Pimp My E-Ride

John Herou isn’t your typical electric-car ideologue. The founder of e-ride Industries possesses a bright strain of idealism to be sure, but fundamentally he’s a practical man, an inventor and classic car buff, more entrepreneur than tree hugger. The cars he builds, called neighborhood electric vehicles because by law they can go only twenty-five miles […]

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Playground of the Rich

The iron ore mine in Tower, Minnesota, closed in 1962. Now Tower’s major industry is Lake Vermilion, an island-studded jewel and one of the last outposts of private property before you arrive at the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Outside Tower, there is a turn to Old Highway 169, and then another onto an old […]

All Fished Out!

Some of the landmarks have changed, but eight years ago, directions to the Rainbow Inn were easy: Stay on Highway 169, watch for Wigwam Bay and the Grain Belt beer sign. I found it, pulled in, and walked into the lodge. The light was comfortably dim, slanting in through the row of front windows. A […]

Buffalo Ridge

I’d read plenty about Buffalo Ridge, the windiest swath of Minnesota, located in the state’s grassy and treeless southwest quadrant, before I ever got there. I’d heard stories of hats blowing off, of windburn, of tumbleweeds that just kept tumbling. People living in the area are said to suffer perpetual bad hair days. But it […]

Now You See It…

Lynx number one was a hard-luck kitten. He was barely a year old, in March 2003, when he walked into a box-like trap near Isabella, deep in the Superior National Forest. Isabella is an old logging village bisected by Highway 1 as it slices inland from Lake Superior to Ely. Beyond the village is a […]

Feeling Minnesota, Looking Nebraska

Illustration by Christopher Henderson I’m going to miss Minnesota—not because I’m going away, but because Minnesota is. The north woods? There’s a fairly good chance I will outlive them. A walk through the spruce, the cry of a loon—a lot of experiences we think of as quintessential Minnesota may disappear. Or emigrate to Canada. In […]

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