Black Sand Beach and Tettegouche State Park

July 15, 2018

Black Sand Beach

Way back when Holly and I went to a black sand beach on the Big Island of Hawaii. That sand was made from lava.

The black sand beach we went to on the North Shore of Minnesota was made from stamp sand. One step in processing copper-bearing ore is to crush it and separate the pieces that contain copper from those that don’t. That crushed waste rock was deposited along river banks and lake shores.

It was pretty early in the morning (for us anyway) when we paid the beach a visit. It was in a nice little cove.

There was a small spit of beach connecting to a small island that called to me.

When I got to the little island, I took another picture looking back toward the “mainland”. At the time the mining companies dumped the stamp sand here, I don’t think they cared whether or not it could be put to good use. It was.

While I wandered, our granddaughter Chloe was discovering the different ways a beach can be used for entertainment.

You can build a canal… She had been learning about how canals and locks & dams worked and were used back in the olden days. You know, when I was a kid. In about 1850.

You can build rock sculptures… Can you see the resemblance? I can.

In case you were wondering, the parking lot is large enough for an RV. But…the beach wasn’t crowded when we were there so there were plenty of parking spaces.

This was short but very pleasant and relaxing visit.

Tettegouche State Park

Tettegouche State Park was a quick hit and run overnight stop. Since all Minnesota State Park sites are reserveable (no walk-ins), we booked a site just to ensure we had a place to sleep Saturday night with electric hookups.

We knew there was a rest area at the park where we could drop the RV before running up the lake shore to Grand Portage National Park.

Again, there is a casino with an RV campground near the park but we chose to leave the rig at the park and take the Subaru up the shore. We figured we could drop the rig, do our touring, then grab the rig and check into our reserved site at the park.

We could have saved ourselves a lot of hassle if we had just winged it.

First, the rest area is set up to allow overnight stays for RVs or trucks. They have a separate paved lot with nice long spaces like interstate rest areas. They have a beautiful visitor center with nice bathrooms that are open all night, the campground check-in staff left at five and we raced to get back in time.

The electrical outlets (20, 30, and 50 amp) at our site had open grounds so we couldn’t plug in and John spent a lot of time with the camp host and park staff. The maintenance staff had already left for the day. And there were no other electric sites available. Lucky for us this was one of the few days it was not wicked hot so we didn’t really need the air conditioner.

We had to delay our planned early departure in the morning to wait for the manager so we could work out a credit for the site. That hassle free rest area parking lot looked especially good by the time we rolled out. The good news was that we were given a full refund.

Note that this is not a bad review of Tettegouche State Park. It looked like they had nice hiking trails, waterfalls, lake access, and organized activities.

We just weren’t there long enough to enjoy them.

J & H

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