Part 4: Minnesota.

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Trip Mileage   (in Park Rapids, MN)

DateLocationLog EntryPhotosNotes
June 18 Hononegah Forest Preserve, Rockton, IL
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Overnight stop in the northern Illinois woods.
May apples cover the forest floor.
They bloomed much earlier in the spring and already had fruits on them.
This campground was very quiet. We walked around in the evening and took some photos of the plants with the small camera.
June 19 Lake Wissota State Park, Chippewa Falls, WI
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Another overnight only stop on the way to Minnesota.
Harebells along the lake trail.
We found these harebells along the lake trail. Letty had a nice shower in her own handicapped bathroom. We were the only campers that had the key to it.
June 20 Jay Cooke State Park, MN
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Looking for Showy Ladyslippers to photograph.
Showy Ladyslipper Orchids

Showy Ladyslippers and their neighbor higher up the hill.
The Showy Ladyslipper is the state flower of Minnesota. We came here three years ago and saw them here, but I wasn't satisfied with the photos I took of them then. We stayed here two days.
June 22 Itasca State Park, Park Rapids, MN
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Two exciting days looking for more Showy Ladyslippers and sampling wild rice blueberry pancakes for breakfast at the lodge.
The 'mother lode', found by our friend Tom, contained at least 26 blooms in one clump.

Luscious wild rice blueberry pancakes with blueberry syrup and bacon were absolutely heavanly!
Notice the small picture of a ladyslipper on the edge of the plate!

Having breakfast at the lodge with our friends from Duluth, Tom and Carol.
We walked along the road leading to the campground, and the Showy Ladyslippers were all along the edge of the woods.
Along one trail we saw them in bloom almost at every step. I had a chance to sit on the boardwalk on part of the trail and photograph some within inches of the blooms.
A special thanks to our wonderful waitress, Sue at he lodge restaurant for taking our picture at breakfast.
June 24 Duluth, Minnesota
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Visiting with Tom and Carol at their home and visiting the canal area.
Letty watches as a large ship navigates the channel and passes under the bridge.

The famous lift bridge in the lowered position.

Parked at Grandma's Restaurant with the famous lift bridge in the background.
We had a very nice time visiting the canal area with Tom and Carol. This is a popular area, with restaurants, shops, and the popular pastime of watching the bridge go up and down as ships pass through the canal from the lake to the harbor and back out again. Of course the ships stay for a while to load or unload.
June 26 Gooseberry Falls State Park, Gooseberry Falls, MN
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Camping and looking at the wildflowers and Lake Superior.
These are the middle Gooseberry falls.

Orange hawkweed can be spotted along the road almost everywhere.

A Monarch butterfly stops to lay eggs on a milkweed plant.
Gooseberry Falls State Park, along the north shore of Lake Superior, is one of Letty's favorite places to visit in Minnesota. We camped here for two days and enjoyed the wildflowers and the lake views. On the way up from Duluth, our friend Tom stopped to look at the milkweed plants along the scenic lake drive. Here we saw Monarch butterflies stopping to lay eggs on the milkweed plants. We stopped at Culvers, a popular place in Two Harbors to get ice cream. I had a chili supreme for lunch (not ice cream).
June 27 Gooseberry Falls State Park, Gooseberry Falls, MN Camping and visiting Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.
Lupine along the lake on the way back to Duluth. (Didn't have time yet to straighten the horizon.)

Letty and Carol at a picnic bench near the lake.

Split Rock Lighthouse on the north shore of Lake Superior.
(notes)
June 29 Itasca State Park, Park Rapids, MN
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Camping for two days again at Itasca State Park.
The Doctor Roberts trail goes past another small lake.

Ferns along the Doctor Roberts trail with Lake Itasca in the background.
We planned two stops at Itasca State Park about a week apart so we could catch the Showy Ladyslippers at their peak. The first stop, June 21 and 22 turned out to be the correct timing. On this second trip, I had a chance to hike the Doctor Roberts trail, taking me further into the woods than I had been the time before.


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