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.
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!