I think I have been in slight denial that it is fall. You would think the change in weather to cooler temperatures would have tipped me off, but I still feel like the change was so fast – one minute I was wearing shorts, the next minute I was wearing my winter sweater. It literally was that fast. It wasn’t until my drive up the Caribou Trail in Lutsen on Sunday that it hit me – IT IS FALL! The maples are starting to change to beautiful reds and some of the underbrush is changing too.
Sunday my son Carson and I went on a mini Maple Syrup tour. My first stop was Wild Country Maple Syrup to see Larry. Driving down his road/driveway is one thing everyone must do in the fall if you are up in our area. The striking red leaves are just plain awesome, not to mention seeing all the tubes they use in the spring weaving through the woods to bring the syrup to be processed is pretty neat. In his sugar shack you can buy syrup, honey, and the best maple candies. We purchased syrup and of course, maple candies to snack on for our way home.
We drove back down the Caribou and then stopped at Caribou Cream to see Herb and to pick up some wild rice and their incredible pancake mix. In the sugar shack at Caribou Cream you can see where the syrup is processed and buy many items from syrup, lupin seeds, maple sugar and much more.
Both sugar shacks have pictures, awards, and information on their process on making maple syrup which actually happens in the spring. The don’t have posted hours – it is an on your honor system. Usually if either are home or working they will pop in to see you and you can chat with them about their businesses. The syrup at these places is way better than any syrup you would buy at a store. It is something many people up here consume on a daily basis in their coffee, on oatmeal, or on ice cream! Both homes are also on the fall colors tour that starts either here if Tofte on the Sawbill Trail or in Lutsen on the Caribou Trail. Just look for the signs and check it out! – Kris