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Now is your chance to make a deal

We appreciate your Minnesota niceness. You say hi to everyone. You open doors for strangers. You recycle. In fact, we don’t just appreciate your Minnesota niceness, we love it! We just don’t want it to get in the way of a little friendly dickering.

You see, we have some great paddling gear that has been used all summer long for rentals and demos. We don’t want to store it over the winter, which means we need to get rid of it now. And that means we’re ready to make some deals. We know these kayaks, canoes and SUPs might not be as pretty as when they were brand new, so make us an offer. So please forego your Minnesota niceness  for just a moment and dicker with us on this paddling gear. (And after we’re done with the dickering, we can all resume our Minnesota niceness.)

Note: The list below is changing as we are selling the inventory. We are doing our best to keep it up-to-date but please check with us to find out what we currently have in stock.

CANOES

  • Langford Langtex Prospector (17’4) – White
  • Langford Langtex Prospector (17’4) – Red
  • Langford Kevlar Northwind (17’8) – White
  • Langford Kevlar Northwind (17’8) – White
  • Langford Kevlar Nahanni (16’5) – White
  • Langford Kevlar Nahanni (16’5) – White
  • Langford Kevlar Solo (12′) – White
  • Langford Kevlar Nahanni (16’5) – Natural (needs some repair)

PADDLE BOARDS

  • Bic Dura-Tec Kids
  • Bic Dura-Tec Kids
  • Bic Ace-Tec (11’6″)
  • Bic Ace-Tec (12’6″)
  • Bic Dura-Tec (10’4″)
  • Pau Hana Lotus Air (10′)
  • Pau Hana Moon Mist (10′)
  • Slingshot (11′)
  • Slingshot (11′)

KAYAKS

  • Venture Jura MN (15’5) – Yellow
  • P&H Delphin (15’5) – Yellow
  • Wilderness Systems Ride 115 (11’6) – gray
  • Wilderness Systems Thresher (15’6) – Blue
  • Wilderness Systems* Prodigy ll 145 (14’6) – Orange yellow red
  • Wilderness Systems Pamlico 135T (13’6) – Yellow
  • Wilderness Systems* Pescador Pilot (12’0) – Blue
  • Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140 (14′) – Red
  • Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140 (14′) – Blue
  • Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145 (14’6) – Red
  • Wilderness Systems Tsunami 160 (16′) – Red
  • Wilderness Systems Tsunami 160 (16′) – Blue
  • Wilderness Systems Tsunami 165 (16’6) – Yellow
  • Wilderness Systems Tsunami 165 (16’6) – Brown
  • Wilderness Systems Tempest 170 (17′) – Red
  • Wilderness Systems Pungo 140 (14′) – Green
  • Wilderness Systems Pungo 140 (14′) – Green
  • Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 (12′) – Green

Picture of red and yellow autumn leaves in Grand Marais

What? Say it isn’t so!

by Susan Krage

Goodbye summer and, for me, goodbye to Grand Marais and Stone Harbor.

It is a bittersweet goodbye. I LOVE fall (more on this infatuation below), so leaving summer behind is an easy one for me. Leaving Grand Marais and, thus, Stone Harbor—not so much.

The North Shore has been my refuge for as long as I can remember. My grandfather bought a cabin on Poplar Lake early in the 1950s, and our family has been using it faithfully ever since. It was such a relief to head up north to cooler temps and low humidity for our two-week summer vacations. I was so jealous of the kids who called this place home and not until later in my life did I come to realize that growing up on an island in the wilderness might not be so great to a 15 year old. For me though, it seemed like heaven.

And it has been heaven to live here for the last few years. I will miss looking out onto East Bay every day from my office, listening to rocks skip across the ice in the winter, watching to see what birds show up each spring, hearing the screams of kids as they take their first tentative dip in the (freezing cold) lake during the summer and, finally, the storms of November—the sheer power is incredible. So yes, I am fine with summer turning into fall—but I am sad to say goodbye to this wonderful small town and the abundance of beauty that is its soul.

By all these lovely tokens September days are here, with summer’s best of weather and autumn’s best of cheer. – Helen Hunt Jackson

Ah, fall, truly my favorite time of the year (and that is not because I was born on the Fall Equinox—although I’m sure it doesn’t hurt). As a child always counting down the full moons until the Harvest Moon arrived on my birthday just might have been what started this love affair. I have lived in the Middle, the South, the West, and the North of our country and fall has always been my favorite season. Growing up in southern Indiana, fall meant cooler temps, drops in humidity and the always favorite—Persimmon Festival (the only time of the year we could get persimmon pudding and my personal favorite: persimmon ice cream). In Texas, FOOTBALL! When we lived out west—it meant hunting season, What the Hay (go to the link—it’s worth it), the first snowstorm, and the Chokecherry Festival (as much fun as the Persimmon, but not quite as tasty). Here on the North Shore, fall means the disappearance of mosquitos, pulling out your favorite wool sweaters, hunting season (for my dogs) and, of course, Moose Madness and Radio Waves.

