August 10, 2014: Baptism River Inn to Lutsen to Cascade River State Park to Tettegouche State Park to Palisade Head to Lemon Wolf Café
On which the weather turns a little dreary
After breakfast courtesy of our hostess, we crossed the scary, narrow bridge toward the outside world and headed north to Cascade River State Park. On the way, we detoured at Lutsen, where Moondance Coffee House called. How can anyone go to a chain coffee shop when there are gems like Moondance in this world? (Okay, it’s a bit far for the average person.)
The cascades of the Cascade River are an easy, relatively short walk from the parking area (short if you don’t photograph every scrap of the fungus along the way). There are three cascades we could see. I watched some hardier people go up a trail that runs along the river, and we followed them partway. As with everywhere else in northern Minnesota, I’m sure we scratched only the surface of Cascade River State Park. This visit was a little bittersweet because this was the last time we’d visit one of the more northern parks on Highway 61.
By the time we arrived at the impressive Tettegouche State Park visitor center, the weather had turned cloudy and threatening. After spending some time shopping and relaxing at the visitor center, we decided to try to make it to Shovel Point, which is one of those “must see” places. By now, however, I was miserably fatigued and couldn’t get very far, the sky was dreary and uninteresting, and it was spitting enough rain every now and then to be a little uncomfortable without rain gear handy, so I didn’t get far and J. didn’t get much farther. We did get some okay photos, and we drove to Palisade Head for a panoramic if gray view of Lake Superior. I remembered Palisade Head from last year, to my surprise, because of the steep, twisty, narrow, partly one-lane drive up. It felt like returning to an old friend.
Our final stop before returning to Baptism River Inn was another old friend, Lemon Wolf Café in Beaver Bay. It seemed less crowded than last year, but the soup with wild rice was delicious, and so was everything else we ate — once again undoubtedly undoing any health benefits we would have gained from the day’s walking.
The sky was opaque with clouds, so now we were fairly certain we’d see no aurora borealis on this trip. I’d stand out in a downpour for that . . .