Books & art

A young girl and an orphan wolf
October 1, 2014 by Gail Trowbridge

A young girl and an orphan wolf

Set in Minnesota’s BWCA, "Summer of the Wolves" tells the story of a troubled girl and her summer helping to raise a young wolf. A young adult novel, it's a great read for all ages. … read more


The perfect North Shore (and Ely) vacation read
July 22, 2014 by Gail Trowbridge

The perfect North Shore (and Ely) vacation read

An evocative cover perfectly represents this story set in a fictitious Iron Range town surrounded by deep lakes and maze-like waterways with hidden islands, steep cliffs, and secret ledges. … read more


Get your summer festival on
July 8, 2014 by Andrew Slade

Get your summer festival on

Freshly popped kettle corn, a new handmade piece of art, a cold lemonade—it's time for summer festivals. Find a complete list of 2014 Best North Shore festivals here … read more


Small-town life (and death) along the North Shore
May 21, 2014 by Gail Trowbridge

Small-town life (and death) along the North Shore

It’s not a stretch to imagine Minnesota’s North Shore as a perfect setting for a mystery novel, but Norwegian writer Vidar Sundstøl takes the genre to a deeper level in "The Land of Dreams." … read more


Reading Rainbow on the power of books
December 6, 2012 by Andrew Slade

Reading Rainbow on the power of books

Our kids grew up watching a lot of PBS shows. One of our favorites as parents was Reading Rainbow. If you ever watched the show, check out this autotune version of Levar Burton "singing" the praises of books.While Levar wasn't talking (or, um, singing) specifically about trail guides, this video captures so much of what There and Back Books is all about. As much fun as our blogs and my Twitter feed are, the core of our business is still books, actual physical books, like Skiing the North Shore. As Levar sings in this video, "A book lets you zoom … read more


Best North Shore at the Outdoor Adventure Expo
November 13, 2012 by Andrew Slade

Best North Shore at the Outdoor Adventure Expo

What do you get when you cross a canoe and a snowshoe? The "X" in Expo, that's what. As in the twice-a-year Outdoor Adventure Expo.It's this weekend, November 16-18, on the West Bank near downtown Minneapolis. This is the winter version (hence the snowshoe). There's a summer version every spring (hence the canoe). Every spring and every fall Midwest Mountaineering in Minneapolis puts on the biggest outdoor show of the season. It's coming up this weekend, and if you're at all interested in exploring the outdoors this winter, you should get there.It's shoulder-to-shoulder fun. Midwest turns all their parking lots … read more


Vote YES for Duluth trails, libraries
October 30, 2011 by Andrew Slade

Vote YES for Duluth trails, libraries

If you live in Duluth, you will have the chance to vote on a referendum supporting increased funding for Duluth city parks. Here are three really good reasons you should vote YES:1. Those ice-flow areas on the Lester Park ski trails that need trail repair.2. Those sketchy bathrooms at Indian Point campground3. All the lost hikers at Hartley Park.If the referendum passes, Duluth trail users and park lovers will see marked improvement in trail maintenance, park facilities, and wayfinding signage. Funding will be restored to the levels last seen in 2003, before government cutbacks began eviscerating parks and programming. Here … read more


Sig’s shack
September 8, 2011 by Andrew Slade

Sig’s shack

I had the rare opportunity last week to visit Sigurd Olson's writing shack. Much to my surprise, it was not at the famed Listening Point, but right in town in Ely. My brother George and his partner had met Listening Point Foundation's executive director, Alanne Dore, and she invited them to see the shack. I tagged along, and was really glad I did. The shack looks like Sig had just left. I was stunned to see that the last thing he ever typed was still in the typewriter: A New Adventure is coming up and I'm sure it will be a good one. Perhaps subconsciously … read more


On the road with Sam Cook
August 2, 2011 by Andrew Slade

On the road with Sam Cook

Chris Evavold being photographed by Sam Cook at Divide Lake Every two or three years, the phone rings and a familiar voice with just a hint of Kansas in it says, "Hi, Andrew, Sam Cook." Just like the sound of a bell got Pavlov's dogs to salivate, that voice makes me start to stuff my day pack. We're going on an adventure.Sam wanted to do an article about North Shore hiking and our new book, Hiking the North Shore: 50 fabulous day hikes in Minnesota's spectacular Lake Superior region. "Where would you like to go, Andrew?," Sam asked. What a great … read more