Re: The Northland

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I went sea-kayaking on Lake Superior ("sea" insofar as I was in a sea kayak). That's...surprisingly scary.

Supposedly you can displace that fear by leaving a sizable amount of cash unprotected on the beach -- according to Spalding Gray, at least, and he might not be the best resource for dealing with fear of open water*.


* Is that in horrible taste? I had just started writing the Swimming To Cambodia reference and then realized that it was a little odd to be specifically talking about fear of drowning.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:22 AM
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he littler boy bought himself half a dozen wasp stings when he stuck his hand in a nest

Seems like he got off lightly.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:30 AM
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Obviously the real outdoors is far superior to the suburbs.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:30 AM
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I was constantly in fear (without basis, I was told, repeatedly) that I was about to tip over.

Blume was quite freaked out by this at first; eventually she went out (on a relatively calm day) and tried to flip the kayak on purpose. When she realized how hard that was (at least in the plastic kind we were in) she relaxed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:32 AM
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Stormcrow will presumably weigh in with actual knowledge but good (i.e. not plastic) sea kayaks feel super tippy because they're designed to have secondary stability when you're part of the way tipped over (to make it easier to manuever, I think?) rather than primary stability when you're just sitting there upright.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:34 AM
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We are thinking of going pond kayaking this weekend. I want to get better before we try river kayaking. Also, the pond doesn't get untreated sewage dumped in it after a heavy rain.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:35 AM
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I took Zardoz out kayaking last weekend. She handled it better than ogged, sounds like.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:36 AM
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Ogged was probably paddling.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:37 AM
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Maybe 1-2 people die each year on the lake in Montana where Jammies' parents live. Capsizing during the winter, or capsizing during the summer without life jackets.

When we were out there, a friend had one of the jet skis out on the water, and saw a guy in the water, next to his canoe, so he drove over to offer some help. It turned out that the canoer had headed out in a canoe that had been sitting in his grandmother's garage. He had no life jacket, and the canoe had no plug in the water-hole-thing, so it was slowly filling up with water until it started to sink in the middle of a big lake. We roundly agreed that he was an idiot for not having a life jacket.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:39 AM
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Oakland has sweater weather in August when the fog's in.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:40 AM
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I didn't know that canoes had water-holes. They didn't when I was a kid.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:41 AM
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I bet, given that this was an old canoe from his grandmother's garage, that it was around when you were a kid.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:43 AM
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But yeah, I don't remember water plugs either, from say summer camp.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:43 AM
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We did that trip, staying in Bayfield. My son, then 12 and I rented a two-person kayak and made it to a nearby island, for the rocky shore of which we didn't have the right footgear.

I hope you bought a copy of La Pointe: Village Outpost, a remarkable book of history and reminiscence while you were there. And found the Indian cemetery, with its little offerings.

There are stories about historical figures in the bay: Margaret Fuller, Mary Todd Lincoln, FDR and, freshly-remembered when we were there, JFK Jr.

The coastline from Bayfield to Superior is where the nation we call Lakota were living as a stone-age people in the 18th century. The names of their tribes often have local roots, such as the burnt-over creek, Brule. They were driven onto the prairie, forced to be nomads, by Ojibway with firearms acquired from Sault Saint Marie.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:47 AM
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She handled it better than ogged, sounds like.

Probably. We put the boys in and put them parallel to the waves for maximum bump. They loved it. Kids are stupid.

I should have done the purposeful tipping for practice, because I was obsessed with not tipping--not out of fear for my life: I was confident I could swim back from wherever we were, and I was wearing a life jacket--but it just would have been so damn inconvenient (and close to shore I would have surely gotten a faceful of rocks).

We'll probably go again next year, and I'll practice and report back. There were moments where it was a lot of fun.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:49 AM
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the nation we call Lakota

That was a performative naming.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:50 AM
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15: we also practiced getting back in after falling out, which turns out to be perfectly doable if you're willing to look incredibly stupid.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:51 AM
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Where I come from, we call a water hole a leak.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:56 AM
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I'm glad you had a good time! I would not have thought of a Duluth/Oakland correspondence, as I have not been to Oakland.

