Lake and Company - Minnesota Issue 24

Page 80


For the people, from the people.

We are inspired by the stories of people doing exceptional things — for the people, from the people. Derived from the land of lakes, our articles are submitted by the public — stories of journeys big and small, life lessons, outdoor adventures, travel tips, inspiring brands, environmental issues and scenic destinations — with the intent to help inspire and connect the masses.

LAKE AND COMPANY 3 @thelakeandcompany


Issue 24 pushes us to look inward and seek out the stories lurking beneath the surface. Stories that tap into the human psyche and connect with the greater community.

This issue is a window into the lives of exceptional people from all walks of life. Personal stories from artists, explorers, risk takers and change makers who are creating a community safety net through their experiences. Stories about mental health and loss as well as stories of hope and inspiration. Stories that break down stigmas and champion inclusion. Stories that expand the mind and warm the soul.

Experience wreck diving with a Great Lakes explorer. Learn the creative process of prolific artist Anne Labovitz. Celebrate the magic of winter with events happening throughout the state. Treat yourself to savory recipes perfect for cooler months, and shop thoughtful gifts for all seasons.

We hope Issue 24 will help ease the mind and offer a greater understanding of those around us. Be kind to yourself and know we’re all in this journey together. Lake and Company is a place to communicate and share your ideas. Your story is an important one and we would love to hear it.

Go explore,

Maria Hileman

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR 44 JOURNEY INTO THE DEEP Shipwreck Diving in the Great Lakes GIFT GIVING Thoughtful Gifts for All Seasons 68 A SHARED CONNECTION All-LGBTQ+ Team Explores the BWCAW 38 NORTH SHORE ADVENTURES Where to Play and Stay This Winter 88 80 CONTEMPORARY ARTIST Discover the Art of Anne Labovitz
CELEBRATE WINTER 22 Must-See Festivals & Events in Minnesota 60 FRESHWATER A Film That Dives into Mighty Lake Superior 94 THE STATE OF HOCKEY From Backyard Rinks to the NHL 56 A NEW NARRATIVE Breaking Stigmas Around Foster Care 72 @thelakeandcompany Follow us BATTLING COLON CANCER Navigating a New Normal 10 For the FromPeople, the People. Have a story or photo to share? SHARE IT HERE






Megan Kellin

Maria Hileman

Isabelle Snyder

Ashley Kirkman

Maddie Young

Kendall Messer – Stillwater, MN

Ally Gould – Grand Rapids, MN

Tyla Ames – Steamboat Springs, CO



Ally Gould, Amanda Scherping, Autumn Sayler, Brynn Bossen, Corey Johnson, Ella Kranzler, Grace Conners, Grace Janecke, Karmin Kivel, Kendall Messer, Leigh Deller, Sarah Fritz, Tyla Ames

Anne Kelley Conklin

Chris Roxburgh @chrisroxburgh

Kelly Kabotoff, Kelly Jerulle, Prof. Jeannie Larson, Scott Patrow, Tammy Meehan Russell, Amanda Bramble, Jennifer Gorman, Matthew Baxley, Chris Roxburgh, Kelly Roberts, Marko Zitzer, Mitch Reaume, Stefanie Palmer, Dr. Megan Arney Johnston, Cheryl Fosdick, Lynn Melling


10 NW 3rd St., Grand Rapids, MN 55744

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INSPIRED BY THE STORIES OF PEOPLE DOING EXCEPTIONAL THINGS — — ©2022 Lake and Company. All rights reserved. No portion may be duplicated, in whole or in part, without the written consent of the publisher. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publicatio; however, the publisher assumes no responsibility for accuracy of information or omissions from the material provided. Lake and Company cannot be held liable for the quality or performance of goods and services rendered by the advertisers published in the magazine. PrintReleaf guarantees every sheet of paper a customer consumes will be reforested. Lake and Company has reforested 12,101,444 sheets of paper and over 1,452 standard trees since joining PrintReleaf Exchange in 2015. + select grocers, convenience stores, and independent retailers BECOME A STOCKIST FIND US EVERYWHERE: You live your story, we tell it. be.Media is a full-service strategic marketing and production company. SERVICES Brand Identity Graphic Design Video + Animation Website Design Strategy Social Media Photography Publishing SEO/SEM ADVERTISE WITH US: 4 and 5 star hotels + resorts


From the shoreline, it’s hard to envision what may lie below. Maybe you spot a few rocks poking through the surface of the water and peer down at some sort of dark shape, but it can look like any other body of water at first glance. Of course, that all changes once you jump in.

Only then do the streams of sunlight beam down from above, illuminating an active and colorful otherworld. It’s all so much more than meets the eye. It’s the discovered yet untold.

The idea to start this magazine was spawned from some of the most normal stories you’ve ever heard. Yet I found them fascinating. Maybe it wasn’t the story per se, but the fact that there was so much more to it. It was a combination of fresh perspective and deeply rooted culture — that themed state of mind.

Landscapes may resemble one another, but it’s the people that set them apart. That is why the whole story is important — it’s our common ground. It’s every single person in this magazine and it’s why we’re here.

This issue has a very introspective focus. Instead of staying on the surface, we dive beneath the reflections and waves to a place completely submerged in who we are, not just what appears to be. The stories here stretch our lungs and test our swimming abilities in order to really go deeper. As we enter this season of extended darkness, we enliven our days by embracing the origin of the story. Traditions, pastimes, recipes and entertainment — it’s what we’re built on.

Together we are a community. We are a movement. We are Lake and Company. Join us! Stop into one of our storefronts, subscribe to our magazine or, better yet, share your story with us.

Stay curious,

* We want to hear from you. What’s your whole story? What’s your “why”? You can send me an email at with any feedback or ideas for future stories.

Submit your story, photography or art to:



We love to surround ourselves in good company. Our team was lucky enough to enjoy Pine Tree Apple Orchard all to ourselves. This 300-acre orchard has been in the Jacobson family since 1950, and they asked us to visit their special spot. We got a behind-the-scenes look at a working orchard, chased the harvest moon and filled our bellies with all the apple goodness.

Wherever you choose to venture – take us with you!



Customize a Happier Camper for a truly unique gift this holiday season.

Choose from upgrades and accessories such as solar and heating packages to arrange the perfect gift for a loved one. Email to design your made-to-order trailer.


KellyK a b o t o f f





My dad always said that I don’t have a dimmer switch. That I’m either ON or I’m OFF. There is no in-between. And usually I’m on … full blast. Most people who know me would agree. I walk into a room like a force of nature. A burst of energy and a hug, followed by a laugh and a big smile, and then I command the stage to share whatever it is that has me excited at that moment. For better or worse, I’ve been going full throttle like this my whole life. And for the last six years, much of this energy was focused on beating the Lake and Company drum. I went all in on this entrepreneurial journey and thrived in the excitement of it all. The challenge. The people. The thrill of the unknown. It totally turned me on, until the universe threw me a curveball that knocked me flat — cancer.

Suddenly the only thing that mattered was fighting to stay alive. Everything else just went away. I know people say that things like this completely shift your life. And you sure as hell never see it coming. Out of nowhere I got separated into two completely different people. The person BEFORE, and the person AFTER. It happened in an instant. And for a moment I didn’t recognize myself. For a moment, it was just darkness.

It all started with a pain in my belly. That was all. No other symptoms of concern, plus I am only

42. Probably just a pulled muscle, I thought, but something I should get checked out. That simple appointment turned into a CT scan, and I expected to get a call from the doctor the following morning. But at 9:00 that night, my phone dinged. I had a MyChart test result waiting, and against my better judgment, I opened it up and read …

IMPRESSION: The combination of above findings is very concerning for a neoplasm involving the sigmoid colon with metastatic disease to the liver.

I didn’t have to be a doctor to know that “metastatic” wasn’t what you wanted, and a quick Google search confirmed my assumption that “neoplasm” was basically a fancy word for cancer.

“It totally turned me on, until the universe threw me a curveball that knocked me flat — cancer.

Over the next few weeks it was confirmed that I had stage 4 colon cancer that had spread to my liver. It only took another quick Google search to find out what that meant statistically, and it only took one look in the mirror to decide that I am not a statistic. I made a decision, and my new state of mind was set. I chose love and light over fear and darkness.

I made some other important choices that day. One of those was to approach this with honesty and transparency with everyone around me. My ex-husband and I told our four young kids together, and we didn’t shy away from words like “cancer” when we did it. We knew it was scary, but we wanted them to know that we would always be honest with them and that we were going to fight this together. I told our team at Lake and Company with the honesty and humor I always try to bring

to the table, including a really bad “I have cancer” song and dance. And I shared all the details, good and bad, with my community of friends and family over social media and through my CaringBridge site. And I mean everything. From my attempts to make a poop bag sexy, to combating my fear with badass shoes and shitty jokes (pun intended), I continue to put it all out there. This path of full disclosure isn’t for everyone, but it’s how I’ve always lived my life. And I believe that this vulnerable approach has created a space where conversation around colon cancer can happen.

I also chose to fight this from every direction I could. Since my diagnosis, I have endured major colon surgery, complete with a temporary colostomy (aka the poop bag that is saving my life), and multiple rounds of chemotherapy. The next few months will bring liver resection surgery, more chemotherapy and, hopefully, the reversal of my colostomy. The goal is NED (no evidence of disease) and poop bag free by summer. But things can always change. I am supplementing my Western medicine care with many other healing practices, including acupuncture, meditation, energy healing, support groups, diet and exercise, and I’ve even enlisted a cancer coach to help me navigate my new normal.

And I chose to slow down … but not to dim my light. Something I didn’t know I could do. The go, go, go was all I knew. And like so many Americans,

And I believe that this vulnerable approach has created a space where conversation around colon cancer can happen.”

