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David Cowardin - Author Archive

Call Me Mental »

Tomorrow I will be embarking on a story-telling campaign to break the stigma of mental illness. The project, ‘Call Me Mental,’ is a partnership between the Human Development Center and Lola Visuals. Stories will be released in episodes online along the trip and a feature length documentary will follow later this year.

We are also asking people to submit their stories, in any format, to our website. If you choose to remain anonymous, that is absolutely okay. You can also check out our Kickstarter if you would like to help support this project.

CrossFit Duluth »

CrossFit has finally made it to Duluth!

GPS Instruction »

Is anyone out there savvy with a Garmin? This fella needs some instruction and he’s looking to hire someone to walk him through his device.

Where should I get my Christmas tree? »

Does anyone know of a good place where you can chop down your own tree?

Post Election Day Hunt »

By David Cowardin
Duluth Outdoors Editor 

After the 2012 presidential election, there are only so many things a man can do to come back down to earth. Hunting grouse is one of them.

“Think of it as hiking with a gun,” my friend Luke said.

You see, I’ve never been hunting. Ever. So Luke was showing me how simple it really is.

“It’s really just an excuse to get out into the woods,” he said as he stopped to rub some pine needles between his fingers, telling me how much sweeter they smells after a rain.

We were about 30 miles north on Rice Lake Road, hiking around a small lake listening for the heavy thump of a grouse. The sky was gray and everything was wet: the sweet smell of pine was strong. (more…)

Outdoor Alliance Meeting »

Representatives from the Outdoor Alliance met with local outdoor leaders last night at Hartley Nature Center. The goal was to form a collaborative effort in making local green space more accessible and maximizing outdoor opportunities for Duluthians and tourists alike. Last night’s meeting got the ball rolling in what will likely be a very successful collaboration between outdoor leaders in the region.

Learn more about the Outdoor Alliance

Precious Waters Flotilla Podcast »

In August, I ventured north to Finland to meet a man I had only communicated with via email. Little did I know, you have to hike a mile back into the woods to find his modest log cabin he built for his wife and two sons.

Rory Scoles will be guiding a group of sulfide mining protestors on a 30-day canoe trip from the Polymet Mine Site to the St. Paul Capitol. I sat down with Rory at his favorite look-out, the only spot he gets reception on his phone and the best spot to view the wild rice he is harvesting and that could be in danger if proposed mining projects go through.

Listen to the interview at Duluth Outdoors.

I am Manitou and so are you »

Manitou, referring to spirit beings in Algonquian groups of Native Americans, is also the name of a river along Minnesota’s north shore. The Manitou River runs through George Crosby Manitou State Park where I decided to camp alone Saturday night.

Check out the story and more pictures at Duluth Outdoors.

Crescent Moon Campground »

By David Cowardin
Duluth Outdoors Editor 

If you haven’t been to the mouth of the Lester River since the flood hit in June, it’s worth checking out: Rocks and debris have formed an island resembling a crescent moon about 50 feet from shore.

When I first saw it, many thoughts came to mind:

Flood Video: Calling Extras to the Set »

LoLa Visuals is putting together a video for the city of Duluth to bring to the state legislature in attempts to attain state assistance for flood victims. We are filming the closing shot Aug. 19 at 5 p.m. in Canal Park by the pier and need as many people as possible to come join. The final shot will include Sarah Krueger singing “High Tide or Low Tide” with an expanse of Duluthians surrounding her swaying to the music; a final plea for the state to stand by us in both high times and low times.

Any spider experts out there? »

I was hiking Tischer Creek when I ran into a spider web and found this guy crawling around. Does anyone know what kind of spider it is?

More pictures and the story from my hike.

Brewhouse Triathlon Results »

Race results are in and photos have been posted. It was a bit chilly up at Pike Lake for the 26th Annual Brewhouse Triathlon but competitors seemed faster than ever.

2012 Short Course Results

2012 Long Course Results 

More race photos and media at Duluth Outdoors

Wednesday Night at the Races »

The rain cleared just in time for Wednesday Night Races at UMD, leaving behind a puddle for Josh Birchhill’s daughter to play in.

The rain cleared just in time for Wednesday Night at the Races. It has become a summer tradition for hundreds of families throughout the Northland. The youth race series is held on six consecutive Wednesday evenings in July and August, and draws an average of over 500 children per night.

Check out the photo gallery at Duluth Outdoors!

Birthday on the Brule River »

By David Cowardin
Duluth Outdoors Editor 

My parents were on their way to Duluth for my 24th birthday and I gave them a call:

“How about we paddle the Brule?” I asked my mom.

There was a brief silence on the other end of the line, hesitation that said she wasn’t thrilled about the idea but wasn’t prepared to say no on my birthday. So 20 minutes later I had my canoe strapped to the roof of my vehicle and was on my way to meet my parents in Superior, Wisconsin. From there we consolidated vehicles and navigated through the city’s orange-cone maze before moving onward to Brule.

2012 Bridge Festival Documentary »

River Place Campground Thefts »

Residents at River Place Campground on the St. Louis River were evacuated during last week’s record flood. Shortly after, their homes were burglarized. Today they met with Duluth Police to assess their losses. Some belongings floated away in the flood, others were stolen … but residents at River Place said they feel lucky because other people in the northland had it worse.

Watch the video as police investigate and residents assess damages

Chester Park Dam »

The dam at Chester Bowl washed away with the storm, taking canoeing programs with it. Director of the Chester Park Improvement Club, Thom Storm, said without the dam skiing programs could also see challenges.

Watch the video

Dogs looking for homes »

My photo partner and I are filming a documentary on animal cruelty in Alabama. We have two weeks of filming left before we head back to Duluth, at which point we hope to bring dogs and puppies back with us to be adopted in the Northland. If you are looking to adopt, please let us know. There are countless animals looking for good homes. We will be documenting their journey from Alabama to Duluth to represent a happy ending to their less fortunate life in the south.

Contact David Cowardin at 218.290.7209.

More about the documentary here.

Big Water Bike Journal (Day 12-20) »

On May 1, Zach Chase and Kris McNeal set off on their bicycles to circle the Great Lakes. It’s a trip that will take 90 days and span close to 6,000 miles. They are filming along the way and will produce a feature length documentary about the communities surrounding the Great Lakes and the importance of the natural beauty in our backyard. Check out the journal they have been keeping along the way.

Tischer Creek at Twilight Time Lapse »

Last night I set my hammock underneath a footbridge in Tischer Creek to sleep over trickling water and under a starry sky. Using LED lights I lit the water and the hammock and came out with this time lapse. I hope to try this again but with different camera settings so I can capture star traces in the sky.