Casey Fitchett

Casey Fitchett is a full-time travel advocate and dog lover, originally from the urban sprawl of Hampton Roads, Virginia. After accidentally living with a Lord and Lady in Scotland, getting unwanted henna tattoos from women in Morocco and getting paid to raft class V rapids, she decided that normalcy is for the birds. She currently lives in Grand Marais, absorbing small town life and trying as many new and unique activities as possible.

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Recent Articles by Casey Fitchett

A Student of Nature with a Gift for Songwriting
posted on Monday, Mar 27, 2017
In many ways, singer-songwriter Joe Paulik embodies the North Woods. His connection to the land and the natural surroundings gives his song writing an extra edge and adds a sense of place. With a following of visitors and tourists alike, he has been entertaining along the shores of Superior for over 30 years. It was the “Sound of Music” musical that sparked a fire in a four-year-old boy that still burns today. Some of his earliest memories include original songs playing in his head that he later recognized to be…

Rodney Brown
posted on Monday, Feb 27, 2017
Canadian singer-songwriter Rodney Brown has had a long and lively career that includes an international tour, sessions teaching youth and appearances on national media. Brown picked up his first guitar at age seven and has been performing professionally since grade eight. Though his whole family sang and harmonized together, he was most influenced by the talent of his father, country and western singer Mel Brown. Listening to his dad play around the house, at family gatherings and at church, ignited a spark in the younger Brown that formed the foundation…

Laney and the Tramps put Talent on Display
posted on Wednesday, Feb 01, 2017
Memories of high school conjure up a gamut of emotions for most people. During those formative years, some found themselves involved in athletic pursuits. Others devoted their attention to academics or clubs. For current high school students Sam Chandler and the Laney and the Tramps crew, high school memories will include visions of before school group practices, gigs squeezed into already hectic schedules and writing original songs to perform and record. Duluth residents Sam Chandler and Laney Goei have known one another since kindergarten. Though they spent years passing each…

Gearing Up for a Sled Dog Race
posted on Wednesday, Feb 01, 2017
All Paws on Deck A race is a culmination of months and years of practice of one's craft. It's the thrilling winner-take-all event that showcases the preparation and dedication of the athletes. Depending on the stage of one's career, goals for the race's outcome may vary, but the excitement still pushes participants to give everything they know they can. For sled dog mushers, racing not only entails the mental and physical preparation of the human, but also of the team of animals working feverishly to make their owner proud. I…

Feel the Soul with Big Wave Dave and the Ripples
posted on Wednesday, Dec 28, 2016
“Funk, soul and rock and roll” is the catchy descriptive phase used to encapsulate the dance-worthy music of the Big Wave Dave and the Ripples band. The desire to cut a rug is a common thread at every one of the group’s shows, from the Twin Cities to the Twin Ports and in Lutsen on the North Shore. An organic idea borne out of a shift in musical interest, in 2011 trumpeter Dave Adams and trombonist Alex Nordehn were playing in a ska band called Coal Car Caboose. As Nordehn…

Rosemaling: An Exercise in Precision and Detail
posted on Wednesday, Dec 28, 2016
Requiring precise brush strokes, intricate geometric elements and specific color blends, rosemaling is a type of fine Norwegian decorative art with a long history of weaving its way through the mountains and the valleys of Norway and across the Atlantic. Like many other aspects of Norwegian culture, the art form is still practiced on the North Shore by some with a particular connection to their cultural roots. Edna Bowen with her booth at the Norsk Hostfesk in Minot, North Dakota. | DALE BOWEN Rosemaling as a style began in the…

Christmas Pasts: A Christmas Tradition
posted on Tuesday, Nov 29, 2016
Whether it’s recent or from your childhood, it seems everyone has a favorite Christmas or holiday memory; something special that you’ll never forget. Maybe it’s when you finally got that puppy you had been begging for. Or perhaps it was the warm, fuzzy feeling you got while singing Christmas carols as a child at the local nursing home. Curious, we asked a few of our writers to tell us about their favorite Christmas memories. By Casey Fitchett There I lie, under mountains of comforters and blankets, a book on my…

A Scandinavian Lutefisk Education from Head to Tail
posted on Tuesday, Nov 29, 2016
By Casey Fitchett I anxiously await my assignments for Northern Wilds each month. This place, its culture and people, are so vastly different from the world in which I grew up. I relish the opportunity to use journalism as a means through which to learn more about the North Shore, and this month was no exception. To preface: I’m from the East Coast, near Virginia Beach. It’s a city called Chesapeake, which is the furthest southeast you can go before you hit North Carolina. I moved up here to lead…

Fort William Male Choir of Thunder Bay
posted on Tuesday, Nov 29, 2016
The Fort William Male Choir, based in Thunder Bay, ONT, has a rich history that dates back to the summer of 1930. The group began organically, with eight members of the choir of the St. Paul’s Anglican Church banding together under the leadership of director Fred Parish. The goal of bringing male choral voices to the community solidified the individuals into a cohesive group that is still seeing success today. Long-standing membership and activism within the choir is common. There are currently two members who have been affiliated with the choir for…

Travelling photographers take in the Boundary Waters
posted on Monday, Nov 28, 2016
Grand Marais—“It forced me to disconnect from everything. It forced me to just be here and to focus on what’s happening and how beautiful it is.” Memphis native Allie Leon is accustomed to having a schedule, but her recent trip to the Boundary Waters forced her to leave expectations behind. Leon and her husband Zach dropped by the North Shore as a small segment of an opportunity that sounds like fantasy to many: travel for eight months in a van across the U.S., photograph what you see, and post it…

