If it is true that home is where the heart is, then home is the Northern Wilds for many folks, whether they live here or not. Last year, the steady migration of new residents to our region accelerated as workers who were sent home from the office due to the pandemic discovered that they really have no need to return. Working from home is a new reality for many office workers. When your boss and coworkers are suddenly just a Zoom call away, you may find you are free to pull up stakes and move to where your heart is. We’re hearing many folks are deciding to do just that.
Aside from Indigenous people, the Northern Wilds has always been populated by people who came here from somewhere else, even if their family arrived a few generations before yours did. Some new arrivals find their niche in the woods, while a few discover they really don’t care for the remoteness or cold winters and move on. Either way, there is always a lively real estate market for both homes and undeveloped land. Local real estate agents say that market has been especially lively in the past year, so much so that they have a reduced inventory of homes and properties to sell. Contractors have been busy as well with new home construction and remodeling projects.
In this issue, we take a closer look at what it is like to move to the Northern Wilds as either a permanent resident or a cabin owner. (Hint, either way, it’s a good thing.) You’ll also find stories about the challenges of drilling a well on the North Shore and landscaping your yard with plants suitable to the climate. As always, our columnists provide a mixture of tales. Chuck Viren visits with the Sioux Chef of Minneapolis to learn about cooking with food native to the area. Erin Altemus recounts how a mishap in the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon may have cost her the race, even though she still had a strong fourth-place finish. Julia Prinselaar shares some musings on why we need cold winter weather. Elle Andra-Warner tracked down cities and towns from around the world that have the same names as Northern Wilds communities. And Gord Ellis gives us the low-down on late winter ice fishing, reminding us that even if spring arrives in March on the calendar, it is unlikely to show up in the north anytime soon.
Actually, we’re ok with that. The longer days and milder temperatures make March the best month to get outside and enjoy winter activities. Have fun while it lasts!—Shawn Perich and Amber Pratt
The latest issue for March 2021 is out!
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