It's warmer by the lake. And it has been for a while.
Most of the snowy storms that have rolled through this fall and winter ended up as rain down by Lake Superior and snow up in the "higher elevations." The beach on Minnesota Point has a thin blanket of snow and a wide band of ice and sand at the water's edge. This morning, Chloe had to do an awkward dance to get off the slick shoreline.
In the hills, there is fair amount of snow. We've been skiing at Duluth's Piedmont and Hartley trails about every other day. It's the same pattern all the way up the shore.
Yesterday I had a meeting at Lutsen Mountain. I drove up Highway 61 from Duluth in the morning. Right by Lake Superior, there is maybe one inch of snow, no more than three inches. There's a bit more snow around Silver Bay and Little Marais.
I was indoors all day at Caribou Highlands in a room with no windows. I didn't even bring any skis. That was really hard, to drive all that way and get into all that gorgeous terrain and not even hear the crunch of snow under foot.
If you are headed up the shore this weekend, take one of those great left turns into the snowy winter country above. Drive the big loop up County Road 2 to Isabella and back down Highway 1 to Finland. Take the Onion River Road up to where the plows have stopped and the skiing begins. Head up the Gunflint Trail into deep real winter.