Our first morning along Lake Superior’s North Shore wasn’t looking too promising.  Dark clouds had rolled in over the lake and we could hear the low rumble of distant thunder all the way across to Wisconsin. I sat out on the oversized verandah, sipping my morning juce (mi gasolina, as it was nicknamed during my recent trip to Guatemala) and listening to the dramatic, haunting call of the loons.

If you have never heard a loon before, then you probably don’t know what their song is like.  One you hear it, you will never forget.  It is perhaps one of the most beautiful, melodic sounds I’ve ever heard. To prove it, see for yourself.   Click below, close your eyes and listen.  It is a cry you will never forget. A beautiful mourning wail…

I sipped mi gasolina and pondered on the day.  It was so insanely beautiful here I could hardly move. I felt a sudden, unexpected burst of rejuvenation, excitement and anticipation for not only the day before me, but life. I realized how much I needed this. To be here, in nature, relaxing and doing nothing except enjoying the solitude of the great outdoors.

My view from the verandah of the storm sweeping in over Lake Superior.

It had rained lightly the night before leaving behind fresh dew on the plants and flowers. I snapped a few pictures of the beautiful flora that thrives along this massive, cold lake.  Some of the wild roses were just waking up….

Rise and shine, sunshine. Time to open up for the day.

After breakfast, the fog had lifted and the clouds blew off. There was a 40% chance of rain but as my dad loves to say a 60% of none. We decided to try our first family hike to one of our old favorite hikes along the Superior Hiking Trail: Carlton Peak.

We piled into our rented van and drove the short distance down Highway 61 to the start of the trailhead. The skies were looking temperamental but ok. We thought we’d give it a try. If it started to rain, we could always turn back.

I am rather obsessed with signs and oftentimes find a lot of humor and silliness in them. I loved this one in the parking lot for the start of the hike.

The trailhead signage.

I think this is my favorite sign of all.

Off we went on our three generational hike. Grandma, Grandpa, mom, dad, Max and Sophia. The kids were thrilled!  What could be better than a walk in the woods, exploring the best that Mother Nature has to offer?

Off we go into the deep, dark woods!

My little hiker. Will she take after her mama?

We set off into the woods listening to the sounds of the birds. I always loved the woods as a child and still do. It is a magical place with so much to explore. I walked a few steps behind everyone mesmerized by the verdant lime green ferns and the forest flowers dotting the trail. There was no sign of other hikers. We were all alone.

We were about a half hour into the hike when we heard the first boom of thunder off in the not too far distance. The wind had picked up, the dark, water-ladden clouds began to sweep in, and fat random raindrops tapped our skin. A storm was heading in fast and we had to leave.

Max was the first to turn around as he has a terrible fear of storms. The storm was approaching faster than we had anticipated. If we were lucky, we’d get back before we were completely soaked.

Just when the skies opened up and began to pour, we saw the van. Quickly we ran and got in just in the knick of time.  Relieved, we headed back to the cabin to wait it out. If we were lucky the storm would pass as quickly as it had came, and we could try again.

View of the sky as we entered our van. Thank goodness we had made it back in time.

We drove back to the cabin in the pouring rain and thunder thankful that we had made it back safe and sound. I sat out on the verandah watching it pass, marveling at the powerful forces of nature and its brilliance. 

View from my perch.

Would we get another try?

Stay tuned…


  1. Fabulous post! The photos are beautiful, especially the last couple of the sky/storm. And thank you for the youtube of the loon’s call….mesmerizing!

    1. Glad you enjoyed! Aren’t the loon’s amazing? They are our State bird here. Sometimes they fly through the cities where I live, on their way north and I get to see them right in the lake by my house. I love them. 🙂

    1. Glad you enjoyed! Now Duluth is under the worst flooding in history! Crazy times we are having here in MN. Storms all the time and lots of rain but the sun is shining today! Yeah!!!

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