Gooseberry Falls State Park
Being a wedding photographer, I only get a handful of weekends off a year. Some of them are planned with vacations specifically, but I always have a few holes in my schedule that I like to fill with nature. My husband and I have 2 camping trips planned for 2018, and Gooseberry Falls State Park was first on our list.
Before I met my husband, he actually lived in this state park for a month. He had to leave every eleven days, but he chose to stay here while he searched for housing for his new job he took in Two Harbors. After about a month at his new job, he realized it wasn’t for him, so he moved back to the cities. That being said, I had the best tour guide of all time.
We drove up to Gooseberry falls on a Saturday afternoon. It was a cold one at 47 degrees as the high and 38 as the low. We knew it was going to be cold, so we grabbed a ton of firewood and set up camp. We had just purchased a new tent from REI – our last one we had for years and was being held together by duct tape – so we were really excited to see if our new adult tent would keep us warm.
Before the day was over, we went on our first hike. The trails of this park aren’t very long if you look just at the distance, but when you account for the climbing up and down and tiptoeing on rocks, a mile can take as long as an hour. These waterfalls were created by a lava flow a very long time ago.
I had never been to a park that was so busy, so it was hard to take some good shots without anyone in them. We were patient and took our time getting some photos of ourselves in front of the falls.
We forgot our toothbrushes – surprise, surprise – no matter how diligent we are, we always forget something, so we had to get in the car and head to two harbors before dark. At first, we were both annoyed, but it gave us an opportunity to warm up and also take in the most beautiful sunset on our drive back. We made it back to the park in time to watch the sun go down on the beach, and man, this had to be the best sunset I had seen in a long time.
Once the sun went down, it got real dark and we made our dinner by lantern light then cooked it over the fire. The stars came out around 10pm and we stayed up as late as we could watching them, but we were tired and cold. We stuffed ourselves into our sleeping bags wearing all of our layers and let Zelda sleep outside.
The next morning neither of us could sleep pass 6:30. I’m always up early when I camp, the sun just waked me up. It was still very cold, so we started the breakfast bonfire. Making breakfast while camping is my favorite thing of all time. I made a red peppers and mushroom scramble with a side of sausage- mine was made out of tempeh.
We were fueled up for a full day of hiking and hit the trails at ten am. We hiked all the way up fifth falls, back down the other side to the beach, then all the way around to our campsite. It took us about 3 hours and by the time we were back, we needed more food. After a quick lunch, we hit the road and stopped along the North Shore to hike as we pleased. We had ambition for more, but Zelda was too tired. On our last hike, she literally was pulling us back and wanted to rest- I have never seen this dog ever refuse a nice walk.
It was the perfect weekend with my two homies- I can’t wait for Tettegouche in a few weeks!
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