The weather, the smells (man, do I love that smell—my mother even sent me a box of fall leaves my first year of college in Texas because I missed it so), the festivals, the colors, and the food—what is there not to love about fall!

I like winter, spring is nice; let’s skip summer and do fall twice. – Rusty Fischer

As you read through all our fall adventures in this newsletter, you will see that I am not the only one on the staff who has a profound love for fall. It really is the best time of the year—no matter where you live.

Picture of the East Bay of Grand Marais on a fall day

 

Picture of dogs looking at the hills in Grand Marais in fall

 

 

Two pictures of dogs in the leaves of autumn. Oh yea, there's a human in one of them too.

 

 

 

 

Autumn in Grand Marais

by Beth Poliquin

Both of our girls were born in southwest Arizona. In Yuma, fall looked just like the rest of the year. School started at the beginning of August because was too hot to be outside anyway. Relief from the heat really didn’t come until Thanksgiving. Sure we did fall-type things: a local pumpkin patch, hay maze and trick-or-treating at Halloween. But looking outside, you really couldn’t tell: the date palms and hibiscus bushes looked the same all year.

While I grew up enjoying the changing of the seasons, we somehow had traveled to see family on the East Coast every season except fall. My kids had never seen it.

Then last summer we moved to Grand Marais. Our yard was surrounded by poplars and birches, and we had one lonely maple you didn’t really notice until October. The girls were in awe of the leaves falling. It was a fun game to try to catch leaves as they fell so you could be the first human to ever touch that leaf. Our elder daughter would patiently stand next to the tree looking up and waiting. Our younger daughter, not known for her calm spirit, would shake the tree to make it rain leaves.

And the colors! Our nine-year-old’s voice gets all dreamy as she talks about the colors. The trail around Oberg Mountain is known for spectacular Superior fall color views. They also remember the mud, but my pictures show us in a forest turned yellow and orange. This loop trail in Lutsen is a great, kid-friendly way to spend an afternoon. This year I’m looking forward to discovering new favorite hikes.

I have fond memories of my own childhood autumns but it was so fun to see everything fresh last year through their eyes. I am a little sad that it took so long for our girls to see such beauty, but how cool is it that they can remember and appreciate their first fall?

 

Picture of James and Danny standing in front of Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply and wearing the latest in fall fashions

We’re talking about fall

by Colleen Kleve

Fall and fashion, fall and flannels…some things just make sense together. Long before any sign of the leaves turning colors, the Stone Harbor buying team is hard at work researching the fall/winter apparel selections. We think we have hit this one out of park.

Fall 2017 brings you a nice variety of “comfort food” clothing as well as some new and improved-upon styles, while mixing in the technical side to keep things workable as well as stylish. Vendor lines with new weights, wicking properties, a tie here, a zipper and pocket there to be practical, make this one of the best fall showings in outdoor apparel.

Royal Robbins has been a surprising front runner for Fall 2017 clothing lines. The folks there have introduced a rich color-drenched palette this fall for both men and women. For the ladies, Ibex, the go-to for Merino wool, has a line of dresses light weight, stylish and yet warm. Lole, the active wear leader, does not disappoint with their new comfort stretch jeans and as always their women’s light and mid-weight jackets.

Be sure to make Stone Harbor a stop on your fall color drive. The store colors are at their peak, even on a rainy day. We look forward to helping you find that next great piece you cannot live without.

Picture of sea kayakers paddling through the mist at Isle Royale

How a week at Isle Royale made this ocean kayaker feel at home

By Beth Poliquin

Selfie of Beth in her sea kayaking gearAs a kid in Virginia, I loved watching Atlantic dolphins jump and certainly loved living in Hawaii in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I don’t recall ever giving the Great Lakes much thought. But I had no idea. While Superior may not be salty, the “Big Lake” has captured my attention and my delight, nonetheless. Don’t get me wrong; I like lakes in general. And being on the water has always been my favorite activity, whether on rivers, lakes, or seas. But there’s an excitement and freedom in the openness of not seeing surrounding coastlines.

My week at Isle Royale included a couple big water experiences that made this ocean kayaker feel at home. The island itself, being the most remote national park, has an aura of mystery to it. One day on the open southern coast, we paddled into fog so thick that we had to stay within about ten feet of shore just to be able to see it. Talk about mystique! With a map and compass on deck and whistles on our PFDs, we stayed close together and weren’t too concerned about losing our way. Upon entering Chippewa Harbor, we regained some visibility as the wall of fog stood guard just outside. We began the next day with reports of strong winds and whitecaps. I gave a safety briefing to our clients on dealing with the waves we expected and taught them the basics of bracing. What we found, though, were a favorable tailwind and almost three-foot swells, but no whitecaps. Once it looked like my companions were comfortable with the conditions, I offered some tips for catching waves, and soon we were all riding the gentle swells. Speed is my favorite part about surfing waves, and we made great time that day, our longest travel leg.