I defined myself in many ways by what I did, not who I was. But nonetheless, I stopped working, with the support of everyone around me, including our team, so I could decrease my stress and focus on my health and my kids. It was harder than I like to admit, partially because putting an extrovert at home … in bed … alone … is basically hell. But when the fog cleared, I realized I could see everything brighter, I could hear everything clearer, and I could feel all the love around me. The fall leaves. My kids’ laughter. Every hug. It was all on full blast, even in the silence. And my light was still bright, even in my pain.

Some things I’ve learned so far …

Trust your gut, and check your colon. You are the only one who can hear it, so don’t push that little voice aside. Trust yourself and advocate for your life, healthwise and otherwise. And if you are 40+, don’t be a wuss and go get a colonoscopy.

My shit stinks, and so does yours. So let’s be kind to each other and show some grace. We are all doing the best we can in this crazy, crazy world. Also — don’t forget to surround yourself with people who will call you out on

your shit when needed and love you anyway. Because sometimes we need that too (even when you’re shitting in an ostomy bag).

You are not chopped liver (even if you have a chopped liver). I didn’t know the ripple effect that my light had on the people around me. It’s been a crazy experience to hear that friends and acquaintances alike, from all over the country, feel that I have positively affected their lives. That I’ve inspired them, in the past or through my posts since my diagnosis. Don’t ever doubt that you matter to the world. Don’t dim your light. The world needs you.

Follow Kelly’s journey on her blog, The Dimmer Switch, at

Resources: Colorectal Cancer Alliance – Colon Cancer Coalition – Fight Colorectal Cancer –

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America Made Accessible goMARTI

A fleet of self-driving vehicles using state-of-the-art technology have begun winding around Grand Rapids roads, providing residents and visitors with a new option for transportation. The 18-month pilot program named goMARTI (Minnesota’s Autonomous Rural Transit Initiative) is a free, on-demand shuttle service that covers nearly 17 square miles throughout Grand Rapids, Minnesota, with around 70 pickup and drop-off points.

Three of the five self-driving shuttles are wheelchairaccessible vehicles offering an innovative way to provide safe, accessible transportation for all Minnesotans, especially those with transportation challenges. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar attended the goMARTI launch in Grand Rapids on Oct. 5. “We are keeping rural communities moving forward by harnessing cuttingedge technology transit systems to match where we are now and where we need to be,” said Sen. Klobuchar.

Project partners including the City of Grand Rapids worked with Michigan-based May Mobility, which developed the technology behind these autonomous shuttles. Some communities that have harnessed this autonomous technology are Arlington, Texas; Indianapolis, Indiana; Columbus, Ohio; Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Detroit, Michigan; and Hiroshima, Japan.

This free, on-demand transportation service is available six days a week including nights and weekends. To request a ride, simply download the May Mobility app or call 211. The vehicles will have an autonomous vehicle operator onboard to aid passengers as needed and ensure safety.

Learn more at:

Myrna Peterson testing out the accessible transportation.
Sen. Klobuchar attending the goMARTI launch in Grand Rapids, MN.
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Small-Town Vibes

Renovation and Expansion for Grand Rapids’ Sammy’s Pizza

In 1952, Sam and Louise Perrella started a café in the small town of Keewatin, on the Iron Range in Minnesota. During this time, they had heard many stories from World War II veterans who shared some of their favorite foods while serving our country in Italy. Pizza was the favorite by far! Sam wanted to learn more about this “pizza,” so he spent time in Chicago and developed his secret pizza recipe and perfect “square cut” trademark. Back home, Sam and Louise added pizza to their traditional Italian family recipes and in 1954 moved their café to the larger Iron Range town of Hibbing — the official date and birthplace of Sammy’s Pizza & Restaurant. The saucy secrets of Sammy’s have grown since then to include more than 15 locations across Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota. Each Sammy’s location is locally owned and operated by a family member or close friend of the Perrella family, who all proudly use many of Sam and Louise’s recipes.

I enter the story in 1987 at 22 years old. When I found out there was a Sammy’s in Grand Rapids, I was so excited at the possibility to work there, as Sammy’s in

Hibbing was my favorite place to eat. What was meant to be a fun summer waitressing job before I moved away ended up a little different than I had planned. The general manager at the time, Tony Jerulle, hired me, and within a few years we got married, had our first of three children and became sole owners/operators of the business when the Perrella family asked Tony to take over. Even though I grew up in Nashwauk, and Tony in Hibbing, our paths somehow never had crossed before he hired me. We were both frequent customers of the original store throughout our lives, so I feel like fate may have played a hand in our meeting at the Grand Rapids store, which we have now owned for 35 years. We’ve since acquired ownership of the Hibbing, International Falls and West Duluth restaurants.

In the last three decades, we have seen Sammy’s Grand Rapids grow and become an important place to people in the community. An expansion was a lifelong dream of Tony’s, and in 2019, he and a small but mighty team, including our two daughters who played an integral part and continue to do so, took on the challenge. Through


the renovation, Sammy’s was put to the test. For 45 days, Sammy’s doors were closed. In December 2019, the doors were opened with the help of unwavering customer loyalty. The expansion doubled the space for customers with a new tavern, patio, waiting area and restrooms. A much bigger state-of-the-art kitchen was also added. The buffet tripled in size, and the old kitchen area was turned into the “party” room, which has been a blessing.

Our staff is grateful to be a part of sharing important events such as grooms’ and small wedding dinners, birthday parties, anniversaries, celebrations of life, team meetings and dinners, baby showers (my favorite) and more. The “party” room is a warm, quiet place for any occasion, something we are excited to offer the community. The dining room has not seen a significant overhaul yet, and people often comment on how they appreciate that we left some things the same. I like that too.

If it weren’t for our loyal customers, there would not be an expansion. We are pleased to say the hands involved in making the addition a reality were local people and businesses — many of whom have been customers for years. We are honored to work every day in a place that houses many skilled people right in our backyard. Grand Rapids and the surrounding communities helped us expand

and survive the pandemic. We have been given a gift that we do not take for granted, as we hold the legacy of the Perrella family and our family in our hands. It is also our priority to provide good jobs for our staff, many of whom have been with us for years and whom we consider family.

It’s hard to put into words everything I feel about Sammy’s, our Sammy’s family, and our loyal customers who keep coming back for those delicious bite-sized squares. Our mission is Family, Friends & Traditions and to provide our customers with good-quality food with kind and friendly service. Thank you for sharing your family celebrations with my family, supporting our expansion, seeing us through the pandemic and patronizing our small business so we can give back. Thank you also for voting Sammy’s Pizza the #1 pizza in Minnesota again this year. I hope to see you soon!


A collaborative space that shapes the economy and contributes to the community by bringing people, ideas and resources together under one roof.



a new work & life balance

Remote work improves the quality of life

Remote work options are allowing some workers to flip the script on where to live, and many are making the move. Those who have new-found work flexibility and who no longer need to live where they work are trading city life for a home in rural areas.

The workplace changes for the better

Some of the largest tech companies such as Twitter, Facebook and Shopify stated the switch to remote work is a permanent option. Employees of these companies have been working from home for years after a rapid shift away from the traditional work day at large office campuses. Now, they are finding themselves with the option to work remotely forever. No longer required to live near a corporate office or make the long commute to get to it, many are opting to move away, some to more rural areas that can offer a better quality of life.

The Trend in Rural Minnesota

Lake country is experiencing an influx of new residents who are trading their apartments and long commutes for miles of hiking trails and mountain air. With the ability to work from anywhere, some are taking advantage of their new found flexibility and moving to places they previously would only visit on vacation. The residential market in rural Minnesota is seeing an increase in home sales, to the point that inventory cannot keep up with the demand.

Despite the freedom to never return to an office again, many people still prefer a professional work environment, at least some of the time. The social interaction of a workplace and the ability to physically separate work and home life are still seen as key benefits of office life. As a result, coworking spaces are currently experience a similar increase in membership inquires and sign ups, primarily from new residents to the area looking to take full advantage of a more flexible lifestyle without a commute, and easy access to outdoor recreation.

The demand goes beyond taking a workcation, where people may visit a more rural locale for a few weeks, extending their vacation time by logging in a few hours each day. What we are seeing instead is a complete lifestyle change. Remote work options are allowing some workers to flip the script on where to live. What was once a decision to live where you worked is now becoming a more open-ended choice to work where you want to live.

Renders of coworking space that will open early 2023.


Winter Blues Exploring Seasonal Depression

About 5% of the U.S. population experiences seasonal depression — also known as the “winter blues” — a subtype of depression that typically occurs when the seasons change. It most commonly affects people starting in the fall and continues into the winter months.

Professor Jeannie Larson with the University of Minnesota talks about what causes seasonal depression, its symptoms and what people can do to lessen the symptoms.

Q: What causes seasonal depression?

Prof. Larson: Essentially seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is caused by a reduced level of sunlight beginning in the fall and continuing through the winter months. This change of daylight may affect a person’s serotonin level, thus impacting mood. Research suggests lower levels of serotonin are linked to depression.

Q: How common is seasonal depression?

Prof. Larson: A study done in 2013 found the prevalence of SAD approaches 10% in northern latitudes, which makes sense because the farther one is from the equator, the less sunlight [they get]. On average, about 5% of the U.S. population experiences seasonal depression depending on geographical region. There is a higher rate of SAD among women and, on average, people start to feel the effects of SAD between 20 and 30 years old.

Q: What are the symptoms of seasonal depression?

Prof. Larson: According to the Mental Health America National Organization, symptoms of seasonal depression can be similar to those that occur with depression. It can sometimes be difficult to discern SAD from other types of depression. So a diagnosis of seasonal depression can only be made after two consecutive occurrences of depression that begin and end at the same time every year, with the symptoms subsiding the rest of the year.

However, there are symptoms associated only with SAD, such as:

∙ Depression: misery, guilt, loss of self-esteem, hopelessness, diminished interest in activities, despair and apathy ∙

Anxiety: tension and inability to tolerate stress ∙ Mood changes: extremes of mood and, in some people, periods of mania in spring and summer ∙

Sleep problems: desire to oversleep and difficulty staying awake or, sometimes, disturbed sleep and early-morning waking

Change in eating habits: carbohydrate craving, increased appetite, weight gain

Lethargy: feeling of fatigue and inability to carry out a normal routine

∙ Social problems: irritability and desire to avoid social contact

∙ Sexual problems: loss of libido and decreased interest in physical contact

Q: How has COVID made seasonal affective disorder worse?

