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Birch River Books

Grand Marais, MN 55604, USA

©2019 by Birch River Books.

March 31, 2020

It's the small things. Windows can be open now to receive fresh air without the summer insects that are still dormant.

Occasionally, there is the flight of eagles adrift on the updraft, unseen winds at play just above the leafless birch and aspen. 

Forty degrees means a...

March 25, 2020

Rocks that will not move. 

Insurmountable, we say. 

Stony outcroppings like 

fortresses against the wind.

To break them down, impossible.

To challenge them, the devil’s deceit.

To break with the past, 

a tedious effort.

To reshape our future, 

imaginations true test.

Great Heart...

March 23, 2020

In life, we know there will be difficulties. But we often don't know what lies ahead. We can't anticipate all the problems. 

In canoeing, these hardships are well-announced with names like Mantrap and Cannibal and Dead Man's Portage. Other portages steal upon us unaware...

March 16, 2020

It is that gentle persuasion of dread.

The gnawing in the pit of one’s gut 

that things will go awry.

It can scream at us, fighting for its own survival. 

It is the lead wolf snarling and licking its chops.

It travels far and near. It cannot rest.

It watches and waits.

It is...

March 11, 2020

Sigurd F. Olson, in his book Runes of the North, affectionately calls them the Ross Lights.

They appear as if by magic. They arrive in contrast to every other color and hue; they are twilight's last stolen gift to us all.

Ross Lights are the exceptional moments when the...

March 2, 2020

In this northern place, days are often grey. Clouds hang on the horizon, and Lake Superior is often restless and stormy.

It is a time of transition, a time when the world is undecided. Soon, the sun will rise much earlier and set later than expected.

But now, it is on th...

January 3, 2020

Yet, compared with a wretched little salmon stream and

its handful of scrawny creeks, these noble rivers

meant little. For in the Klondike Valley, gold lay more

thickly than on any other creek. 

But white men sought gold along the Yukon

for a generation before they foun...

December 31, 2019

Oh, what does 

the New Year 

see in me?

I certainly see myself. 

But from where 

does it reckon 

who am I?

Those liquid, soft eyes, 

gazing and impenetrable.

Days set before me.

Alert, watchful 

for the slight & clumsy,

the caring and cruel.

We are being measured.

Are we to be trust...

December 13, 2019

Looking for a stocking stuffer that is personal, that inspires, that is thoughtful, and that rekindles memories of great adventures past?

Short, impactful portraits that offer beautiful descriptions and lessons drawn from this great land of rock and water.

Compass Season...

December 7, 2019

Let us spend one day as deliberately as Nature, and not be

thrown off the track by every nutshell and mosquito’s

wing that falls on the rails.


Henry David Thoreau

Across the northern tier of the continent, in places I've traveled, there are similar features to the...

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March 25, 2020

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