31 August 2006

Oh my wilderness - part 2


After wandering up the Echo Trail I found myself spending the night right on the shore of Nils Lake. This followed my failing to take the advice that Fenske Lake Campground is always full of boaters. At least it did not cost anything and was rather comfortable.
I was up by 8 and bound for Ely hitting Zups Grocery for some food and then the city park where I cooked up eggs and Canadian bacon.
At 10 most of the town propieters open for business.
I seek out a yoke for my Mad River Escape 15 to no avail at Priagis. I need to be creative now. I visit the hardware stores in town to pick up some hardware for an improvised yoke. I then get waylaid looking at Boys' Life at an antique shop and other stores before I eventually buy a cooking pot at Canadian Border Outfitters and head up the to the Moose River entry point on the Echo Trail.
I think I arrive at 4:30 but it take me until almost 6 until I am on the water. This delay is mostly due to never having put together the Escape 15 (it's a folding canoe). Once out on the river I have a race with time.
Sunlight disperses after the 3rd portage. I get out my headlamp and paddle aimlessly down the river. Eventually I make it to a portion where I hear rushing water. This is not on the map and I cannot see where it is. Beavers are all around. I retrace my path to check if I missed a turn. I did not.
Out on the river, which had no solid banks I could see, I wandered about in the dark until I decided I would tether the canoe to into a convenient "beaver slip" to spend the night. My waterproof bivy bag came in handy as I attempted to get some rest in the bow of the canoe.

Keano goes from home to dugout

You can't keep Roy Keane out of football- even when he has a spat with Fergie, plays for Celtic and then retires. I'd think he would have taken a commentatory role like Ally McCoist. But oh no he goes right into management and of all sides Sunderland where his arch nemisis Mick McCarthy bobbed the cats up to the big stage only to come crashing back down. McCarthy jumped ship and now manages Wolves. Keano now has a club and what he'll do is anyone's guess. I doubt he'll be amiciable.

30 August 2006

Just another visit to the Go

Captain Capitalism swung through town while I was out on the Lac (la Croix).
Quite a characterization he made. And unfortunately the Hi Rise gets noted as the talkest structure.
Yes, Lileks is from Go.

Oh my wilderness- part 1



On to the way to Ely I stopped by this chapel in Fosston. It provided a good respite from the road.

I spent the night prior in a little town called Mentor in the city park.

Unfortunately I also spent a great deal of time in Bemidji and my old adage, "Nothing good happens to me in Bemidji," proved true. It was there I discovered I left my Zip Stove and cooking untensils behind in Go. Enfuriated I sought replacements for the utensils but to no avail in Bemidji. Fortunately I packed, quite accidentally, my Peak1 gas stove.

Due to the Bemidji delay I arrived late in Ely. The grocery store and the Piragis Outlet were closed but just about everthing was open. Ely is camping gear heaven. Nearly every store has gear. Piragis' main store has the most variety. I gear up and then spend the night in the woods nearby. However, the next day I would be back in town.

28 August 2006

In the wilderness- in a canoe


I spent the last week in one of America's biggest "wilderness hotels." Although they try to limit how many people get into this wild place it seems crowded for a wilderness area. I've had more solitude in non-wilderness areas. Nevertheless it was a good time albeit I had a few harrowing experiences. More on the trip in later days.

18 August 2006

Lake Superior high



While it is not Norway or Finland or the Cliffs of Dover (or one of those craggy heads on the North Coast of County Mayo), this was an awe inspiring sight on the Superior coast. It was free and not crowded unlike many of the other sights along 61 towards Grand Marais. We should have been eating Clif Bars and downing Clif shots up here. No diving allowed although you could rappel.

Well, I'm off for a respite. Slan.

17 August 2006

Knowing the lager from the pilsner

The undying fount of beer knowledge has really bothered my roommate. A few weeks ago I received a magazine about nothing but beer. He couldn't quite understand the need for a magazine, much less the hundreds of people who do nothing but taste beer and write about it for a living. It must be a good living. Yet of course the conclusion of the matter will always be fear God but I am sure it is possible to do that and have few brews along the way.
Speaking of God, did you know there are monks who brew beer? Yes, now you can committ your life to holiness and brewmaking as a Trappist. And I thought they only made jelly.
My beer pick for the week: TommyKnocker. Specifically the Butt Head Bock and the Maple Nut Brown Ale. Two delicious flavors that had no bitter hop taste. I also had the Pick Axe Pale Ale but really did not enjoy it. It tasted old. Phil also liked TommyKnocker although I think he's a sucker for free beer.

11 August 2006

Mistaken IDs

Now the media is creating its own heinous crime of identity theft by mistaking the Good Eddie for the Bad Eddie.

02 August 2006

Osama and Bonanza

Nothing is worse than a sporadically updated blog that speaks of nothing more than the amount of belly button lint mined on an average day.
The world of late has been hectic. Just today here's a cadre of things I could blog on: Israeli/Hezbollah conflict, Fidel Castro, or Mel Gibson's remarks and apology. Doubtless I could ramble on about each and even quote the most pithy Phil a few times. [Phil, in fact, has no sympathy for Lebanon and had no comments concerning the other issues.]
However the one thing that caught my attention the other day was a new book about Osama bin Laden. No, I did not go out and buy it but I read the book review in the Times. According to the author the young Osama preferred the long running television show Bonanza- starring Lorne Green, Michael Landon, Pernell Roberts and a bunch of other cowpokes who took care of business the old fashioned way. It's not hard to believe that young Osama would be sitting glued to the set watching Little Joe and Hoss untangle another mess while falling in love with the same woman. Yeah, I'm sure he pines for them simpler times as he attempts to order the DVD box set in a cave with poor satellite reception.
By the way did you know Michael Landon was a fiddler?