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At the end of our scenic drive up the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin and over the Mississippi River, we landed along the western edge of Lake Superior in a town called Lutsen.  Pure magic, the Lutsen Resort combined a romantic getaway with outdoor adventures.  We stayed in a loft in the Popular River Condos and had 180-degree views of Lake Superior from our second floor balcony (fire place included!).

    

Using the resort as our home base, our days were action packed.  We went sea kayaking – a wet suit and spray skirt were non-negotiable.  Because of its size, Lake Superior exhibits some sea-like characteristics and its “refreshing” 50-degree water would be pure torture without them.  We hiked along the Superior Lake trail system and visited numerous waterfalls along the way including Temperance, Cascade and Gooseberry.  And we drove up to Grand Marais and Two Harbors and explored their local wares.

         

We were in Grand Marais on my actual birthday and JG surprised me with a horseback riding expedition into a beautiful forested area that overlooked the lake.  My horse, Arabie, was in his 30ties which is old for a horse and his fortified feed made him gassy.  I felt like we were jet powered for much of the ride (sorry to JG whose horse liked to follow Arabie closely).

           

Grand Marais’ lighthouse is a popular subject for amateur and professional painters alike, and we got a closer look by tracing the rocks out past the harbor (pictures included below).  At sunset, we dined on locally sourced wild rice, corn on the cob and lake-caught trout at the restaurant aptly named, The Angry Trout.

                

Other birthday adventures included a heavenly 90 minute massage with lavender aromatherapy, beers on the top of Lutsen Mountain after a comfortable ascent in a gondola and a thrilling, one-minute alpine slide down Eagle Mountain’s concrete louge.

Best.  Birthday.  Ever.

Some additional photos from the weekend:

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