Outdoors Posts

Selective Focus: Editor’s Choice

One year of Selective Focus would be impossible to capture in a single post, so I’ve gleaned just a few personal favorites. I think we’ve accomplished together many of my initial desires to foreground the real people who live work and play here, and to build community through art, no matter how homely or grand.

Sulfide Mining Debate + The Holidays = Watch This


Surely sulfide mining is close to the top of the things Minnesotans can disagree about with family and friends as we enter the holidaze. This two-minute video depicts one way the outcome of the PolyMet question could play out. Great for captive audiences who are too stuffed to resist. Enjoy!

Images of Spirit Mountain piping project on St. Louis River


More videos and images below and in the Google gallery linked here

Spirit Mountain’s piping project will draw water from the St. Louis River and pipe it to the lower chalet area where another pumping station will send it into the snow gun system. There are two pumping stations: one at the lower chalet area, the other right next to Tallas Island Bay on the Western Waterfront Trail in the Riverside neighborhood. That is the area these photos were taken.

The Next Bite: Lake Superior Walleyes


Gary Parsons of The Next Bite, along with Josh Teigen and Chris Meyer, troll Lake Superior’s South Shore for walleyes.

The Mystery of Chuck’s TV


I have a mystery on my hands. About a year ago while driving over West Ninth Street, just before the intersection of North Eighth Avenue and East Orange Street, something caught my eye — what appeared to be an old car in the woods. After a couple passes, I could see that it was indeed an old car. Curious, once home I started some research. On the newly updated Google maps this past spring, I could see the car in question. Checking the DNR Historical Airphotos, I found that up to 1961 there are what appears to be two buildings, houses or perhaps a house and some other type of building on that very corner. Sometime between 1961 and 1972 they were torn down, as they no longer appear on the 1972 imagery.

Minnesota Deer Hunting Opener 2015

From the stand

No luck yet for me, hunting in Kelsey, but a couple fresh rubs nearby. Anyone else having luck?

You know the feeling. You just sat down on your bucket in your stand, it’s at little after 6 a.m. It’s still dark but you can see a sliver of light starting to climb in the southeastern horizon. Your heart is beating from your walk in and you feel so warm your thinking there is no way it is 28 degrees.

Where in Duluth?


Another easy one.

Positive Energy Outdoors seeks help


Can you imagine spending your honeymoon with 16 sled dogs? The founders of Positive Energy Outdoors did just that. It is emblematic of how Stephanie Love and Blake Cazier have devoted their lives to their mission of making outdoor education and exploration accessible to everyone, regardless of income level. Pictured above are two champions. On your left is Stephanie, and on your right stands SOTA, a champion lead sled dog who has won the Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.

As many of you saw in the Duluth News Tribune recently, they face the potential closure of this popular outdoor education center if they cannot resolve a dispute with Fredenberg Township involving access to public lands. All of us in St. Louis County have a stake in this matter. After all, it was our own county board of commissioners who gifted this land to the township with the understanding that everyone currently using the land would continue to be allowed to do so. Please consider signing their petition.

To learn more about this incredible nonprofit organization, located a scant 15 miles from Duluth, check out my current post on Ed’s Big Adventure. Please help to keep this valuable center of outdoor activity alive.

Minnesota wild rice, Adam, and his red canoe


Meet Adam Maxwell. He grew up in the Chicago suburbs. It took one Boundary Waters trip to hook him. Harvesting wild rice started out as a hobby; now it’s part of his daily life.

Video by Old Saw Media
Music: “Fight the Sea” by Josh Woodward

Aldo Abelleira’s Lake Superior Autumn Trip


Aldo Abelleira of Aldo Design took the cruise up from Minntonka to Lake Superior’s North Shore this fall to document the waterfalls, autumn colors and occasional fox hanging out in the road.

Lake Superior Aquaman Summer 2015 Highlight Reel


Lake Superior’s North Shore Witch Tree

Lake Superior Witch Tree

“Manido Gizhigans” to the Ojibwe people, the Spirit Little Cedar Tree (known as the “Witch Tree”) has been keeping a keen eye over the shores of Lake Superior in Grand Portage for an estimated 300-400 years.  CBS Minnesota did a “Finding Minnesota” story on the Witch Tree. Travis Novitsky was interviewed for the story and said “You’ve got this tree that’s growing out of the rock for at least 400 or 500 years. And just to stand in the presence of something that’s living, that’s that old, to me is mind-boggling.” Sorry for the brief commercial before the video starts.

See the full story by clicking here.

Copyright for the above photo belongs to Travis Novitsky. www.travisnovitsky.com

North Country Trail nears connection to Superior Hiking Trail

North Country Trail at MN and WI border

A new 4-mile section of the North Country National Scenic Trail, located 17 miles southwest of Superior, opens Saturday, bringing the trail another step closer to connecting to Minnesota’s Superior Hiking Trail.

The new segment crosses the University of Wisconsin-Superior’s MacQuarrie Wetlands in western Douglas County and features scenic overlooks of the Nemadji River Valley and the basin of Glacial Lake Duluth. It also crosses a section of Douglas County Forest and Wisconsin DNR lands.

Link to driving map

Fifteen-year journey on the Superior Hiking Trail complete

SHT VictoryThe champagne bottle popped shortly after noon today. In what must rank among the laziest accomplishments in endurance sports history, I completed the final stretch of my quest to hike the entire Superior Hiking Trail … 15 years after I started.

The 296-mile journey was tackled in about 45 different hikes spread out between Sept. 24, 2000, and Oct. 11, 2015. The longest single hike was about 15 miles. The shortest was today’s hike, which was less than a mile. Perhaps some day I’ll gather stories from the journey into some sort of narrative, but for today I’ll just present a simple breakdown of the mileage per year.

Boundary Waters 2015


Video by Jeremy Schendel.