What a surprise this year – no fall colors.
We go to the North Shore about the same time, within a few days, nearly every year. Every year we’ve had spectacular fall colors. The maples along the tops of the Sawtooths are gorgeous. One of the most beautiful sights I’ve seen – and I’ve seen a lot of beautiful sights around the world.
This year was different. Fall is late. Very late. Instead of fall colors we saw the end of the wildflowers and about a billion pollinators. It was so much fun to see the impatients, golden rod, blazing star, and a multitude of other flowers I’ve never seen on the trails over run by may different types of pollinators I’ve never seen.
We spent quite a bit more time hiking this year than in the past. Usually a hike in the morning and a hike in the afternoon. It was a lot of fun to revisit some of the falls I haven’t seen for about a decade – going to Devil’s Kettle in Judge CR Magny State Park and hiking the 192 stairs was 100% worth it. All in all we hiked in every single state park along the north shore sans Split Rock Lighthouse State Park and Grand Portage State Park – we hiked Goosebury Falls, Tettegouche State Park (Illgen Falls), Temperance River State Park (Hidden Falls), Cascade River State Park(Cascade Falls), and, Judge CR Magney State Park (Devil’s Kettle). Outside of state parks we had very rewarding hikes at Oberg Mountain, White Sky Rock + Lake Agnes, and Caribou Falls wayside rest. I think our favorites may have been Devil’s Kettle and Caribou Falls simply because of the type of trail and surrounding forest. We did visit the Grand Portage National Monument but that’s a bit different than the state park.
The restaurant situation is still a bit jacked up. Everyone is hiring, one restaurant didn’t have enough employees and had very limited services, another restaurant had employees but they were on a worker exchange visa program of some sort and from all over the globe, and one of the best places we ate, Voyagers Brewery, had a crap ton of employees, great service, a bunch of customers, and reasonably priced food. The places with a shortage of employees and services must not pay well.
Beyond the restaurants, it seems all the COVID related changes are gone – a pretty different experience compared to visiting in 2020. Looking back at my post history, it looks like I skipped writing about the north shore visit in 2020. It’s probably a good thing to keep my opinions on that experience to myself. However, the fall colors were spectacular that year 10/10.
Once again, we had a fantastic time on the north shore. We look forward to visiting next year!
Enjoy the photos!