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Boreal Community Media

A weekend on the North Shore

May 24, 2019 05:26AM ● By Editor

By Jody Rae -  Hometown Focus Columnist - hometown - May 24, 2019

Where do you go to find rest?

Going on a trip or a daytrip away from our current everyday reality can sometimes be just what we need. Solitude is an essential part of our survival. Although we may wish to go somewhere far away and exciting, chances are it is just not possible for a number of reasons such as time or money.

Sometimes we need to find somewhere closer to home. Lucky for us, we live not too far away from one of the most beautiful places on earth—the North Shore of Lake Superior. Lake Superior is an easy place to get away for a weekend, or even just for a day.

Here are some of my thoughts and ideas for a quick getaway: 

Go somewhere that speaks to you

I go to the water when I need to find rest. Water speaks to me. Sometimes my getaway is just a few hours alone in my kayak on a river or lake nearby. Sometimes it is camping trip. This past weekend I was able to take advantage of a gift certificate I received to Bluefin Bay. I have found that there is just something special about the Big Lake.


I enjoy the many faces of the lake. Last year when I visited, the lake appeared angry with its massive waves that pounded the shore the whole weekend. This year the lake was like glass and it shimmered beneath the sun. 

Have a plan, but be flexible

The itinerary for the weekend was to do nothing but relax, and to spend a little time outside. I had a hike planned that never happened. Although I was disappointed by that, I was able to take advantage of the whirlpool bath that overlooked the lake. I also took a walk along the edge of the water, and I stopped at a coffee shop where I sat out on the deck in the sun. Being flexible is important. Sometimes things don’t work out like you plan, and you need to be ok with that. 

Pack for whatever kind of weather

The weather was calling for some rain before we left. As it turned out, it never did rain. However, I was prepared. I had my bag packed with a good book, magazines, my laptop, and games. 

Simplify your weekend away as much as possible beforehand

Our condo had a kitchen so we were able to cook all of our meals which was fun, and saved money. However, I did not want to spend all of my time cooking and cleaning up after. I planned our menu beforehand. I chose meals that were delicious, but simple. Some of the items on the menu were barbecue chicken pizza made with pita bread, and blueberry French toast bake. The meals were prepped prior to leaving. 

Look for the moments

Every time I travel or escape for the weekend, I find there are moments that stand out to me. They are often moments that seem magical and ones that could have been easily missed. So look for the magic. On this particular weekend I woke one night at 3:00 am and went outside and sat on the deck overlooking the lake. It was a little chilly, so I wrapped myself in a blanket. The sky seemed unusually bright with stars. They were actually twinkling. I saw the Milky Way, and a shooting star. It will be a night I will never forget. It was indeed magical, because the next night even though clear, wasn’t even close to being as pretty. 

Treat yourself

I had packed food for the weekend. However, I was alone for dinner the first night, as my daughters arrived later in the evening. I decided to have dinner alone at the Bluefin Grille overlooking the beach. I also treated myself to dessert. I don’t mind dining alone. It is actually kind of peaceful. 

Take advantage of all the nearby attractions

There are plenty of sightseeing opportunities between Duluth and Grand Marais. We have visited several over the years: Black Beach, Split Rock Lighthouse, Gooseberry Falls, Father Baraga’s Cross, Palisade Head, Temperance River, Devil’s Kettle, and Artist’s Point. That is just a handful of them. There are many hiking trails I would still like to take advantage of someday. 

Stop in at the local cafes

Good local café options include Betty’s Pies, Pies, Rustic Inn, Lemon Wolf Café, Fika Coffee, Bluefin Grille, or Angry Trout.

It was great to get away, and I hated for the weekend to end. Our cozy little condo perched on the edge of the lake was the perfect escape. I enjoyed spending mornings on the deck drinking my coffee, and ending my days there too watching the sunset. I took a few nice walks along the shore where I was able to sit on the rocks and listen to the waves. The resort built a campfire every night on the beach and provided everything to make s’mores. It was perfect.

I find that when I get away for a little rest, I return home with a fresh perspective on everything. This summer I hope you find a place and some time to get away from everything. Go for a drive, pitch a tent, hang a hammock, or rent a cabin on the shore of one of Minnesota’s many lakes. You won’t regret it.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” – Anne Lamott 

Jody Rae lives in Eveleth, MN, but spends most of her time in the woods.