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Old 12-09-2003, 06:56 PM   #15
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Steph--If you're getting a book on the Gunflint Trail, you better also get one on canoeing, as you can't go up the Gunflint with-out a canoe. If you do, once you get there, you'll wish you had one. A really great area & even better to explore via a canoe.
Been there done that ---to old now.
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Old 12-09-2003, 08:28 PM   #16
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North shore-Gunflint dreamin'. . .

Stephanie, Gunflint books are perfect for a long winter's read, but if you do, I warn you now--you'll be packing for the North Woods of Minnesota come spring ice out! In addition to the Helen Hoover books such as The Gift of the Deer and The Long Shadowed Forest, try some Sam Cook, beginning with his essays called Up North or Quiet Magic. Include some Michael Furtman and don't miss the classics by Sigurd Olsen such as Listening Point. Two other old classics, still fun to read, are by the Jacques, Florence and Francis, called Canoe Country and Snowshoe Country. You might also try the biography of Justine Kerfoot of Gunflint Lodge fame. There are many more, but these could start the fever! I love my home, Missouri, but it's the North Woods, its pines and lakes and stories, that have fed my soul. Well, we seem to be off the thread, so maybe someone will get us going on city campgrounds in some other part of the country now!
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Old 12-09-2003, 08:48 PM   #17
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Maxandgeorgia--- you have hit it right on the nose. I have the full collection of Sigurd Olson's books & Listening Point is my favorite. I reread them all the time. They are kinda like my Winter city campground.
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Old 12-09-2003, 09:22 PM   #18
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Mind Massage of Stress Relief

Steph,

Minnesota has no Mount Rainier. What I think we are trying to express is an attitude of nirvana that is felt more than words can express. Northern Minnesota is a mind massage of stress relief that can be gained by being there or just merely thinking about it. When I read Florence Jaques' "Snowshoe Country" a short book describing the solitude and hardships of living on the Gunflint trail in the Winter of 1943 disconnected from the outside world I could only think, "Wow!" Her husband, Francis Lee Jaques illustrated the book with several pen and ink sketches that captured the spirit. As I remember he also added illustrations to the Hoover books.

I'm thinking hard about it NOW with a current accumulation of 10 inches of new snow. So if you understand the feeling of cocooning during a gentle snowfall that stops you from worrying about anything else, multiply that feeling ten fold...and love it until you have to go out and shovel.
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Old 12-09-2003, 09:37 PM   #19
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Sometimes I wish we could live that kind of life, ruled by the elements, where you just have to do things as mother nature lets you. More connected to the world around us. Out here all we have to deal with is rain, and it's a rare day that gets so bad we have to hole up inside. I'm really looking forward to checking out some of these books. It's wonderful to see how enthusiastic people are about their neck of the woods.

It just reminds me how much I need to get out and see different parts of the country in person to really experience it. Which is exactly why we bought the Airstream

See how I brought that back around to camping? We're almost back on-topic
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Old 12-09-2003, 09:45 PM   #20
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DavyD --did you ever read --Canoeing with the Cree, by Eric Severid ( that's not right but close)? If not I would highly recommend it. A teriffic book written in the 30's. simular to ones you quoted.
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Old 12-09-2003, 10:08 PM   #21
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Ditto on the Jaques Canoe Country. Florence Jaques (Americanized to 'jay-quees') wrote a companion book, Snowshoe Country, that is equally engaging. Her husband, Francis Lee Jaques, became the chief diorama painter and expedition artist for the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. His scratchboard works accompany these two books (samples attached). He has painted the truest running wolves, wedges of waterfowl, and on and on.

Canoing with the Cree was written about an adventure Eric Sevareid had right after high school. Sevareid is well known as a University of Minnesota graduate, then I think he went on to work at a national network...

I would highly recommend A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold if you're into the books above -- It's about Wisconsin but the perspective is the same.

Now, this looks a little like tonight's weather if you live in Dubuque --
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Old 12-09-2003, 10:15 PM   #22
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Northern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula have a lot of common scenery and many state and national forest campgrounds. Lake Superior's Circle Tour is unbeatable!

From Snowshoe Country. This looks just like the Gunflint and Boundary Waters. The latter doesn't allow canoeists to carry glass bottles or aluminum cans, so I don't know where Airstreams fit in...
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Old 12-10-2003, 06:59 AM   #23
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Back on Track

I think to get this thread back on track we may have to take MarkDoane's Airstream shell that is now off its frame, turn it upside down and turn it into the world's largest aluminum canoe, dump it into Lake Minnetonka and paddle it over to the Vet's campground on Big Island. But we will have to wait out the Winter now before we can do that.
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Old 12-10-2003, 07:17 AM   #24
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just waiting for the spring thaw

In as much as this thread has evolved to flat water canoes thought I would share this photo.
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Old 12-10-2003, 11:02 AM   #25
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I love it! Paddling is big on my list of things I'd like to spend more time doing next summer. Beautiful canoe, BTW.
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Old 12-10-2003, 11:57 AM   #26
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What to do in city campgrounds...

Back to John's starting post -- If you like to bike once you "get there" Elroy, WI, is a great base. Rails-to-Trails provides easy grades (usually not exceeding 1.5%) and no vehicle traffic. Click on Elroy Sparta Trail on this link. There probably are bicycle rentals from local shops if you need them but I'll let you google that if you're interested. This trail's unique feature is that it goes through 3 former train tunnels -- bring a flashlight!

We've camped at Wildcat Mountain State Park to do the Elroy Sparta Trail. We purchased live trout from an Amish farm a couple miles NW of the park for a great camp dinner. We had a 'Close Encounters' experience with a SOB motorhome that landed, the noisy generator started up, and nobody ever came out of it. I guess we couldn't hum the right tune. I think there are rentals in town near the park to canoe the gentle Kickapoo River.

If bicycling appeals to you check out Lanesboro, MN, just west of here into Minnesota ( www.lanesboro.com ) -- more rail-trails, mucho campgrounds including a civic one right in town, cute, trout fishing, etc. The entire area southeast of Rochester, MN, is relatively mosquito-free too! It never had glaciers and is based on porous limestone, so there are no collecting basins and almost no standing water anywhere -- odd for Minnesota. And it is all near to I-90 that passes between Madison, La Crosse, and across southern MN.
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Old 12-10-2003, 10:16 PM   #27
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Spearfish city campground

Bob, thanks for reminding me.

The Spearfish campground is typicaly clean well kept and quiet. Plenty of shade trees and what passes for a brook flows through it. The 'brook' is actually diverted from Spearfish creek to the hatchery. While in Spearfish be sure to visit the fish hatchery, Mathews opera house and take a drive through the canyon. Plenty to see and do in the Black Hills and area. I try to get back there at least once per year.

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