Thursday, July 6, 2017

Gooseberry Falls and farewell to the North Shore

Friday, June 9, 2017; Gooseberry Falls.

Flotilla & Fogbank

Fog on the Lake, but Sun in the Forest.

Grand Marais is lost in the mist on the distant point.

My last morning on the North Shore of Lake Superior, and there was mist out on the water.  The Trading Post at Grand Marais was a a reluctant stop, as I felt that I should be on the road, but it was a worthwhile stop.  I had it in mind that it was a gift shop like so many others, but I had forgotten how good a place it was.  It does have many giftie things, but more to the point, there are a great number of well thought out items for your time spent in the Northwoods; no gimmicky things that I could see.  I was happy to see that they had Swedish made Mora knives, which make very useful bushcraft knives, and are probably the best knives around for the price.  All in all, a very worthwhile stop, if just to remind myself of its value.

Middle Gooseberry Falls.

Left branch of the Lower Falls.
Right branch of the Lower Falls.

Turning left towards the Left Branch of the Lower Falls.
Closer view of the right branch.

Last gasp of the right branch of the Lower Falls.

And so south along the North Shore, stopping at Temperance Falls for a photo of Hidden Falls with the sun shafting into the chasm and lighting up the Falls.  Split Rock Lighthouse was an intended stop, but it was shrouded in fog, thus negating the intended photographs.  So Gooseberry Falls beckoned, and I proceeded on.  Gooseberry Falls is the first major North Shore Waterfall one comes to when driving North from Duluth.  On the way north a week earlier I had missed it completely as the whole aspect of the highway has changed since last I was here, eleven years ago.  You used to be able to park in spaces along the highway on either end of the bridge, but now they are gone, and now there is a road to a dedicated parking area out of sight of the highway, and an almost obscenely large visitors center.  There are three stages to the falls with the Upper Falls to the West of the bridge, and the Middle And Lower Falls to the east towards Lake Superior.  I spent an hour and a half here, so it was probably lucky Split Rock was socked in. An equipment stop in Duluth, and I bid farewell to the North Country of my formative years.

Upper Gooseberry Falls.

A Closer View.
Frontal View.

To the left of the Uppper Falls …
 a bit of the bridge in the upper right …
my knee encroaching lower left.

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