>> Monday, July 18, 2016
Henry and I spent 3 days camping in Jay Cooke State Park near Duluth last week. We had an AMAZING time. Seriously. We headed to the Great Lakes Aquarium to meet with one of my wife's cousins, Kerry, who works there. She was going to show us around behind the scenes.
Mama said we had to stop at Tobie's in Hinkley on the way for sweets. So we did!
Kerry (blonde, female) releasing some large lake sturgeon into a new "touch" exhibit.
She let us back there as she finished up, as this part isn't open to the public yet.
One of Henry's favorite parts was the large model of the locks and dams through
the Great Lakes. Kids got to take little boats and work them through the locks.
Selfie over St. Louis Bay on Lake Superior from the Aquarium's balcony.
As we were behind the scenes with Kerry, she said "look through that door." I practically
came face-to-face with this pissed-off bald eagle. Thanks Kerry! Sheesh. :)
After viewing a lot of these tanks from above (and going through the kitchen
and other fun places), we got to see the rest of the Aquarium like regular people.
This is a big shark.
Henry the otter.
DQ for lunch.
The lift bridge.
In the biggest lake in the world.
Henry ran through these fountains and soaked his butt...
... then he fell asleep in wet shorts a few minutes later. While looking at a magazine.
Headed to our home for the next 48 hours.
On Jay Cooke's famous "swinging bridge." It was SOOO loud from the rushing water!
Close up of Henry in that last photo. He's covering his ears.
The view of the LOUD St. Louis River from the Swinging Bridge.
Looking back at the Swinging Bridge. The water is so brown from tannins.
(Basically, the St. Louis River is fed by a lot of bogs that have
decomposing plant matter, and that "stains" the water root beer brown.)
On top of the falls. Henry loved it up there.
Setting up our tent.
Climbing on the crooked rocks. Henry could do this forever.
Playing in a little bay off the river.
Pooping in the vault toilet.
Henry wanted to shower.
Waking up on day 2.
Bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich! (With more bacon on the fire in the background.)
Eating in front of our tent.
Exploring. Everywhere along the river was super loud.
This photo doesn't look steep, but it was!
We hiked a bit down the Superior Hiking Trail, and then Henry found a trail
leading off of it. We followed it down to the river's edge.
200 feet below us was the sprawling, noisy river.
In the dome car on the zephyr.
Watching the lake go by.
The steps up to the dome car.
Above the river coming out of Lester Park.
Another thumbs up for pooping on the train! (See behind me?)
Making the conductor smile as we were waiting to head back.
Last photo on the train.
Ringing a bell next to the train station.
We stumbled across a big street festival. So we HAD to get mini donuts.
Henry wanted to go back to Lake Superior to play.
Lounging on a big rock.
A bunch of teens and their Dad jumping off this thing in the lake.
For the 2nd day in a row, he passed out in his car seat with a wet butt.
Drying out his clothes after his accidental/impromptu dip in the lake.
Supper on day 2: old-fashioned hotdogs and lemon pepper shrimp.
Eating with my big dude.
There were a handful of SUPER steep muddy sections like this.
At a little washed-out creek at the bottom.
The view of the river at the bottom! 85% of the river is on the other
side of this rocky island, so this is just a bit of it. This is looking to the right...
... and this is looking to the left. Notice that
house-sized plume of mist behind those trees from the rapids.
Selfie #6 (if you can count the "train ride bathroom" as a selfie - which I think you can).
I climbed higher to make some photos, and Henry played 20 feet below me in the little creek.
The only photo I took on the way back, as we climbed these 60 rocky stairs.
(Henry looks like he's hardly moving here, but we were going fast!)
Damp s'mores back at our campsite.
Time for a warm shower.
G'night on day 2! We fell asleep to the sound of rain on our tent.
Left over old-fashioned hot dogs sliced and fried.
Trying to feed peanuts to a little squirrel behind our campsite.
Our new little buddy.
Willard Munger State Trail bridge in the distance.
Looking back toward the highway, with the dam in the distance behind that!
Climbing up to the state trail.
Awesome terrain for hiking!
Tiny blueberries all over the place.
At another overlook.
Throwing more rocks.
They had a big exhibit on big spiders!
Henry the tarantula.
Watching the tiger.
Asleep in the backseat for the 3rd day in a row. Only in dry pants this time.
My wife posted this the morning after we were back saying
this is why it's hard for her to leave for work. :)
p.s. Henry and I also stopped at a soda/candy store twice while we were in Duluth. I posted about it here on my Root Beer Blog. My first review of the 3 sodas I got there is also posted (which has Henry having a sip of it by the campfire).
p.p.s. Also, before camping, my boys and I headed to the Anderson Center to see my work up in their gallery. Click that link to see photos of the exhibition on my Photo Blog.