River naked in minnesota.

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But the lake also happens to be one of the few big enough to accommodate fishing launches: large boats—often decked out with stereos, bathrooms, and grills—that can accommodate large groups who want to fish together. Most launches furnish bait, tackle, and a guide. Only the lies are up to you.

For a list of launch providers, visit millelacs. Your cabin fund was invested in Bear Stearns stock? The lake boasts crystal clear water, fantastic fishing, and plenty of space to stretch out. Plus, during the warmer months, you can paddle over to Voyageurs National Park to enjoy spectacular wildlife and nature walks. In a flash—a finger snap, really—our little half-assed, three-person, amateur wildlife-rescue mission had turned into a self-organizing recovery operation involving at least 15 people, every one them absolutely committed to the mission.

Then again, maybe they serve as a natural-selection factor for lake dwellers. I knew there was a prevailing pro-loon sentiment on our own Cass County lake, but I had no idea how fiercely the birds are prized until Junior ran into trouble. The whole thing began when Keith, my neighbor, spied the young loon through binoculars a few days earlier. Something was clearly wrong with the bird, and someone needed to help. So the three of us—my wife, Keith, and I—set out in an aluminum fishing boat to find him.

We brought a long-handled net, needle-nosed pliers, and a pair of heavy work gloves. Acting on a hot tip from another neighbor, we tracked Junior to a small bay on the far side of the lake. My plan to kill the engine and use the oars to approach him was deeply flawed, I realize that now.

In the four months since his spring birth, Junior must have grown accustomed to motorboats. Who knows what we looked like, lumbering toward him with great, thrashing wooden wings out to our sides? A hungry pterodactyl, maybe, only less maneuverable. But the oar business did attract the attention of some cabin people on shore. There were a dozen of them, easily, part of a get-together involving neighbors, visiting relatives…I never learned.

The point is, they were engaged in something. I believe that practically any lake people we ran into would have reacted the same way they did. We pointed at Junior, swimming lazily about 10 yards offshore. Our recruiting speech, in its entirety, went as follows:.

In that instant, our rescue force quintupled. No questions. No hesitation. The only talking was tactical, and not much of that. Two guys waded into the lake and began to herd Junior toward a dock, our boat more or less blocking any attempt to escape by sea. We tossed our net to somebody on shore, who scooped the bird out of the water. We worked the boat in closer and handed the pliers to a woman who reached for them. I was not about to give up the gloves, so I stood in the boat and held the loon on the dock while the woman slowly, carefully, unwound the fishing line from his bill, then from around his long, pointed tongue.

The whole crowd hovered over the operation in silence. When we set out in the boat an hour earlier, I had given us maybe a 1 in 50 chance of netting the bird at all, never mind extracting the line without feeling that awful tug. Now the mission was an incredible triumph. Junior swam away, appearing none the worse for his ordeal. It was too easy, of course. The loon had seemed all right, though surprisingly docile. But he must have been very weak to let us catch him that way. I knew that there would be no special quality to my sense of mourning. I had a lot of company. Leech Lake almost lost its reputation as a great fishing lake a few years ago, when cormorants were migrating to the Midwest in droves, and the birds were killing walleye and yellow perch at a devastating pace.

But after the U. Fish and Wildlife Service stepped in to reduce their population, the fish bounced back quickly. Thanks to high natural reproduction and local stocking programs, Leech Lake and its pristine water has been reestablished as a great s lake. Bad Medicine Lake lacks nutrients. Indeed, its transparency is more than 30 feet deep in spots—greater than one-third its maximum depth. Bullhead Days June 6—8, Waterville Fireworks, parades, carnivals, and best of all, fried-bullhead street vendors.

Enough said. Sea glass is pirate-lucky. I picked up every color I found: opal white, carnelian red, and Vesuvian green, but it was blue I was after. Any blue. Blue sea glass was the hardest to find and always smashed into the smallest pieces. The man selling black minnows by the road told me that round blue pieces were actually the eyes of dead sailors, which had turned to glass from crying. Great sloe-eyed sturgeon, some as big as Buicks, carried them in their mouths to shore so people could find them.

