Saturday, September 10, 2016

Grand Marais at Night

Grand Marais, MN (Aug 19, 2016)

Grand Marais is a small center on the shores of Lake Superior, on the Minnesota side. Until the 1920s it could only be reached via boat through the lake. That made the town an important port in the area, thanks to the double bays that offered shelter from the severe storms that hits the area in winter.

Walking at sunset
The original name of the place, the Ojibwe Gichi-Biitoobiig, meant "double water", in reference to these two coves separated by a thin promontory protruding into the lake. A long walkway connects the two harbors, sneaking on the red rock all the way to the lighthouse at the end of the west side cove. A second lighthouse protects the cove from the opposite side. The promontory is now reinforced with a concrete drywall, to protect the fishing port that you can see in the panorama below. A placid mirror of still water bathed in the pink hues of the sunset. The walkway is traced right on top of the seawall, and in some points is just a foot wide. That was not enough for Kero, with his ingrained dislike of water. He panicked and stopped midway, refusing to set one paw more in what he considered a watery trap for his samoyeds instinct. I cannot fault him for that: in the natural environment of samoyeds (Siberian tundra), falling from the ice into liquid water would be a death sentence... So we had to turn back, but not before taking a couple of shots of other tourists walking on the ruby red rocks, or of the lighthouses in the fast approaching darkness.

Grand Marais is not isolated anymore and is now easily reachable driving along the scenic route 61, an hour past the Split Rock Lighthouse. It is a small and livable town, with many excellent restaurants and pubs. We had dinner  at the Harbor House Grille, with Kero that was allowed to stay with us on the nice patio. We got a local fresh fish, that turned out to be just perfect. Well worth the visit.

Grand Marais, MN (Aug 19, 2016)

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