A weekend along the North Shore in the “Winter”

Happy Friday everyone!!

Last weekend I spent some time hiking and reflecting on all of God’s beautiful creation along the north shore with a few friends from our church. This is a trip we have been taking as a family almost every fall, but it was so fun to experience the shore in all of its beauty with snow and ice even though the calendar says it’s now “spring” (yay extra long cold winter!). I’m thankful my husband encouraged me to go while he and C had a fun time bonding!

I received a lot of questions about where we stayed, and it really was beautiful! We stayed just a little outside of Duluth in Two Harbors. This is the perfect distance if you’re wanting to be close enough to get into Duluth for a day trip to shop and walk the board walk, but still want to be a little out of the hustle and bustle and really take in the beauty of the North Shore without getting too far up shore. One of our favorite places to stay along the North Shore is Grand Marais… but that is a commitment driving that far!

The hotel we stayed at was the Grand Superior LodgeΒ and it was such a great stay! We had 6 girls stay in one of their suites, and that was the perfect size. There was a main space that had a full bath, fridge/microwave, tv (that we never turned on!), a queen sized bed and pull out couch. There was also a small room off of that main space that had another queen-sized bed in it with a sink and tv. If you’re planning a trip with a small group of people, I would totally recommend a room of this size. Especially if you’re planning to be out most of the day hiking or exploring like we were, you really don’t need much more than this since you aren’t going to be in there a ton. They have other options at this lodge like smaller lodge rooms and log cabins to choose from depending on your group size. If you had small children with you or even a baby- the suite might be a great fit for you with having that separate room apart from the main space with a door you can close.

Gooseberry Falls

We did a full day of hiking on Saturday and had a blast! We made a quick stop at Gooseberry Falls (a well-known stop for those visiting the North Shore), then hiked pretty much all of Tettegouche State Park. This was a spot Dakota and I had never hiked before along the North Shore, so it was fun to experience a new place with some friends. It made me excited to share this place with Dakota some day. I thought about that a lot on the trip. The sights were absolutely beautiful. I frequently stopped and just thanked God for his unbelievable majesty He has given us to enjoy in nature. Dakota and I have both talked about how being in nature is a time of worship for us over other forms. Some people feel a closeness to God in other forms like through music (another big one for me), but every time I’m able to get outside and really take in the wonders of God’s creation is when I feel a deep closeness to Him. I think that’s why Dakota and I enjoy these sorts of activities so much!

Tettegouche State Park

The waterfalls we saw were mostly iced over, but you could still see the water rushing behind the thick ice sheets and that was pretty neat to see. We hiked the longest trail at Tettegouche first a little over 1.5 miles, which with snow and ice wasn’t a simple task. We found ourselves sliding down packed down snow at times as we hiked, and that is something I can say I’ve not done while hiking yet! πŸ™‚ After we hiked back to the lounge/welcome center, we had lunch in front of the beautiful floor to ceiling fireplace they have in there, then did one more shorter hike they have. We got sidetracked by a beach with a large point that we saw people out on, so we ended up going off the beaten trail and the views at the point were so wonderful, it was even better than the place we were heading. The road less traveled really does have great rewards. πŸ™‚

Some snaps from our off the beaten trail hiking in Tettegouche

The trip was filled with fellowship, time in prayer just praising God for His amazing creation and Him as our loving, merciful, and very complex creator. On our way back home we stopped at a coffee + bike shop I had found the night before and it was such a hidden gem of Two Harbors. It was called Cedar Coffee Company and it was such a neat spot off the main road tucked back into the woods. It reminded me of the types of coffee shops that Dakota’s brother and girlfriend have described they go to often out in Brooklyn, NY!Β I absolutely recommend trying it if you’re in Two Harbors! Their blueberry granola and avo toast was amazing. And they made a mean Miel which I appreciated! πŸ™‚ We made one final stop in Duluth to do a little shopping and watch a ship come in to the harbor before we made the trek back home. It was such a wonderful weekend!

Some of the time on our drive up to Two Harbors was spent listening to this podcast that was geared towards husbands and wives and loving each other well! It was mostly talking about a certain subject that makes most people turn red and a subject that “shouldn’t be talked about”, but it was a wonderful podcast to listen to and talk through some of the points she made throughout her talk about how sex (there I said it!) is in God’s word, and is an absolutely wonderful gift God gives us IN marriage! She dove into ways we can best serve our husbands and wives best based on how very different a man and woman is when it comes to this good gift AND within the context of marriage, how absolutely wonderful and special this bond is that God gives us to freely enjoy (and enjoy often!) with our spouse. This is something I don’t find hard to talk about with others, but I know for many it is, so this was a really wonderful thing to listen to with others to talk through, and would definitely be a fun podcast to listen to and laugh along with your spouse! I forgot the name of it, but will share it if any of you would like. Just shoot me a comment or message on here or over on my Instagram!

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend ahead of you. I know many of you reading this have a ton of snow heading your way, so I hope you are able to see God’s beauty even in this seemingly never-ending winter!

with love,

from Courtney

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