By David Cowardin
Duluth Outdoors Managing Editor
Winter light is spreading thin through the
trails behind the house,
Slush on the roads
Begins to freeze in tire patterns,
Some with deep grooves from
Half-muffled, diesel trucks, and
Some shallow from the
Neighbor’s Subaru Outback.
The dog follows me around the house,
positioning herself in front of me and
sitting like a good dog is supposed to.
I acknowledge her with a
Pat on the head, which she
Dodges, because it’s
Not what she wants.
Ready? I ask her.
I’m a 17 year old who has come to love the Boundary Waters wilderness. For the past 5 years I’ve been taking trips into the BWCA and Quetico through YMCA Camp Widjiwagan. My Dad signed me up for my first trip when I was 12. It was an 11 day trip where I’d be camping with kids I had never met with no modern comforts and no contact with my friends and family. I actually really didn’t want to go. But as it turns out, those eleven days were among the best days I had ever spent in my life. My trips have gotten progressively longer and more challenging and this past summer, I took a 31 day trip. The Boundary Waters have been so impactful on my life, helping me gain strength, respect, and I think most importantly, self-confidence. // Lucy Soderstrom
Read the rest of Lucy’s Guest Entry at The Boundary Waters Blogger
Duluth is rapidly becoming known for its trails. That was a significant factor in being voted Outside Magazine’s Best Town Ever for 2014, a contest that takes outdoor activities heavily into consideration for bestowing its title. In winter time, that means cross-country ski trails, and Duluth boasts 75 kilometers (46 miles) of such skiing pleasure.
It takes a great deal of care, maintenance and dedication to keep the trails in good shape and well groomed for skiers. In fact, it is a year-round job. But it’s one that the City embraces, and strives for continual improvement in its trail system. Summer and fall find city crews working on the trails to prepare them for winter months. Doing this work up front has become a major focus for the City. “Our trail maintenance staff is under direction to ‘do things right,’ ” explains Dale Sellner, Building and Grounds Supervisor for the City. It’s not enough to fix a problem, issues need to be addressed for the long term. They know it will benefit them when the groomers hit the trails each year.