Prof. Larson: Even though people have been managing stress from COVID-19 for a while now, research suggests the rate of depression has tripled since the pandemic. That said, the beginning symptoms of SAD may exacerbate the pre-existing stressors from COVID, making a person less capable of dealing with issues than they might have been able to before. In other words, the symptoms may worsen as the person enters the winter season already feeling stressed from the pandemic, compounding their feelings of being stressed, isolated and/or anxious.

Prof. Larson: According to the Mayo Clinic:

∙ Go outside (even on cold and cloudy days) and take a walk to help relieve stress and anxiety, both of which can increase SAD symptoms. Being active can make you feel better about yourself too, which can lift your mood.

∙ Let the sunshine in by opening your blinds or trimming tree branches that may block sunlight into your home.

∙ Eat healthy food rich in vitamins found in fruits, fish and dark-green vegetables, and limit sugary, highcarbohydrate foods.

Prof. Larson: I’m part of an interdisciplinary team of scientists in the Department of Epidemiology and the Department of Forestry looking at the effects of walking within green and suburban environments on participants’ psychological (e.g., anxiety and mood) and cognitive (e.g., directed-attention) outcomes.

Prof. Jeannie Larson

Jeannie Larson is assistant professor in the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing and manages the Nature-Based Therapeutic Services at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum of the University of Minnesota. Her areas of expertise include therapeutic horticulture, animalassisted interactions, therapeutic landscapes and more.

Q: How can you counter the effects of SAD?
Q: What are you doing to advance knowledge on seasonal depression?

Passion Purpose with D

o you ever look in the mirror and ask yourself, “How did I get here?” You tend to think of those around you and their perceptions of who you are and what you’ve become. Many times those perceptions may be correct and other times not; most often it is a blend of what they see, but not of what is still in us, yet to be developed. Sometimes others may not even be really looking at us but rather offering advice based on their view of what is important. Sometimes they wish us to take part in the successes they have experienced or avoid the mistakes they have made.

It has been said if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. In this world of constant turnover and quiet quitting, we could all use a little more of this. At best, most of us end up in a place where we can say, “I’ve done pretty well, and at least I don’t hate my work.”

But what if there was a better way? What if, rather than just settling for a life that helps us survive, we took time to really know ourselves and understand what we were made to be? And then chased that down with passion and perseverance, enjoying every step of the journey?

My daughter knew she wanted to be a teacher ever since she was in second grade. There were not many options for her to develop that passion in high school, but her school was connected to a great program at the local community college that allowed students going into education the opportunity to learn about teaching and experience a variety of settings. She thought she wanted to teach elementary students because that is what she always envisioned. I’ll never forget the day she came home after completing a “required” experience at the middle-school level. Her face was shining. “Dad, I love the little kids, but today I had MATURE conversations with my students. I think I am better suited to teach middle school or high school.” She switched her major to secondary language arts and communication and did not lose a minute of time or a dollar of college expenses. We are grateful for that great program.

That one experience, thoughtfully designed to allow students to get a broad view of different options, made the difference for my daughter. Today she teaches English at a high school in a small rural community and loves it. That is not to say every day is perfect, but when I hear her talk about her job and students, her eyes are bright and there is hope in her voice.

In a world demanding us to strive for the very best, to be the best, sometimes the motivation is the paycheck or benefits. As with many worldly possessions, this quickly loses its luster and we feel tied to a lifestyle and standard of living. How refreshing it is to come across certain people who seem to be having their best day every day. They are doing what they were made to do and loving it. Perhaps, rather than focusing solely on occupation data and how it can provide the things we want, we should spend more time exploring what we are built to accomplish. Parents might spend more time getting to know their children’s gifts and talents. Schools could value interest and aptitude assessments more than standard achievement tests. Communities could intentionally commit to creating experience opportunities for young adults to learn in ways that schools cannot provide. And businesses could analyze ways to match their teams’ strengths with the operational functions of the organization.

We were all made to do something special. Figuring that out takes a while and involves a lot of people around us. But when we find our purpose and are allowed to pursue it with passion, Sunday evenings might not be so scary.

Scott Patrow

Scott Patrow is the current Director of IASC Next Career Pathways. Patrow has over two decades of experience and a passion for helping students explore all career paths.

We offer PCA (Personal Care Assistant), FMS and 245D Services in all 87 Minnesota counties. Providing Home Care for All Ages Whatever your reason for needing care, or providing it …we are here to help! Start your Best Care journey now! Call 651.330.2550

For Wild Winter Adventures

Wander and wonder at the quiet magic of the forests and ever changing moods of Lake Superior. Take a journey by Nordic ski, snowshoe or fat-tire bike: the trails are groomed and ready. Fire up the sled and ride like a kid—or bring the kids—for the quintessential snowmobiling experience in Lake County.

So much snow, so many twists and turns, so many memories. Stoke a fire by a lodge. Let your light shine bright in the dark cold night under infinite starry skies.

Visit us online!
Beaver Bay • Fall Lake • Finland/Isabella • Knife River • Silver Bay • Two Harbors
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Women Ride Who

We’ve all watched movies like Transformers or The Matrix where Mikaela (Megan Fox) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) hop on a motorcycle and ride those two wheels like the siren babes they are … and then thought, “Damn, I wish I could be like her!”

The stigma of a “female biker” has evolved rapidly over the last few years as women have begun to realize there is not just one mold. Being a female rider is much deeper than that Hollywood rebellious image; it’s a way to escape everyday anxieties. The therapeutic release of riding is a universally shared feeling; that feeling you get when you hit the pavement. Women tend to have a natural ability to selfishly nurture and pour their emotional energies into others, many times to their own detriment, leaving them burned out, drained and constantly working to stay ahead. Riding is a tool to recharge that energy and bring back a sense of identity, empowerment and energy.

With all this in mind, we decided it would be fun to dive into each other’s psyches on what riding means to us. Our

similarities, our differences and overall how riding on two wheels has an inexplicable ability to bring us together.

Q: What got you into riding motorcycles?

Tammy: My childhood neighbor Larry built vintage Harleys across the street in his garage. Larry would take us for rides around town in his sidecar; honestly, these bike rides were among some of my fondest childhood memories. I didn’t officially get into motorcycles as an adult until my husband got himself back into riding. My contentment on the back lasted all of a few weeks. I started to ask him a million questions about shifting, leaning and all the other technicalities of riding. After a few weeks of my questions, he challenged me to take a basic riding safety course. I’ve never been one to turn down any sort of challenge, so I took him up on it. I passed the tests and got my own bike the next weekend. I haven’t looked back since.

Amanda: I grew up with a grandfather and father who rode and were constantly tinkering on their bikes. I was secretly obsessed with the image of being a biker, but I never showed


that interest to them. I grew up a tomboy with a natural lack of grace or manners, so I was constantly trying to fight that and be a well-behaved lady for my family. Being a biker felt wrong. I dressed how I thought people wanted me to and acted how I thought people wanted me to. It wasn’t until college when I saw an Indian Vintage in the parking lot of a Whole Foods that that obsession with gasoline and spending hours in the garage came rushing back. But this time I didn’t care about societal pressures at all. I wanted that bike more than anything. Seeing that Indian motorcycle made me instantly feel like “that’s who I am, that’s who I’m supposed to be.”

Q: What keeps you riding?

Tammy: The people, places and personal challenges keep me riding. When I first hopped on two wheels, I honestly had no idea the many amazing aspects that surround the community of riding. My happy place was always at the lake. My uncle likes to tell me that I got the “water gene.” Some of us get it, some don’t. I guess the lake gene means that I love being in, on and around water, as much as possible. For those who don’t ride a motorcycle, going for a ride isn’t necessarily about the destination; it’s about the ride itself. About a mile from leaving my driveway, I can ride on twisty roads among some of the most beautiful scenery around lakes and rivers. I’ve also met so many amazing people who use their bikes as a conduit toward accomplishing much bigger things. Through riding I’ve discovered a beautiful sense of community with like-minded, free-thinking change-makers, and I feel I’ve just barely scratched the surface of connecting with this community.

Amanda: Confidence. Riding is the only thing I have found that completely clears my head of anxieties and stressors. My chronic low self-esteem and thoughts that I couldn’t do something melted away instantly the day I started riding. That feeling you get when you hit a straightaway, drop into sixth gear and take off is like nothing explainable. It also gives you a reason to get out of the house sometimes. Being a homebody kept me from seeing some amazing places. Moving from North Carolina to Minnesota, I now ride past lake after lake in awe of the tranquility it brings! When I talk to women about riding, one of the first things I hear is “I don’t think I can do that” or “That bike is too big for me.” Our lack of confidence is the only thing stopping us. Riding is empowering. Riding is freeing, and riding makes you feel like a total badass.

Q: What prevented you from riding sooner?

Tammy: No idea. I suppose confidence? Maybe exposure? I suppose a little bit of the stigma. … At the point that my husband got his bike, I literally said the words “I’m just fine on the back of your bike. I do not need to ride myself.”… Luckily, it only took me a few weeks and a little challenge from the hubs to change my state of mind. There aren’t many times in our adult lives that we can take on a new challenge and feel a huge sense of accomplishment. Apparently, my mom also rode

a motorcycle, and as the story goes, she met my grandparents (her future in-laws) by picking up my dad on the back of her bike. Seriously, I have no idea how I didn’t get into it sooner.

