AMAZING AMNICON FALLS & DELIGHTFUL DULUTH

Before visiting Amnicon Falls State Park, we took the scenic route around the tip of Bayfield Peninsula.  The little town of Cornucopia was having a festival, so we pulled over to check out the crafts booths and shops along the marina.

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The vibe we picked up on throughout Bayfield Peninsula was that many of the residents were progressive, so this awesome solar-powered pottery studio fit right in place:

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Amnicon Falls was well worth the detour before continuing to Duluth, Minnesota.  The scenery was spectacular, and the hiking trails throughout the state park were so peaceful.  From any location, we could hear the rushing water from the falls.  The day was gorgeous, and we had chosen the perfect place to have a picnic and devour the remainder of our smoked fish and hand-picked berries.

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The remainder of the final full day of our road trip was spent up in Duluth, Minnesota, located on the south-western shores of Lake Superior.  The Downtown Lakewalk sounded like a nice way to spend a beautiful afternoon, so we put more miles on our legs while taking in the sites around the lake.

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Fitger’s Inn up on the hill looked interesting, so we climbed the stairs to see what was up there.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Fitger’s was Duluth’s first brewery, dating back to 1857.  After 115 years of brewing beer, the brewery closed in 1970.

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The Fitger’s Brewery Complex was re-opened in 1984, and it appeared to be thriving during our visit.  Between the Inn, brewery, restaurant, and shops; the place was bustling.  It was warm, so many people were out enjoying a cold brew while relaxing on the patio and taking in the view of Lake Superior.

We opted for a cold Bridgeman’s ice cream, instead, and thoroughly enjoyed this local favorite.   Dating back to 1936, Bridgeman’s began as a family-owned business, and it remains in the Bridgeman family to this day.

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This was a great place to enjoy the sunny afternoon before heading south for the last night of our road trip.  The following day, we would be joining the American Queen Steamboat Company for a pre-cruise stay at Radisson Blu, at Mall of America.  Soon, we would be rollin’ on the river!

Coming up next:  ROLLIN’ ON THE RIVER ON THE AMERICAN QUEEN STEAMBOAT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BAYFIELD: FROM BLUEBERRIES TO BOATS

Gloomy skies and occasional light rain showers continued during our drive from Ashland to Bayfield, so we went straight to Winfield Inn to pick up our key to the rental we would be staying in for the next two nights.  After settling in, we decided to spend the remainder of the late afternoon exploring the area.

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Click on the picture, and read the “instructions,” because they are a hoot!

Bayfield is Wisconsin’s self-proclaimed “berry capital,” so we headed out to the berry farm trail located just up the hill from our apartment.  Our plan was to return in the morning to pick berries for breakfast; however, we found a pick-your-own berry farm that was still open, and the blueberries looked too delicious to wait until the morning!  Compared to the blueberries we pick every June in our area of Georgia that tend to split from the heat while they are still small, these berries were HUGE, and the bushes were LOADED.  We grabbed a box and went to it, ignoring the rain and mud.

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The weather forecast looked promising for the following day, so we planned to return in the morning to pick more, and then see the other farms on the trail.

Meanwhile, after enjoying our afternoon snack of delicious blueberries while gazing at the view of Lake Superior from our rental, we headed back down the hill to town.

Located on Lake Superior, Bayfield is small and hilly; however, the town is attractive and quite nice to stroll around.  It served as a perfect base, too, for exploring the area.  They even had a community center with a 25-meter swimming pool!

The following day, we woke up to sunny skies and a beautiful day, perfect for the outdoor activities we had planned to enjoy, including exploring the remainder of the berry trail.  We returned to Rocky Acres Farm to pick more blueberries, and picked some raspberries as well—the best I had ever tasted.  It was such a beautiful setting, too!

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This is one of the other farms we stopped at along the trail (the one with the self-kicking machine):

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After our breakfast of fresh-picked berries, we enjoyed the gorgeous day poking around town, doing some photography, and visiting the excellent Bayfield Maritime Museum.

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My mid-day swim at Bayfield Area Recreation Center was wonderful—and, much needed.  It was my first opportunity to swim on this trip since we were in Minneapolis, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Bruce, meanwhile, returned to the maritime museum to see the remaining exhibits.

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Having worked up an appetite, we were ready for the picnic lunch we had planned to enjoy at a table overlooking the marina.  Bodin Fisheries, located near the pool, had a nice selection of tasty-looking fish, so we picked up some smoked salmon and white fish, as well as a filet of sugar-cured smoked lake trout.  Ritz Crackers claims that everything tastes better when it sits on a Ritz, and we both agreed.  That fish tasted great sittin’ on a Ritz!

It’s amazing how thoroughly enjoyable such a simple experience can be.  Start with a beautiful day, add a pleasant setting with a lovely view, toss in some delicious smoked fish and crackers, and then finish it off with some fresh Wisconsin tart cherry juice.  Life is good!

It was also good that our Apostle Island sunset cruise that was scheduled for the same evening rather than the rainy evening before.  We had waited to book the cruise until the 10-day forecast clued us in on what to expect for weather, and the gamble paid off.  Fortunately, the cruise hadn’t yet sold out, and the weather forecast was spot-on.  What a beautiful evening!  Check it out in my next post!

Next up:  THE APPEALING APOSTLE ISLANDS