It’s all about the journey, not the destination – right? On our five hour venture up to the Superior National Forest, my husband Nick, our yorkie Kiwi, and I unofficially decided to make spontaneous pit stops. Usually, my goal is to reach the final destination asap. Why waste time? Well, it was the total opposite of wasted time. Our mini excursions made the weekend road trip so much more memorable.
First pit stop: A cute little bridge that crosses the Manitou River. You can’t see it from the road but if you go through an ATV/snowmobile trail, it’s only about a quarter mile from the road. It’s a sweet little hike through the woods. The Manitou is a decent river for trout fishing, fyi. Keep it on the downlow ;). You’ll see gorgeous views surrounded by pines and other woodland.
Second pit stop: George H. Crosby Manitou State Park. Actually, it was near the state park, not in it. Just a few miles down on Co. Hwy 7 in Finland, there is a big field of bright orange wildflowers. July must be peak blooming time. There were lupines all along the road side too [side note: we tried planting lupines in our backyard, but the bunnies ate them – darn]. We initially drove past the field. Then we did a u-turn to take another glimpse. I’m glad we did! There’s nothing quite like a field of wildflowers and butterflies flying all around. I loved how the orange tones popped against the lush greenery.
Third pit stop: Trestle Inn Restaurant & Saloon near Crooked Lake. After a weekend of camp food, the Minnesota Burger topped with a large tator tot and cream of mushroom + a mug of 1919 Root Beer was a must. I wish I had a pic to show you! But it’s a rustic little spot that feels like an old barn. It is actually built with huge 300-year-old Douglas Fir timbers and old railroad trestles. Fun fact of the day.
Fourth pit stop: A foggy lookout on Beaver Bay. Pull off to the side of the road, and you can get a clear view of a peninsula on Beaver Bay, which is a bay on Lake Superior. As we drove by, the fog lifted near the tops of tall pines. You can go through a private trail to reach a sandy beach down below on Lake Superior. There’s something eerie and cool about fog on the lake and the surrounding bluffs.
Stop and smell the roses, aka wildflowers, burgers, and views! It makes life a little more interesting. The next time I’m headed to the northwoods, I want to stop by a random berry farm [blueberry season is July through mid-August in Minnesota] and a flea market. Dreamy ideas that will soon be reality.