Amanda: 1,000% confidence. Like I said before, I grew up in an environment where a woman had certain roles. Riding a motorcycle was not one of those roles. Even after I knew I wanted to ride so badly, it took time to get the confidence to jump on. It took friends and family helping my anxiety and urging me to do it before I jumped on. No matter what I accomplished in life, I always had this sense of needing to be better or doubting my abilities. It wasn’t until after I started riding that my outlook completely changed. I now have the feeling of being able to take on any task brought to the table. It’s amazing how riding can affect your self-esteem! The more women riders you meet, the more you realize we are all different. There isn’t one style, no stereotypical “biker chick.” Once you start riding for yourself and not trying to blend in, that’s when the fun starts!

Q: What is something about riding that would surprise most nonriders?

Tammy: Motorcycle riders are some of the most generous philanthropic peeps I’ve ever met. Nearly every ride I’ve been on has included an aspect of fundraising for a charity, riding for a cause or giving back to a community.

Amanda: I completely agree! The motorcycle community bases the majority of their events around charity and causes close to their hearts. The Sturgis rally was also a big shock for me! It’s not just a mega party; it’s about the connections you make on the road. It doesn’t matter what you ride, if you blow a tire … there will always be a rider to stop and help you. This tight-knit community welcomes new riders and protects their own — it’s an amazing feeling! Every time we go to Sturgis, I make friends that stay with me through life.

Tammy Meehan Russell

Tammy is the chief catalyst of The PLUM Catalyst, a strategy and innovation consulting firm focused on connecting communities through new transportation technologies. She lives in Minnesota with her husband Mike, their four kids and their adorable pup, Zoey.

Amanda Bramble

Amanda is the marketing manager at and part owner of Indian Motorcycle St. Paul in the Twin Cities. She moved up to Minnesota from North Carolina when they purchased the company in January 2022. She now lives in New Richmond, Wisconsin, with her fiancé and Great Dane.


Cozier than a firelit cottage bedecked in down.

best ever)

french onion soup (the

Itaught myself how to use a pressure canner this year just so that I could have this French onion soup all year long! On a cold evening, this delicious soup is just the thing to warm you up without being too heavy. The key to this soup is the deep, delicious caramelization of the onions. The ingredients and technique are simple, and the flavor is worth the time investment.


1. Peel and thinly slice the onions, chop the garlic finely, and prep the rest of your ingredients.

2. Melt butter on medium heat in your Dutch oven.

3. Add the salt and onions.

4. Stir and coat the onions well with the melted butter, cover the pan and let the onions soften for 5–6 minutes.

5. Uncover the pan and continue to cook the onions, stirring frequently until they are deeply brown and fully caramelized. You can raise the heat a bit here (medium-high). I’m not gonna lie, this is going to take longer than you want it to, but STICK WITH IT! This is not the time to walk away and take a break. Caramelization is the key to the most amazing bowl of French onion soup you have ever had. This will usually take 45–60 minutes.

6. Add your chopped garlic to the pan, and stir well. Add the flour to the pan, stir well and coat everything.

7. Deglaze by slowly adding the wine to the pan and scraping up all of the deep brown bits off the bottom of the pan.

8. Add the broth, pepper, thyme and bay leaf to the pan. Simmer everything together for at least 20 minutes (I usually let it go for about 45 minutes).

9. Remove the thyme and bay leaf from the pan. Stir in the brandy.

10. Heat up your broiler and arrange ovenproof bowls on a lined baking sheet. Fill the bowls leaving a ½ inch space at the top. Place crispy baguette slices on top and add shredded Gruyère cheese. Broil for just a few minutes, watching carefully until the cheese is ooey-gooey, brown and bubbly. Enjoy!

Equipment: Dutch oven Ingredients:

cup unsalted butter 3 pounds sweet onions peeled and thinly sliced (4–6 large onions) ½ teaspoon salt 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely

tablespoons flour 1 cup dry white wine (chardonnay, pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc work well — choose something you would drink, not “cooking wine” ... blech) 5 cups warm beef stock or bone broth

fresh thyme sprigs

bay leaf ½ teaspoon ground black or white pepper 3 tablespoons brandy

Baguette sliced into ¼-inch slices, buttered and grilled in a pan till crispy on both sides

Gruyere cheese, shredded (about ¼ cup per serving)

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own winter wonderland.
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Aimee Jobe, @aimeejobephoto
Shared Connection All-LGBTQ+ Team Explore the BWCAW

Hundreds of raindrops colliding with the underside of my canoe echoed in my ears as I splashed through puddles and over rocks on the half-mile portage to start the trip. Somewhere ahead was my friend Emily with her dog, Diggins. Scattered behind us were the seven other members of a once-in-a-lifetime Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) experience. At the end of the line was our guide, Jason Zabokrtsky of Ely Outfitting Company. He organized this trip of adventure professionals from across the country. Included in our crew was the source of his inspiration, Mikah Meyer, creator of the Outdoor Safe Spaces initiative.

Though we experienced continuous rain for the first 24 hours, this was not the most unique element of our adventure. Mikah’s vision is what made it truly special. His work centers around making the outdoors a safe place for members of the LGBTQ+ community. And it turns out that these folks who have spent their life assessing whether a place is safe for them to be themselves are pretty hardy when it comes to facing the challenges that wilderness travel has to offer.

Some members of our trip have traveled the BWCAW extensively, while others were visiting for the first time. Our guide, Jason, has worked in the BWCAW for most of his adult life and traveled the terrain extensively on his own solo trips. Emily Ford, a notorious solo expeditioner, skied 210 miles across the Boundary Waters last winter. One participant, Katie, is a seasoned whitewater-rafting guide from the West Coast. Holly, from the East Coast, is an experienced sea kayaker. Both Emily and Katie were experiencing Minnesota for the first time. Jordan, a backpacker from Minneapolis, had never paddled the


north country. What we all had in common, though, is a love for the outdoors and an identity that comes with inherent challenges to feelings of safety and belonging in the world.

During that first 24 hours of rain, our canoes carried us through the narrow channels of the Nina Moose River, broken up by the numerous beaver dams that required a lift-and-haul maneuver to move the canoe and gear across. Some sections of the river could not be navigated via boat due to boulder-strewn rapids and shallow falls. For these sections, we had to portage the gear up to a half-mile before returning to the water. This routine was broken up by lake crossings that included blowing rain and low-hanging dense clouds that made navigation difficult. Every portage allowed us the chance for a quick check-in to

assess the group’s hunger needs and mental wellbeing. Every stop included big smiles, exchanges of encouragement and a level of stoke that kept us all warm from the inside out.

Jason reflected on the group’s dynamic as having a special connection that began immediately at the outfitter. Multiple members of the group noted a type of comfort and connection that came with being in an all LGBTQ+ team. One participant, Beth, has guided in the BWCAW and described the shared connection with the wilderness setting as a “powerful way to form lifelong friendships.” She described the benefits of “not having to question who I am when I share who I am.” East Coast Holly noted the benefits of “bonding really quickly by skipping the tough stuff,” stating, “The folks who often feel less supported are


the first to jump in to support each other.” She went on to describe the level of kindness among the group as “unlike any experience I have ever had in the outdoors.”

By our third night, we managed to completely dry out while visiting ancient pictographs, swimming in the pristine waters and filling our bellies with fish next to a roaring campfire. What started out as an epic journey in the elements had transformed into a magical land of beauty and bounty. Katie, from Oregon, compared one evening’s sunset paddle to “riding on glass” noting the reflections as “mesmerizing“ in an “upside-down world.”

The overwhelming sentiment of the trip is one of gratitude for the abundance of beauty and connection that only the wilderness can offer. Mikah’s vision of a safe space couldn’t be more in line with what the Boundary Waters offers every visitor who travels its untamed landscape. Emily wrapped up our trip with these wise words: ”There is no need to hide yourself in the midst of this space out here. The natural world teaches us to ‘arrive as ourselves.’”

Matthew Baxley

Matthew is a professional storyteller using film and podcasting to share stories of transformation in wild places. Matthew is the owner of Bear Witness Media and co-host of the WTIP Boundary Waters podcast. They identify as queer and are proud to be selected for this BWCA trip.

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As a child, I often explored the area on and off the water around my home in Leelanau County and the Manitou Passage. My parents started taking me out on our family boat, a small wooden Chris-Craft, before I was 1 year old. Every weekend we would visit Power Island in Traverse City or take long boat trips farther up north to Charlevoix or Saint Ignace. The water always drew me in, no matter where I was around the Great Lakes. Lake Michigan has been a part of my life from the beginning. I learned to swim in the lake before I was 5 years old and learned how to snorkel and free dive in our cold, fresh waters shortly thereafter. I can remember wanting to see new things underwater with my mask and swimming for hours. Little did I know that my life exploring Lake Michigan would spread to all of the Great Lakes, in remote areas above water and deep below its surface.

Growing up in Leelanau County, I was around some of the busiest and oldest shipping lanes in all the Great Lakes, in the Manitou Passage. Watching the large freighters travel past the town of Leland was something I always enjoyed. The Manitou Passage has many rocky shoals around its shorelines, and with the surrounding islands the vessels have to navigate around, combined with gale winds, these waters have wrecked countless vessels. The weather can turn deadly very fast with freezing temperatures and massive ship-sinking waves. I discovered a wreck seven years ago of a ship called the George Rogers along these same shorelines, and that moment is when my journey into the depths began. By sharing my first underwater GoPro photos of the George Rogers, I created a buzz online locally. Excited to see and document more


shipwrecks in the surrounding area, I soon became scuba certified and purchased a boat to start exploring.

The Great Lakes have the best wreck diving in the world because the extremely cold fresh water preserves the wooden and steel vessels like a time capsule. And there is no coral or sea salt to degrade the wood. With over 6,000 shipwrecks to document, I have made this my life’s passion.

On my first three dives, five years ago, I made the local news, with some of the photos being shared nationally. Within a year, I made the front page of the Detroit Free Press and Grand Rapids Free Press for two separate stories, a Lake Michigan plastic pollution story and photos of a car underwater. Over the next couple of years, I continued to photograph shipwrecks and underwater geology, along with getting involved in environmental advocacy regarding plastic pollution in our waters. Within three years of beginning to dive, I published my first shipwreck book, Leelanau Underwater, and it has been a bestseller in Michigan. I continued getting coverage in news articles and magazines as my success grew. In 2020, I was invited to appear on an episode of “Cities of the Underworld” on the History channel for scuba diving and the Great Lakes Stone Circle. Using my popularity to spread environmental awareness about plastics pollution, I was interviewed by Outside magazine.