The coastline from Bayfield to Superior is where the nation we call Lakota
I believe they were a bit more widely distributed than that. The various Lakota/Dakota/Nakota peoples ranged all over the central part of the continent.

and the canoe had no plug in the water-hole-thing, so it was slowly filling up with water
The what now? Was this like some hole in the stern for mounting a trolling motor or something? I have never heard of a canoe with a hole in the hull, which seems like a bad idea on so many levels. Mostly the bottom level.

capsizing during the summer without life jackets
One of my college friends, a very hearty and experienced canoer/kayaker/boat guy in general, and his friend, also an experienced boater, died a few years ago when they went out on a lake, familiar to them, to try out some ridiculous canoe-sail contraption. It wasn't even a stormy day or anything. You really, really need to be careful around the dihydrogen monoxide.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:00 AM
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Also, if you're going up next year, and the scheduling works out, you should go up in October and do the Apple Fest in Bayfield. It's really fun!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:03 AM
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It's pretty common for kayaks and small motorboats to have drains (and, you know, plugs for those drains); I assume it's the same for canoes, although I seem to remember it being true that the Old Towns we had at my summer camp lacked them. (I guess I have been in a canoe more recently than that. I didn't check if it had a drain.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:04 AM
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Huh. I have never seen such a thing in a canoe. Back in the olden days, we'd just take the old 85lb aluminum Grummans out in the lake, slosh water into them, jump out, tip them over, and then get back in. In the course of normal paddling, you rarely get enough water in the boat to do anything more than soak the bottom of your Duluth packs.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:06 AM
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For purposes of the story, it could have been a kayak. I feel like there's a whole class of boats that I can't tell which is which. Like, there are big aluminum canoes from summer camp, and there are sleek little kayaks with zip up skirts, but then there are a whole host of plasticky open-to-the-air things that seem to be canoeyaks.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:14 AM
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They are called Kayoes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:15 AM
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Goddammit, now I really want to buy a canoe!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:16 AM
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there are big aluminum canoes from summer camp

The scary thing about those is the possibility that the rotting corpse of Jason Voorhees might suddenly jump out of the lake and into the canoe.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:19 AM
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I'd call anything with a classic, upturned canoe-shaped prow, and open on top, a canoe. Can have square or canoe stern. Plastic, Kevlar, fibreglass, wood, aluminum or steel construction. Usually in the range of 14' to 18', but of course there are the big "voyageur" canoes that can hold 12 people too.

A kayak, in general, does not have an upturned prow, has most or all of the top covered by a deck of some kind, and is usually in the 10' to 14' range, although of course they can be longer too. Material is much more likely to be a synthetic nowadays.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:24 AM
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I thought the main difference was the flatness of the bottom and the depth of the sidewall.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:27 AM
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I find the canoes in the Olympics fairly mystifying. That's really a canoe? Why?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:28 AM
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Yes. That's a kayak.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:29 AM
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It seems like maybe seat height is important? Canoes have raised seats?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:29 AM
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There are certainly things they market as kayaks with raised seats and canoes without them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:30 AM
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Oho! Thanks, wikipedia!

Differences between a canoe and a kayak:

Sitting position: In a canoe the paddler either kneels on the bottom of the boat or sits on a raised seat. In a kayak the paddler sits on a low seat with their legs extended in front.

Number of blades on the paddle: A canoe paddle has a blade on one end, while a kayak paddle is bladed at both ends.

Scope of the name: In some parts of the world, such as the United Kingdom, kayaks are considered a subtype of canoes. Continental European and British canoeing clubs and associations of the 19th Century used craft similar to kayaks, but referred to them as canoes. This explains the naming of the International and National Governing bodies of the sport of Canoeing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:30 AM
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I think in my personal definition in a kayak you're much more likely to press your legs against the side of the boat to help yourself steer. That goes along with the legs-extended characterization from wikipedia.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:32 AM
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I'm not familiar with canoe holes -- mine (bought when some of you were kids) doesn't have one, nor does any canoe of anyone who's gone out with us. It seems like a really dumb idea to have a hole in a boat, at least one light enough to pick up.

