Last fall I did a program at the Larsmont Cottages about North Shore special places. For a trade-out, management gave me a certificate for "Dinner for Two." It had a March 21, 2010 expiration date. So when did we finally go cash in? March 21, 2010.
It was the sort of dinner we'd never buy for ourselves...salad, appetizer, main course, and dessert. We could order up to $80 of food...but no liquor. Apparently, some beer-swillin' trade-out hard-partying fools had made them change their policy about alcoholic beverages, because drinks were off limits.
The food was very good. I had a big hunk of salmon and Sally had pork tenderloins. There was not just one vegetable, but two, including big green stalks of asparagus. Not to mention the salad. This was dinner that never happens at our house: I couldn't make it this good, and even if I did, the boys wouldn't touch it.
My favorite part of the evening, however, was rolling our post-dessert bods down to check out the lakeshore. There's something so personal about each little stretch of Lake Superior shore. Sure, it's more rocks and more pebble beaches, but each one is different. If we hadn't just eaten there, I wouldn't have been comfortable walking down to "their" shore. But after a trade-out meal, I was practically like family.
Walking to someone's Lake Superior shore is like walking to their shrine. It is their special place.
As you drive up and down Highway 61, you see the fronts of cabins, resorts and large vacation homes. Just like at Larsmont, whenever I visit a landowner or even resort manager, I always want to see their shoreline...and generally they want to show it to me too. It's their own back yard. It's an intimate moment and a glimpse into people's lives. Their own favorite bit of Lake Superior shore is a deep connection for them. I know this from my own experience at my family's place in Little Marais.
As much as I try in my writing and blogging to help people find new special places to explore, the most special place is often the one you can most easily reach.