Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Journey

Four Miles
August 2010

Four miles, two of swamp, boulders and felled trees

Two and one-half miles of adventure
Scared a buck, spotted a doe, heard an eagle

One-half mile of excruciating torture

Dragging and praying every inch

It’s not age, it’s idleness
It’s not fat, it’s consumption

It’s not fatigue, it’s weakness
It isn’t orthopedic, it’s delusion

Today four miles, two miles of rugged

Entering the trail-10:30am

Dense woodland both sides. 'Think' it's part of Superior National Forest.

End of the trail. WHAT trail??? Perch Lake. 12:16pm

As close as I could get without being swallowed by swampland. 

This was a part of the trail. I'm pretty proud of myself!!

Timber Wolf Lodge quarry. 1:04pm. Only another quarter mile to the cabin. By now, I was praying for a vehicle but none arrived to save me (thanks Nanci), and I got back to the cabin at 1:30pm. Only crippled for a few hours. Those who know me are aware that this is pretty impressive.

The View from the Sofa

The North Woods
August 2010

Stretched before a gentle fire surrounded in cast iron, the concert beyond the picture window unfolds to whispers of cobalt or azure illusion and crested gray mingled with tiny shimmers of russet, umber and camel. Daily they scamper, peck and tussle over birdseed. The backdrop is a ripple of hunter, moss and kelly, which reveals glimpses of cloud wisps floating above ten thousand lakes in the ‘land of sky blue waters,’ a power that surged and sliced between granite and gneiss, nurturing tall, lofty pines and eerie birch woodlands. So absolute is the serenity it allows silence amongst us, periods of gazing in stillness at the skies without words or concern. Air so clear you truly smell fertile earth, bountiful water, the musky, damp moss that clings and drips from roofs, trees and blankets rocks—a spongy, rich green sheathe. The soaring symbol of this Turtle Island competes with loons and man for aquatic sustenance. Bucks crash through broken birch while Monarchs and Zebra Swallowtails flutter from Horseweed to Arrowhead surrounded by Flower of the Dead.

The recital of late summer sights cause wonder of deep frigid winters—the pristine and hushed dwelling of gray wolves and black bears.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The One That Got Away

August 10, 2010 - Timber Wolf Lodge, Ely, MN

There's always one isn't there?
Always the story of the thirty-pounder,
The fight of your life, exhilarating, heart-thumping
Did-you-see-that one that got away.

Mine wasn't like that

He was pretty and shiny and
Might have been a keeper

I was exhilarated and my heart-thumped
When he got away, but he was average,
Just average.

The north winds blew
Eagle screeched overhead
White caps raged
Beneath clear then cloudy skies
Over Bear Island Lake

Twenty years since my last time
So long I'd forgotten what I remembered
The cool touch of the pole
Or the proper movement for satisfying results
The proficiency, the experience, somewhere within.

Once I'd been skilled, not expert, but adept
Now it was like the very first time
All over again
The one you want to forget

He was alert. He recognized the awkwardness
What was that shimmy in the palm of my hand?
At the moment I realized he was mine
He flicked me off and disappeared into
The pond that's full of one's just like him.

He was pretty and shiny and
Might have been a keeper

But he was only average.