A perfect fall Saturday"Here in Northeastern Minnesota, we have it pretty dang good (though that cheery assessment may swing a bit in, say, mid-February). This time of year, there’s no shortage of beautiful destinations to visit, and no shortage of outdoor activities to pursue."
By: Louie St. George, for the Duluth Budgeteer News
So there we were on the boat last weekend, two buddies – Chuck and Tom – and I. Early in the afternoon, charcoal-colored clouds gave way to an impossibly blue sky. The sun shined down, and layers were removed –overcoats and hoodies no longer needed, and how long will that last?
Loons sang, a bald eagle peered from atop a tall pine and the walleye were … nowhere to be found.
Still, a pretty splendid day on Ely Lake in Eveleth. Lining the lake was a dizzying array of reds and oranges and yellows – the fall colors on full display as we bade adieu to another summer. And, as we sat in the boat on a serene lake, nary a ripple of wind to be found, it was easy to consider just how lucky we are to call Minnesota home.
Last weekend, we were greeted by that unmistakable autumn air, crisp and refreshing, as we spent the better part of Saturday arcing across the lake, nowhere we needed to be and nothing we needed to do.
A month ago, that same lake ––like so many across the state — was teeming with swimmers, water skiers, jet skiers, anglers, kayakers and so on and so forth. Two months from now? Folks won’t be recreating in the lake, but rather, on the lake, where they will ice fish, snowmobile, snowshoe and cross country ski.
It’s a heck of a cycle, the four seasons, and it provides us with a wealth of outdoor opportunities.
While the three of us –along with Tom’s English setter, Scout, and, later in the day, his girlfriend, Liz – whiled away a lazy Saturday in Chuck’s boat, many were tracking through marshes and swamps in game pursuit of ducks. It was the duck hunting opener, albeit a slow one according to many reports.
Mother Nature was agreeable, at least on this weekend.
Here in Northeastern Minnesota, we have it pretty dang good (though that cheery assessment may swing a bit in, say, mid-February). This time of year, there’s no shortage of beautiful destinations to visit, and no shortage of outdoor activities to pursue. … Fishing the St. Louis River for walleye. Spending a day on the North Shore, including the tangle of trails at Gooseberry Falls. Driving along Highway 38 near Grand Rapids, home to some of the most stunning fall color scenery Minnesota has to offer. Hawk Ridge. Jay Cooke State Park. The Iron Range. Apples in Bayfield.
And so on the list goes.
Back on the boat, our stomachs gurgling, we set out for the cabin, where a feast of homemade soup and porketta awaits. The food is spectacular.
Outside, the sun fades, slowly, but surely. It disappears these days almost before 7:00, whereas not long ago it stuck around past 9:00. We’d hoped to watch the Gophers football game but, alas, it’s on only the obscure Big Ten Network, which we don’t have (that, it turned out, was just fine as the Gophs were stunned by FCS foe North Dakota State). Instead, then, we decide to return to the water.
The water is just as glasslike as it was in the afternoon. The sun is dipping behind the trees and the walleye are … still nowhere to be found.
So we pass the time with small talk. As darkness sets in, and the air turns from crisp and refreshing to downright chilly, Chuck points the boat toward the cabin. In the distance, a dog yaps. Scout, the peppy pup who is finally puckered out, perks up, if only briefly.
The rest of the night will be spent around a bustling campfire.
A perfect fall Saturday.
As perfect as last Saturday was, Sunday was much less so as the Vikings gave up another huge halftime lead, the third time in as many weeks they’ve collapsed in the second half. During the loss, Percy Harvin sat out a crucial offensive series late in the fourth quarter because he was apparently sick to his stomach. Somewhere, Joe Mauer, who missed so many Twins games this summer with seemingly minor ailments (leg weakness, head cold, a sore neck suffered while looking up at a fly ball, etc.) had to be nodding his head knowingly …
The St. Scholastica football team improved to 3-0 with last weekend’s 44-19 thumping of Minnesota-Morris. The Saints host MacMurray College at 1 p.m. Sat., Oct. 1, at Public Schools Stadium. …
The Wild Duluth Races — 100K, 50K and half-marathon — are Oct. 15. Registration remains open until race day.
Read more of St. George’s Random Rumblings at http://louiestgeorge.blog.com.