I enhanced my technical diving skills with many hours of training and diving year-round, even in the coldest of winters, sometimes cutting my way through ice just to dive. One time

I chopped a hole through the ice on Lake Charlevoix to visit a wrecked ship that was used by Al Capone as a speakeasy during Prohibition days. My training site is called The Wall Off Old Mission Peninsula, which is an underwater wall carved from the glaciers that goes down to 600 feet. This year I have been diving many deep historical shipwrecks in Presque Isle, Lake Huron, getting my best photos to date. I breathe a mixture of helium and oxygen on the deeper, more dangerous dives. With this type and level of exploring, there are risks involved and I have had a few close calls, but my advanced training has helped me navigate through those situations. I continue to upgrade my technology, and I also fly a drone for overhead shipwreck searching and photos. My boat is equipped with side scan sonar for searching for shipwrecks. This level of exploring needs multiple skill sets, including learning new technology and water navigation.

When I set out on an adventure, I’m in a “Great Lakes State of Mind”; it’s not just what you see, it’s a feeling you get while out on the Great Lakes exploring. When I’m diving, I disconnect from everything on the surface, just floating underwater and getting a moment of silence and peace. Diving and exploring, for me, are almost therapeutic — the adventure and thrill of it strip away the stress of daily life. Some of the remote areas around the Great Lakes I visit have no cell reception, and that adds another layer of disconnection from the world, even for a short time. When I’m deep underwater exploring shipwrecks, I’m not bothered by the daily stress of life on the surface. This is my zen I create as I immerse myself into each exploration. After years of sharing my experiences, I began to


realize that other people who watch my adventures also experience a changed state of mind from imagining that they, too, are there, deep underwater seeing the sights I see. I have been contacted by many people over the years who let me know they live vicariously through me, since some are too elderly or have medical issues and will never see in person these beautiful shipwrecks and remote locations around the Great Lakes. During the pandemic, my Facebook page grew its online community. This was a safe place for people to go and just disconnect from the multiple levels of isolation, fear and stress and just enjoy the shipwreck stories and photos. Hearing stories of sick and elderly people using my page as an escape from isolation and to see sights they may never see in person helped me create some of the best photography and most exciting adventures around the Great Lakes that anyone has ever publicly shared. I was not really alone while adventuring because I would have thousands of people waiting for daily posts and interacting online so they could go places with me without leaving the comfort of home.

Above all, the most important thing from this career is inspiring others to take care of our waters for future generations to enjoy. Explore the Great Lakes along the miles of shoreline while embracing the diversity of the land, islands and lakes. Follow your dreams and always believe in yourself.

Chris Roxburgh Chris Roxburgh is a nationally renowned underwater photographer, environmental advocate and author. Follow along on his adventures on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram @chrisroxburgh. You can find his book, Leelanau Underwater, at Horizon Books or on Amazon. @ChrisRoxburgh

the magic of the lakes awaits you |

Jewelry that transforms imperfect, sustainable materials into meaningful and timeless designs to last a lifetime.

photo by Chelsie Elizabeth Photography
MN Retailer of the Year is for crosby, mn 124 w main st @shopvictual

funerals reimagined

A New Spin on the Traditional Send-Off

As a kid, I was intrigued by funeral homes. When Dad needed help delivering flowers from our third-generation family flower shop to the local funeral homes, I was always first to raise my hand. Chatting with the local funeral directors in the depths of these funeral homes fueled my interest in the industry and sparked my passion to serve others.

Fast-forward to 2005, when my brothers and I opened a funeral home where we grew up — Forest Lake, Minnesota. Funerals back then were traditionally sad, dusty rituals, but the industry has slowly changed the norm over the last 15 years.

“I want a party, not a funeral” was the common phrase heard in social settings anytime my line of work became the topic of conversation. With that phrase always in the back of my mind, along with trends such as cremation gaining popularity, we were inspired to create Sendoff–Funerals Reimagined.

Just like a lot of churches have taken out the pews, we are leading an evolution for funerals and how our society memorializes a life. A Sendoff is like a funeral — if a funeral was something you actually wanted to go to. From mechanical bulls and oysters at your favorite bar, to a pontoon tie-up and fireworks on the lake, it is our job to make it happen. The possibilities are endless. You are not confined to a dated funeral home or buttered ham sandwich in a church basement; you can choose from our preferred hospitality partners or any venue that speaks to you. These can include bars, breweries, baseball fields, bowling alleys and beyond!

We are an end-to-end service provider through a family’s most challenging times. When a death occurs, we walk families through burial or cremation services that even include eco-friendly options. Then we take an individualized approach to curate a celebration that can be edgy, elegant and everything in between. Most important, a Sendoff is meant to bring joy and healing — and hopefully inspiration — to families and their guests. More and more, younger generations are opening up to discussing


death and dying, including pre-planning their own “way out.” Case in point: 45-year-old Jeff Johnson has planned his own one-of-a-kind “Awesome Funeral Party” (as he calls it!) to include a canoe trip across the Minneapolis lakes, swag bags for all the guests and flaming arrows being shot through the air at dusk. We feel that with our deep experience in funerals, combined with our robust event-planning resources, our team will be able to provide this epic sendoff that speaks to Jeff’s life.

At Sendoff, we not only transform the way we celebrate a life but also aspire to make a difference in how our society embraces memorializing a loved one. People typically have good intentions to express their condolences and show their support to friends and family, but they often don’t want to go to funerals. They welcome any tiny excuse that helps rationalize their decision not to attend. We intend to change this mindset and give people a reason to

“be there” — developing a frame of mind to actually want to be there.

One of our mantras is to serve others through supporting our local community partners. We have developed a give-back initiative, where we make a donation in the deceased’s name to a local charity supporting cancer, mental health and other important initiatives.

Sendoff is the new state of mind in how we say goodbye to our loved ones, and we are stoked to be championing this charge.

more at:


From Backyard Rinks to the NHL

Growing Up on the Ice

The first time you carve a sharp blade into the smooth, crisp ice of a frozen pond or lake is an unforgettable moment. Whether you grew up playing hockey or are learning to skate for the first time, there is no feeling quite like gliding through the cold winter air on a pair of skates.

The pond has been my home in the winter months for the last 30 years. I grew up in Minnesota, the state of hockey. My parents had me on skates at age 2 and there was no looking back. I spent my childhood skating outside from sunup to sundown, dreaming of playing professional hockey. Being a kid playing hockey on the pond in Minnesota was like winning the lottery, in my mind. It is a unique style of hockey. You have to master your puckcontrol skills in all types of ice conditions, from snowy days when you finish shoveling off the rink to find the first half is already covered again, to warm, slushy days. There aren’t boards on most lakes or ponds, so you have to be extra careful not to let the puck sail into a snowbank where it will be lost until spring … or forever at the bottom of the lake when the ice melts. The frozen pond is a place where friendships are formed, life skills are learned and memories are made.


Getting Called Up to The Show

As I grew older, my passions shifted, and instead of shooting pucks all day and skating for hours after school, I picked up a camera and started shooting videos and photos in my free time. My dreams as a kid had changed, but my love for hockey was still there. After years of working in the commercial video and photography industry, I found my childhood dreams and adult dreams intersecting. I got a call from the Minnesota Wild. I wasn’t their #1 draft pick, but they wanted me on the team — to help create video content for them. I started out in the minors, shooting smaller web videos for their YouTube channel. Slowly I worked my way up to the main roster and had the opportunity to shoot and edit their 20th anniversary TV documentary that would air on Hockey Day Minnesota. Soon I would find myself back where it all started — the pond.

The Winter Classic

The 2022 NHL Winter Classic was going to be played on our ice, outside, in Minnesota. The Wild needed help producing a video that would capture the essence of outdoor hockey in our state. It was the perfect job for a Minnesota guy who grew up on the pond. We gathered a group of local kids on my backyard rink and put the production in motion. Just weeks before the Wild were set to play at Target Field, I was capturing the perfect day out on the ice with a group of kids. The snow was falling, the air was crisp and you could feel the excitement. Everyone knew this was a special moment. When game day arrived, the video played in front of the players and fans at Target Field. It’s then I knew how special it really was. The voice of Lou Nanne, one of the great Minnesota hockey players, carried the video.

There is nothing that compares to playing hockey

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this winter Explore Minnesota

Options for fun in the colder months are practically endless in Minnesota. Make the most of your winter by checking out these different experiences happening across our great state. Don’t hide from winter — celebrate it!

LAKE AND COMPANY 60 Bentleyville “Tour of Lights” Dark Sky Festival Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon Lake Minnetonka Klondike Dog Derby Flannel and Frost Winterfest Hygge Festival Celebration of the Lakes Polar Fest Kites on Ice Festival Big Turn Music Festival International Eelpout Festival World Snow Sculpting Championship Nisswa 100 Cross-Country Snowmobile Race Santa and His Reindeer Irving Berlin’s White Christmas Musical Northern Lights Festival European Christmas Market St. Paul Winter Carnival Holidazzle The Great Northern Ely Winter Festival



“Tour of Lights”

Nov 19–Dec 26 Duluth, MN

European Christmas Market

Nov 25–Dec 18 St. Paul, MN


Nov 25–Dec 18 Minneapolis, MN

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas Musical

Nov 26–Dec 11 St. Cloud, MN

Northern Lights Festival Dec 2–18 Rochester, MN

Dark Sky Festival Dec 8–10 Grand Marais, MN

Santa and His Reindeer Dec 18 Granite Falls, MN

Nisswa 100 Cross-Country Snowmobile Race

Jan 14–15 Nisswa, MN

World Snow Sculpting Championship

Jan 18–22 Stillwater, MN

The Great Northern

Jan 26–Feb 5 Mpls & St Paul, MN

St. Paul Winter Carnival

Jan 26–Feb 5 St. Paul, MN

Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza

Jan 28 Brainerd, MN

John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon Jan 29–31 Duluth, MN

Ely Winter Festival Feb 2–12 Ely, MN

Lake Minnetonka Klondike Dog Derby Feb 3–4 Excelsior, MN

Hygge Festival

Feb 4–10 Grand Marais, MN

Celebration of the Lakes Feb 10–13 Chisago Lakes Area

Polar Fest

Feb 10–26 Detroit Lakes, MN

Kites on Ice Festival

Feb 11 Buffalo, MN

Big Turn Music Festival Feb 17–18 Red Wing, MN

International Eelpout Festival

Feb 20–23 Walker, MN

Flannel and Frost Winterfest Feb 25 Roseau, MN



NEWEST Holiday Experience

The North’s Largest Indoor Light Park Coming to Rochester

When I first approached Joe Ward, president of the Mayo Civic Center and Experience Rochester, and his team about bringing the Minnesota Christmas Market to Rochester, he asked me one of the most dangerous questions you can ask an entrepreneur.

