Though my waders, inherited from Dad, had carpeting glued to the soles, making them less slippery than bare rubber, a walking stick for balance is pretty well standard equipment for trying to negotiate a river on the North Shore. I made do: I found a nicely peeled beaver chew that fit the bill. I took three tumbles on the way downstream to the Jeep, banging both knees and eventually ending up on my ass in the current, my T-shirt soaked, water leaking over the tops of my waders. Sure, I had my cell phone with. But there was no service.
If I broke an ankle trying to step through the slippery rocks, or broke a wrist trying to stop myself from falling, what then? I tried flies again in some of the wider spots as I made my way to the car. I was ready to give up and just keep pushing through but when I came to the last bit of open water and saw trout feeding on small bugs on the surface, I had to give the dry fly on the end of my leader one last go. After fifty-plus years of worm dunking, only occasionally tossing a dry fly at trout with no success, I managed to make a decent four count cast near where a brookie had surfaced, feel the strike, set the hook, and land the fish.
But it was something. My pal, Dave Michelson, gave me this tome to read. So I did. Thing is, this book is, well, informative, a bit of a slog. His main thrust is that the Empire was, in fact, progressive and modern and on the road to democracy despite its history as a monarchy. I was looking for the author to incorporate additional facts and history beyond recitation of political intrigue and the adaptations made by the rulers of the empire including non-royal legislators towards a more democratic future.
That never happened and it made for a pretty slow go.
The last question seemed to be one that Judson would spend a lot of time on given the premise behind the book but it was given little in-depth analysis or even reportage. A valuable read in terms of its premise but a very demanding text. I first met Ms. Stonich when her debut novel, These Granite Islands was released on the heels of my debut novel, The Legacy.
We were both invited to do readings and signings of our books at the Duluth Barnes and Noble. I, on the other hand, read all about her and her first book in a very nice profile in the DNT , which prompted me to write an essay about writerly envy mine!
Stonich emailed me a tongue-in-cheek response. I attended her event at BN. We became writerly friends.
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And remain such. Disclosure out of the way! To the book. But before I dive deeper into why this book is a good read, I want to clear up a few small points of irritation I have with the book. All three criticisms are minor and have nothing to do with the characters, plot, or overall story.
First, Alpo, the main male protagonist, engages in trout fishing which given northeastern Minnesota from Duluth up the North Shore has a lot to choose from in terms of stream trout fishing, is a nice touch. In NE Minnesota. Minnesota has only two native trout species and they are actually char, not true trout : lake trout, found in Lake Superior and some larger, deeper inland lakes; and brook trout, originally limited to Lake Superior and streams flowing into the big lake up to the first natural barrier in the streams.
When Europeans arrived, brookies were planted by settlers and sportsmen in North Shore streams above the first natural barrier and in other creeks, streams, and rivers. He would not be fishing cutthroat trout in NE Minnesota.
Is it possible that a single, male wolverine looking for a mate much like the reports of cougars in Minnesota could wander into NE Minnesota from Ontario? Possible but never verified. A better choice would have been to have characters in the story talk about fishers, of which NE Minnesota has plenty of and which are a pretty awesome member of the weasel family in their own right. A minor point but one worth getting right in such a well-drawn story. NE Minnesota is the only area of the state where there are no resident badgers.
A better choice for a mammal of this type that does inhabit the forests of NE Minnesota would have been either a woodchuck or a porcupine.
But enough with the petty. She is a master of character, making all of the folks populating her imaginary worlds seem fully formed and worth worrying over. This novel is no exception. Peter: will we learn more about him in installment 3 of the series? Even though the dementia-driven Louise seems hellish, she too is redeemed in the end. There is also abundant conflict, internal and otherwise, sufficient to keep a reader interested in just what the hell is going on in little Hatchet Inlet.
The pacing is spot on. My take is that Ms. At one time, there were four elder statesmen on this trip. This year, due to age, death, and maladies, only one of the gentlemen made it. Dad underwent quadruple bypass surgery in December of and spent three months in recovery, but still made the journey from Port Charlotte, Florida to Lake Elsie in June of despite just having had a serious medical intervention to his 89 year old body. When he passed last April, he was getting his fishing gear together for the trip, ready to teach Mondale how to catch walleye. But such was not to be.
That left just Mr. Senator, Vice President, and Ambassador to Japan into a foreign country. On the Friday afternoon before our trip, I picked Mr.
Walter up at the Duluth airport, drove him the Willard Munger Inn, and got him situated with the help of my cousin Jeff he runs the joint. After dinner, I dropped Mr. Walter off at the Willard, dropped my mom at her townhouse, and headed up the hill. Sounds pretty routine, right? Well, stop and think about it.
Share this: Twitter Facebook. A lawsuit filed Friday by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce seeks to loosen water quality standards in areas where wild rice is grown, saying current regulations are too restrictive and based on faulty science. Forest Service, contending that while they may have historical significance, the buildings are too expensive to maintain. That I am is mainly because of the people. The crunch of the frigid snow beneath my boots snapped me out of my trance, and I continued with my chore of getting wood and warming water for morning coffee and oatmeal. I think there's still part of Beach boy in me.
Here I am, a retired state court judge, ferrying around a man who broke bread with the rich and famous and powerful, a man who was a heart beat away from the presidency. Walter gets to Ignace for the flight to the Litman Camp.
Who decided I was trustworthy enough for such an assignment? I picked up my passenger at am from the Willard. Jeff provided us with coffee and then, we began the seven hour drive north. Thomas undergrad , and random jabbering about family and friends followed as we ate hearty breakfasts. Sammy paid the bill and then, we were back on the road.
At the Pigeon River, I handed our passports to the Canadian customs officer, a very polite yet business-like fellow in his early forties. And this is something that has happened before: the officer knew instantly who Mr.