BWCA

On the trail of the Pagami Creek Fire
June 11, 2014 by Sally Rauschenfels

On the trail of the Pagami Creek Fire

We paddled toward the burned southern shore of Lake One in search of the famous Pagami Creek Fire. Three years after the famous fire burned here, we headed out for a day of discovery. … read more


German Expressionism hits the North Woods
February 26, 2011 by Andrew Slade

German Expressionism hits the North Woods

Seen on a well-used National Forest outhouse at a ski trailhead in Ely: ┬áThis well-weathered man reminded me of the woodblock prints of the German Expressionist, like this one from Max Kaus. When we arrived in Ely for our winter break, the woods were full of snow, but it was a crusty, angular, and shall we say depressing snow. Like the angular cuts in those woodblocks. Actually, there was a lot of German expressionism during our week up in the Ely woods.Like my older son, in his first year of German, teaching his younger brother how to insult someone in that … read more


Approaching Eagle Mountain
September 21, 2009 by Andrew Slade

Approaching Eagle Mountain

This is heresy. The hike to Eagle Mountain is not all that great.The hike up Eagle Mountain, Minnesota's high point, is terrific.To climb Mt. Everest, you must first schlep for a week to basecamp, then start climbing. To climb Denali, most parties nowadays get flown in to Kahiltna Glacier and avoid days of criss-crossing glacial streams by foot.To reach Eagle Mountain, you must persevere through two, TWO miles of hard hiking through flat and rocky terrain. You cross three boardwalks, and in those few instances the woods open up just a bit and you can see around. Otherwise, it's a … read more


Roughing it on the Border Route Trail
June 15, 2009 by Andrew Slade

Roughing it on the Border Route Trail

Is the Superior Hiking Trail too cushy for you? Too many bridges over streams? Too many handrails on those steps? Just can't stand seeing other PEOPLE every 20 minutes?Man up. Get out on the Border Route Trail. It's rough out there!I've been looking for trails to include in the forthcoming Hiking the North Shore. For me to include a trail in a book, the trail needs to be fairly easy to find and not too difficult to follow. The BRT can be hard to find and hard to follow.If you're accustomed to the Superior Hiking Trail, you'll find the BRT … read more


Women who run with the wolves
April 12, 2009 by Andrew Slade

Women who run with the wolves

It was March 1992. I could hear the wildness in her voice. My lovely wild wife, on the phone. She had been out on the ski trails outside Ely and was calling me at work. Deer hair on the ski trail. Spine tingles. Wolf scat. Fresh steaming deer carcass in the middle of the trail. Invisible eyes in the forest trained on her. The women in my life run with the wolves. Sally runs with the wolves. And now, so does our poodle Chloe. Now here we are in April 2009. How lovely it is to ski across a frozen … read more


Wow…The Kek by The Man
November 13, 2008 by Andrew Slade

Wow…The Kek by The Man

Martin Kubik founder of the Kekekabic Trail Club, hikes the 41 mile wilderness trail in three days.Check it out. He's got great photos and a great story. … read more


My favorite ski trails…once
October 20, 2008 by Andrew Slade

My favorite ski trails…once

Back when I was a hippy...When I lived out of the back of my car and made just enough money for new wool socks...When I owned just one pair of skis, some Rossignol Randonees with metal edges I could use for downhill, cross country and everywhere in between...Way back then, the North Arm Ski Trails north of Ely were my favorite ski trails. I loved the wild forests and hairy turns and the pride and work of packing my own trails. Tall pines marked the trail.We hiked those trails this weekend, one last bit of fall colors in the woods … read more


Watch out…he’s gonna jump!!
September 3, 2008 by Andrew Slade

Watch out…he’s gonna jump!!

When my boys were little, I couldn't stay close enough to them to ensure that if they fell climbing on a rock, I'd be there to catch them. I'd take a bullet for them, so to speak. One of the biggest thrills of young man-hood is cliff jumping. As our older son Hans roars past boyhood through his tween years and almost a teenager now, he's discovering his own thrills...and I'm learning to let go. We discovered a great jumping spot on Tofte Lake, just off the Fernberg Road east of Ely. Tofte Lake is amazingly clear, and it has … read more