Up North

Before I get to “Up North” let me say that the pink fire trucks stopped in Eden Prairie last week to raise money for cancer and they were pretty (and I mean “pretty”) cool. They helped the Eden Prairie Fire Department raise about $7,000 that night which makes EPFD the #1 fund raising team for the Relay for Life for the 2nd year in a row. Take that cancer! I manned the bean bag toss most of the night and Colleen, Christopher, Megan & Beth helped me quite a bit which made it fun. All the cool guys got green mohawks + smilies painted on the back of their heads. Ok, it was one crazy chick with the green spray paint and she got every firefighter that she could find with that green paint. It was all for a good time.

Ok…this morning we headed “up north” from Eden Prairie to Grand Marais. I’m sure you’re all familiar with that saying about the journey being the destination…we lived that today. First stop = Duluth. We had Bob Dylan blaring and stopped to see the lift bridge and to refill daddy’s jug’o beer. Fitger’s Brewhouse has some yummy beer that hits the spot every year. It was 85 and sunny (and windy!) in Duluth – a great start to our trip.

From Fitgers we got less than 10 miles before stopping at the New Scenic Cafe. This is a great little stop on the North Shore Scenic Drive that has great local artwork displayed, great landscaping, great beer menu (seeing a theme?), great atmosphere, and awesome, fresh, local food. Plus their prices are unbelievably low for what you’re getting (shhh – don’t tell them). We had an awesome lunch and then drove probably less than 10 miles to stop at Russ Kendall’s Smoke House to pick up some smoked trout, salmon, etc for daddy & Megan. Got back in the car and drove a bit further before we stopped at Betty’s Pies and bought a few pies. Did I mention we start the trip with a huge empty cooler but somehow it is full by the time we get to Grand Marais?!?!?! Ok…got back in the car again and drove a bit further to Gooseberry Falls. This is a great area that is so close to Duluth that it is usually packed with people – today was no exception. The water was low so you could climb across the river in many spots. Christopher fell twice on flat ground in the parking lot of this place so I was a bit worried that he insisted that he and I climb on this gravel, sloped path high above bolders…but we made it 🙂

We ran into people we knew from Eden Prairie at Gooseberry Falls…climbed around a lot…got a little wet…threw some rocks…and then headed north again. Next stop was one of my favorites…this was a new point of interest for us…and I think we all agree that we can check this one off the list and keep on driving next time…we stopped at the statue of Rocky Taconite. Pretty cool dude…we had to force the kids to leave this statue he was so cool.

Ok…it’s hard to top Rocky Taconite…so at that point we decided to drive straight to Grand Marais…and of course once we got there we were soon at Sven and Ole’s for pizza. The condo is great, the weather is great (although a storm or two may hit in a few days), the pies are great, the beer is great, the pizza was great…looking forward to a great week up here.

Leave a Reply