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Outside Chance: Dive in for Some North Shore Photography

And we mean that literally.

By Luke Heikkila and Ryan Klabunde

Article by Kelsey Derby

Feeling inspired by Chance? In this episode of Outside Chance, you get to jump in - literally - with series host Chance York and Minnesota photographer Christian Dalbec on their "extreme photo adventure." After a walk focused on learning about photography, the two gear up in some serious wetsuits and take a dip in Lake Superior during the freezing winter to snap some pics. The episode shows us the beauty of Northern Minnesota and how to take full advantage of all it has to offer. 

The splendors of the North Shore are on full display - no matter the season, a trek north always brings ample opportunity to enjoy the great Minnesota outdoors in all its glory. Still, winter visits pose a singular obstacle to some people: It's cold, after all - and the stiff wind off the largest of the Great Lakes can make even the winter-friendliest Minnesotan shudder.

But brace yourselves, there's so much to do on a Two Harbors winter's day, and we've rounded up six activities to inspire your next road trip.

Taking Pics

You don't need to dive directly into freezing waters to capture epic photographs - but if this episode has one message, it's that anyone can find satisfaction in pausing to visually capture the coniferous landscapes of Northern Minnesota. Grab a camera, a cell phone or just imagine capturing the little moments in between on a nature walk. You might surprise yourself with how enjoyable it can be to look at the world in an entirely new way. 

Surf's Up

Believe it or not, winter-hardy human beings actually surf on Lake Superior. Eat your heart out, Hawaii. Surfers navigating the waves of Lake Superior is not exactly a rare sight - but the activity does call for some very specific weather. Large storms, typically occurring in the freezing-cold winter, brew up massive waves that are not for the faint of heart. If in town and the timing is right, check out popular wave spots near Two Harbors like Stony Point and Beaver Bay on what people refer to as the "Third Coast." 

State Parks Galore 

This part of the state is home to many beautifully maintained state parks where you can get closer to nature and learn about the unique ecosystem of the North. Gooseberry Falls, Tettegouche, Split Rock Lighthouse and George H. Crosby Manitou are all accessible from a visit up north. Check out their individual websites for specifics on how to visit. 

Explore History 

The Depot Museum located in the 1907 headquarters of the Duluth & Iron Range Railroad, highlights the early pioneering history of the county. You can find exhibits on everything from Lake County archaeological digs to the first shipment of iron ore from Minnesota and the bustling, turn-of-the-century logging companies. It's a great way to learn more about the history of the region while staying warm and cozy inside. 

Sled Dogs Lead the Pack 

Check out one of the many local dog-sled companies and book a tour across the frozen tundra. Dogsledding used to be a popular way to travel in this region and it is still celebrated today. Two Harbors is still the launch point of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon each winter. If you happen to be in town the last weekend in January, you might even catch the kick-off of the race. 

Bliss Out on Skis 

Two Harbors boasts some of the best cross-country skiing in the state. Many places offer rental gear to get outside and, with just a bit of experimentation, you'll find yourself gliding across the quiet landscape in no time. The Lake County Chamber of Commerce is a great resource for more information on how to get outside. 

Looking for more outdoor inspiration? Stay tuned for more episodes every other week on and on YouTube.  

Production Team: Adam Geiger, Ezra Gold, Terry Gray, Luke Heikkila, Ryan Klabunde, Jon Van Amber, Chance York

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