Celebrate the Equinox

TO CELEBRATE the equinox and the arrival of fall, Kathy and I took a little day trip to view the colors and to visit the North Shore. It was a misty, foggy, windy, rainy day but the Big Lake—as always—was spectacular. The best colors? Well, right here around home. For another post…

September on the Lake

IN SEPTEMBER, when the speedsters and noise-makers have mostly gone, the lake and the island belong once more to the silence. To the timeless and the sense of wonder. In that silence, from the old deck on the rocks, one can hear the chuckling of wavelets on the shore, the last wails of the remaining loons, and almost, perhaps, the

Last Road Scholar trip of the season

AS OUR LAST Road Scholar trip of the season comes to a close, we are left with indelible images and memories. Sunsets and moonrises, loon calls and paddling outings among quiet islands, eagles and rocky escarpments, a wilderness cabin, a winding trail to a high overlook and the drifting tones of a Native cedar flute. And most of all the

A marvelous day for Doug’s Road Scholars

YESTERDAY WAS a marvelous day for Doug’s Road Scholars. After Tuesday’s visit to Sig Olson’s iconic Listening Point with Listening Point Foundation president Patsy Mogush, my great friend, we arose early and hiked in to scenic Kawishiwi Falls, along a trail populated with glorious trees, unique specimens growing over boulders and old white pine stumps, surrounded by blue bead lily,

Road Scholar trip into Voyageurs National Park

AS WE FINISHED OUR Road Scholar trip into Voyageurs National Park, we looked down the lake, down the historic narrows into the past, and there glimpsed a brigade of voyageurs. They raised their paddles in salute, then continued paddling into the pages of history. And our little band of travelers bade goodby to the Canoe Country, taking home with them

UP THE NORTH SHORE

SO UP THE NORTH SHORE we went, on our Road Scholar expedition, making favorite stops, doing favorite hikes. Gooseberry Falls, Split Rock Lighthouse, Tettegouch, Shovel Point. But when it drew near time for dinner—at one of my favorite haunts—The Northwoods Family Grill in Silver Bay—the call came on my cell phone. Both our cooks are out, we can’t serve you,

Sparky The Cardinal

AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES, famed soloist Sparky the Cardinal has begun to sing his favorite hymns. After a long winter of gentle ‘chips’ from the forest thickets, and sensing a change in daylight hours or the angle of the sun, he once more dazzles us with vocal calisthenics and time-honored melodies. His tone and timbre are unmatched—until those

A Bald Eagle

WHEN I WAS a little boy, it was a rare and beautiful thing to see a bald eagle. On the annual family vacation to Lake Kabetogama in what is now Voyageurs National Park, grandfathers and grandmothers and parents would say, in hushed and excited tones, “Look, Dougie, it’s an eagle!” And we would all gaze in rapt attention and amazement.

Trail in The Woods

A TILT CALLED the Super Bowl will be played today, But I fear I might miss the fine, fearsome fray. A trail in the woods is calling to me, Past three pines and a birch and a balsam fir tree And the chirp of an eagle in the setting sun’s rays; All call my attention, as they do on most

The Bucolic Scenes

The Bucolic Scenes

THESE BUCOLIC SCENES guide a weary traveler down the narrow lanes to the old cabin-in-the-woods. Also known as the Caretakers’ Cabin for the Chuch O The Pines. It is the scene of some Consternation and Commotion over the last few days, as the furnace went out on Friday night—outside temp about minus 5. But with space heaters, a kitchen oven