Saturday, December 29, 2007

North Shore Ski Holiday

Sunrise over Lake Superior, seen from the window of our cabin at Solbakken Resort in Lutsen, Minnesota. Saturday, December 29, 2007.

Clara and I moved to Minnesota in August 1990, and this week we made our long-overdue first trip to the North Shore of Lake Superior. We had reservations for three nights in one of the cabins at Solbakken Resort, near Lutsen, Minnesota. We started out at 10:00 am on the day after Christmas and arrived at Solbakken seven hours later, after some nerve-wracking driving over slick roads and through blowing snow along MN Highway 61 from Duluth to Lutsen. At one point, we were stopped for over ten minutes while a head-on collision was cleared from the highway. But we finally made it, and it was worth the effort.

Clara and Simon with Lake Superior in the background. Thursday, December 27, 2007. (The sign says "Solbakken," and points back down to the resort.)

The Solbakken cabins are right on the shore, a few feet away from the ice-covered rocks and the huge swells of Lake Superior. The water was still open right up to the shore, and on the second morning, I spotted a bald eagle fishing off the rocks. We also saw dozens of deer in the woods above the cabin, where we went skiing on the well-groomed trails through Superior National Forest. Clara and I did classic skiing and the boys raced off ahead of us on their skate skis. We shared the largest cabin at the resort ("Jonas House") with our friends Vickie and Simon and their two boys, who are exactly the ages of our boys. We skied in the morning and afternoon, and in the evening we sat in front of the roaring fire and watched episodes on DVD of Dr. Who and Robin Hood, our two favorite BBC series from last year. We enjoyed ourselves so much that we booked the same cabin for the same three nights next year!

Me, about to turn around and ski through the beautiful "Cedar Cathedral" on Friday morning. Notice my extremely professional-looking ski outfit of old brown corduroys, fleece, jacket, cheap gloves, and silly earflap hat from Target.

Clara and Vicki outside our cabin, after our morning ski on Thursday.

The only downsides to the short holiday were: (a) the driving conditions on the day after Christmas, (b) the inevitable blister on my right heel, and (c) the icy driveway down to the cabin. Everything else was perfect, and the trip was a perfect belated introduction to the North Shore.


Penny said...

Sounds wonderful. I've only been up that way once so far, and never in winter. I see we moved here just five months before you did -- Eric started working in either January or February, and we moved in the middle of March -- the weekend that Felicia Hansell, who lived downstairs from us our first few months, was born.

Anonymous said...

Looks and sounds wonderful!

Christopher Tassava said...

Wow. I'm drooling. Solbakken is going on my list of must-visit places in Minnesota - preferably when there's good snow cover.

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