“What is your big-picture dream with this project?”

To which the response was pretty simple: “Eventually, I want to build out an experience and festival that is so special it puts an entire city on the map as a winter/holiday destination for folks across the Midwest.”

Fast-forward two years through supply chain issues and worker shortages unlike the world has ever seen … and my company, Fight For Something, is on the verge of launching the Northern Lights Festival, the North’s largest indoor light park. Drawing its inspiration from the wintry north, the Northern Lights Festival is Minnesota’s newest holiday experience, proudly anchored at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester with a little something for people of all ages to enjoy:

25,000+-square-foot indoor light park adorned with more than 400,000 lights

Local shops within the Mini Minnesota Christmas Market Countless photo ops

North America’s largest inflatable igloo, named the “Star Dome”

Photos with Santa on Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Make-and-take experiences Winter Storm Yoga Food and beverages

One element that makes this festival unique: the social giveback. Keeping in line with everything that Fight For Something does, this event exists to fight for things that matter. On top of creating a magical winter experience for every guest, it is part of Fight For Something’s bigger-picture goal of building Santa’s College Fund. Santa’s College Fund is a scholarship that exists to remove financial barriers to higher education faced by many of our refugee neighbors living right here in Minnesota through four-year scholarships. The goal is to raise $420,000 in scholarships in order to fund at least 30 students

from refugee populations in Minnesota by 2026. A portion of every ticket sale will go toward building Santa’s College Fund.

The Northern Lights Festival will run Friday to Sunday, December 2–18. To learn more or buy tickets, head to:

Follow along @northernlightsfestivalmn

Tickets available online

when Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays December 2-18

The Looks

retail WHERE PUBLISHING MEETS MAGAZINE + SHOP We are a socially conscious magazine and shop that supports adventure and is built around lake culture. STILLWATER, MN GRAND RAPIDS, MN EXCELSIOR, MN STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO CROSBY, MN (Coming Spring 2023) SHOP LOCATIONS SUBSCRIBE JOIN THE ADVENTURE Enjoy member discounts on every purchase!

A specific feeling comes over a person when giving a gift. Will the recipient like it? Will they use it? How will it make them feel? At Lake and Company, we thoughtfully select gifts that keep on giving. From your carry-all Topo pack, to your locally made Bare Honey, you can feel confident that your gift will show someone you care, while supporting brands that matter. We have been focusing on expanding our in-store product selection, so you can find a gift, whether for the grillmaster, outdoor enthusiast or foodie in your life. Every person is as unique as a snowflake and they deserve a gift curated specifically for them.

LAKE AND COMPANY 68 2. 3. 4.
Have a product you think we should check out? Email us at
Tag us on YOUR adventures @thelakeandcompany
LAKE AND COMPANY 69 1 | 8 oz. Stoneware Mug United By Blue 2 | Host Cookbook W&P 3 | Unisex Westlake Snap Vest Deso Supply 4 | Signature Honey Gift Set Bare Honey 5 | TE14 Headlamp Third Eye Headlamp 6 | Fall Range Cuffed Beanie KAVU 7 | Cabin Wool Throw Faribault Woolen Mill 8 | Forest Thru the Trees Onesie Ohana 9 | Chef’s Apron Barebones 10 | Rover Pack Classic Bag Topo Designs 7. 6. 8. 9. 10. 5. Thoughtful Gifts SHOP

Everything we do at Lake and Company is inspired by the stories of people doing exceptional things. We celebrate that in the pages of this magazine, as well as in our stores. This marketplace brings you our top picks from these inspiring brands that support adventure, innovation, conservation and community. Read more about these brands online at

MARKET Place Marketplace

KeepR Cooler Caddy

In the spirit of gift giving, treat your loved one, host or best friend to a KeepR Cooler Caddy, which is not only a mobile bar but also the modern-day version of a picnic basket. The KeepR carries like a pail and rests flat on any surface, so it can be the center of attention and always open for service.


Austin Gemstone Stud


Coming in all the colors of the roughcut gemstone rainbow, these beautiful studs were inspired by Austin Channing Brown, a speaker, writer, media producer and overall badass. Every Larissa Loden piece is Midwest-made with care and swears.


Men’s Sherpa Jacket

One of our tried-and-true brands, Jetty is constantly working to enhance their community and give back to the people who have helped them grow. A fall favorite piece, this flannel jacket features “teddy bear” Sherpa fleece lining, embossed gunmetal snap buttons, side pockets and large double chest pockets.



ALCO 777 Necklace

Do you ever find yourself seeing a number sequence often? Angels speak to us in synchronistic ways. Wear your ALCO Angel Number necklace to receive a divine message to help you through your troubling times or a daily reminder that you are on the right path. Available in silver and gold.


LARK Card Game

Lark /lärk/ n. Something done for fun, especially something mischievous or daring; an amusing adventure or escape. Created by good-time seekers like you, Lark brings laughter, connection and variety by inspiring risk, revelation, creativity and mischief. Challenge your friends and let the 12-sided die determine their fate. Wild times likely, memories guaranteed.



Custom Mug

Located in the Twin Cities, Buttermilk Ceramics specializes in custom wheelthrown, small-batch ceramics: mugs, planters, dinnerware and more. All work is handmade by artist Lex Lazarewicz and is available for custom and wholesale orders.



Who says you have to choose between form and function? Northern Glasses Colored Matches come in a stylish glass vessel with a cork top that looks nice in any living room or setting. The striker on the bottom of the vessel also makes it the perfect match carrier for travel and adventure purposes.



Gabb Watch 2

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Creating a New Narrative for Kids in Foster Care




aycee and Pete Stanley, co-founders of The Reel Hope Project, always knew they wanted to adopt. It was something they talked about even before they were married. When they shared this decision with others, they were initially met with enthusiasm, support and encouragement. But when they clarified that they wanted to adopt kids from foster care, they were often met with a much different reaction, typically along the lines of “Are you sure? Have you done your research? Do you know what those kids are like?”

A recent survey conducted by The Harris Poll found that 51% of Americans believe youth are placed in foster care because they have done something wrong. Not only is this belief false, it is also harmful, as it perpetuates the misconception that youth in foster care are in some way bad or dangerous.

The truth is, all children enter foster care because something bad happened to them, not because they did something bad. Children in foster care are victims of abuse, neglect or abandonment, not juvenile delinquents. The two primary reasons youth enter foster care are neglect and parental drug use, a reality that has been exacerbated in recent years because of the nation’s opioid crisis.

When children enter foster care, the goal is always reunification with their birth family. Ideally, birth parents will go to rehab, find stable housing, receive therapy or do whatever else is needed to provide their children with a safe and stable home. Unfortunately, reunification is not always possible, and about 50% of foster care cases end in a termination of parental rights, meaning children become “wards of the state” and are in need of an adoptive home.

Right now in Minnesota, approximately 1,000 kids cannot go home to their birth family and are awaiting adoption. There is a great need for families to step forward to adopt youth from foster care, but because of the misconceptions and stigmas that surround youth in care, families are often fearful and hesitant to even consider beginning the process.

Even for families who push through the stigmas and step forward to adopt, the process can be discouraging. When families inquire about a specific child awaiting adoption, they then often hear all of the hard things first, like that child’s various diagnoses and medications, the trauma they’ve been through, and the way that trauma manifests in their behaviors. Without meeting the child, families can become easily overwhelmed or even scared by the stack of papers handed to them. Worse, it can be easy to forget there is a real kid behind that stack of papers.

Kaycee and Pete Stanley founded The Reel Hope Project in 2016 to create a new narrative for kids in foster care. A Minnesota-based nonprofit, The Reel Hope Project creates two-minute profile video “reels” of kids in foster care awaiting adoption, highlighting their amazing personalities and unique interests. These reels are then shared with prospective adoptive


families, helping to remind them that, behind the file and behind the trauma, there is a kid. A kid with a laugh and a smile and an amazing personality.

Since 2016, The Reel Hope Project has created reels for over 300 kids in foster care awaiting adoption, and they have seen 147 kids matched with forever families. Shoot days are about two hours long and involve a short interview and an activity portion in which the child engages in a hobby they love such as fishing, horseback riding, hiking or playing sports. The Reel Hope Project’s “shoot crew” consists of a lead videographer and a shoot lead, both of whom dedicate their attention to ensuring the youth feels comfortable, seen and celebrated. The majority of the youth featured in reels are between the ages of 13 and 18, and while teenagers typically have a more difficult time finding a forever family, The Reel Hope Project has found that having a reel doubles a teenager’s chance of being adopted.

The Reel Hope Project’s mission is to find a forever family for every child, but beyond that, they hope to shift the national perception of kids in foster care. Not only do reels help families who are already in the process of adopting, but they can also help open the hearts of families who might never have before considered adoption. Reels show foster kids not for who they have been made out to be, but for who they really are — goofy, passionate, resilient and amazing kids full of hopes and dreams for the future. Kids who are waiting to experience the unconditional love of a family who will never give up on them.

