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It may still be spring, but we’re doing summer!

The spirit of summer has officially been set off today at Lutsen Resort as we hosted our first sea kayak tour of the season. Activities Director, Drew Price, took a full group of our guests out on Lake Superior to enjoy the sunny afternoon.

Guests learn the basics before heading out to sea

Guests learn the basics before heading out to sea

As I was watching Drew go through the fundamental paddling techniques with our guests, I was brought back to last September, which was the end of the kayak season of 2014. I remember thinking how I had a whole nine months before I was able to lead one of these tours, but it came so fast! We will be in the full swing of things before we know it.

Guests adjust the boats on shore prior to heading out

Guests adjust the boats on shore prior to heading out

It was an ideal day for the first tour of the season. Winds were calm and therefore the waters were flat. The sunshine and upcoming long weekend rendered extra energy and enthusiasm.

One by one, Drew sends each boat out

One by one, Drew sends each boat out

The water is still sitting at a 37.3 degrees F. Not quite warm enough for a swim!

These sisters are ready to go!

These sisters are ready to go!

Front desk employee, Katie, and her sister joined our tour today as well. If you happen to be at the main lodge while she’s working, she can tell you all about it.

Drew paddles to catch up with the fleet

Drew paddles to catch up with the fleet

Drew has been looking forward to this moment all spring. Paddling sports are kicking off for the season. We added a new activity to our program this year: stand-up paddle boarding. Make sure you check our activities calendar for the upcoming dates and details for those tours.

There they go!

There they go!

Make your Memorial Day weekend more memorable by taking advantage of this beautiful weather we have in store and partake in summer activities. Fishing, paddle sports, camping, cook outs, biking, hiking, etc., all offer an excellent reason to come visit Lutsen. The summer of 2015 has officially begun; let us make it a good one full of new adventures and fond memories starting this weekend!

The perks of April showers

Well, we had a nice long run of sunny days, but the rain must come as part of the spring package. Looks like we are heading into a stretch of rain/ snow mix here for the next few days. As enjoyable as the clear blue skies and warm temperatures may be, the gloomy days that bring along precipitation are equally as important to the North Shore environment and can be appreciated for their own reasons.

Reason #1) Roaring waterfalls

The runoff from the melting snow combined with the rainfall raises the water levels and rapid speeds substantially. This time of year is great for touring waterfalls and there are tons of rivers in the area that provide these wondrous views.

Caribou Falls

Caribou Falls

I took this shot a couple weeks ago on a trip down the North Shore. The epic Caribou Falls is located just outside of the Cook County border and is definitely worth the 1/2 mile hike down the Superior Hiking Trail to check it out. I awoke to snow covered ground on this particular morning but it did not stick around for long. I took a group of guests down here for a tour on a more recent occasion during our streak of warm weather and the ice and snow was obsolete.

Gooseberry Falls

Gooseberry Falls

I visited Gooseberry that same day and walked the “Falls Views” loop. It was probably about a mile long and offered amazing views of the high, middle and low falls from all different perspectives. Great leg stretcher while driving up for a visit to Lutsen.

Reason #2) Fishing

The steelhead are running now and the determined fisherman are lining the mouths of the rivers awaiting that promising tug on the line.

Poplar River

Poplar River

The mouth of the Poplar River flows right into the shoreline in front of the main lodge here at Lutsen Resort. As the water warms up, the steelhead migrate from the big lake and go upstream the rivers to spawn. Following the spawn, they return back to the big lake and must pass through the mouths of the rivers, creating an ideal fishing hub. I have noticed many fisherman frequenting here recently and a young boy reported yesterday that he had a few catches. Another local fisherman said the day after a rainfall is prime time to get out and fish because the rain increases the run of the steelhead.

Upstream the Poplar River

Upstream the Poplar River

The rivers are very brown with runoff right now. This creates a noticeable contrast between the water close to shore and the water further out on the big lake. The brown color hugs the shoreline and then dissolves back into the original color of the lake about 30 feet out. I notice that the blue hue of the lake on a given day reflects the sky; this morning it was a gray/ navy blue color:

Shore line of Lake Superior

Shore line of Lake Superior

Reason #3) Alleviate drought

Rain is an essential asset to our ecosystem in order for the vibrant natural colors of the spring and summer foliage to come out. A kin to human beings, plants also need water to flourish and the lack of such lately rendered very dry grounds. So this rain is contributing to the life cycle of the North Shore in a positive way. I was down in Minneapolis this week right after a rain spell and came upon this blossoming tree. The streets were also lined with green grass:

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Spring in Minneapolis

It will only  be a matter of time until spring makes its way up here, and we also will be surrounded by pinks, greens and blues. Until then, we can only appreciate the inconsistent weather patterns for what they’re worth. As an old Minnesota proverb says:

“There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing.”