5.5 years into this farm business, I’m only beginning to improve at getting away. This week, with only a few days notice, I squeezed in a 44-hour bro vacation with the fella who has been breaking away with me on these for well-nigh a quarter-century. Even shorties like this have a manner of impacting the … More A Big Smooch for Isabella!
Seven men and six women, a full baker’s dozen, blew by me atop the meringue-like crust as if I was standing still. Most were in full lycra suits. Muscular buttocks all, 26 in total, striding and gliding as poetry in motion—bodies and brains perfectly aligned in a complex task— the very picture of focus, while … More Delighting in the slipstream of others
A wood-fired cabin, blanketed in fluffy snow and nestled along the Canadian border, beats the beach any day of the week. This has long been my ideal vacation spot. Now, for the first time, I was able to share the experience with my family. The cabin, built in 1928, is roughly the same vintage as … More The best farmer vacay ever
I purchased this sheepskin hat directly from the hands of the old man himself: Howard Joynes, founder of Joynes Ben Franklin up in Grand Marais, MN. It cost me $76—a pretty penny back in 1996… It’s the warmest hat I’ve ever worn, or seen on anyone, and that includes those atop the heads of explorers … More Changed my life
In the current economic pinch it seemed crazy to drive a 2,932-pound Prius 18 miles round-trip just so I could ski a few miles in circles. The Piedmont ski trails currently have the best classic ski conditions around, however, and my family relationships don’t do well when exercise and time outdoors are curtailed. The day … More Working through the anxiety
It’s always enough just to discover that the cabin hasn’t burned down, or isn’t occupied by another party. Getting there and entering the old shack, which to the best of my knowledge dates to around 1922, is a victory in and of itself. I wrote about this place in my book extensively, and never tire of … More The Pigeon Lives!
This past week I made the annual pilgrimage to this abandoned shack that lies astride the Canadian border. The newbie on the trip brought along one of those fancy Garmin GPS things. Preferring zero connectivity and an apparent affinity for buttons over zippers, this made me uncomfortable. I must admit that change can be good, however, … More 48 degrees north!
60 degrees below zero. February 2, 1996. The temperature zoomed all the way up to -36° by afternoon. What a day! On this very memorable day I scaled Eagle Mountain, the highest point in Minnesota. To mark the occasion, and also to lend a little support to a letter I recently sent, I’m sharing a … More 20th anniversary of a great day
It was at about this time that I concluded my month-long epic voyage by backpack and train 19 years ago. I climbed aboard Amtrak’s “Southwest Chief” one last time in sunny Albuquerque, following a one-hour layover that I maximized like an escaped convict soon to be returned to “the hole.” Soon I would return to … More Chasing the Light During the Dark Times
Like most people, our tendency will naturally be to hole up for an extended period of time this time of year, and have less and less contact with our neighbors or even fellow humans in general. Our house, being rather small, cramped, and frequently untidy, will often feel like a less than ideal place to … More Tapping a Renewable Resource in Your Neighborhood