Friday's Weekend Column
Good Thing It Is Friday

by James Glaser
February 7, 2003

Yes, it is nice that it is Friday. I just gave my column to Charmaine to read and she said "this isn't a Friday column, this is too political." Well she was right. Watching our government in action becomes addictive and there is just so much to talk about one forgets that there is an America that isn't wars and polls.

Here in Northern Minnesota, you would have to say we live out in the "sticks." That is true, but we live here by choice. Living here is different than most places. Here people respect you, your privacy, and your property. You know what else, everybody up here speaks English!

There are people up here that never watch the news nor read other than a local paper and they are happy as larks. I can't do that, but this Friday column kind of grounds me to the northland.

We are in full winter mode right now. Everything is frozen and the loggers are working from dawn to dusk which in the winter isn't all that long, so big operators have equipment with lights and work twenty four hours a day if they are in good wood. I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said, "Hug a Logger--You Will Never Go Back To Trees."

There is now almost enough snow for the snowmobiles. There is a snowmobile club in town and they groom the trails for miles around and our trails hook up with others and you can drive on them from here to upper Michigan, maybe all the way across Canada if the snow is good. These snow machines bring a whole new set of tourists up here and many resorts are open all winter.

We don't have high hills in this part of the state, but cross country skiing is pretty popular and I can tell you that those skiers are much quieter that those on snowmobiles. Here most snowmobile traffic is between bars and on weekends about a hour after the bars close you can hear them racing across the lake.

Most people that are really into the snow machines will say that isn't true, but many a bar owner would close in winter if it wasn't for them. Also every trail goes from bar to bar with signs along the trail to tell you where the next bar is. The Department of Natural Resources sets up roadblocks and they do issue DWIs.

As I have written in the past, I like the quiet and peace of the North. Nothing about snowmobiles is quiet or peaceful. They do help some of my neighbors make a living though, so I can live with them and they are mostly here on the weekends.

Winter, Summer, and Fall are all the same, the area fills with tourists, hunters, or fisherman on the weekends, but the week days are wonderful. Spring, with the mud and unpredictable weather keeps everyone away. I like the Spring and the start of the growing season. I think I am going to get out the seed catalogs right now.

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