“As I came over a rise, there it was,” Stensaas wrote on his blog, the Photonaturalist. “It saw me and bounded off the road and into the 3-foot deep snow. I stayed put thinking that it might come my way via the pine woods. And after a few tense minutes of me second-guessing my intuition, it did!”
Robot Rickshaw and I sailed into our imagination on an iceberg, a doomed expedition worthy of Shackleton. Do not attempt. We selected a vessel and set sail from the Lakewalk around the Va Bene area. The wind was at our backs as we navigated down the shore past Fitger’s, where we disembarked just as our vessel began losing seaworthiness. We had sailed approximately 500 feet. However the real journey was into the depths of the human heart. Do we in fact have missing time as we suppose? Did we sail into a mist and live on the Isle of Avalon for untold years, before charting a course back to our day-to-day lives?
Duluth-based Blue Forest Films produced this short feature about Alyssa Nelson’s transition from UMD Bulldogs athletics to fly fishing and nature education. Game Changer was screened last weekend during the Great Water Fly Fishing Expo at Hamline University in St. Paul.
This week will be cold but relatively free of precipitation, so any rinkspace recovered will likely survive a few days. It looks like a blasted moonscape out there right now, but a couple hours of shoveling will uncover the byways of our lost civilization, that culture of pure leisure we established whose spirit survives.
Under cozy plush sheets and a thick comforter, I wait for heat from a newly lit fire to reach me. Chilly mornings in Lakewood Township, and by chilly I mean winter cold, have a different meaning to me than to most. I didn’t realize how accustomed I had become to this way of life until a visitor asked why I get ready for bed with a light winter hat nearby. I show my guests how to start and feed the fire. I tell them the alternative to rising from their warm cocoon is to simply yell through the blanket, “My head is cold,” and I will resolve the situation.
Mornings aren’t tough here. There are no winter boots that get put on to tend to livestock or sled dogs. I do not crawl into a chicken coop to gather breakfast. There is running water, but I don’t drink it. Instead I fetch water from the natural spring off Highway 35 and Midway Road. There is electricity, but no Wi-Fi or television. Life here is a little, alternative, I shall say. Alternative in a slightly archaic fashion, but by no means, difficult. I only notice my gradual slip into this alternativeness when I open the door to the outside world and along with it comes a want for “normalcy” that has become unfamiliar to me.
Tomas’ video scrapbook from the People’s Free Skate Rink on Saturday. This event was the culmination of a rolling 7-day spontaneous party on foot-thick ice over 40-foot-deep water. Featuring DJ Kevin Craig, in a set he shared with Pete Biasi/RAW SPACE. Footage includes the snowy owl that buzzed us in the final frames.
The People’s Free Skate Rink on the ice sheet near Leif Erikson Park is still open and fabulous, but the weather’s turning the next couple days so take advantage today-tomorrow while you definitely still can. I think you’ll like what we’ve done with the place, an ice maze of islands and slollums. Don’t need skates, just come bask in the view of the city and the sky. After dark the snow turns pink in the city lights, a premier hangout for the adventurous. See you there!
Max Moen and I did this once before in 2014. This will be open as long as weather permits maintaining it. It is on Lake Superior directly off Leif Erickson Park from the stage, about a quarter mile. It is marked with orange cones which hopefully no one will eff with. Ice is around a foot thick, you could drive a train on it. This is the premier skate course in town, a hundred feet long with many twisty paths. Even if you don’t have skates, it is a great excuse for a party. Bring bikes, kites, beach chairs, flags, capes, etc.