New options for fermentation fanatics
posted on Friday, Oct 21, 2016
North Shore fermentation fans have two new options for locally made adult beverages near the big lake. Residents and travelers near Thunder Bay can enjoy some freshly brewed beers at the Dawson Trail Craft Brewery and those passing through Lutsen will find a glass of wine or cider at the North Shore Winery. The Dawson Trail Craft Brewery opened its doors to the public on February 25 of this year. Inspired by the turn-key brewing systems he saw online, George Renner and friend John Kivinen first started talking about opening…

An Honest Voice from Ontario’s Forest
posted on Friday, Oct 21, 2016
The transition from the punk rock days of his youth to his indie focus of today didn’t happen overnight for artist Nick Sherman. Growing up in the depths of the Northern Ontario forest surrounded by his grandfather’s guitar strumming was instrumental in molding him into the musician he is today. Moving between the small First Nation community of Weagamow Lake and his family’s trapline on North Caribou Lake gave him a unique perspective on the land and his community that he shares through his music. The young Sherman’s interest in…

Give Thanks: North Shore Health Care Foundation
posted on Friday, Oct 21, 2016
The North Shore Health Care Foundation (NSHCF) in Grand Marais is celebrating 23 years of helping non-profits in Cook County fund health care-related projects and initiatives. The six original board members established the foundation with the goal of boosting the health of the Cook County community as a whole and the individuals within. The organization is currently supported by a 16-member volunteer board of directors with an impressive combination of skills from previous and current careers. Executive director Karl Hanson is part of a small paid staff working hard to…

Cook County Celebrates Indigenous Peoples' Day
posted on Tuesday, Sep 27, 2016
COOK COUNTY—In late September 2015, the Cook County Board of Commissioners began considering a proposition from community members to declare the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Ten Ojibwe students brought their proposal before the board on September 29, 2015 and supported their position with a statement read by Local Indian Education Committee student representative Jaden Aubid. The five commissioners of the arrowhead region considering the proposition included Garry Gamble, Jan Siverton, Heidi Doo-Kirk, Ginny Storlie and Frank Moe. Moe is the Commissioner for District 1, which includes Grand…

Musician's Home will Always Be by the Lake
posted on Tuesday, Sep 27, 2016
North Shore musician Hannah Rey comes by her talent honestly, enjoying singing for as long as she can remember. With a singer and a high school band director in her immediate family, Rey spent much of her youth reading music notes. “I was always in band and choir growing up and I’m very thankful for the five years of piano I had in elementary school,” mused Rey. “I learned my first guitar chords from a VHS by Marcy Marxer in elementary school. My parents were always very supportive of me…

Doing the Sawtooth Mountain Trot
posted on Tuesday, Sep 27, 2016
Every method of travel through the North Shore’s boreal forest provides a unique perspective of the environment’s natural sights and sounds. Though mountain biking, hiking, trail running and snowmobiling get the majority of the recreational notoriety, seeing the woods from the back of a horse can be an enjoyable adventure for beginner and advanced riders. Val Littfin rides on various Cook County trails with the Sawtooth Mountain Saddle Club. | VICKI GERETSCHLAEGER As the only resort north of Duluth with a stable, the Gunflint Lodge and Outfitters on the Gunflint…

Plucked from the Heart of the Shore
posted on Monday, Aug 29, 2016
With a name and sound that make most people do a double take, Plucked Up String Band is one of the newer beloved groups in the Grand Marais area. An original “alternative bluegrass” vibe and combination of talents draw crowds both locally and at gigs as far away as Montana. Dobroist Bill Hansen individually recruited most of the members over a span of about nine months. After getting the consent of each musician to be added to the roster, the group began figuring out how to weave their respective styles…

An international invasive species
posted on Friday, Aug 26, 2016
Grand Marais—Moose, fox, coyotes and wolves aren’t the only wild creatures wandering around the North Shore these days. With the right equipment, a little patience and maybe some bait, you might just have the chance to encounter and trap a few “mythical animals” through the latest craze with gamers worldwide. Immensely popular with players of all ages, Pokémon Go is the newest game from the developer Niantic Labs. The game, which was initially released in selected countries at the beginning of July, is similar in many ways to the card…

From Humble Beginnings: An International Carnival
posted on Monday, Aug 01, 2016
The Two Harbors Ukulele Group began as the brainchild of Alan Anderson as part of a worldwide resurgence of ukulele groups. “We started six or seven years ago in a very humble fashion. I started playing the ukulele and I knew others in town played as well. I put an ad in the paper and sixteen people showed up to play together the next week,” said Anderson. Following the impressive initial turnout from a small advertisement, the group began scheduling more regular sessions and were soon asked to play at…

Mysterious Ways: A Bowling Team without a Lane
posted on Tuesday, Jun 28, 2016
While driving on the highway one day after work, long-time friends and musicians Pat Eliasen and Mike Pratt were following a vehicle with an ‘Oversize Load’ banner on the back. While many people wouldn’t think twice about this sight, the duo had an “a-ha” moment. “We thought, ‘let’s name our band Oversize Load so we get all this free advertising along the highway,’” laughed Eliasen. “We were going to name it ‘Free Beer’, but no one advertises for that.” Mysterious Ways features Mike Pratt on guitar and back-up vocals, Matt…