Wild Water & Interstate State Parks, MN June 11, 2017

On Sunday we drove to Wild River State Park located north of Minneapolis/St Paul. They were calling for severe weather to pass through that area so we delayed our departure from Whitewater State Park an hour to allow time for the bad weather to pass.  Even so, along the way the sky became dark as night and we found a safe place to pull over for the rain to pass and the sky to brighten.

20170611_132838We passed through St Paul, crossing the Mississippi River, and since it was a Sunday the traffic was light.  Luckily we did not encounter any severe weather but at one point we saw what looked like snow along the side of the interstate. We realized it was hail from the earlier storm.20170611_132724

We arrived at Wild River State Park located along the St Croix River.  It is called Wild River State Park because it is named after the St Croix River’s designation as a “National Wild and Scenic River”.

IMG_20170612_092130Upon arrival I was alarmed to see signs asking to brake for snakes, and we were not happy to find out that the earlier storm had knocked out power to the campground.  We were supposed to have an electric site but the power never came back on until about five minutes before we left.IMG_20170612_095237IMG_20170612_095140

On Monday we drove to nearby Interstate State Park​.  Established in 1895, Interstate State Park is made up of two parks, one in Minnesota and one in Wisconsin.  The Minnesota park is 1,330 acres and the Wisconsin park is 298 acres.  They​ both straddle the Dalles of the St Croix River, a deep basalt gorge with glacial and rock formations.

IMG_20170612_100930A billion years ago basalt rock formed here when lava escaped from a crack in the earth’s crust.  Ten thousand years ago, water from melting glaciers carved the river valley.  Within that melting water were fast moving whirlpools of swirling sand and water that wore deep holes in the rock, called glacial potholes.  There are more than 400 examples​ of the glacial potholes in the Minnesota park.  IMG_20170612_100503IMG_20170612_101827IMG_20170612_103426IMG_20170612_103109

We walked along the Glacial Pothole Trail where we could see some of the larger potholes.IMG_20170612_101153IMG_20170612_101204IMG_20170612_101347IMG_20170612_101442IMG_20170612_103025IMG_20170612_103031

This large pothole has stairs.IMG_20170612_102602IMG_20170612_102254IMG_20170612_102452IMG_20170612_102146

We then drove back to Wild River State Park, packed up and headed to Duluth.

Next stop: Duluth, Minnesota

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