Not having a pfd isn't just dumb, it's likely illegal.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:35 AM
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I suppose a hole could be of use if you have to scuttle the canoe to keep it out of enemy hands.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:37 AM
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35.1: on the kayaks I'm familiar with it's on the top deck; it's tough to drain the boat even though you can just pick it up and turn it over because the cockpit has an inner lip.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:38 AM
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25 -- I should have used mine more in the East -- Antietam Creek and the Monocacy specifically -- but on the whole it's been a pretty good investment. Even including our dramatic Yellowstone River episode (somewhere in TFA probably).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:41 AM
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because the cockpit has an inner lip

As the actress said to the bishop.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:42 AM
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I feel like the canoeing/rowing sports in the Olympics are just one gigantic freebie to Britain. Who else even does that? Canoes are for puttering around on a lake and/or taking your Polynesian fleet into battle.

The old wooden canoe at the grandparents' inherited "lake house" (i.e. three room 1940s style cottage), which btw I am now feeling terrible for not being at given this discussion, definitely does not have anything like a hole in the bottom.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:42 AM
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9. Yeah, Montana can be dangerous: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/flathead-lake-swimmer-killed-by-boat-identified-family-suffers-nd/article_2abe71a0-298d-52a4-a941-454fe35dc38b.html


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:52 AM
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Who else even does that?

You'd imagine Canada, Greenland (do they compete as Denmark?) and possibly Russia.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:57 AM
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Why don't we all chip in together and buy the Unfogged lake house. It could be near Duluth. Person with the best "victim of the academic job market" story gets to live there in the winter.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:07 AM
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35.last - I was wondering about that. In ME, we got stopped by some sort of lake police, who asked about life jackets (we were all wearing them), extras, and a fire extinguisher. The boyfriend thinks my father is overly cautious about life jackets (you have to have one on board for everyone, but only kids under 14 have to wear them on the boat), but it was good that we didn't have a very long chat with the nice officers.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:12 AM
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This place is only 200k for a private island and a sweet looking house. I found it in 1 minute looking up "lake house Duluth."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:14 AM
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43: Why not a river front lot with business potential.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:15 AM
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41: more recently than that - there was a guy who capsized and drowned a week before we were there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:15 AM
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I like where 46 is going. We could operate the Unfogged bait shop as a moneymaking venture.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:18 AM
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Owning an island is a pain in the ass, I think.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:19 AM
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We could operate the Unfogged bait shop

What price low-hanging fruit?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:21 AM
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Special on trolling bobs.


Posted by: alon trolling bobs. | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:29 AM
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I wondered why I had to retype that part of the comment.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:30 AM
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Come on, Moby is just trying to get us to all chip in and buy him a place for his cob house, right?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:31 AM
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51: +1


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:31 AM
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Shh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:31 AM
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Oh, you know I would kickstart the hell out of that, or however one verbs that. But if Piketty has taught us anything, it's something about transparency and/or The Aristocats.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:33 AM
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49. Depends on your island, I think.


Posted by: Opinionated Richard Branson | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:35 AM
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There's a lake in Ontario (Stony, I think) with som great houses and a couple that are on tiny islands. The Anglican summer chapel is on an island, so you have to row to church.

A lake or skiing? Crested Butte looks like fun in the summer too.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:45 AM
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47 Well yeah. The lake may seem particularly dangerous -- what with the weather volatility -- but you see as much in the local rivers, backcountry, etc.

In that story I linked the guy was out for a funeral. Of a guy who slipped on a trail* and fell 300 feet.

