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Appreciating the classics
What we like best about the Northern Wilds are the things that never change. A special vista, a secret lake or a favorite hiking trail are the sort of things that draw us back time and again. Sometimes, we bring the best things with us when we visit these places. Perhaps it’s a floppy hat that’s been on many adventures or a wood/canvas canoe that’s criss-crossed the Quetico. These familiar places and objects can evoke nostalgia or just make you feel good. That’s why they’re classics.
In this issue, we’ve featured some Northern Wilds classics. We have some exquisite photos by Paul Sundberg of the wonderful stone structures in Gooseberry Falls State Park that were constructed by young men working in the Civilian Conservation Corps 80 years ago. Mike Furtman discusses what it is about wooden canoes and Duluth packs that makes them so well suited to paddling in the canoe country. Brenda Hadrich penned an ode to an old tent. Delving into the corners of his tackle box, Gord Ellis came up with some classic fishing lures. Taking fish to the table, Chuck Viren looks at classic ways to prepare two Lake Superior favorites—lake trout and herring.
We have a couple of fun photo features in this issue, too. Ashley Bredemus introduces us to some of the best-loved residents of the Gunflint Trail; the dogs that greet and entertain visitors to resorts. Breana Roy compiled a collection of summer pictures from past Northern Wilds photo contests. Intrepid traveler Julia Prinselaar takes us to the Scottish Highlands, where she learned more about the traditional tanning of sheep, deer and even fish skins. Fans of North Shore and Isle Royale history will appreciate Elle Andra-Warner’s story of a luxury yacht that became a working boat on western Lake Superior.
We’ve reached the point in summer when the days become noticeably shorter. Mornings and evenings are cool and refreshing. Biting insects are few. It’s a great time to enjoy just about any outdoor activity. If you are visiting the North Shore on the U.S. side of the border, be sure to plan ahead, because places to stay and to camp are either reserved in advance or fill up quickly. Have a mask in your pocket or, better yet, on your face, because many places require their use. And, as they say in Cook County, please stay one moose apart from folks who are not in your group. Most of all, slow down, take a deep breath and enjoy summer before it slips away.—Shawn Perich and Amber Pratt