People going up the North Shore (this means those braving the unknown beyond Gooseberry) have a long practice of plunging into adventure. Based on observation (limited I admit) I’d say a third of the intrepid take on the challenge of filling Lake Superior with beach rocks. In season I can’t drive by any of the beaches in my area and not see at least one thrower of stones intent on the task. It’s demanding work that consumes a visitor’s focus for long periods of concentration never seen in the workplace.

A counterbalancing third of adventurers are those with trunks open for a length of driftwood to poke out and a worn path to the strand where more drift pieces and special rocks wait discovery for transport to their new element of patio décor or living room clutter. I’m only guessing the two groups are in balance based on the assumption that if members of the thrower or remover groups took a lead we’d see a change in lake elevation. Long time observation might suggest removers have a slight and lasting edge due to agate picking. Luckily agate numbers are small enough in overall volume to keep the removers from a substantial permanent lead.

The final third of visiting seekers often skip (perhaps having satisfied themselves on earlier trips) throwing and removing. They see the reason to take a North Shore getaway is to appreciate those things that gave the area its character. Ranked by volume of advertising and event these are art, music, local beer, bistro eating, and the chance to see numbers of lesbians in native costume. (I had to include the lesbians because doing so always gets a good response.) In any case, lesbians are in and fishermen are out. We used to appeal to fishing folk. But that’s now passé along with barbaric and sexist for catering to male fishers (not the fur bearers).

Well what could better represent the true North Shore and real North Woods experience better than an authentic meal? (Bear is not available so you’ll need to think in terms of domestic beast from Iowa, deceased Elk portions frozen in Montana, or fish flash frozen and put fresh on a jet before it gets here on a fresh daily truck.) The problems with the worn out old North Shore and tired North Woods approaches to authenticity was the fuss, muss, and bother of catching your own fish and then have to endure agonies of disgust cleaning, ruining fillets, and coping with bugs and smoke around an open fire. The painless form of adventure requires no skill other than a mouth and an ability to shovel to it with a fork. And certainly you don’t want anything to take away from enjoyment of a canoeist’s traditional breakfast. Sit and feed is all you need to savor the pure delight of the Paddler’s Pancake Stacker. It’s the real thing just like Dorothy Molter would have made (that’s a guess) if she packed in piles of pecans, parfait, peppermint, and whipped maple butter with caramelized inclusions. Enjoyment without effort is the way to go. On the other hand if you don’t want a gourmet magazine breakfast plate and would seek to find an old favorite, the Scandinavian crepe rick with melted butter and lingonberry sauce you need to find a place less with it. Crepes and fishermen are out. You know what’s in.

The midday meal representative that caught my attention is the North-woods All Natural Utterly Organic braised baby Portabella sandwich on hand-washed lettuce and peeled tomato with native provolone. (There’s a small remaining herd of hybrid Norwegian provolone roaming wild north of Tait Lake. Have your camera ready because mating season can happen any time.) The All Natural Utterly Organic no longer uses Dijon. Dijon is out. 

The most difficult area to describe or predict for the future is winter use. Downhill, XC, and Snow-machine inhabits different planes of the same season. Seems safe to say, though, that if a winter adventurer has a strong arts index they are strongly inclined to be approving of XC use, tolerant of Downhill, but negative about machines. Fortunately due to differing habits these groups don’t mix much. Attempts were made to get snow machine users to get on board the trend slope by attracting them with a brew called the Showy Pink Lady Slipper. That was a bold effort but came ultimately to rest under piles of Beer Nuts wrappers.

Ordinary folk such as you and I can tell spoof from reality. You can tell I’m trying to be funny and making a dog fountain of it or sought to be a jerk and did admirably. Maybe we’re lucky. I heard (wish I had transcript) JK Rowling interviewed about her Fantastic Beasts book/movie. I think she said she spend the past 17 years in the wizarding world. It seemed quite definite. She said she’d spent a long time working in a place that didn’t exist. I cheered. The blonde icons had a new Empress. Ray Bradbury would not have said “I’ve been kicked off Mars Colony.” But if you’re a JK people cut slack as they did the Winchester heiress who needed a solid friend to tell her “You’re acting delusional” as JK needs reminding can’t be in a place that doesn’t exist. It’s not the same as one who acts eccentric or gets into their craft. Performers and writers need to do that. But fairly often a talented person puts themselves on a limb without realizing. Take Howard Hughes as example. A friend’s counsel could have helped keep him from slipping deep into the wizarding world. 

You or I don’t likely equal JK in success, but maybe there’s larger success in having friends who don’t fawn and gush if we claimed living a place that didn’t exist. Success or notoriety doesn’t add worth to a half thought expression. I caught a snip of an “it happened to me” program where Whoopi flared to life saying “Kick him in the nuts!” The audience (as Whoopi knew) loved it. But advocating a counter-assault isn’t always good or reasonable advice. It lacks rectitude. In Whoopi’s case I think she ate hers; it looks so anyway.