If you would like to learn more about The Reel Hope Project, visit On the website, you can meet the Minnesota kids who are currently waiting to be adopted, watch videos walking you through the adoption licensing process, and download free guides that provide an overview of foster care and adoption in the state of Minnesota.





Stillwater, Minnesota, is powered by small businesses with big hearts. In 2020, when busy little Main Street came to a startling halt due to the COVID pandemic, the community feared for the future of the bustling tourist town. Led by the Chamber of Commerce, City of Stillwater, Discover Stillwater and locals, the Wintertime in Stillwater movement was created.

The community worked together to find ideas and inspiration that could save struggling businesses and provide long-term success during the cold winter months. Stillwater, a haven for the arts, seemed like a perfect fit for a snow-sculpting event. Upon further investigation, the organizers learned about Winter Fun, a snowsculpting organization. Winter Fun was searching for the right host for a World Competition and found Stillwater to be the perfect spot for the inaugural event! Once again, the strength of this small town showed up, and thousands of dollars of in-kind and cash donations poured in from local businesses to support the launch of the most incredible wintertime event. More than 40,000 visitors flooded the streets to see the sculptures, eat at restaurants and shop at the boutiques.

The Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce Foundation, in partnership with Discover Stillwater, the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce and the City of Stillwater, is honored to host the second-annual 2023 World Snow Sculpting Championship Competition sanctioned by the Association Internationale de Sculpture sur Neige et Clace based in Finland. Teams from around the world travel to Stillwater to create amazing snow sculptures while competing for prize money and the title of World Champion. This is a judged event and includes social events, activities, ceremonies, the People’s Choice award and fun for the whole family!

Stillwater is excited for another year of partnership, fun, community and a little competition!

In addition to snow sculpting, there are many activities to participate in! A few highlights include:

Button Contest:

Artists from around the community competed to create the winning 2023 button design. Purchase the button and use it at participating local businesses for discounts on various items!

The Opening Ceremony: Mingle and connect with the teams, event sponsors, elected officials, World Steering Committee members, Greater Stillwater Chamber staff, Chamber Board of Directors and community members.

World’s Coolest Block Party:

Enjoy music, entertainment, beverages and snacks while perusing eyepopping, award-winning, internationally recognized snow sculptures!

Minnesnowta Nice Day:

Dancing, live music, Minnesota character/mascot appearances and all things Minnesota!

Wild Rice Cook-Off: Stroll through participating local businesses to test out their take on a wild-rice treat and vote on your favorite!

The Closing Ceremony: Attend the Closing Ceremony and watch the world-class snow-sculpting teams be awarded first, second and third place, and the coveted People’s Choice award!





The Art of Anne Labovitz

One of the most interesting things about Minnesota-based but internationally known Anne Labovitz is her commitment to and enthusiasm for connecting with people. The minute you meet her or even see her work, the positive energy is palpable. Color, light and gesture intermix to enliven the space in which the art is viewed. And people love it.

I had a chance to sit down with Labovitz recently to talk about her work. Labovitz’s oeuvre is large, and she is a prolific creator and educator. Her work has long engaged with ideas of personal connection through creativity.

For Labovitz, the idea comes first and then she makes the work, which includes various mediums — all of which aim to challenge isolation, loneliness and disconnection by activating color and light. Local context and creating connections with others are embodied in her creative process.

One significant project that embodies Labovitz’s practice is her installation of large-scale Tyvek scrolls at the Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport (MSP) — the latest iteration of her large international touring exhibition and project, 122 Conversations: Person to Person, Art Beyond Borders (2013–2023). These works are not only monumental but also surprisingly intimate. They are awe-inspiring in scale and color while also drawing you in to look more carefully at the mark making. You ask: Is that writing? Are

those abstract marks? In this way, we connect to the work — which is the artist’s intention. “122 Conversations was seminal for me as an artist because I engaged with 2,500 people in six different countries [Rania, Iraqi Kurdistan; Växjö, Sweden; Petrozavodsk, Russia; Isumi City, Japan; Thunder Bay, Canada; and Duluth, USA] to make the artworks,” Labovitz explains. These connections provided the source material for much of the artist’s work. These personto-person connections visually and conceptually ground the work, which then extends (and hopefully connects) to others through the viewing process.

Two other original artworks commissioned and acquired by the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) and displayed at the main terminal of MSP — Happy Travels and Bon Voyage — underscore the artist’s intentionality and continual experimentation with materiality. Based on the conceptual idea of travel, particularly in the tenuous time of COVID, the aim of the work was to saturate the traveler’s field of vision with color and texture, evoking and sharing wishes for safe and happy travels. “For this work, I was thinking how color is an incredibly personal experience that affects humans emotionally,” explains Labovitz. “The saturated colors here are intended to enrich the viewers’ experience and provide a place of joy and calm.” The rich, bold Venetian smalti glass mosaics, which were carefully crafted and placed by Italian experts, create emotive connections with travelers.

All of this leads us to Water Stories, a major solo exhibition at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum (MMAM) in Winona, Minnesota. The works in the exhibition examine water in different visual manifestations, highlighting its powerful and mesmerizing presence. The exhibition includes paintings, artists’ books, an immersive and monumental room installation with audio, and a public participatory section. For the artist, bodies of water are meditative and offer essential, urgent restorative qualities that provide respite, refuge and regeneration.

Water, and specifically Lake Superior, is personal for the artist. “My artist grandmother, Ella Labovitz, and immediate


family lived on Lake Superior,” says Labovitz. “I grew up observing the changing elements of the lake. In high school, the lake was the place I felt comfortable or calm, contemplating it on the shore.” The lake has been a consistent theme in her artwork. For Labovitz, water has different iterations. There are “components that are strong, loud, moving and ever changing, mesmerizing, contemplative, engulfing [and] powerful, and [that] provide a place for contemplation, solace, peace and reflective moments of rigorous problem-solving,” she explains.

Hung in the MMAM atrium space 6, Tyvek scrolls create an entrance to the exhibition, guiding visitors into the galleries. Here we can see that the rich colors blend seamlessly into blue — the trees meandering down into the water. Created specifically for MMAM, these works reflect the local foliage of Minnesota and have a connection to Labovitz’s Tyvek scroll series that she has been creating for a number of years.

In the first gallery, the public will see new paintings, which are primarily largescale, immersive, color field works. Through tonality, the paintings embody the physicality of reflection, focusing on the water’s surface quality and luminosity. The selected paints are metallic, highlighting an investigation into light and surface. These works are multi-layered. Labovitz applied tissue-thin layers of paint daily over the course of 14 months. The gradation is an examination of tonality, distilling the idea of the landscape and the horizon line to its simplest form. The shimmery qualities of the iridescent paint peek through the layers of color. The viewer activates the work by moving around the gallery, allowing the paintings to shift in color, tone and value, just like water.

Located in the center of the second gallery, the work Water, SunSet Memories is suspended from the ceiling and occupies the entire space. The audio envelops the visitors with water soundscapes. An experiential site, the idea is to experience water at sunset, evoking memories and creating an immersive experience. The installation has a durational, performative quality, marking time, place, space and experience. The color choices, the application of paint and the gestural movement found in the work reflect Labovitz’s emotive states. The process brings to fruition several decades-long praxes. On one end there are intense red, orange, green and yellow gestural marks, which represent a setting sun. The remainder of the 10x24x12-foot scroll is engulfed in vast blue. This section of the installation


recalls memories and emotions. “The work may provide a moment, a meditative opportunity, as the viewer is surrounded by emotive and mesmeric color walls and audio,” Labovitz explains. Physically, the public also becomes integral to the work. In this way, the public activates the installation through their movement, gently swaying the walls of the room, mimicking the slight movement of calm water. Recorded at sunrise on the shores of Lake Superior, Water Sounds: Sunrise is a sound piece that also connects to memory and place. It is a collaboration with author and musician Bill Gamble and Minnesota jazz musician Benny Weinbeck. The recording captures the vast mesmerizing sounds of the water lapping against the rocks and tumbling of the pebbles. The idea is to create a space of solace and contemplation inspired by large bodies of water found in Minnesota.

The exhibition also includes artist books, created over a period of two years during travels to various sites with water, including Lake Superior, Italy and California. And, like many of Labovitz’s projects, there is an interactive public engagement section. At MMAM, the public is asked to create their own water stories by making 4x8-inch artist books. The key prompt is “What does water mean to you?” — posing a question for all of us to consider.

Whether it’s painting, sculpture, installation, public art or community engagement, Labovitz’s oeuvre is clear — it’s about the emotive quality of color, of connection between people and the artist, and her commitment to creating art that has an enduring interest in people and the human spirit.

Dr. Megan Arney Johnston

Megan Arney Johnston is an independent curator, writer and educator. Her book “Slow Curating: A Handbook for Socially Engaged Curating” will be published in 2024 by Routledge UK Museum and Heritage Studies.

LAKE AND COMPANY 86 Minnesota Marine Art Museum 800 Riverview Drive Winona, Minnesota | 507.474.6626 UNDERCURRENT: COURTNEY MATTISON On view May 6September 3, 2023 Artwork: Courtney Mattison, Our Changing Seas III (2014) Image: Courtesy Arthur Evans, Tang Museum


Pushing the boundaries of what marine art is since 2006.

Announcing a year long suite of exhibitions and programs for 2023 that explore the Flora & Fauna of our mysterious underwater world. Request your copy of the 2023 Season lineup today.


We love the holidays a little more on Lake Superior’s shore. Maybe that’s why they call Duluth the “Christmas City of the North.” Put these yuletide events at the top of your nice list and you’ll feel the cheer along with us.

