On a sunny June morning, my family crawled out of bed, helped me pack the car, and we took a little trip from our home in Upper Michigan to Minnesota.
When my wife and I were dating, we saw pictures of Split Rock at a craft show. We decided we wanted to go there for our honeymoon. Well, we’ve been married for thirteen-and-a-half years, and now we were finally going!
We drove the highways through Northern Wisconsin, meandering through old mining and shipping towns. We crossed from Superior, WI into Minnesota at Duluth. A great, steel bridge carries you over train yards, ship yards, and past giant grain elevators.
The city of Duluth is itself a mining and shipping town from more golden times of iron mining history. It’s built upon steep, tree-covered hills dropping into Lake Superior. We got onto Interstate 35 and headed north. The interstate tunnels under parts of the city, then ends -or begins- just North of Duluth. Our quick freeway drive turned into a nice road through a historic neighborhood of Victorian era homes. It was clear that Duluth used to have a lot of money!
A nice drive north on Highway 61 took us to Goose Berry Falls. It’ a triple tiered cascade of clear water rushing down a gorge in the cliff. The falls were teeming with gawkers, climbers, photographers, waders, and even an artist couple! I thought the place was packed, considering it was a Tuesday, and not a weekend. A fellow visitor told us this was the first nice day Duluth had gotten this summer. I guess everyone dumped work to get outside!
A few more miles north we found Split Rock Light House. Finally! It was worth the wait. The buildings themselves are beautiful. The location is stunning. The light is about 75-feet high on a 140-foot cliff. You can look down into the icy blue-green Lake Superior.
There’s a steep trail leading to the rocky shoreline. From there you can see why it’s the Great Lakes’ most photographed light house!