* Trail maintenance isn't particularly robust in the tribal wilderness.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:45 AM
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I'm glad to hear you enjoyed Duluth, even if you had to travel through dreaded Wisconsin to get there. (I'm duty-bound as a MN native to deplore the actually-not-that-different WI. It's fine country, I'm sure.)

If you and your family are fans of bicycling you may want to head inland MN on a future vacation, as we've some fantastic trails all over the state, and especially in the central lakes region, as a result of the rails-to-trails program that converted old railroads into mostly flat, scenic bikeways.

As for tipping in a kayak or canoe: I recall that many moons ago when I attended a YMCA summer camp, the first thing we had to learn before we were allowed to paddle freely was how to escape from a tipped over kayak. Of course that was on some small lake, not Lake Superior, and so quite a bit less frightening and cold, I'd imagine.


Posted by: protoplasm | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 12:46 PM
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If you get your kayak from Uber, there's no tipping.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 12:58 PM
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My grandfather almost bought an island in Maine (he was pretty poor but it was really cheap) but decided it would be too much trouble. Several decades later Andrew Wyeth bought it. It would not be cheap now.

Anyhow, aside from needing a good boat, and the expense of getting anything (buidling materials, food, whatever) out there, you pretty much need somebody keeping an eye on things at all times so you don't get robbed or vandalized.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 1:04 PM
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They caught the guy hiding in the woods. He didn't have a boat anyway.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 1:06 PM
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Plus, if you build out of cob, you can get the building materials right on the island. Assuming the island has soil suited for making cob.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 1:06 PM
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you pretty much need somebody keeping an eye on things at all times so you don't get robbed or vandalized

Right, which is why that private island near Duluth is the perfect place to make Hobo Canoe Navy operational.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 1:20 PM
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I admit that Hobo Canoe Navy presents some quis custodiet ipsos custodes problems, but I feel like they can be solved.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 1:22 PM
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Hobo Canoe Air Force?


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 1:45 PM
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A Canopticon.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 1:46 PM
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I volunteer to live on a lake and fish and write all the time no one else was there.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 1:56 PM
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Hobo Canoe Navy

I loved the original three Earthsea books, but this sequel would have been better left unpublished.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 2:04 PM
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In high school one of my friends lived on the island in the middle of Balld Eagle Lake in White Bear Lake, MN. It was accessible by boat in the summer, snowmobile in the winter, and hovercraft in the spring and fall when there was too much slush and ice to boat but not enough to snowmobile. I believe his father had invented some sort of microchip, and I think I remember hearing a rumor that his family sold their house/that land to a professional sports player a few years ago. Island living is possible, but much easier if you're wealthy.


Posted by: protolasm | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 2:37 PM
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Lakes within lakes.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 2:43 PM
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Best of both worlds: The Unfogged summer party house could be on Nicollet Island in the Mississippi river. Very convenient to the best liquor store in the state!

The house on Bald Eagle Lake's island looks pretty awesome from space:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bald+Eagle+Lake,+White+Bear+Lake,+MN+55110/@45.1098364,-93.0167919,119m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x52b2da72b568f469:0x5e7594a3d8a96f41


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 3:56 PM
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A bit more about it:

http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_25980476/bald-eagle-lake-island-eyed-recording-studio


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 3:57 PM
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I own a lake house in NH. You people should rent it from me.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 6:07 PM
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72: Posted here before but:

Largest Island
Largest lake
Largest lake on an island
Largest island in a lake
Largest island in a lake on an island
Largest lake on an island in a lake
Largest lake on an island in a lake on an island
Largest island in a lake on an island in a lake
Largest island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:00 PM
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("sea" insofar as I was in a sea kayak)

But also "sea" insofar as you were kayaking on what is basically an inland sea. I know I would be afraid, but I would like to try it.

40: Canada is pretty big on canoeing. I learned how to canoe in grade 12 gym class (they took us to a local lake).


