Three days after returning from the girls’ trip in Louisiana, I hopped on the back of HH’s motorcycle and took off to Minnesota for ten days. It was very early June and the peak temps were still barely into the low 70’s when we arrived.
We stayed in Grand Rapids for part of the week and made day trips to different areas each day, which isn’t normally our way for these trips. It was nice to settle into one hotel rather than moving from place to place every night.
Temperatures when we left Grand Rapids each morning were in the 50’s and 60’s – too cold for my taste. Layering was essential!
One morning we were delayed in leaving, so I snapped pictures of a couple of flowering bushes in the hotel landscaping. I’d had my eye on these dainties and enjoyed time for a closer look.
It surprised me that these base plantings could have blooms with such cool nights.
Here’s a closer view of the violet blooms that remind me of stringy bows on packages.
The Aspen trees were my favorites, especially when mixed with evergreens in the landscape. I was unable to get a good picture of white trunks against deep shades of evergreens, my favorite roadside view from that week.
HH saw a bear on a side road in an area that looked much like these trees, but I didn’t see it. We turned around and went back for a picture, but the bear was gone…probably into the woods. Someone else from our group saw it, too, so it was nice to have HH’s story corroborated (wink).
We stopped for lunch and a picture of Smokey the Bear in International Falls, which has the coldest temps in the U.S. on most winter days. Brrr….
We ventured close to the Canadian border and discussed being at the northern-most U.S. spot while one month earlier being at the southern-most spot in Key West – totally unintentional, and a nice thought for motorcycle statistics (but who’s keeping track, right?).
We drove to Lake Superior early in our trip. It looks like the ocean, which is a more normal view for us southern dwellers.
We visited Itasca State Park to see the headwaters of the Mississippi River.
It was quiet, calm, and peaceful.
Ducks played and bathed.
We took a stroll across this stable walkway.
I enjoyed closer views of flowering trees and a smooth, shady pathway.
We passed by another lake that resembled the size of Lake Superior. Minnesota has larger lakes than I’ve ever seen!
I wish I could share all we saw during the week, like the light house, local lunch spots, and all those things that are fun for a group to explore.
We finished our trip in La Crosse, Wisconsin, another beautiful area with neat downtown shops of antiques (where cyclists can spend the day when it’s pouring rain).
Do you enjoy seeing foliage in other parts of the country? Isn’t it interesting to see blooms and greenery different from your own area?