Up North


Rainier, MN

Traveling North to International Falls near Voyageur National Park, there are countless inlets and peninsulas along Rainy River and Rainy Lake. The trees are tall pine and birch. It is one of the most picturesque sites for artists, fishermen (and fisherwomen), photographers, and nature lovers around.
Financially, the region has had to cut back, hopefully temporarily, on its millwork and paper production, so many people have been laid off. The remaining employment provides a lower pay rate.
The first evening we ate at “Almost Lindy’s Swill & Grill.” We had a crispy thin-crust pizza half seafood with Alfredo sauce and the other half, pulled pork with barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese, all topped with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. On the pulled pork pizza, locals top this dish with shredded carrot and cabbage coleslaw. Trying it this way was really a great change of pace tasty treat. Lots of unusual crunch and flavor!


We stopped by this little historic town in time to capture sunsets on two evenings.
We visited a 60-something couple who had an amazing collection of antique cookstoves, each of which had been restored into mint condition, and could be purchased for a worthy price. They also have an in-home quilting business with the latest, most advanced, creative printing and quilting technology. We spoke of our travels, experiences, and families.


At Cha Cha’s Resort and Restaurant on Rainy Lake, MN.
This resort is situated on a tip of a peninsula surrounded by Rainy Lake. This view is to the south. To the north, there is a view of a small island.


Rainier, MN



We did go explore a few antique and thrift stores looking for treasures.
I found a lidded basket for the back of my bike, a few tools, some linen fabric, a vase, and a 1960’s Barbie Prom Date game board.
Crossing into Canada on King’s Highway in Fort Frances, we went into a dollar store, and I bought my grandson a stuffed Toronto Maple Leaf hockey player on clearance.
I hope to return up to this region again “before the snow flies!”



Pelicans on Rainy River

Graceful creatures soar, then downwardly glide,
Connecting, with the water, they dig, skim, and slide,
Braking, with quick, sharp slices
Like hockey blades shaving the ices,
They float, with their wings tucked alongside their buoyant bodies,
Their beaks move in unison like line-dancers’ choreographies.

Enter, the fisherman’s catch of the day.
He tosses the sacrificial object as the hungry birds’ prey.
They paddle, and curiously and cautiously move toward it,
As if to measure, and judge it consumable,
Or, “Is it too large of a fit?”

Twice-times they pondered it, and paddled away,
Finally, the foursome pounced towards the prey,
With a determined, winged, splashing, chaotic, wet spray.

Somehow, the “winning” bird scooped up the fish with his beak,
Filling up, stretching his balloon-like pouch with a visibly, elongated treat.
Weighing him down, he hunched over just to stay on the river afloat,
A greedy and selfish, old man donning the appearance of a braggart-like gloat.
As he drifted away with his prize,
His ill-fated destiny one can only surmise,
That his appetite had ruled him more than the common-sense with his eyes.

The remaining threesome continued the actions of their choreographed dance,
Fleeing, flying from their friend’s dire circumstance.
For survivors learn perseverance, and undaunted resilience,
As the river reflects the setting sun’s brilliance.