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:46 PM
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Several of the items in 76 are on Manitou Island in Canada on Lake Huron.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:50 PM
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5: Stormcrow will presumably weigh in with actual knowledge but good (i.e. not plastic) sea kayaks feel super tippy because they're designed to have secondary stability when you're part of the way tipped over (to make it easier to manuever, I think?) rather than primary stability when you're just sitting there upright.

I've been around kayaks and canoes a bit but am by no means an expert on that kind of shit. But it is true that if you are on a thing that is in its critical dimension (width in this case) a fair bit shorter than the wavelength of waves of any height, you want it to be "tippy" so you can use your body position to keep it "tipped" upright--a flattish-bottomed thing is more prone in bigger waves to go up and flip over (think air mattresses in waves)* **. Good kayakers in "tippy" kayaks on calm water rely on a) better balance in general (also see canoes), and 2) knowing how to use the paddle to keep balance (both just using like a tightrope walker's pole, or against the water (some term for this I forget***)). Also going faster.

*This guy has a good description:

The problem is form-stability doesn't necessarily act to keep a boat right side up, rather form-stability acts to keep a boat perpendicular to the surface of the water. When a steep wave hits a kayak from the side, the last thing you want is to be perpendicular to the water; being perpendicular to the water on the wave face would mean you are beyond the point of no return for a capsize. As a kayaker, you need to learn to lean into waves that hit you from the side, and the reason why you need to lean into the waves is so you can use your body weight to fight and overcome your kayak's "stability" in order to prevent a capsize.
**And similarly somewhat for going perpendicular to the waves--want to slice through to the extent possible more than up and down the whole height of the wave.

***"Bracing" apparently.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:18 PM
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I learned how to canoe in grade 12 gym class

That's an idiom difference I had to learn on immigrating: grade 12 vs. 12th Grade, the USan way of saying it, although it's a big country and there may be parts that say it like Canadians.

Take the proper name Elgin. In Canada, and in Texas, pronounced with a hard g. In the Chicago area, with a soft, as in the word "gin."


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:32 PM
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Also, Lake Superior. Been fascinated with that bastard since I was a kid. Big storms of course--"Fellas, it's been good to know ya"--but the waves don't come up quite as fast as they do on the very shallow (almost, a big, very wide river) Lake Erie. However, our from-Duluth friend's family suffered an incredible tragedy when as children three of here sibs were swept off a dock to their deaths while watching big waves (one or two may have gone in first with subsequent ones trying to rescue--I don't have all the details). Hell of a thing. A surviving brother is an expert kayaker (and outdoorsman in general).

An uncle also became harbormater of a tiny town (for almost no pay) in Michigan after he fell in love with the place after visiting from Ohio.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:35 PM
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Superior is much deeper than the others. The main channel of the relatively deep Lake Michigan is only about 500 feet, there are a few pits near Michigan shore that get to around 900.

A laker is about 900 feet long. I'll point out a ship to a co-worker and say: If that ship were turned on end, resting one end on the bottom, about half of it would stick out of the water. The lake is that shallow, a puddle really.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:42 PM
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I think I've posted the stuff in 81 here before.

Also Lake Superior-related biological dilemma: "Genetic rescue" for the remaining in-bred wolves on Isle Royale (and not clear it would even work), or not? Last ice bridge wolf (came across alone) essentially provided a "natural" rescue in 1997, but was almost too successful and now too much of his genetic material--many of the wolves have a particular spinal problem.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:46 PM
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In Canada, and in Texas, pronounced with a hard g. In the Chicago area, with a soft, as in the word "gin."

