With the poodle

Love on the Superior Hiking Trail
September 27, 2012 by Andrew Slade

Love on the Superior Hiking Trail

  "This is one of my favorite sections." Only for a old hiking couple like us could that have been words of love.  When Sally said just that to me this week as we hiked from the Caribou Trail to Lutsen on the Superior Hiking Trail, I felt as warm and gooey as if she'd reached across a fancy restaurant's white linen to hold my hand. She likes it. She really really likes it! I'd wrapped up a virtual present for her and she was delighted with it. We'd already enshrined this hike as one of the "50 fabulous day hikes" in … read more


Hiking Ely’s Secret-Blackstone trail
September 4, 2012 by Andrew Slade

Hiking Ely’s Secret-Blackstone trail

The Secret-Blackstone trail winds around three lakes strung in the hilly country between Moose Lake and Snowbank Lake east of Ely, two popular BWCA entry points off the Fernberg Road. … read more


Why I live in Minnesota, not in Germany
March 19, 2012 by Andrew Slade

Why I live in Minnesota, not in Germany

  Seventeen long years ago, Sally and I lived in Heidelberg, Germany for about seven months.  Germans love to hike, and we had a network trails heading up into the hills above the town. One weekend, we sought a little more adventure, so we headed out of town for the Wolfsschlucht. Germany has so many people and a culture passed down for centuries. Part of that culture includes naming nearly every natural feature that can be distinguished from the surroundings. For example, most hiking trail maps will mark where you can find important trees, and nearly every cliff has a name passed … read more


What to do with the poo?
February 6, 2012 by Andrew Slade

What to do with the poo?

On the regular morning tromp with the poodle to Duluth's Aerial Lift Bridge and back, I couldn't help but notice this little crop circle laid down on the sandy Park Point beach. Some dog walker had VERY CAREFULLY bagged up their dog's do, set it down on the beach, and drawn a two-foot circle around it. They must have kept on walking...and forgotten the poop bag.Hats off to the artistic walker for at least bagging the stuff. Park Point is a popular dog-walking area, so we get a lot of poochies, many of them off-leash. Some dog owners seem to … read more


A North Shore Black Friday
November 26, 2011 by Andrew Slade

A North Shore Black Friday

Canadians rushing down Highway 61 to Duluth on our Thanksgiving because their Thanksgiving was last month.Lines snaking past the kitschy keychains and into the Rubbermaid aisle at Joynes' Ben Franklin. And a black-and-white poodle getting all the love on a day known just for the black.Today was Black Friday, and the North Shore nearly missed it. No doorbusters at the Lake Superior Trading Post in Grand Marais. No controversial midnight openings at Waters Edge in Tofte. Just 20% off all clothing and footwear at Grand Marais' landmark five and dime, Joynes.All the super good deals must have been in Duluth and … read more


Same point, different poodle
November 15, 2011 by Andrew Slade

Same point, different poodle

I've been trying out the new dog.  Longtime readers of this blog will remember a certain canine star, the late great Chloe. Chloe left us way too soon last winter. She was a GREAT hiker, bringing the need for speed and a craving for the chase to our woodland excursions. Check out a long, long list of "Poodle Posts" here. They say every boy needs a dog. Well, just about every hiker does too. Especially when, like me, the hiker has to hike alone. So I've been trying out the new dog. Daphne is a "parti" poodle, part black and … read more


Erkki Harju says "Ski" in Two Harbors
March 3, 2011 by Andrew Slade

Erkki Harju says "Ski" in Two Harbors

  In twenty years of skiing on the North Shore's groomed trails, I've seen a lot of signs with basically the same message: Please don't walk on the groomed ski trail. I even remember the Nordic ski coach back in high school pleading with students in a school assembly to stay off the ski tracks around the athletic fields. But this sign, which I found yesterday at the Erkki Harju ski trail in Two Harbors, is by far the goofiest and maybe the most effective I've seen. No, that is not Erkki Harju himself with the shovels and the drawl. According to … read more


The easiest ski trail in Duluth
January 31, 2011 by Andrew Slade

The easiest ski trail in Duluth

The good folks at Boulder Lake have done it again. They've added a new trail and a new parking lot to that wonderful network of trails just north of Duluth. And this time, they've created the Easiest Trail in Duluth. Duluth doesn't have truly easy ski trails. The city is built on a steep rocky hillside that is riddled with creeks. What isn't steep here is deep. To build a soccer field, both dynamite and landfill are required. So a flat and easy ski trail is as rare as a palm tree here.  Boulder Lake is far enough away from Lake Superior … read more


North Shore dog ski…the Ultimate Outdoor Experience?
January 25, 2011 by Andrew Slade

North Shore dog ski…the Ultimate Outdoor Experience?

So you love the North Shore. And you love to ski. To top it all off, you love your dog. What if you could combine all of those into ...The...Ultimate...Outdoor...Experience?Don't try strapping four tiny little skis onto your dog's paws, try skijoring instead. Or at least try taking the hound out with you when you ski.The dog will love it. You might like it too.Suffice to say that with our psychotic, self-centered poodle, it's not about pulling forward to go fast. It's not a mini-version of a Beargrease sled dog team all focused and working together. With Chloe, it's all … read more