Gooseberry Falls: Franklin & the trickle.

Northern Minnesota is one of my favorite places on earth. My memories of the north shore are just as if not more vivid than those of days at the pool near our home, vacations to the lake, and early mornings at the ice rink. Arriving this week has been a bit like seeing an old friend and greeting them with a “squee” of excitement.

Our first stop up the coast was Gooseberry Falls State Park. The falls are a hugely popular stop for bathrooms, giftshop and paved short walk to see the waterfalls. You can carry on to hike to the lake at just over a mile away, or you can pay the State Park fee and drive out for a picnic at the shore.

In 2019 when we weren’t quite ready to quit motorhome life for the winter we made one last trip up this way, and got snowed on.. just over there actually. (pointing to the campsite we were at) Iggy was cold, we were too low on propane to run the furnace much and it was time to go home. This time we are loving it enough to not notice the crowds.

There are some hiking trails throughout the park, as well as a connection to some extensive paved biking routes through the region. We set out to hike to the falls on day one, saw the lake and just… well… stopped.

Sometimes you just stop. And sit on a warm rock in a cool breeze in under bright skies.

Sometimes you make macaroni and cheese with corn and cheddarwurst for lunch, but you make it look super fancy and Mexican influenced with toppings and Cotija flavoring…

Sometimes you get invaded.

Meet Franklin.

Awe.. Franklin.. you’re so cute… someone must have fed you once. Shame on them.

OH! Franklin! You have friends! Aren’t you adorable!

Um… Franklin.. who are these guys?

Much of my time working this week has been watching the rodents and waiting for the moment that they open the door, work their way through our pantry and help themselves to some Cheetos.

Please oh Please for the love of all things good for nature and our sanity….

DO NOT FEED THE WILDLIFE! It’s bad for them and they start doing this crazy invasion thing that is bad for us. So stop it. Just STOP IT.

Also.. while I’m having a preaching moment. People work very hard doing really insane work to maintain these parks for our enjoyment and use. This week we have seen the Conservation Corp out on the trails doing upkeep on the paths that we enjoy so much and the park crew doing an intensive deep clean of the showers with actual closing doors. These jobs are sweaty and difficult. We are incredibly grateful for all they do.. and often do without a word of thanks.

So don’t mess up the landscape or go off the paths.

and fer F*cks sake don’t wash your dirty dinner dishes in the public showers. (Yes.. I’m talking to you fish eating dish washing in the shower ladies.)

Rant over… Here are pretty pictures.

Minnesota is currently under high warnings for fire. Things are DRY due to drought in this part of the world. I have never see the falls so low in my life… Of the Gooseberry Falls 3 levels, the lower one is down to barely a trickle. As I was stupefied standing in a dry creek bed where I’d usually be up past my ankles in cold water, I overheard a traveler say… well the lower falls must be down there…

Nope.. right there..where that trickle is.. and the markings of where it use to flow. I have never had these views of the falls before.. I’ve never wanted to wade in the water to see them.

A few stairs and we were able to muck around on the middle level and sit around just watching the travelers explore this natural wonder. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who realized how strange it was to see it this way.

And then you see the lake, and you stop and say hi… as though you didn’t just see her a few hours ago.

And then you make fancy meals in a retro- Instapot.

Retro instapot equals reg old pressure cooker.

Time to move so more later!

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