My son (not from the Chicago area) persists in pronouncing Elgin (as in, the Lord Elgin Hotel in Ottawa) with a soft g, just because he knows it irritates me.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:56 PM
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I've been fascinated by Lake Superior ever since I first heard Gordon (aka "One Chord Gord") Lightfoot's The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. As a kid, I thrilled to the ominous, but folksy!, words of the ship's cook: Fellas, it's been good to know ya'.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:02 PM
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81.1 -> 85.last


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:11 PM
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Worst song ever to strip to, however.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:12 PM
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I hope 87 is from experience.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:14 PM
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That or "Tell Laura I Love Her".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:14 PM
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"Take a message to Mary"


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:28 PM
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||
Ah ha! A couple of days ago I commented, I would love to see a definitive answer to the "sliding rocks" of Racetrack Playa before I die. Someone get on that and just now what pops up in my Twitter feed? A c|net article discussing "Sliding Rocks on Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park: First Observation of Rocks in Motion." Thin sheets of ice, and not necessarily very strong winds (they move rather slowly). So I'm not sure whether I rule, or will be leaving shortly. Maybe both!
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Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:34 PM
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92

91 -- that's fantastic. I've wondered about those things for years too.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:50 PM
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93

Aren't there traces of rocks tumbling? Hard to reconcile with slow winds. There may be reason to keep on living yet, JP.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:57 PM
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94

No! Mystery solved, no reason to live!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:03 PM
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95

Actually I know very little about this issue and am quite willing to accept that there are still aspects of it that remain unsolved.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:04 PM
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96

Too late! You commented without deep background knowledge.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:18 PM
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97

One of us! One of us!


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:19 PM
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98

It happens sometimes.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:19 PM
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99

#racetrackrocktruth #checkthetumblemarks #slowwinddon'tmoverock


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:22 PM
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100

Don't you start.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:23 PM
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99: Don't get sucked in. He's just trying to distract you from Benghazi.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:34 PM
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Benghazi's just a distraction from the real scandal: Yellowstone visitation statistics.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:36 PM
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A quick google doesn't turn up anything to support 93, so either my research skills suck or I fabricated a memory in order to inject some mystery into a dreary existence. I...I'm not sure how to bet.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:37 PM
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104

Don't worry, Eggplant. You can still be a Yellowstone truther.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:39 PM
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Honestly, knocking down the house of cards that is the official Yellowstone visitor statistics was one of my greatest accomplishments. It's going on the tombstone.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:52 PM
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And not just a personal achievement but lesson to us all: if you keep arguing vigorously, pointlessly, and don't give up, no matter how little knowledge you have on any individual subject, eventually you'll be right.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:56 PM
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107

Knocking down a house of cards doesn't seem like much of an accomplishment. Get back to us when you've knocked down a house of sticks at least.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:56 PM
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108

In retrospect, I'm mostly amazed at how much toxic libertarian rhetoric you were willing to use in that fight.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:56 PM
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Real men knock down cob houses. It's harder than it sounds.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:57 PM
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If you were a producer instead of a moocher, you'd build cob houses, not knock them down.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:08 PM
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Ugh. I feel gross now.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:10 PM
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If that makes you feel gross, you ain't seen nothin' yet.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:14 PM
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Pretty sure that the town of Elgin here has a hard "g", but when I first heard of the Elgin Marble (and not knowing the provenance of the name) I assumed it was a soft 'g'. Took me a while to stop that.

Back on kayaks--sea kayaks are awesomes! On our honeymoon my wife and I took a tandem sea kayak that was a lot of fun to steer. Now that we have some storage room, we're thinking of getting some regular kayaks to take on our shit encrusted rivers. Any thoughts on what would be good? I'm assumin I'll need a dry suit for any kayaking outside of the summer months.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-28-14 1:46 AM
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114

Elgin in Scotland has a hard 'g'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-28-14 2:52 AM
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115

There's an Elgin near here, known for their sausage and soft 'g'.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-14 3:54 AM
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116

Sausage with a hard 'g' would just be weird.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-28-14 4:09 AM
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Sausegg.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-28-14 4:15 AM
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115: I've only heard a hard g for that one. Soft makes more sense phonetically. Funny that one thing TX is pronouncing "right" sounds funny to me.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-28-14 4:32 AM
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119

Wait, now I'm wondering if I'm mixed up.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-14 4:44 AM
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120

Hard g. Oops.

