Oh, don’t get all riled up–it’s not that close! There’s still plenty of t-shirt weather left for the ol’ Shore.
Or ‘light hoodie weather’ as we call it up here.
But this time of year does hold a special place in my heart. Not only does life slow down and everything seems a little quieter, but it’s about the time last year that I up and decided to move to the Twin Cites…..
…and subsequently realized after 3 months that there’s no place I’d rather be than up here!
But before that it was a time when I was saying goodbye to all my favorite things, getting weepy when I looked at Superior, and trying to hike every last trail I could.
One thing the move did do last year was force me to prioritize and assemble a list of some of my favorite things to do. Things that were still doable even in the twilight of summer.
Behold! The origin of the North Shore Summer Bucket List! Proof that there’s still stuff to do before the season is over!
So, if for no other reason than to reminisce, I’m going to break down my list of things I wanted to do.
1. Make it to “the other lighthouse.”
Okay, sarcastic newsflash: Grand Marais has a beautiful, majestic lighthouse. Duh. Everyone knows that. Just off of Artist Point, it is a well-trafficked on-foot destination for tourists and locals of all ages.
But one thing always drove me crazy: every time I got to the end of the lighthouse, I could see “the other lighthouse” looming in the distance. Mocking me. Daring me to come find her. So one day I just up and went searching for it. It wasn’t hard to find, but it was a lot more daunting of a trek to reaching the ivory-and-emerald beacon. Not for all ages. But an enjoyable mini-adventure all the same.
2. Make it to the casino at Grand Portage one last time.
Okay, nobody said it was some kind of holy quest I was on. The casino is a lot of fun, but it’s also a very beautiful trip to get there. And for a guy who’s never been to Canada, it was exciting to get that close. And there’s plenty of other things to do in Portage than pretend you’re a high roller.
3. Take the ferry to Isle Royale.
See? Another awesome thing to do up in Grand Portage. When I first moved up here I heard “Isle Royale” thrown about quite a bit, but I didn’t realize it was the big island in Superior. I always thought of it as “The Eye of the Wolf” (if you’re thinking about Superior as a wolf head, of course). But it was this mysterious, cool island that has intrigued and inspired me since I was young. And suddenly, I’m living just a short drive from it. A short drive and a ferry ride, I mean.
But tragically, this was one of the items that is still in my bucket. Maybe there’s still time!
4. Hike Cascade, Devil’s Kettle, and Kadunce.
Did it then, and I’ll do it again! Those are easily my 3 favorite hikes. Not only did I scale Cascade to it’s highest point, but I also walked to Devil’s Kettle (about 10 miles round trip) just to make it a little trickier, and the Kadunce, well, we all know that’s my infamous waterfall climb!
5. Walk from my house to Cutface Creek.
Nope! This one didn’t happen either. I used to live right in town in GM, making this about a 6-miler to get to the scenic wayside spot. Great for a picnic! 6 miles? Totally doable. Just, uh, you know, didn’t do it.
Say it with me now: THERE’S STILL TIME!!
6. Drink one last Anne Bonny at the Tav.
As I told you before, it’s my favorite cocktail. Ever. Did you try one yet?
Let’s just say I managed to complete this one.
A few times….
7. Buy a bottle of HP Sauce.
Do you know what HP Sauce is? I didn’t. Apparently it’s like the Canadian version of A1 Steak Sauce.
One of the greatest couples in the world that frequents my resort would always come to the restaurant when I was working. And they’d bring me a bottle of HP Sauce, straight outta Thunder Bay. What a deal! But as I was leaving the area, I realized at the last second, I was going to have to search out a bottle on my own and take it with me to the Big City.
Not as easy as you might think.
8. Eat all my favorite entrees at Moguls.
I’m not just biased; our little restaurant has dang-good food. I couldn’t go without having my favorites: the Shore Lunch Benedict, the Beef-and-Blue Flatbread, and our signature Prime Rib (good with or without HP Sauce, btw.)
9. See what lies at the end of the Gunflint Trail.
This one burns me a bit. I never made it. I’ve been up there a good distance–and I go a little further each time. But I’ve never been to the proverbial end. Probably correlates to me never seeing a moose (I hear that’s where they hang out).
I did get pretty far one time. The last time. I don’t want to talk about it. Let’s just say a tow truck was involved.
Heck of a view though!
Alright, I’d say that about wraps things up. Long story short, there’s still plenty of stuff to do up in this neck of the woods. Just last weekend the little lady and I visited Temperance River State Park….
And had adventure…
…after tree-related adventure…
So, fear not, summer-lovers! There’s still plenty to do before the Fall, well….falls.
…still, Autumn does have its perks.