episode 1.0 – meet the voice

Happy Saturday, Everybody!  Man, it’s gorgeous out there!  And it’s like Monarch Butterfly City everywhere you look!

Well, let’s get the introductions out of the way:

Hi, I’m Mikel and I’m addicted to the North Shore.

Just look at that face!

Why?  Well, let me answer that question with another question:  Have you been here before?  I mean besides the endless list of stuff to do, it’s eye-candy in literally every direction.  Waterfalls, mountains, wildlife…and that lake!

You might be thinking I’m a little biased, being a local and all.  But I wasn’t always a local.

Two years ago, I was just a chunky dude living in low-rent housing in St. Cloud, Minnesota.  My time was split between working at a book store, a video store, and eating too many fast-food tacos.  I was a struggling writer–and by ‘struggling’ I mean ‘uninspired to the max.’

Then both my jobs went belly-up.  Apparently the book-selling and video-renting industries are in decline?  Could’ve used a heads-up there.  But it turned out to be the best thing detour I’ve ever hit, because it led me to an awesome gig serving at a happenin’ li’l joint on the mountain called Moguls.

Turns out that most famous celebrities started out serving, so I decided to stick with it.  And even though I loved Lutsen and loved Grand Marais right off the bat, it felt a little like a prison sentence.  I mean, I had to up and leave everything I was used to:  movie theaters, shopping malls, McDonald’s.

Up until I moved back.  After a year and a half, I thought I’d go back to my old stomping grounds–and found out I was just too North Shore for it all.  I missed Lake Superior being right out my door a million times more than I missed traffic lights.

So now I’m back, working at the restaurant I love, at the resort I love, in the area I love.  My book is due out next summer (set here in Lutsen–what a coincidence!) and I get to hike all the trails, run all the rivers, tackle all the waterfalls, and drink all the local beers I want.

But why the life story, Mikel?  Couldn’t have you spared us your autobiography and got to the good stuff?

Okay, okay, maybe I’m a little wordy.  But when you read this blog, I want you to know who’s writing it.  I want you to know what kept me here and what brought me back.  This isn’t a travel brochure or a pitch from the Board of Tourism–it’s a story.  A story that isn’t over.  I’m not done experiencing the North Shore yet, and you might as well come along for the ride.

Because two years ago, I was asking the same question you are now:  What the heck is there to do around a ski hill in the summer?  And what I found out really blew my mind.

And because this place picked me up and saved me.  I owe it one.

So gear up with me for a summer you’ll never forget.  I’ll be here every Monday with all the local scoops, descriptions, and details.  And who knows, maybe I’ll even catch you at the pub!  Cheers!


– Mikel


One Response to episode 1.0 – meet the voice
  1. Angela Dardis Reply

    Mike, glad to meet you. I will be following you completely as I am stuck in the city this summer and dreaming of the SHT, Moguls and most importantly….that ice box of a lake. I have been waiting for Lutsen Mtns to have a blog so I can experience it while I am away. The moments I am there truly an experience of getting away from society. What cell phone, what traffic jam…..someday it will be a reality. Enjoy the ride!

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