We closed out 2020 by escaping to the Minnesota’s North Shore. Although we have visited the North Shore numerous times, this was our first time staying in Beaver Bay — a very small city with a population of less than 200. The last time we visited the North Shore in the winter was in 2010.
On our way up to Beaver Bay, we made one last use of our Wisconsin state park annual pass expiring year end by visiting Pattison State Park, which is located about half hour drive south of Duluth. We braved the single digit temperature and did a short hike to the 165-foot Big Manitou Falls — the highest waterfall in Wisconsin.
Our intention was to hike or snowshoe several hours in a different state park near Beaver Bay everyday. So, we visited George Crosby Manitou State Park, Tettegouche State Park and Temperance River State Park this time. The snow accumulation was lacking this year, but a winter storm dumped a few inches of fresh snow during our stay, which made the snowshoeing activity more enjoyable. It is said snowshoeing could burn up to 1000 calories per hour. While I don’t think we burned that many calories, it was definitely more tiring and we often replenished our energy in the wilderness by eating all sorts of Costco brand snacks. Among the 8 state parks along the North Shore, George Crosby Manitou State Park is the most remote one because it isn’t located by the highway. We were the only visitors in that park that day.
Every night, we spent some quiet time reading Kindle books, sipping wines, and indulging fruit and cheese before going to bed by 10 PM. Each of us managed to read an entire new book: “Moonwalking with Einstein” by Joshua Foer (recommended by Bill Gates) and “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett (recommended by President Obama). The funniest thing was we were so detached from the real world that we totally forgot about the New Year’s Eve celebration, which was perfectly okay.