of 2002, 17 years ago I attempted the climb to the summit of Eagle Mountain only to stop short. I was fat and I couldn’t make it. I just didn’t have the endurance to do it. Today, 17 years later and a fitness level that I am proud of I did it.
Monday July 29, 2019 Wild Camp Little Dog Lake, Ontario, Canada
Highlights: Grand Portage State Park, Border Crossing into Ontario
We picked a bunch of blueberries yesterday at the top of Eagle Mountain. This morning we enjoy the spoils of that and indulge in blueberry pancakes.
Tuesday July 30, 2019 Ontario Wild Camp
Highlights: Kakabeka Falls, water lily bath time
Kakabeka Falls is incredible and we spent the better part of the day here.
The hiking trail to the lower falls was tough but worth it.
Wild camps are best when near water and tonight we were next to a beautiful pond with water lilies near the edge. It was so incredible to “bathe” in among these beautiful flowers. Besides, it’s been a while since our last good scrubbing so getting cleaned up was a plus.
Wednesday July 31, 2019 PicNic Lake Campground-Ontario, Canada
Highlights: Aguasabon River Gorge, Casque-Isle Hiking Trail 6Km
It seems our Lake Superior Circle Tour is one for the hiking, today we completed a 4 Km hike to the water and back.
Highway 17 in Ontario, Canada plain and simply SUCKS. We sat snarled in this traffic jam for well over 2 hours. It seems an 18-wheeler and an SUV opted to occupy the same space at the same time causing a head on collision. The driver of the SUV was taken away in a body bag. Traffic drives too fast, trucks drive too fast, people are in way too much of a hurry. So sad.
Thursday August 1, 2019 Pancake Bay Wild Camp-Ontario, Canada
Highlights: High Falls to Silver Falls Hiking Trail 6Km,
This trail was only 3 Km each way but this was the most difficult trail we’ve done EVER. It was spectacular though and we are glad to have completed it. There was a lot of steep up and downhills to traverse.
Friday, August 2, 2019 Tahquanemon Falls Area Camping
Highlights: Depart Ontario, Point Iroquois Lighthouse
Coffee in the morning, listening to the waves lap the shoreline of Lake Superior. We watched as a small sailboat slid through the waters while a loon kept us entertained.
Crossing the Ontario border back into the USA.
The waters of Lake Superior are so crystal clear here at the Point Iroquois Lighthouse.
Boondocking in a field of flowers .
Saturday, August 3, 2019 Tahquamenon Falls Camp
Highlights: Tahquamenon Falls State Park – Clark Lake Trail 5.2 miles
More hiking today, the road into Clark Lake is not suitable for a large vehicle. But, despite that fact we took the van down it anyway. The hike was easy and so few people! Loved it!
Pitcher Plants, so many pitcher plants on the Clark Lake Trail today. These are so cool to see.
Sunday, August 4, 2019 Tahquamenon Falls Camp
Highlights: Tahquamenon Falls State Park-Low Falls to High Falls Trail 10 miles
A 10 mile hike was on the agenda for today. This was a beautiful trail along the river.
Monday, August 5, 2019 Painted Rocks Camp
Highlights: Fixed rear tire-picked up a screw
Other than stop into a tire shop in Newberry, MI it was a pretty non-eventful day. We picked up a small screw in the rear drivers side tire which was slowly leaking air. Today we got that fixed. Other than that, we spent the day driving.
Tuesday, August 6, 2019 Painted Rocks Camp
Highlights: Lake Superior Trail 7 miles
Today’s trek was 7 miles total. The trail is incredible and the campground has a ThunderBox, a very useable outside toilet. The trail was very well maintained and the rocky beaches beyond beautiful.
The Log Slide area is high sand dunes darting into the water. People actually will walk down them in minutes yet the climb back up on all fours takes about an hour!
The Au Sable Lighthouse, it was 1-1/2 miles walk to get here and then 2 more miles to get to the Log Slide. This made for a beautiful hike today.
Wednesday, August 7, 2019 Ontonagon Township Park
Highlights: Drive to Ontonagon
It rained most of today and we drove back to Ontonagan, MI. It was pretty uneventful but we were glad to be back.
Thursday, August 8, 2019 Ontonagon Township Park
Highlights: A do nothing day of rest, we did get the bikes out for a short ride to downtown.
Friday, August 9, 2019 Home is where the heart is
Highlights: Closed on our home
WHAT??!!??? Closed on a house??? Over the past 3 years we have lived with the daily saying of Home is Where the Heart is and today we finalized the purchase of a small house in Ontonagon, MI. It is located 1/2 mile from the beautiful Lake Superior shore and a mere 20 miles from the Porcupine Mountains State Park.
We are great believers that when the path is right things happen with ease. We knew that we would know the property when we saw it and that if it were meant to be the path to it would be easy. And here we are now, keys is hand.
April 2016 we sold our home in Longview, TX and on June 1, 2016 we embarked on the journey from Anchorage, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina. We followed our hearts and here we are, 3 years and 4 months later. We’ve had quite the adventure and the Lake Superior Circle Tour was just one more aspect of it.
Buying a home is not the end of our journey but the beginning of a new chapter in our continued adventures. We now have a base to call home where we can retreat to in between new adventures and the Lake Superior Circle Tour is just a start.