Spring Tease Time

Spring will be melting away the remnants of icy beauty and replacing it with the sun sparkled waves of her season.

Beach scene of Lake Superior with trees in far distance. Sun is sparkling off water. There is are ice crust layers between the water and beach.Spring Tease: the time of year when Winter and Spring are in a tug of war. Beach scene of Lake Superior with trees in far distance. Sun is sparkling off water.

Winter isn’t quite ready to give up but knows its time to step back for a bit. Spring is more than ready to display her charms but seems slow to give Winter that final pull to win the match.

Patches of snow are melting quickly on the North Shore of Minnesota. During this seasonal changeover, Lake Superior continues to offer breathtaking beauty and a changing beach decor.Wicked waves with flat beach and bigger rocks on beach from Lake Superior.

Wicked waves with beautiful white edges create a flatter beach but provide bigger rocks for the choosing. Wicked waves with flat beach on Lake Superior. Icy layer then sand then water.

 

It is amazing to see the beach with fine sand and swept clean one time and then stair stepped pebbled another time.Cobblestone beach then ice layers then Lake Superior, left to right.

 

 

 

 

Section of Lake Superior pebble beach with dry rocks, then wet rocks with open water and then icy layers.

Spring will be melting away the remnants of icy beauty and replacing it with the sun sparkled waves of her season. Hopefully sooner rather than later! Aren’t we all rooting for her to make that final pull to win this tug of war?Lake Superior beach with wicked waves, bigger rocks washed ashore and small icicles hanging from bare tree branches.

Spidered ice patch on Lake Superior pebble beach.

 

 

 

 

 

Grand Portage 2 in 1 Northshore Minnesota Vacation

Rendezvous Days is one of our favorite events. Between Pow Wow and the Encampment there is plenty to do, see, and enjoy. Do be sure to wear comfortable shoes, check the weather, and come prepared for lots of fun.

Looking for a picturesque, relaxing, and educational vacation rolled into one where you set the pace? Front of the Great Hall at Grand Portage National Monument with Mt. Rose in the background.Sound too good to be true? Check out Rendezvous Days in Grand Portage, Minnesota.

Rendezvous Days is the second full weekend in August each year. The Grand Portage Anishinabe Nation hosts the annual Rendezvous Days Pow Wow while the Grand Portage National Monument re-creates a historic fur trade era rendezvous.

Pow Wow is a celebration of culture and family. As you approach the Pow Wow grounds, you may see several tipis and lots of tents from dancers and their families gathered to celebrate. Tipis and tents at the Pow Wow grounds.Walk around the outside of the Pow Wow stands to enjoy crafts, souvenirs, and food vendors.  People walking around vendor area of Pow Wow.You will definitely want to be seated in the stands for one of the three Grand Entries. A beautiful, energy charged atmosphere is present as the dancers enter the arena wearing their regalia. Veterans are highly honored and celebrated at this Pow Wow. The opening ceremony is respectful, sobering and thought provoking. After Grand Entry is concluded, the high energy Sneak Up Dance often occurs. Dancers in the Pow Wow arena with the MC stand in the background.Be sure to stay at Pow Wow awhile and grab some fry bread and an Indian Taco. There are a variety of dances and drum songs you can enjoy. The beat of the Drum represents the heartbeat of the earth and permeates this celebration. You have to be present to fully appreciate the Drum’s impact. Two male traditional dancers with their bustles.

 

 

 

 

 

Before attending Pow Wow for your first time, I recommend you read about Pow Wow etiquette. You can find some good information online. There are ways to respectfully ask questions of dancers, and definite do’s and don’ts. Do be sure to wear comfortable shoes, check the weather, and come prepared for lots of fun.

 

Canoe in foreground with white canvas awnings in mid ground and Lake Superior in the background with evergreens and a blue sky.As you enter Rendezvous at the Grand Portage National Monument, you’ll experience yet another energy charged atmosphere. A myriad of reenactors of all ages are enjoying the re-creation of the fur trade rendezvous at an actual historic rendezvous location. In addition to the primitive camps, campfire cooking, and the hauling of water and wood, there are opportunities for demonstrations, workshops, and games you won’t want to miss. Park staff work hard to make this event a fun and educational one for the public and reenactors.White canvas tents in green field with evergreens and blue sky in background.Be sure to look at the Rendezvous Days schedule to plan what you want to do. Some of the workshops fill up quickly, so scope out the sign up rules. Some workshops are open to visitors and some are only for reenactors.

 

Long wooden table inside the Great HallWalking through the encampment and historic grounds, there is much to see and experience. The Great Hall offers a covered porch where you can sit and relax as you gaze out on Lake Superior.  Look at the events to find a time when you can also enjoy some music. Bagpipes are often heard during the encampment, and Over the Waterfall is a group of period musicians you won’t want to miss. You’ll also find displays, artifacts, and monument staff available to answer your questions. Reenactor cooking in open kitchen fireplace.

 

Cross the covered walkway from the Great Hall to the kitchen to see food being prepared.

Hat making display in Grand Hall

 

 

Campfire with fish being smoked over it, birch bark lodge, and birch bark basket.

 

Continue meandering around Grand Portage Monument to the Canoe Shed and then on to the Native Encampment.Wild ricing display

 

 

 

Three Sisters Garden with scarecrow

Be sure to see the Three Sisters Garden.  You will also want take in the Heritage Center to gain a historic perspective of the fur trade. While there, learn about Grand Portage via the park film. Both local residents and reenactors are featured in the film.

 

Rendezvous Days is one of our favorite events. Between Pow Wow and the Encampment there is plenty to do, see, and enjoy. To top all of this off, the location of these events is picturesque with Lake Superior’s presence.View of Pete's Island and Lake Superior over Grand Portage stockade fence

Great Hall porch looking through the doors of the Great Hall toward the Kitchen door

Grand Portage National Monument Sign with Great Hall and white canvas tents in background.

 

 

 

Looking out over Lake Superior from Grand Portage National Park shoreline with island and shoreline off in the distance and rocks and bushes in foreground

 

Spring in Northeast Minnesota

It was mid-April, and you never know what Northshore weather will bring. The rhubarb had already shown its red heads above ground and the lilac bushes had budded.

It was in the mid-forties when we arrived at the little stone house outside of Grand Marais, Minnesota and the sun was shining. Heating up the sauna was not such a chore as with the below zero temperatures of January. Little stone house with light snow and ice It was mid-April, and you never know what North Shore weather will bring.  Eight days later, we learned that winter was not ready to lose its grip.  It was 26 degrees, roads were slick, and trees looked beautiful with their ice sheen.  Thin ice sheets gave up their purchase on the roof and made their slow decent towards the final plunge to the ground.  Heavy sigh.

Thin sheet of ice slowly sliding off metal roof

The crashing waves of Lake Superior have been beautiful to hear and see. Their steady, heavy pounding has brought sand to our beach area.

Lake Superior Waves  — link to beautiful video

The winter storm advisory became a reality that brought a dusting of snow and the closing of schools due to hazardous roads.  Our little stone house sits in the middle of this winter bluster awaiting spring.  The rhubarb had already shown its red heads above ground and the lilac bushes had budded.  The huge mulch pile was useable even though there were still ice crystals in the upper part.  The woodstove is fired and we have three windows partially open to manage the temperature in the house.  We have temporarily halted the outdoor projects we had gotten an early start on, and are finding indoor projects to work on.  Hopefully winter is soon ready to let go and allow spring to quite teasing and finally take hold.  Here’s looking forward to lilac blooms and an up north rhubarb harvest.  What are you looking forward to with the arrival of spring?

Snowy Lake Superior shoreline