Artists’ Point and Grand Marais, Minnesota
Grand Marais turned out to be an extremely enjoyable stop. After weeks of mostly hiking we decided to set up in the city campground on the south side of the bay and just enjoy the quaint town and the beautiful bay. The first afternoon we walked out and explored Artists’ Point, one of two highlights in the town. Formed from eruptions 1.1 billion years ago, the dark gray basalt that makes up the point appears to undulate in many places and is hexagonal fractured where it meets the lake – with picturesque results. The rock patterns and silhouettes combine with the fantastically vivid water colors making the point a breathtakingly beautiful spot. Incredibly some of the fractures split the rock below the water line into narrow inlets barely ten feet wide. Even more incredible (crazy?) was the group of young men jumping into these cracks from ten to twelve feet up.
Walking from Artists’ Point towards the jetty we spotted an artist at work en plein air whom we went to talk to and also checked out the early twentieth century name carvings in the rock. Finally, we walked the jetty out to the harbor light and got some additional views of the point from afar. Heading back into town we decided to check out the newly-opened local brewery, Voyageur Brewing Company. Hands down, Voyageur wins the award for best beer of the trip; seriously, it was so good we went back the next day for a couple pints on the rooftop deck. Favorites included Devil’s Kettle IPA, the Belgian Wit, the Lakeview Farmhouse Ale, and the ALS Half Moon Summer Ale, brewed special with all profits benefiting ALS research.