We often think of ourselves as living in a world which no longer has any unexplored frontiers. We speak of pioneering as a thing of the past. 


But in doing so we forget that the greatest adventure still challenges us - what Mister Justice Holmes called "the adventure of the human mind." Men may be hemmed in geographically, but every generation stands on the frontiers of the mind. 

In the world of ideas, there is always pioneering to be done, and it can be done by anyone who will use the equipment with which he or she is endowed. The great ideas belong to everyone. 
- Mortimer J. Alder


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

On August 7th, I arrived at York Factory. On August 9th, and 5 polar bear sightings later, we departed. Truly, a memorable summer. 


 Attendance at Twins Home Opener 4/8/11 - 40,714
Population of VCO Hudson Bay Expedition - 4


No quote. I just like this picture. 
Do things you like. 


No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other’s worth.
-Robert Southey


Bear in mind that you should conduct yourself in life as at a feast. 
- Epictetus (55 AD - 135 AD)


Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company.  ~Lord Byron
Thank you Grandma Marilyn, Grandma Betty, mom, Andrew, Micah, Cam, Andy, Joey, Colin, Jon, Jeanne, Cara, Signe, Jane, and the many more.


Dear friends and family,
By this point, perhaps news, or whisperings of news, has reached your ears of my coming adventure. If not, here it is!
After spending the fall, winter and spring at Wilderness Canoe Base, I have been invited to be a part of an expedition. This summer I will be paddling with a group of three other men from Lake Superior to the Hudson Bay - an 80 day, over 1400 mile canoe trip. We will be embarking on the morning of May 23 from Grand Portage National Monument with the destination of reaching York Factory on the mouth of the Hayes River. Both of these sites were fur trading headquarters and bear great historical significance to the exploration and development of North America.
Our route will take us over rivers and swamps, small lakes and really big ones (Lake Winnipeg). We will be travelling through areas marked by varied land use: government sanctioned wilderness with restricted-access, towns developed around dams for hydro-electricity and paper mills, and places left remote simply by geographic distance.
I hope to learn a great many things: area history, geography and ecology. Most importantly though, I am excited for the personal growth and intense teamwork that I will get to experience. 
The website for the expedition is http://voyageurhudsonbayexpedition.com/. It is in conjunction with Voyaguer Canoe Outfitter's 50th anniversary of establishment as we seek to celebrate their many years of operation and call attention to the adventure to be had on canoe trips. Once we begin, you will be able to chart our progress and review updates from the trip throughout the summer. There is an opportunity to support our expedition financially, but I will stress that most importantly, I desire your prayers and well wishes for a safe and successful journey. Thank you much. Check back here occasionally through the summer, and possibly find some words from the field. 
If you have any questions, feel free to email me. We are currently hashing out the final details and it is a very exciting time. After May 20 I will most likely no longer be checking email regularily, but if something pressing comes up, you can email Sue Prom (<sue@canoeit.com>) and the message will be somehow relayed to us in the field. 
And a final bit of news - This fall I have been accepted into the naturalist training program at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center near Finland, MN. I will be teaching visiting middle school and high school youth while taking graduate credits for the first year in a masters of environmental education. This will carry me through to spring 2012, so it will be another year in the North Woods! Visitors welcome!
Happy trails,


Boy with the Green Striped Shirt
Try saying "No" to that face Vermeer.


Meanwhile, the Snork Maiden had come across the first brave nose-tip of a crocus. It was pushing through the warm spot under the south window.
“Let’s put at glass over it,” said the Snork Maiden. “It’ll be better off in the night if there’s a frost.”
“No don’t do that,” said Moomintroll. “Let it fight it out. I believe it’s going to do still better if things aren’t so easy.”
From Moominland Midwinter
By Tove Jansson


 Chili represents your three stages of matter:  solid, liquid, and eventually gas.  
~Roseanne, "Don't Make Me Over," May 1992, spoken by character Dan Conner

 A man may be a pessimistic determinist before lunch and an optimistic believer in the will's freedom after it.  
~Aldous Huxley 


And: Food for thought is no substitute for the real thing.  

~Walt Kelly


My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
And the fact that I think I am following your will
does not actually mean that I am doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please
you does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire
in all that I am doing.
And I know that if I do this,
You will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore I will trust you always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death,
I will not fear, for you are ever with me
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

-Thomas Merton


Edible, adj.:  Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.  
Ambrose Bierce


 A legend is sung, of when England was young, and knights were brave and bold. The good king had died, and no one could decide who was rightful heir to the throne. It seemed that the land would be torn by war, or saved by a miracle alone. And that miracle appeared in London town: The Sword in the Stone. 
And below the hilt, in letters of gold, were written these words: "Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil is rightwise king, born of England." Though many tried for the sword with all their strength, none could move the sword nor stir it. So the miracle had not worked. And England was still without a king. And in time, the marvelous sword was forgotten. This was a Dark Age... without law, and without order. Men lived in fear of one another. For the strong preyed upon the weak.
From The Sword in the Stone (film)


Knock Knock?
Who's There?
Indonesia Who?
One look at you and I felt weak Indoenesia, baby!

Knock Knock.
Who's There?
Cuckoo Catch.
Cuckoo Catch Who?
...Mrs. Robinson, 
Jesus loves you more than you will know
...wo, wo, wo!

Knock Knock.
Who's There?
A little old lady.
A little old lady who?
I didn't know you could yodel.


He (Marilyn Manson) has a woman's name and wears make-up. How original.
- Alice Cooper


The city of paper, which grows cell by cell during the summer months, is left empty and deserted when winter comes. The host of its inhabitants, with the exception of a few hibernating queens, are slain by the cold. The story of the city and the story of the wasps, in the main, is the record of a single summer. 
From The Strange Lives of Familiar Insects
By Edwin Teale


It seems to me that sanctuaries are akin to monasticism in the dark ages. The world was so wicked it was better to have islands of decency than none at all. Hence decent citizens retired to monasteries and convents. Once established these islands became an alibi for lack of private reform. People said: "We pay the bills for all this virtue. Let goodness stay where it belongs and not pester practical folks who have to run the world." ...The more monasteries or sanctuaries the grimmer the incongruity between inside and outside.

From "Land Use and Democracy"
By Aldo Leopold