Not only was the trip fun for me, but I got to share this special place and the water we affectionately and simply call “The Big Lake” with people who wouldn’t have felt comfortable exploring big water on their own. Although cold water is still intimidating to me (as it should be!), I see so much value in guided trips to stay safe and to make the most of adventure travel.

Yes, sometimes I catch myself scanning the water for sea turtles, my silent companions for years, but then I shift my gaze slightly up as I look for loons and up further still as I search for bald eagles. Someone asked me yesterday if I miss guiding in Hawaii, and while there are things I miss, rather than wishing I could go back, I am grateful for the variety of my big water experiences.

Picture of kayakers paddling by Light House on Isle Royale

Picture of two hikers standing on a rock and taking a look at the trees and the water


Want to take a trip to Isle Royale yourself? We don’t blame you. Get all of the Isle Royale Sea Kayaking Adventure details here and then give us a call at (218) 387-3136 to book the tour.

Picture of sign at the end of the Superior Hiking Trail

By Jack Stone

Picture of the back of Jack as he is hiking to the end of the SHTI hiked to the end of the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) last weekend and took some pictures at the 270 degree overlook. If you have not been there, it is a hike of about 1.1 miles to where the SHT meets the Border Route Trail. Then you head up a slope about 300 yards to the top, where there is a 270 overlook towards Canada.

It is one of the best views in the area–you can see forever! Bugs were not that bad–annoying mosquitoes but the black flies seem to be dying off. The trail for the most
part was dry, except for a couple of muddy spots.

The trail is not well marked on maps but you get to it by heading up the Arrowhead Trail to Otter Lake Road. Go east on Otter Lake Road a couple of miles and you see the trailhead for the Border Route Trail on the left.

It’s a great hike for anyone who feels they can go for 2-1/2 miles. The climb is gradual all the way until the last 300 yards, which is a little more rugged. The trip back to the car is quite easy, since the gradual incline going up is a gradual decline going down. And if that doesn’t sound like a good trail for you, just stop by the store and ask us for some other Cook County suggestions–we have all sorts of great hiking trails here.

Picture of the view from the 270 Outlook at the end of the Superior Hiking Trail

Picture of three people in a canoe. The person in the middle is fishing

When it comes to canoeing, a little of both

By Ann Papenfuss

I come from a long line of crazy or courageous people (the appropriate adjective of course, depends on your opinion). Aunt Genny and Uncle Jim definitely fall into both of these categories. Among their very craziest adventures, year ago, was a trip to the Boundary Waters with me and three of my cousins. That was two adults and four pre-teens and teenagers. If you do the math, you can quickly realize they were outnumbered. And believe it or not, it was their idea. No electricity. No phones. Four kids. One great big wilderness and only canoes for traveling. What could go wrong?

picture of portage sign from Caribou Lake in the BWCAThank goodness they didn’t focus on what could go wrong because that gave them the space to create an amazing family trip. From the tranquility of the remote wilderness, to the duffer’s duty of reading a book aloud to the paddlers or catching fish for dinner, to the chipmunk and ducks who befriended us, everything was magical. It felt like we were transported right into a Mark Twain adventure!

With the many water sports available to us here in Minnesota, canoeing holds a special place in my heart because it is perfectly designed for families. Unlike hiking, you can transport big packs with relative ease in a canoe. And the duffer option is great for anyone who needs a break from paddling.

As I get older, I know Aunt Genny and Uncle Jim won’t be around forever but the joy of that trip will always be in my heart. And that is the true gift of a canoe trip.


If you want to introduce your family to the outdoors, canoeing is a great way to start and Stone Harbor can help with BWCA Canoe Day Trips and canoe rentals.

Picture of a stand up paddle boarder with the schooner Hjordis in the background

A sense of freedom and peace

By Beth Poliquin

Picture of a dog standing on a paddle board and looking at the Grand Marais harborMy love for the water goes back to my earliest days growing up in Virginia Beach. Later, when I started canoeing and whitewater kayaking in college, something clicked in my soul. Then, living in Hawaii for three years solidified my connection with being on the water. It is on the water where I experience a sense of freedom and peace, even if the conditions are less than peaceful.

Several people have asked me about Stand Up Paddling (SUP) and want to know what the big deal is. The sport has exploded in recent years; people from all over the world are enjoying the activity on their respective lakes, rivers, or seas. It’s a more recent addition to my water-based repertoire and one I’m happy to tell you about.

