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Journal for 6 Jul 2010: North Shore


If you had asked me two weeks ago what I expected to be doing this evening, I would’ve told you that Lisa, Mathias and I would be camping with my mom in the Black Hills, but that was before my mom took a tumble off of her bike, resulting in a sprain that scuttled her involvement in the trip. Since Lisa and I have already been to the Badlands and the Black Hills, and since Mathias is still too young to remember much (if any) of the trip anyway, we decided it didn’t make sense to haul ourselves all the way across the boring side of South Dakota to go camping.

But we still wanted to go on a trip this week, so we now find ourselves camping (metaphorically, not literally) at a ski resort on Minnesota’s North Shore. (Hey, it was available on short notice.) And aside from our hotel, which is a bit weird, the trip has turned out pretty well so far.

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On Sunday we departed the Twin Cities and headed up to Duluth. Between the two of us, Lisa and I know a couple hundred folks who just love Duluth, but I don’t think either one of us have really fallen for the city in the same way. If anything, we’ve been a bit perplexed about what people find to be so great about the city, but we tried to go back in with open minds. The Fourth of July was a good day to visit, as it provided us an excuse to hang out on the riverfront and watch fireworks, which Mathias loved. Other than that, we basically walked around a lot, trying to crack the nut that’s Duluth.

Before bolting for the North Shore on Monday afternoon, we stopped at the Duluth Depot to hit the children’s and train museums there. The Lake Superior Railroad Museum has an impressive collection, but the lighting in the main shed made the place a bit creepy, and that, along with the huge trains and the penetrating silence of the place, kind of freaked Mathias out, so we didn’t stay as long as expected. On the flip side, it was a bit of a challenge to extract him from the children’s museum, so the morning was by no means a wash.

After a quick lunch in the canal district, we headed up to Lutsen to check in at our hotel, and from there headed up to Grand Marais, where we had dinner at Sven & Ole’s and watched Mathias throw rocks into the lake for over an hour. Today had another rock-throwing marathon, this time at Cascade River State Park, followed by a drive up the shore to Canada, plus brief visits at a bunch of other parks along the way. (Mathias was sleeping in the car, which obviously limited what we could do.) Tonight we had a catastrophically bad dinner at our hotel, but I’ll save that rant for Trip Advisor. (I’ll probably complain about the wifi as well, which exists only in theory, not in practice. I probably won’t be posting this in real time tonight.)

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Tomorrow should bring more trips up and down MN-61, followed by the short trip home. Nothing too exciting overall, but it’s been nice to get out of Minneapolis with the family for a bit.

And now, I should get some sleep.

Posted in Journal,Travelog at 11:17 pm

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