The highlight of my trip to the North Shore was a day in the Lutsen Mountains. On Saturday we took the gondola up to the top of the mountain just after it opened for the day. The gondolas hold up to 4 people and are suspended from a series of cables; a one-way ride takes about ten minutes. Neither of us had ridden one before and it was really cool!
There was a small river flowing through the valley
The colors got much more spectacular the higher we climbed and the further we went from Lake Superior. It was awesome to see all the beautiful colors. Too bad the weather was overcast and damp, the colors just don't gleam the same. Still pretty though!
(Yes, my hair is getting ridiculously long. I can't stand it)
Next we proceeded to go on a hiking adventure like neither of us had ever been on before! The first few miles were partially off-the-beaten-path.... I was climbing a dang mountain!! With a lot of loose rocks, soft soil and tree roots everywhere. I didn't take too many photos during the hike as I was being extra-careful with my brother's camera, but here are a few....
I was not feeling so adventurous at that point ( I was being a big baby, actually) but things got better once we found the main trail again. We came across the Spur Trail, which is part of the Superior Hiking Trail system. We did not have a map with us (as we had not really prepared for a hike at that point in time in that particular area) but decided to continue our hike. There were a lot of obstacles in our way, such as this cluster of trees that had been uprooted. They had been growing on a solid layer of hard rock. It's crazy that they were able to grow there for as long as they lived without the roots being able to anchor into the ground like they do in soil.
Some other photos from the hike
After 4-5 miles (about one mountain over from where we started) and not having a clue where we were headed, we turned back the way we came. A few miles later we came across the first official sign (which we had somehow missed on the hike out so we must've been on a slightly different path). Only 3 more miles to go, all of which was slightly different than the way we came.
About 8-9 miles after we started our hike ( holy moly was that tiring!), we finally made our way back to the top of the mountain where we could catch the gondola for a ride back down the mountain to our car.
We saw some of the ski runs and chair lifts that they use in winter. (Sidenote: Downhill skiing is something I have never done in my life, nor will I ever do. I would hate to go out like Sonny and that is probably what would happen, knowing me. Breaking my arm while sledding in third grade was quite enough for me, thank-you-very-much.)
We both loved Lutsen and look forward to going back again. The fall is a beautiful time to go but I am sure it is beautiful in spring, summer and winter as well!