People have been paddling out to catch waves for at least hundreds, possibly thousands, of years. Stand Up Paddling as we know it likely has its roots on Waikiki Beach. Although Hawaiians weren’t the first to paddle standing up, they were the ones to popularize it on a board. Surf boards in Hawaii are much bigger than standard ones you’ll see on the mainland US, making them more stable and allowing the user to stand up even when not being propelled by a wave. Most adult SUP boards are between 10 and 12½ feet long and around 5 or 6 inches thick. The bigger the board, the more stable it is and the more weight it can hold. This takes the romantic but challenging surfing and makes it accessible to most people.

Stand Up Paddling is a fun way to enjoy being active outside. It offers a better view than sitting close to the water and can also provide a great workout. Proper paddling technique involves keeping your knees bent slightly and keeping your leg muscles engaged. Being on the water challenges your balance, giving your core a much better workout than doing any number of crunches. Talk about functional strength! It doesn’t get more functional than having good balance. Of course your arms also get in on the action, and by paddling on both sides, they get worked evenly. Strength and fitness excite me because they let me enjoy the great outdoors more fully. When I’m feeling especially ambitious, I can step up the challenge with some yoga practice on my board.

Fun is great, but safety is paramount. US Coast Guard regulations mandate that paddlers have a life jacket with them, and paddlers under 13 years of age must wear one at all times outside of surf, swimming and bathing areas. When it comes to cold water, don’t mess around–wear your PFD. Have a signal whistle attached to your person and carry a light if you’ll be paddling in low light or the dark. A leash to keep your buoyant board close to you is recommended. Another great safety measure is company, so bring a friend with you!

Regarding people’s question about why SUP is so popular, my answer is that it is simply another way to be on the water. Some days, that’s really all I need.


If you would like to try stand up paddle boarding for yourself, you can book a tour online or give us a call at (218) 387-3136. Or rent one from us and paddle on your own.

Paddle boards lined up on a North Shore beach

Collage of pictures from the Superior Hiking Trail

The kind of adventure I can get behind at anytime

By Jackson Nickolay

When it comes to wilderness experiences, I tend to appreciate two things: accessibility and variety.

“Wait!” you say. “Wilderness and accessibility? Those sound mutually exclusive…” Make no mistake, I love a good week long adventure into the depths of the BWCA as much as the next paddler. But the reality is, for most of us a week-long excursion can be really hard to put together. Schedules conflict, jobs eat up time, and in lieu of all the stars aligning, we wind up unable to embark on all the epic adventures that we would like to.

Because of this, I often find myself searching for a more attainable goal; a three to five hour journey; one that still brings the relief that comes from being out in the wilderness but that gets me home by Dark:30.

This accessibility is what makes the Superior Hiking Trail my hands down favorite system of hiking trails. There are access points littered every 10-20 miles along the beautiful shore of Lake Superior. It’s simply a matter of picking what type of adventure I feel like having on a given day and I know that within about an hour of wherever I am on the North Shore, I can be well on my way to another wilderness experience.

Which brings me to my second criterion: variety. In this aspect I am completely spoiled, as the North Shore offers some of the widest variety in landscape. Within the space of one hike, I can travel over a prairie filled with wild flowers, through an old pine forest, down into a rushing river canyon and then back up to a glorious overlook of the Superior National Forest and Lake Superior, and all in enough time to get back for a pint at the brewery.

That is exactly the kind of adventure I can get behind at anytime. But hey, don’t take my word for it. Get up here and try it for yourself! Pick your adventure and enjoy all the beauty the North Shore has to offer. Or book a hiking tour with us and we’ll take guide you on this or one of the other beautiful hiking trails right here in Cook County.

Beth is sitting in a chair, wearing a brightly colored top and white leggings

The latest trends in summer fashions

by Colleen Kleve

Summer evokes a wide variety of images. For many of us in the northern climate, who maneuver the elements a good portion of the year, the ease of daily mechanics is top of mind. To be able to throw on a simple single layer of clothing for a summer day is a welcomed treat!

Summer 2017 brings with it a touch of vintage patterning, paired with a very clean and simple white color palette. This combination is light and easy feeling. While white has not been a seasonally restricted color for some time now, we are seeing much more white apparel this summer than we have in many years. The clean, simplistic powers of white never go out of style. From yoga wear to wedding attire, white dominates fashion this summer. Florals in large print and muted hues are also prevalent. The patterns are soft and sweeping, rather than hard line driven. And we are seeing pattern-on-pattern for a fun, vintage look, as well as white solo for an easy monochromatic look that never goes out of style.

Stone Harbor has a large selection of summer apparel for both men and women. We carry several quality clothing lines that are specific to your outdoor activities, as well as lifestyle pieces that you can’t easily find in your standard mall retailers. So, stop in and check out our summer collections.

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