Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Other North Shore - by V Rains

If you haven’t figured it out already, we love scenic drives, especially along coastlines. So that’s what we thought we were setting out to do. After all, the drive includes the Apostle Island National Seashore. Don’t get me wrong, we did occasionally see some coastline including 2 areas of National Seashore. However, for most of the drive I will refer you back to the video of Roger’s blog, “Scenic Drive.” Only this time you have to play it for 4 hours to get the idea.

Remains of the miller's farm
The Finnish windmill

At the start of the drive there was a Finnish style windmill that was built in 1903 and was used to grind grain. After an hour we looked for the Oriental Falls. There were no signs but we found a road by that name and

turned on to it. It was gravel and eventually we came to a spot in that road where it was posted, “Private road, keep out.” So we turned around without seeing any water fall. 
The mouth of the Brule River
We did stop for a lovely lunch at Brule River State Forest which is at the mouth of the Brule River. There was an older couple (Yes, I can actually say that even though nowadays we are usually the older couple) there for a short while, but they left and we had the picnic area to ourselves. We had a lovely view of Lake Superior.

Apostle Islands National Seashore - geared for boats, not cars.
After lunch we drove & drove and eventually arrived at what appears to be the only road access to the National Seashore. It became obvious at the boat harbor that the seashore is meant for boaters, not land motorists. So we finally gave up and headed for Bayview.  Bayview is a quaint little 1900’s town that is the gateway to the Apostle Islands. It is clearly a tourist town and that is what it thrives on. But it hasn’t lost its charm. We (excuse me, I) don’t do shopping any more because I have nowhere to put anything, but if I did, I would have had a great time. There is a ferry that takes you to 2 of the islands and a tour boat
Apostle Island tour boat.  Another visit perhaps.
that takes you around the islands. Unfortunately, we arrived too late in the day to do either of those, so we found a lovely café with an outdoor porch and ate a mid-afternoon dessert. Afterwards we took the dogs for a walk in the park overlooking the harbor. There a lady stopped us and asked about our dogs. They are great for conversation. She said she wanted a Schnoodle and would actually consider getting it from our breeder in Riverside, CA. She is from Duluth. Go figure.

Next we headed to a local farm looking for fruit. All we got was raspberries. Nothing else had ripened. Apparently the crops are about 2 weeks late this year.  Blueberries are supposed to be ready next week.

So then we headed back to our RV on Hwy 2 and got home in just an hour. I wish we had just taken that road, gone to Bayview and then taken the tour boat or ferries to the Apostle Islands. Next week we finish up the North shore of Minnesota from Grand Marais. I think Roger already tried to explain that anomaly.

-- Vicki

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