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Bentleyville Tour of Lights / November 19 – December 26

If giving is the reason for the season, Bentleyville does it right. Not only is this display the largest free walkthrough light show in the country: last year, its guests donated over 17,995 pounds of food and 2,678 toys to the Salvation Army. Talk about nice. The full Bentleyville experience includes a stop at the Cookie House, Popcorn Factory and Marshmallow Hut. The snacks are complimentary, and, as another early gift, so is the admission. Just bring $10 for parking and pay the kindness forward.

Christmas Tours at Glensheen Mansion / November 26 – January 1

Even without festive decorations, the 39-room Glensheen Mansion is a sight to behold. Deck its halls with dazzling trees and hidden elves and it just gets that much better. Tours happen Friday and Saturday nights throughout the holiday season.

Christmas City Express / November 25 – December 18

The North Shore Scenic Railway’s performance of the Polar Express Christmas classic is not your typical Christmas concert. The night includes a book reading, performance, carolers, and 30-minute train ride to Lake Superior. (Tom Hanks not included). Tickets go fast and should be reserved in advance.

Ready to do Duluth? For more ideas and inspiration for your holiday adventure head to


Spirit Mountain is a winter playground for any adventure enthusiast, boasting the second-largest vertical drop in the Midwest. Come build your own snowy adventure with endless experiences — like skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing and fat-tire biking — all while enjoying breathtaking views of Lake Superior.


This top-to-bottom park is known far and wide for having the best jump line and some of the most creative and well-set jibs to make it one of the best parks in the Midwest. Enjoy fourplus separate freestyle terrain areas located throughout the ski area. This park has received national accolades and comparisons with many of the premier terrain parks in the industry!



Enjoy two unique locations for Nordic skiing. The Upper Spirit Mountain Nordic Center offers beautifully wooded crosscountry ski trails, double-tracked, and a skate lane, plus the new Grand Avenue Nordic Center trails are complete with snowmaking and world-class grooming.


Experience the thrill of sliding down a snowy run and then effortlessly riding back to the top of the hill on a tubing lift. This perfect family activity is for anyone ages 3 and above. Glow Tubing is also offered on Friday and Saturday nights. 91

After a day of winter wonder, Pier B invites you to sink into our outdoor hot tub while taking in the harbor view. Sip on a warm beverage under a blanket at our fire pits. Enjoy the quieter moments in life. Become serene.

Duluth, MN


This year I lost two studios, one to fire and the other, after 26 years, to developers. If state of mind is born of circumstance setting a stage for how one thinks, I am bewildered, dazed and disoriented — but also as mindful as possible. I am conscious and aware of the consequences. I have departed from daily practices and customs and am focused on new context, revolution and opportunity.

If I were to be trapped, frozen and locked in a single interpretation, if I were mindless and heedless, I might be comfortable in a position of current American attitude — comfortable in The Culture of Assertion and Certainty. In the absence of supporting evidence, I might believe I am a victim wronged, that something rightfully mine has been taken and must be restored, at any cost.

But it is the uncertainty of my situation that keeps me in

the here and now. Uncertainty has the power to promote positive change and drive ambition. Chasing a state of mind that is hope compels a kind of purpose and process that leaves no room for blame or hate.

And so, my state of mind will be hope, that I may withstand misfortunes and heartbreaks this year.

“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.” — 14th Dalai Lama 218.343.0983 218.722.1060


Lake Superior is magical. Our family goes to the North Shore every chance we get. One day back in 2018, while driving home from a spring camping trip at Gooseberry Falls, we noticed surfers in the water. Surfers?! In the Midwest?? What?!

My husband, Ian Planchon, and I are storytellers by trade. We own a film production company, 515 Productions, and we’d been looking for a creative outlet — a passion project. Lake Superior gave it to us on a silver platter.

The project started out as a fun action-sports video, telling the stories of surfers riding the waves along the rocky lakeshore. Surfers like Erik, now in his 60s, who grew up surfing in California. Stephen, who’s teaching his young son to surf. Amy, who admits people think it’s crazy that she surfs in Lake Superior, but does it anyway. Christian, who found his calling in life, capturing stunningly beautiful photos of waves.

As we gathered these stories, we got more curious. How is it possible that waves on Lake Superior can get big enough to surf? (Spoiler alert: it’s the wind.) How is it possible that Lake Superior is the largest lake on Earth by surface area and holds 10% of Earth’s fresh water but most Minnesotans have no idea? What is being done to protect this precious resource from the threat of climate change?

To answer these questions, we needed experts. Thanks to a friend at the University of Minnesota, we learned about the Large Lakes Observatory in Duluth. It’s a one-of-a-kind group of scientists focused specifically on understanding the large lakes of Earth. They generously shared their knowledge, some of which alarms even them. For starters, Lake Superior is one of the fastest-warming lakes on Earth. But scientists know less about Lake Superior than the other Great Lakes because harsh winter conditions make it incredibly difficult to study.

The more we dug in, the more we learned about

what Lake Superior means to the community at large — from the city of Duluth and the regional economy, to a direct descendent of the Fond du Lac people who were here long before the rest of us. A common theme came through loud and clear: people love Lake Superior with a passion. Its power to bring people together is palpable.

The opportunity to interview people who love this lake and weave their stories together into a documentary film has been the honor of a lifetime. After three years of production, Freshwater debuted in Duluth in February. It’s now on the international

film festival circuit and has won a number of awards. Sure, that makes us proud. More importantly, we’re grateful for the opportunity to share the magic of Lake Superior with the rest of the world and, at the same time, raise awareness about the urgent need to protect and preserve it for future generations.

You can catch the 515 Productions documentary film Freshwater at the Frozen River Film Festival in Winona, Minnesota, in February 2023. It will be broadcast on Twin Cities PBS in the spring. For more information, visit


Winter into Spring

New Scenic Café

We show up in the morning, as Lake Superior steams quietly in the early sun’s buttery light. We unlock the door, knock the frost from our boots and turn on our ovens, for warmth as much as anything. We fire up our stoves, set the table and open our doors.

We have been cooking here on the North Shore for over 20 years. We have witnessed the spark of curiosity when a new dish or ingredient catches an eater’s attention, watched as restaurant culture became entertainment, reveling in the rarefied and the new. We have watched as people turned their hunger to the backyard, celebrating farmers, anglers, and craftspeople at neighborhood markets where everything’s local, everything’s fresh, wrapped in butcher’s paper and twine.

But the real work is rarely to stay where you are and stand tall. Our stance — knees slightly bent, our weight rocked forward to the balls of our feet — is ready for movement. We are most alive when in motion, not the frenzied distraction that passes so often for busyness, but traveling gracefully and well. What defines us is how we behave in transition. Do we ready ourselves or slouch? Are we whiplashed, clinging to the end of a rope, or agile, seeking? That doesn’t mean always searching out what’s next and what’s new, but being open, being tender in response to our hunger, our environment, our neighbors and our food. Nothing is fixed. Nothing finished.

Wild Acres Chicken Breast

whelks & manila clams à la marinière, potato, hon shimeji, cream, truffle


1 qt water

2 T salt

2 T sugar

4 ea skin-on airline chicken breasts (we get ours from Wild Acres) salt pepper

Bring the water, salt, and sugar to a low boil, stirring to dissolve. Allow the brine to cool to room temperature.

Once the brine has cooled fully, submerge the chicken breasts in the brine and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Drain the chicken from the brine and pat the breasts dry with a clean towel. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper and arrange on a lined sheet pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the juices run clear and the skin is golden brown.

Whelks & Clams à la Marinière:

2 C waxy potatoes, boiled

1 C hon shimeji mushrooms

2 T butter

1-2 each shallots, julienned

4 cloves garlic, minced

¼ C thyme, fresh leaves

1 C white wine

½ lb whelks

1 lb manila clams

½ C cream salt pepper

Boil the potatoes and cut the cooked, cooled potatoes into bite-sized pieces.

Break up the cluster of hon shimeji mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the shallots, garlic, and thyme leaves, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots soften and become fragrant, 5-7 minutes. Add the cooked potatoes, hon shimeji mushrooms, and fresh thyme and stir to combine, cook 1-2 minutes until the mushrooms begin to soften.

Increase the heat to medium-high and add the wine. Bring the wine to a low boil; adjust the heat to maintain a simmer until the wine has reduced by half. Add the clams and whelks, and cover the pan. Cook, shaking the pan gently to stir, until the clams just begin to open. Remove the lid and reduce the heat to low.

Whisk the cream into the wine reduction and bring to a gentle simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Other: fresh black truffle, shaved, or truffle oil thyme, fresh sprigs maldon salt

Assembly: Spoon the saute a la mariniere into the base of a dish or shallow bowl. Top each plate with a roasted airline chicken breast and finish with fresh, shaved black truffles, or a drizzle of truffle oil.

Garnish with maldon salt and fresh thyme.

Fingerling Potatoes: fingerling potatoes water salt

bay leaf, optional whole peppercorn, optional

Place the fingerling potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water; the water volume should be enough to cover the potatoes by at least 2 inches. Salt the water generously until it tastes like seawater. Add bay leaves, whole peppercorns, or other similar aromatics if desired.

Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer the potatoes gently. The potatoes are done when just barely tender through the center when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.

Remove the potatoes from the heat and drain them from the water. The potatoes can be cooled under cold running water or spread out into a single layer on a sheet pan to fully cool.



[hue-ga] noun

An atmosphere of warmth, wellbeing and cosiness, when you feel at peace & able to enjoy simple pleasures and being in the moment.

Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts is an environment that nurtures relaxation and peace of mind. Enjoy stunning lake views, upscale lodging accommodations and unlimited access to the very best of Minnesota’s North Shore.

Discover unforgettable outdoor activities and adventures, with complimentary outdoor equipment. Relax in our signature outdoor heated pool and hot tub overlooking Lake Superior, take a stroll along the moonlit lake, surrender to the healing powers of our spa and indulge in regionally inspired cuisine.

If you’re searching for relaxation and romance, look no further.

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Up north, we don’t hide from colder weather. We toast it. We taste it. We revel in it. Consider this your invitation to love it with us. “WELCOME TO WINTER”

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