North Shore

We just got back from 5 days on the North Shore. We stayed in Grand Marais at Cobblestone Cove. The condos were beautiful and had a great view…

The kids were so excited for this place because it had a kitchen. Incredible…a kitchen…as if they had never seen a kitchen before. That’s all they were talking about before we got up there. Once we got up there their new favorite part was this big, finished attic space that looked over the master bedroom. Here they are in that space pretending they are in jail.

Since we had a ‘fridge for the week, on the way up on day 1 we made several stops (all for Beth – can you believe it?!?!)…picked up some beer at Fitger’s Brewhouse, some smoked fish at Russ Kendall’s Smoke House (which I later made into fish pate…those three years at the fish market paid off!), and a few pies from Betty’s Pies. We also ate at the New Scenic Cafe (I have no idea what I ate but it was fresh and better have been good for me) and then stopped at Gooseberry Falls.

Here’s Colleen making her parents very nervous…

We’re way up top in this one…

Dinner our first night was at the world famous Sven and Ole’s where we got the Haviian Zah (other choices were the Uffda Zah, Vild Vun, etc – you get the picture). The world’s worst bartender works at this place – complete moron. If you’re ever in the area definitely order a beer…stay away from the mixed drinks…I learned a valuable lesson by watching him struggle with the people in front of me (bloody mary in a paper cup and he was very confused about what else to add to the scotch on the rocks).

The North Shore is a stream-crossing, rock-climbing, stone-skipping dream come true. You could throw as many rocks as you wanted into the water all day long and somehow the pile never dwindled. The kids never tired of taking off their shoes to practice jumping from rock to rock while crossing many a stream – it was fun to watch our monkeys in action. Christopher threw more rocks than anyone and had a blast.

Day 2 we started at the Grand Portage National Monument.

And also visited the Grand Portage State Park which is about 100′ from the Canadian border – you turn right in front of the check point. This area was deemed the “grand” portage due to a 9-mile trek necessary to avoid the highest falls in the state (120′).

For lunch we ate at Nanny-nanny-boo-boo, or something like that. Food was good – great soup and fish sandwich. The kids could have thrown rocks all day…

We spent the afternoon at Judge C.R. Magney State Park. This was one of my two favorite parks – great hiking and views. The Devil’s Kettle is located here…tons of water pouring into a hole and supposedly they don’t know where it goes (other than straight to hell apparently).

Day 3 started at the Temperance River State Park. This was another great park that allowed the kids to play in a stream and had some great views of the water. Water levels were pretty low while we were there – I think it would be amazing to see some of these sights after a good, strong rain.

The trails in all of these parks were very clearly marked and they even built stairs to get over rough parts (I sure don’t remember any man-made stairs when we climbed mountains in New Hampshire the last few summers -that would have been nice!).

After lunch at the Coho Cafe in Tofte (which unfortunately would have been better had the servers spoken english and been knowledgeable about their menu) we spent the afternoon on Artist’s Point in Grand Marais. This was another spot that the kids loved. I jogged through this whole area the morning before and knew this would be a great hit. They could explore as much as they wanted without getting in to too much trouble.

We spent Day 4 at Cascade River State Park. Easy hikes – we looped around on a few trails and threw some more rocks 🙂

We had a superb lunch at the Angry Trout Cafe. The food/drink, location, decor, service, etc was perfect. Highly recommended. The Dockside Fish Market next door supplies most (all?) of the restaurants in the area with fish – we had great service there too on our stay.

Imagine that, throwing more rocks in Grand Marais…

Megan loved walking past this modified mower-bike…it was right next to where we stayed and she stopped to talk about it every time we passed by.

I’m not sure why Beth went out of her way to get a picture of Christopher giving two thumbs up in front of this place 🙂

Grand Marais was a relaxing getaway. I’m glad we went and saw more of Minnesota. I didn’t realize how few cities (and people) exist on the North Shore. It’s basically one single-lane road up north…the whole time I kept comparing it to the coast of New Hampshire, Mass, or Maine. Land on the left, water on the right…the sights were good on the North Shore, but not even close to what you see driving up the New England coast. The food was good on the North Shore, but got to be predictable after the first few stops…nothing compares to the variety of seafood coming out of the ocean. IMHO, the cities and character of New England are second to none…anyone who enjoys the North Shore should definitely get on a plane and do their own comparison.

Day 5 – One final stop on the way home…the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth. Here the kids are feeding the big fishies.

2 Responses to “North Shore”

  1. Brooks Thompson says:

    Looks like you all had a fun time seing your home state. But, sounds like you like NE better – so hopefully you’ll head out here before long. Tell the kids we also have a few rocks they can throw!!! We’ll call you soon. Love you all.

  2. Dave says:

    Next summer we’ll work on another big trip out there…but I want to see the coast too. Maybe we can talk again about all staying in Booth Bay or Gloucesesteresester or somewhere else for several nights…

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