North shore backpacking

It’s been awhile since I last posted, and it seems I’ve been busy in that time. The last week of burn crew was spent on the road in western Minnesota, burning near Ortonville, Morris, Madison, and Pipestone. The highlight was burning Prairie Coteau SNA at the top of the Buffalo Ridge beneath the wind turbines. Our last day was a long one, burning Spring Creek SNA near Red Wing, a steep site with lots of dead logs to put out at the end. Ellen Fuge, our boss, sent us quite a few pictures, some of which I have assembled into a photo essay here.

After the end of my job (May 23), I spent a few days with my dad doing the likes of listening to folk music at Sibley State Park, celebrating my uncle Jim’s 72nd birthday out near Canby, planting raspberries, making strawberry-rhubarb fruit leather, eating fresh asparagus, and hiking around our rock outcrops in search of prairie violets and other late-spring bloomers. I returned to the cities to replace my whining wheel bearing at an unpleasant cost of $530, and I had a chance to reunite with my friend Jenna for an evening before setting off for three days of backpacking along the north shore. Photos and story here.

Yesterday was my cousin Jack’s graduation in Mankato – an opportunity to eat tasty food and talk with the Michaletz clan again. I start my next job June 4, so I have a few free days left to explore the cities by bicycle, maybe check out a state park or two, and brush up on my bird songs.

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