How I Spent My Summer or Life on a Northern Minnesota Island

(This was supposed to be posted in the summer of 2013 but it got stuck in my Drafts folder. Actually, I want to write many many more good things about Minnesota and tighten up the writing here but I figure it’s time to just let this post fly)

How I Spent My Summer or Life on a Northern Minnesota Island  

Megan and I spent the last 2 weeks on a privately owned island with friends that may have well been family.

Located roughly between the triangle between Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, and Duluth in more ways than one, we had a tremendous vacation.

The island was formed by glaciers some twenty thousand years ago, stretching long and lean eleven hundred feet north-south and mostly 100 feet wide, but bulging out to almost 500 feet east-west at the northern proboscis.


Megan and I got in a lot of living on our trip!

  • The surprisingly glorious Mall of America
  • Sailing near Canadian waters with Don & Craig
  • Swimming in Rainy Lake
  • Kettle Falls boat trip & lunch (fried walleye and a Reuben!) & touring with Robin, Becky and Lucas
  • Working on the Review Islands with Robin & Bob, getting a tour of historic Mallard Island and Ernest Oberholtzer’s legacy
  • Playing dominoes & Set & Settlers of Catan
  • Shooting Star gazing on the dock with family
  • Being the last car in the Ranier Days parade!!
  • Getting a tour of the house & garden of Sarah & Don’s place in International Falls
  • Seeing Don Johnson’s Memoir Books of life on Rainy Lake at Coffee Landing… and then seeing the originals in the house on the island
  • Megan saw Planes with Sarah, Don & Billy
  • Great food: spaghetti with homemade sauce, tamari chicken, cold quinoa salad, pancakes, frittata….
  • Sunsets seen from the Happy Shack
  • Getting a tour of the (1,000′ x 200′) island
  • Looking for blueberries on the island and only finding sour mini cherries
  • Billy saying “there’s water on the floor in the bathroom” (uh oh!), “I’m not talking at you!”, “That’s my moon… you can look at it…”
  • Living in the “1st cabin”
  • A giant spider with egg sack living in our outhouse
  • Dockboy Lee! – cuz he’s often the first one to the dock when a boat arrives, to help bring stuff up the hill
  • Stomping trees with Chris
  • Getting 10-12 hours sleep per night!
  • Chickens doing their job with their vuvuzelas for our breakfast

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