A very quick trip north …

On Monday, we took a very quick trip north. Our destination – Grand Rapids, MN – a county seat city of almost 11,000 people (2010). Grand Rapids is perhaps most well known as the home of Judy Garland from the ‘Wizard of Oz’ movie. It was also home to Hugh Beaumont ( Mr. Cleaver, father of Theordore “Beaver” Cleaver ) from the TV series ‘Leave it to Beaver’ – a late 50’s and early 60’s situational comedy.

On the way to Grand Rapids, we went by a childhood landmark for me – Nine Mile Corner Bar – which is located between Hillman and Grand Rapids. My grandfather used to live near this bar. On weekends, we would make the trip – often riding in the back of our pickup – from Princeton to Grandpa’s house so Dad could go fishing. In the evening, we would go to Nine Mile Corner Bar – where we listened to the band and ate bar food. (Keep in mind that we rarely went out to eat, so this was a real treat for us kids.) Often the band played polkas, waltzes, schottishes, etc. – and I danced with my favorite partner – Grandpa ‘Shorty.’

As you will see in the photo, the bar is now closed and for sale – which makes me a little sad.


A bit about Grand Rapids  —

Grand Rapids began as a logging town, the history of which is now featured at The Forest History Center, a State Historic Site and living history museum that recreates life as it was in a turn of the 20th century logging camp. The site includes miles of nature trails, educational naturalist programming, and an interpretive museum. Click here for the source and more information on Grand Rapids.

Just a little exploring —

We arrived a bit early for our event, so we visited downtown Grand Rapids. We’ve been there several times; each time I say “I would love to go in that building.” Well, this was my lucky day because minutes later my husband pulled into the parking lot of ‘that building’ – Old Central School. The school was was built in 1895 in the Richardsonian Romanesque style of architecture and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This style of architecture is also found in Duluth. The three story building served as an elementary school from 1895 to 1972. The building was restored in 1984 and it now holds several shops and businesses.

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The real reason for our trip to Grand Rapids —

Monday was Indigenous People’s Day. What better way to commemorate that day than to go to a concert featuring Brule, a contemporary Native American New Age band. However, first we met friends at the well-known Sawmill Restaurant for a wonderful meal. Then on to the concert.


Brule has been performing for 20 years – and we have been attending their concerts whenever we could throughout that time. I guess that makes us groupies. We first heard them at an open-air restaurant in Deadwood, South Dakota and we have been hooked ever since. Over the years, they have added Native American dancers to the performance that, along with the band – results in a performance that reminds us that we are all related; we are all connected — Mitakuye Oyasin

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(For more information on Brule and the very interesting story about how the band came to be, CLICK HERE.)

And then for the long moon-lit ride home (just over two hours) – but well worth the very quick trip north.


Thanks for reading! I hope you will come again!


Palisades Head … along the beautiful north shore

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One of the Brule dance troupe members …

This past weekend, we took a quick trip to Silver Bay, Minnesota, located along the north shore of Lake Superior. On Saturday night, we attended a wonderful concert by Brule, a long-standing Native American contemporary/new age band (that we have been following for many years),

On Sunday morning we decided to do a little exploration of Palisades Head. According to Wikipedia, Palisades Head is a large rock formation within Tettegouche State Park but not contiguous with the rest of that park. It is located in Beaver Bay Township, approximately 54 miles northeast of Duluth and three miles east of Silver Bay. Palisades Head is a sheer cliff three hundred feet in height that is located right on the shore and is a favorite place for rock-climbing.

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The narrow, winding road leading to the top of Palisades Head …

The road leading to the top of Palisades Head is a bit intimidating, clearly marked with warnings about the narrow, winding path –   cautioning those who choose to make the steep ascent. At first we thought it might be better to just look from the road – but then our curiosity got the better of us – and we started up the narrow road. There were a few spots in the road where it was very steep — and a backward trip down the hill would have been particularly exciting. But a few minutes later we arrived at the summit – with no issues except for a few white knuckles.

Once at the top, this spectacular view lay before us …

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The view to the south …

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The view across the lake … taken into the bright sun … making it look like an evening shot …

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The view to the north …

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A view of the edge of the cliff …

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And this … a panorama  … of the scene before us …

The air was crisp but invigorating; it felt like I was standing at the top of the world … absolutely breathtaking!

If you ever get a chance, take a few minutes to see this amazing view. You’ll be glad you did.

As always, thanks for reading!