Duluth: Hiking Manitou Falls and Minnesota Point

With no visitors and no plans for the weekend Scott suggested we head back up to Duluth one last time for the summer. What we should have done was checked the weather first. It was going to be the coolest weekend of the summer. So much for getting to go to the beach. 

The first thing we did when arriving was head to Duluth Grill. I know we're predictable.

Blake was at work when we arrived so we had some time to kill until he was done. We parked downtown and took the lakewalk.

Hello Duluth. We missed your hills.


And old buildings.

Meadow found plenty of ways to entertain herself even though we weren't going to get to swim.

We walked by Blake's ship to see if we could catch him again.

We went to the "cool playground" as Brooke called it near Bayfront Park. Even big kids can play.

Back at Blake's, he brought home a bunch of misfit toys that weren't good enough for the gift shop.

I made some cheesy bulgur stuffed peppers. I feel like we always make our best meals in Duluth.

Meadow was eating up all her dinner. I guess she was trying to impress Blake.

I think Meadow is going to be an archaeologist when she grows up. She loves collecting and sorting artifacts.

The next morning I was busy cutting up vegetables for breakfast.

Blake has a fly problem. Instead of a fly swatter he uses a vacuum.

Meadow was influenced by her uncle and ate her vegetables again. She has also become a foodie and insists that her eggs be poached.

We lucked out with our timing of our visit being during Blake's days off.

We drove to Pattison State Park to check out the Big and Little Manitou Falls.

Meadow couldn't wait to see the big one.

Driving here the land is pretty flat. I was not expecting such a huge drop-off for this waterfall. Apparently it's the 4th tallest waterfall east of the rockies and is just as tall as Niagara Falls.


Meadow wanted to see the waterfall from more angles.

We walked over to the other side to see another view. I wished they had a way to see it from down below.

That Duluth Pack backpack has come in handy for all our adventures.

Blake's flip phone shot had to be epic.

Not bad Wisconsin, not bad.

"More...waterfalls...papa?"

Pattison is so close to Duluth that you can see the hills of the Zenith City in the distance.

Later we noticed it was sunny in Duluth, but not here. Blake made the joke that Scott Walker cut the solar funding. 

Meadow spotted the "playground" so we had to make a pitstop for her before our hike .

We each took a turn swinging as high as we could.

This was the best swing I've ever went on. Definitely brought out the child in all of us.

I had read in the nature center that this park was originally a logging camp. The old logging camp was located near the river at the edge of the park. We decided to hike the trail in that direction.

We passed some ferns.

Meadow did pretty good walking most of the time by herself.

We also harvested some chicken of the woods.

It looks like she's ready to be carried now.


This tree was gnarly.

Then we made it to the site of the logging camp. I was hoping for ruins and not just a sign. Oh well.


Meadow didn't last too long on the Ergo. Onto to papa's shoulders it was.

Blake decided he could use a little more chicken for his stir fry.

"Go go go!"


Wait I have to pick up this stick first.

Meadow insisted on the playground again. Besides the swings there was an old exercise area. Blake I tried to figure out what each thing was for.

Before we went back to Duluth we had to check out the little falls.

Meadow got her senior portraits taken.

We were ready to start heading home, but Meadow wanted to keep climbing.

At home I whipped up some cream of tomato soup from our garden tomatoes and grilled cheese from a dairy out of Green Bay.

It was still light out after dinner so we walked to a nearby park for Meadow to play on the playground. We kept our visit short as a kid with a bag on his head showed up and we couldn't stop laughing/we were creeped out.

I clocked in on my record number of steps today by reaching 22,000. I know I'm a dweeb.

We always find weird games to play at Blake's house. Meadow really dug our one headlamps red and blue light.

Whoa my hands are blue.

That's what she was thinking. She isn't quite there in her speaking ability yet.

Brooke made some monster pancakes in the morning.

Actually we made Blake make breakfast this time.

Meadow has always been interested in musical instruments since she was very little. I would like to get her into some music classes. Whenever we are at Blake's house she insists on playing his guitars. This time she sang songs as she played.

For some reason I decided to vacuum Blake's apartment.

This visit was the dirtiest we had ever seen it. We did give Blake a warning that we were coming last minute. 

Meadow continued her songwriting as Scott finished cleaning.

I asked Blake to take us somewhere new. I first suggested the Superior Hiking Trail, but Blake asked if we wanted to hike Park Point. I had no idea there was even a hiking trail at the end of the point.

Just drive all the way until you reach the airport. There will be a small entrance to the hiking trail. 

As we were walking in a woman warned us there was lots of poison ivy. I honestly thought poison ivy was a entirely different looking plant.

Me too. We're embarrassing outdoors folk.

This trail is wooded on both sides, but you can catch a glimpse of the Superior shore from time to time.

We snacked on wild raspberries along the way.

 Meadow walked a majority of the way there. Holding onto a stick she found.

Blake mentioned that when he first moved to Duluth he saw on Google Maps that there was an old cabin right here. It was already gone when he first took this trail. The only thing that remained was this walkway and remnants of a pier.

We sat down to take in, umm, beautiful Superior, Wisconsin.

I had hoped to find more remnants.

Meadow on the other hand had her stick and was ready to trek some more.


The occasional small craft airplane is a regular site along Minnesota Point.

Then we passed what is (or at least what Blake says is) the first lighthouse in Minnesota. I'm surprised this isn't a national landmark.

A little ways further we stumbled upon an old buoy house. Blake hadn't mentioned anything about this trail so it was a nice surprise.

The graffiti was rad, but it makes you wonder if you'd hike all the way out here to do some street art.

I can imagine the conversation.
Dude 1: What should we do tonight?
Dude 2: I know man, we should go hike on Park Point and graffiti that old building.
Dude 1: Rad!


Hello Superior.

If the ore docks ever get demolished in the Twin Ports it'll be a shame.


Next door was the foundation of a house with an intact outhouse.


Near the end of the trail we could make out the in-use lighthouse over on Wisconsin Point.

At the end of the point we stopped for lunch. Sadly the only thing we had to eat was jelly sandwiches. I may have whined that there is absolutely no nutrition in jelly sandwiches.

Better than the usual peanut butter sandwich. I think Brooke's a shill for the peanut industry.

After scarfing down his sandwich Blake left to forage again.

This time he brought back juniper berries and milkweed.

I was the only smart one to stretch before embarking back.

Just like her mom.

Once we got back to our car I realized Meadow wasn't wearing her hat. I remembered her head hanging back when she fell asleep so I put the hood over her to support her neck. I knew her hat must have fallen off when she fell asleep. Blake offered to go back with me to look for it while Scott stayed behind with Meadow.

I asked anyone we passed if they had seen her hat. One guy said he saw it hanging in a tree after the pumphouse. It was actually almost halfway to the point, right after the torn down cabin.

Instead of taking the same route back for the fourth time we took a side trail to the shoreline. We passed this fort made out of driftwood on our way.

We collected sea glass as we walked along the shore.

Meanwhile Meadow and I played on the dunes.

Duluth is just too damn beautiful.

Once we met back up we dipped our toes into the sand for awhile before having to head home.


On our drive home our car reached a milestone. I get a little nervous seeing it over the 100,000 mark. I feel like after this is when cars start to have all sorts of issues. I hope we make it 150,000 more.

I'm thinking we can push this beast to 300k.

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