Columnists

Fri
26
Feb

Hook and Bullet Club

Warning - the state legislature is in session so keep an eye on what’s going on in St. Paul. Here’s a nugget that popped up this past week.
The DNR would like to require that you have blaze orange on your ground blinds.
Here’s the proposed language:
“… during the open season where deer may be taken by​ firearms under applicable laws and ordinances, a person in a fabric or synthetic ground​ blind on public land must have:​
(1) a blaze orange or blaze pink safety covering on the top of the blind visible for 360​ degrees around the blind; or​
(2) at least 144 square inches of blaze orange or blaze pink material on each side of the​ blind.​”
Companies that sell pop-up blinds were selling the blaze orange tops last year, so apparently this rule is already in place in other states.
Safety must be the reason and we will go along with it.

Fri
19
Feb

Trout Whisperer - Legend, lore, and outright lies

An old poacher lived on the north shore of a remote lake, and the game warden assigned to the district was getting ready to retire, so he didn’t care to chase the criminal trapper.
A young new warden, sent to fill the vacancy, heard of the mountain man and his serious lack of ethics, and he said to himself, he was gonna catch that rascal.
All summer - canoeing, hiking, glassing, checking rumors, traipsing the boreal forest, he never even got a look at the guy and then that winter the lake froze over and the new warden said to himself, I will wake early, I’ll snowshoe in, and when he leaves his cabin, I’ll be on him.
Sure enough, 44 below zero, he slugged his way in, sunk down in the snow and sat glassing at the cabin well before sunrise and he was soon semi frozen, but he remained, and when he saw a smoke plume erupt from the cabin’s chimney it gave him hope that, ok, at least I know he is in there. It steeled his resolve as frigid as it was, and he waited.

Fri
12
Feb

From the miscellaneous drawer by Anne Swenson

Snippets
I had a recent phone visit from the Trout Whisperer. He’s recovering from knee surgery at home.
He suggested that I ask the Echo readers to send me (thepub@elyecho.com) snippets from their life stories. Why you live here, What you do here, what you like here - food or anything else.
Tom Mischke wrote to me about the book he plans to self-publish. He previously worked for 20 years on the air at KSTP and WCCO radio and City Pages.

Fri
05
Feb

Hook and Bullet Club

A few weeks ago it was finally time to take the old 2001 sled out for a ride down the trail.
This was after going down to see Larry and Penny for a sticker to make it legal, stopping at Joe’s Marine and picking up a battery for the electric start, and finding a grease gun to make sure everything was in working order.
The battery was actually difficult to find. I had checked at J&L as well but Cathy told me that the one I was looking for was on backorder for quite awhile. She did have one the exact same size but the posts were reversed.
I decided I could make that battery work and after some curse words were uttered the wires were connected and I didn’t have to throw out my shoulder trying to start it. Did I mention this sled also has reverse? All the comforts of home.

Fri
29
Jan

“Singing Waters” Chapter 9 – Martin Falls

July 24, 2006 N 51 31.837’, W 86 31.099’ Elevation 621 feet

“It’s after 11:00 and I’m just getting to bed. It wasn’t really a long travel day, but fishing kept us from moving very fast. Stormed last night and we had our closest call on the trip. The wind blew a dead tree into the crotch of another just above our tent. Could have been nasty.” Ken Hupila – trip diary

Fri
22
Jan

Hook and Bullet Club

Who knew a dead sled rescue could turn into a party on Mud Creek Road?
Mary and I showed up with a trailer to help out a friend who’s sled broke down on the way to Lake Vermilion.
The Igloo Club grooms the trail between Burntside and Vermilion but early in the season it can be a bit bumpy. As we were chatting Bill Hane showed up with the Igloo Club’s Bearcat snowmobile and a drag to try to smooth out the bumps.
Bill is an expert at this and has often filled in on that trail early in the season when the BR-160 tractor can’t be used yet. Bill turned off the Arctic Cat and got caught up on how a suspension bolt broke and put an end to a day of riding.
He didn’t stay long, firing up the machine and crossing Mud Creek Road. Just past there is a spot where the water flows this time of year, making the trail much narrower until it can be froze down.
With Bill on his way, and the dead sled on the trailer we packed up and headed for town.

Fri
15
Jan

From the miscellaneous drawer

It seems that winter and snow in Ely lasts forever, but in the past there was a lot of competition, not only for athletes to compete. But also for volunteers to maintain safety.
Ely’s All American Sled Dog Race used to start on Miners Drive where the Veterans Memorial is now. The race crossed Shagawa, Fall and Cedar lakes before heading north.
With all those miles, it required over 100 volunteers. Newspaper cameras would freeze while announcer Duane Krause identified the racers.
Up the trail, Mary Catherine Brown kept her group ready.
The need for volunteers and safety included the annual ski jumping tournament. Bill Mills said about 50 people should help at the Hidden Valley structure.
Growing up on a farm near Starbuck, MN, my dad was in the class of 1915. The family farm was one mile south of the ski hill.

Sat
09
Jan

From the miscellaneous drawer

A new beginning.
Not just for me, for all of us. It’s a time to reconsider our lives.
In old age, I might be beyond change.
But what could you do at age 10, reach out to new neighbors, start a safety class for bicyclists? I did.
Children don’t have to be silent and passive. Encourage them to consider a bigger, bolder future.
What can you do at age 20?
Get involved with the political scene - run for office or volunteer to be part of a committee.
You are not too young or old for getting better acquainted with laws that affects all people.
Or maybe your interest is elsewhere- a park or parade, arts or history.
Travel is another option and it can be done alone and chosen on the spot. I did.
What about age 30?
Get a job you like, plan ahead for your company’s and personal future.
Be open to new things, new challenges.
What can you do at age 40?

Fri
08
Jan

Hook and Bullet Club

Having two short weeks at the Echo is not a lot of fun. We had to have our products sent to Duluth for printing a day earlier due to Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
But getting back to back three day weekends was worth it in the end. Over Christmas we had Jacob and Kyah and granddaughter Kinlee home, the best present anyone could ask for.
Kinlee kept us all entertained especially helping Megan hand out gifts on Christmas morning. She can read names and was always a bit more excited when she saw her name written on a present.
She likes puzzles and books and spent a lot of time with an old train set Mary had dug out of storage in the basement.
This was just a plastic track with train cars that connected together along with a tunnel to drive through. Dad Jacob put his engineering skills to work with various track layouts that would test Kinlee’s driving skills as she pushed the train around the track.

Fri
01
Jan

From the miscellaneous drawer

When the political season is being evaluated, I hope limits will be set. Both sides are begging for money at a time when financial concerns are elsewhere. A limit for donors will stop any candidate from being sold or stopped by money.
And thinking of money concerns - when did television stop giving free access to users?
There are two things I remember as a teenager heading to high school.
One is slacks or blue jeans. Girls supposedly wore skirts or dresses. My dad took a dim view of my challenging the fashion trend.
The other no no was television at home.
We had a radio to listen to, but dad was reluctant for many years to get a television.
I watched it across the alley at a family’s house which had this extravagance.
Sometimes I think I enjoy being a TV watcher, because I saw so little of it in younger years. Or maybe I’m just enjoying being lazy.

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