When my father and I found a piece of sea glass, we gave it a story. Usually a disaster. The slightly curved piece might have come from a luxurious yacht, lost at sea. The transparent green glass was likely the sole survivor of a single-engine plane crash, the sharp red shard, possibly plastic, was obviously part of a taillight, testifying to the need for stronger drunk-driving laws.

My father called Lake Superior the Minnesotan Ocean, and said we were citizens of a great and scarcely understood Inland Sea Society: people at the center and still outside. He thought anyone who lived on an actual ocean was thickheaded. Why would anybody live near sharks? All you can run into in these waters is a tasty, defenseless dinner. But I knew there was a lot more in that water than just fish. There was strewn cargo and big waterlogged white pine. There were entire Holsteins and 40 brand new Model-T Fords, which had once gone overboard in a storm and were still down there in the muck.

There were sunken ships on the lakebed, with sleepy green windows and hulls rusted as brittle as tea leaves. Some still had their skeleton crews on board. Over time, I found enough blue glass to fill a whole Mason jar, which might not sound like a lot, but it is. More than sailor eyes winking in their small cathedral of blue air and light. Still, every year it seemed there was less and less sea glass on the beach. My father blamed the recycling fad and wondered if kids 10 years from now would find any glass at all. When my father died, I took a ferry to the middle of the lake and dumped all that sea glass back into the water.

Every pirate-lucky piece. It seemed like something a member of the great Inland Sea Society would do. Rise early, toss the tackle in a boat, and putter out to a cove of your own, where rocky, pine-studded peninsulas emerge from the mist and the muskie are starved for attention. You see London, you see France? Then you must not be at Twin Lake in Golden Valley, where almost nobody bothers with underpants.

Where do you go when you need to please the entire family—but you still want to have an utterly, absolutely Minnesota-sort of vacation? Add olives, cheese, and a cannoli for a true feast. Lexington Ave. Lake Calhoun Have a James Beard—nominated chef fill your picnic basket. Ngon Bistro, University Ave. Paul, Punch Pizza, W. Lake St. Grand View is the perfect place to while away the lazy days of summer. Stroll through the lush gardens, follow the illuminated path down to the sandy beach, or revive yourself with a massage at Glacial Waters Spa.

The historic, timber-lodge dining room still serves such classic fare as dry-aged steaks and seafood dinners. The dancing is up to you. Grand View Lodge, Nokomis Ave. Lake Harriet became—and remained for many years after—the most distant place I had ever traveled under my own power. Getting there was an endless voyage, full of wondrous sights that I never forgot. And so I will always associate Harriet with epic summer journeys.

But also with one winter epic. Mike would later open Gear, the running shoe and apparel store near Harriet, but at the time we dressed clownishly, in puffy coats and nylon shell pants that swished as we ran—Michelin men bouncing across a moonscape. The round lamps that lit the walking paths looked like snow globes turned inside out, for all the snow was on their exterior, blowing wildly, as if Orson Welles had just dropped one at the start of Citizen Kane.

Which was appropriate, for I kept thinking about that night—as I always do around the lakes, especially when summer rolls around—of my own Rosebud: That maroon Schwinn, my Harriet Chariot. Steve Rushin, a Bloomington native, is a former staff writer and columnist for Sports Illustrated. His work has appeared in Time, the New York Times, and numerous other publications. Deephaven Beach Tennis courts and trails for the sports nut. Snail Lake Beach Best for quiet picnics. Phalen Beach The large sandy span is great for young swimmers.

Bush Lake Beach Features floating docks in the swimming areas. Bush Lake Road, Bloomington. Lake waconia Regional Park Reserve the shelter for parties. These days, sometimes the closest thing you can get to really roughing it is parking on the opposite end of the parking lot from the Target entrance. Occupy your days with hiking, horseshoes, or bird watching. Of course, Minnesotans can lay claim to only a small portion of waterfront property most of the inland coast was ceded to our northern neighbor when the United States and Canada finally settled their centuries-long border dispute over the Northwest Angle in the s , but that still leaves plenty of places where a wily or inept oarsman can disappear for a few days.

River naked in minnesota.

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