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

Floydian Slip: Jamming from North to South
posted on Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017
No strangers to the stage, jam band Floydian Slip has been performing around the shores of Lake Superior for more than 18 years. Northland College alumni Andy Noyes, Olaf Kirsten, and Jeff Kriner first joined forces while in school in Ashland. A common interest in music later connected them with bassist Scott McCafferty to complete the quartet. Floydian Slip’s latest CD features photos of the group at Magnetic Rock. | FLOYDIAN SLIP Of the 30-50 shows they play during a year, they try to spend between four and six weekends…

Acoustic Notes from around the Campfire
posted on Monday, Jul 24, 2017
Although Eric Frost had a genuine interest in playing the guitar from a young age, his parents were hesitant that the desire was a passing fad. Fans of his acoustic guitar strumming and vocals may have one of his unsupportive elementary school teachers to thank. Musician Eric Frost first began playing the guitar in fourth grade. | ERIC FROST “I got my first guitar when I was in fourth grade. My parents were somewhat reluctant to get me a guitar before they knew that I was going to stick with…

Following the Voyageurs through the Fur Trade
posted on Monday, Jul 24, 2017
An archeological excavation on the Lake Superior shoreline. | GRAND PORTAGE NATIONAL MONUMENT The canoe is heavy and the bale is full of goods to sell. The trail is long, but paddling the river would be nearly impossible. The bugs are swarming and there are challenges around every bend. The terrain seems unforgiving, but there is no option other than to put one foot in front of the other on this path, the Grand Portage. Visitors to the Grand Portage National Monument are transported through time to when the fur…

What's Under that Rock? A Hidden Gem
posted on Thursday, Jun 29, 2017
Be sure to bring a compass when visiting Magnetic Rock, located up the Gunflint Trail. | TRAVIS NOVITSKY It happens to even the most seasoned hikers and explorers: you get stuck in a rut. Thankfully, it’s not typically a literal rut; it’s the repetition rut. It can make you wonder what you haven’t seen—or don’t even know about—yet. Perhaps you’ve hit some of the popular highlights of the North Shore already—Artist Point in Grand Marais, Oberg Mountain in Lutsen, High Falls in Grand Portage—and you are looking to switch it…

Bringing Down the Haus
posted on Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017
He performs solo and with a group, cover songs and original songs, in front of intimate crowds and sold out theaters. His voice is recognizable all the way down the North Shore because of bar gigs and across the country because of commercial radio jingles. From covers of Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” to Beck’s “Loser,” Timmy Haussner, also known as Timmy Haus, is an entertainer in every sense of the word. The musical notes started flowing from the piano keys when Haussner was just four years old. A solid…

New Bikes on the Block
posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2017
The cycling world on the North Shore is dynamic. The leaders of the biking community are constantly looking for different ways to bring in new riders and tell the experienced ones about routes that they might not have considered. Whether bumping around on the gravel roads in the woods or rolling seamlessly on the lakeside Gitchi Gami bike trail, pedaling in the North Woods continues to attract new groups and businesses. The Fireweed Bike Cooperative in downtown Grand Marais is the newest project of the town’s mayor, Jay Arrowsmith-DeCoux. After…

Rock Steady: Thunder Bay’s Reggae Rockers
posted on Friday, May 26, 2017
Rock Steady’s formation story is one of accidental circumstance. About nine years ago, drummer Dave Campbell gathered a group of musicians to play with Canadian reggae singer Errol Blackwood. Though Blackwood cancelled, the band decided that the show must go on. They rotated singers throughout the night and realized that they had something worth pursuing. Armed with the name Rock Steady, Clay Breiland, Rory Bohler and Campbell soon invited Gord Ellis and Richard Tribe to add to their sound. The success of their first gig at the Apollo was just…

Nordic Nature Group brings forward Climate Inheritance Resolution
posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2017
When not submitting proposals and resolutions, the Nordic Nature Group finds time for outdoor recreation. |SUBMITTED Grand Marais—The Nordic Nature Group has been busy. Between collecting years worth of Grand Marais environmental impact data and presenting it to groups of supporters, it’s surprising that the group manages to squeeze in another big priority: school. The main mantra of the six local (and two honorary) members—“tackling global climate change at a local level”—is one that rolls easily off the tongue of group leader Olya Wright, 11. “I got the idea to…

SplinterTones: Music to Make You Move
posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2017
To celebrate the release of their first CD, the SplinterTones performed outside the Grand Marais Public Library. | SPLINTERTONES The SplinterTones know the North Shore. The group’s winding path to their current member cohort is more than 20 years in the making and includes time spent playing as Over the Waterfall and the Splinters. About four years ago, a merger with the Sivertones created the group—cleverly named the SplinterTones—that exists today. A zydeco style and dance music that is uniquely eclectic and upbeat inevitably gets audiences across Cook County on…

The Challenge of Northern Gardening
posted on Wednesday, Mar 29, 2017
The Weberg greenhouse, constructed in spring 2015. | AMANDA WEBERG In northern Minnesota, it often seems like winter dominates the year. As the flakes fall and snow accumulates, it's hard sometimes to remember the soil under the frozen layers that is ready to help hopeful growers produce summer vegetables. Many gardeners in this corner of the world lament the short growing season and are forced to be very methodical to prepare themselves for the few months of sufficient sunlight and warmth. For these gardeners, the excitement of spring extends beyond…

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…