I confess I’m internally still there, at the border between Minnesota and Canada, communing, and yet I do promise, IF events here and elsewhere don’t catch me so swiftly that I can’t look back even for a moment, to soon give a fuller accounting of my three-week journey to that mystic watery land, made famous and, so far, preserved as a designated “national wilderness” by one of its intrepid residents, Sigurd F. Olson, in The Singing Wilderness and eight other books.
Here’s a beautiful 7-minute visual rendition of a reading from this book.
As ever, beauty has its beast: in this case, the grey wolf, which has not yet been driven to extinction in the boundary waters area of Minnesota. This fresh print, photo taken Sunday last, is as wide as my hand. Notice the deer print above it, running, scared, covering what appears to be a smaller wolf print. Perhaps the big wolf’s mate?
But the wild wolf is no problem. The real big bad wolf is, as usual, corporate. A drive to build new mines to extract copper from sulfite rock which, when processed, turns into sulfuric acid that would inescapably seep into and contaminate the entire pristine boundary waters area. More info on that ghastly proposal, and extraordinary local efforts to stop it, to come. Meanwhile, here’s a fierce, thumbs-down photo of a group of us, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, who were being given a tour of damage already done: areas in which sample cores have been extracted from the ground, both vertically and at angles.
Below, is the final sentence Olson typed out before his final ski tour, during which he dropped dead, of a heart attack.
While I do plan to speak more of my my extraordinary journey to the northlands, I also look forward to further adventures, whatever their form, and no matter how unexpected.