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Continued: Paradise Island in the North Woods

  • Article by: KERRI WESTENBERG , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 8, 2013 - 3:24 PM

Slowly, the family handcrafted other cabins, making sure none sat too close to another. The pathway that rings the island runs behind the cabins rather than along the shoreline. The result is a sense of solitude from each distinct abode.

Today, 21 cabins line the island and the north and south shores, including Coffeetime, the five-bedroom where Mark grew up; Sundown, a two-bedroom charmer on the approximate site of Hod’s family tent; and the Dreamcatcher, the newest addition to the island. To lend spaciousness without a big footprint, SALA architect Dale Mulfinger created a dwelling that goes straight up, resulting in views among the treetops.

In all those years of owning a resort, the family has perfected the art of hospitality.

Eagle on the wild shoreline

On Monday morning, the first of my visit, I awoke to find a newspaper delivered to the door, along with a printout from Ludlow’s staff with what I considered the truly relevant news of the day: the weather forecast and a list of events available during the week.

I would skip the 8 a.m. yoga class (this was vacation, after all), but the children clamored to attend s’mores on the beach. We’d forgo the fishing contest, preferring to focus our efforts above the water, tooling around on hydrobikes. No sense in taking a floatplane ride to tour the area (an experience I would find nerve-racking) when I could instead spend my cash on a massage in a pretty building with a fireplace and aromatherapy, though the scent of pine outside soothed me all day long.

I spent most of my time lounging by the water or reading a book in the cabin, even with the scheduled events run by Ludlow’s capable staff. The children played in the water, scaling the floating inflatable iceberg, and wandering the island alone — which I allowed them to do since only Ludlow’s guests get on the island, and we’d become friendly with most of them.

One sunny day, we hopped on a pontoon for a tour of the islands. Paul led the way, showing us particularly fruitful fishing spots and motoring us around to view other wild shorelines. We spied an eagle high in a treetop, and Paul passed binoculars all around. I’d never seen an eagle in the wild so close-up. After a few minutes he flew away, returning to his nest, I suppose.

When Paul powered up the motor to head back to Ludlow’s Island, I felt I was returning to my summer nest, too.


Kerri Westenberg • 612-673-4282

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