mapOn Sunday we headed south of the line into Minnesota, on our way to Lutsen, just south of Grand Marais. It’s a forty minute drive to the border, then another hour to Lutsen. Previously we have always stayed in Grand Marais, a quaint fishing village and artist’s hangout just south of Grand Portage. This time we went twenty minutes further south to The Cliff Dweller.

We’ve enjoyed our stay no matter which place we have chosen, which now includes The Mangy Moose Motel as well as the East Bay Suites in Grand Marais. All these places have incredible views of the fresh-water inland sea we call Lake Superior. And depending on the weather, you can see for miles over calm water or watch the surf pounding on the rocks.

Lutsen was a new experience for us, and although we came in to Grand Marais for the walk out to the lighthouse and to see the ice-sculptures created by wind and cold, we spent the rest of our time south of there. Besides, it was completely impossible to bypass what may be the best hamburger sandwich in the world at the Crooked Spoon Cafe. I didn’t take my cell phone with me on this trip — we really need chances to unplug — and my small SONY camera ran out of battery power after about thirty shots. But Betty had her cell so we do have a few images I can share here.

After stopping to have a look around the Hollow Rock resort, for future reference but also to have a look at what the wind and the cold had been forging, we made our way to the Cascade Lodge restaurant for coffee. For dinner the first night we checked out the Lutsen Resort, quite impressive! The food was great, but the prices were less impressive. Still, the massive locally milled beams of fir and pine and plenty of window space, all on the shore of Lake Superior, make for some great atmosphere.

The next day we tried supper at the Bluefin Bay Grill, part of the Bluefin Bay Resort – prices better and food still very good. But the portions are shocking — and seem somewhat typical of our neighbours to the south. I don’t know how people put away so much food.

It was really nice to get away. Typically we go south to cold and windy weather, but this was an exception, with afternoon temperature around +5 C. And the Cliff Dweller was a good choice, with Bluefin Bay five minutes south and Lutsen Resort five minutes north. Anywhere on the shore of Superior is memorable, so long as the wind isn’t off the water!