Motto: "Perfectly Situated"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-14 4:45 AM
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Hard "g" is original. On the other hand tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis, so soft "g" may be just how it's said in some parts. Which is OK. After all, who, hearing an American saying "Los Angeles", would connect it with the Spanish for angels unless they saw it written down.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-28-14 5:15 AM
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122

11.3.2: You could probably ask the guys who rent them down on the Allegheny.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-14 5:32 AM
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123

121: I never knew it was ever pronounced with a hard 'g' until this thread. There is a town called Elgin near where I was raised, so I've been saying it my whole life. I do think that French people would also be entertained to learn how Nebraska pronounced Papillion.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-14 5:40 AM
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The OP title was selected to troll teo.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-28-14 6:11 AM
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When I said "here" I meant Scotland (but shameful I only realized that the original town is here due to a video game). Agree that it's weird that the Texan pronunciation is right. just got into Oban now and hoping to head over to the distillery. The drive in from the Great Glen was awfully pretty. Will have to make the most of it since tomorrow's our last full day and we'll be sleeping in the surely very scenic Glasgow Air/port Ram/ada.

A previous driver of our rental car, a Yemeni living in Qatar, left their international driving permit in it. Other weird international find: coming across a car with blue Chinese plates on the single track tourist route near Durness.

122: good point. We did that once with a tandem a few years ago, going up and around Washington's Landing. Fun.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-28-14 6:37 AM
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Speaking of the Northland, a pretty fascinating multimedia remembrance of Pine Point, NWT a mining town that existed from the 1950s to 1988 and which was then completely abandoned (buildings moved or demolished).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-28-14 6:47 AM
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Basketball great Elgin Baylor - soft g (named after an Elgin watch, legend has it).


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 08-28-14 7:22 AM
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The OP title was selected to troll teo.

I'm glad someone else noticed that.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-28-14 9:02 PM
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79 is pretty good on the effect of kayak hull shape. The way I've always described it to people is to envision a log and a plank floating, as a wave passes under them. The log will jus bob up and down, while the plank is forced to tilt with the shape of the wave. This is the main effect if primary stability.

There are a lot of trade offs. The turning method Sifu alluded to earlier has more to do with the flare on the side of the hull. As you lean over into it, that displaces more water than you had been, and lifts the narrow front and rear, making the hull much easier to rotate (you can also use the top of waves for this). The secondary stability comes in here not I the turning itself, but in how much work you have to do to stop the motion... With little secondary stability the boat with just roll over at this point unless you brace. On the other hand, secondary stability is what you have to fight when rolling intentionally (to right yourself) also....


Posted by: Soup | Link to this comment | 08-28-14 10:46 PM
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Soup!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-28-14 10:52 PM
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Teo!

(And with that, I'm off to sleep)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-28-14 10:56 PM
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Capsizing a kayak really doesn't get interesting until you do it end over end.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 08-29-14 10:03 PM
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DaveLHI!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-29-14 10:10 PM
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Intermittently.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 08-29-14 10:25 PM
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I thought of you when I was wandering around NPS sites in Sitka earlier this month, but you're not doing that now, right?


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 08-29-14 10:27 PM
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No, I'm not, and I've also never been to Sitka. I almost got the chance to go there when I was working for the NPS here, but it fell through. I hear it's a nice place.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-29-14 10:39 PM
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It is that. A bit rainy and windy when I was there, which blocked access to the best fishing spots most of the time, but good trip nonetheless.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 08-29-14 11:20 PM
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Glad to hear it. I'm sure I'll make it down there at some point. (Rainy and windy is pretty standard for Southeast Alaska, FWIW.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-29-14 11:25 PM
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105: Have you been to that cemetery in West Hollywood behind the Armand Hammer building? It's got a gravestone for some guy with dates in the manner of:

1915-1977-?

Always wondered what that was about.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-29-14 11:27 PM
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140

Cryogenics?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-30-14 1:28 AM
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Vampires. The ? marks when the person dies the True Death.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-30-14 2:31 AM
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