Thursday, October 11, 2007

Where Can you Spend the Winter if it is 1941 and You are in Northern Minnesota?

I won't be going back. Not anytime soon. Maybe never. It was August 1964. Boundary Waters. Not sure what lake it was. Not Moose Lake. Maybe part of the Man chain of lakes. This Man. That Man. No Man. I don't remember. It was a grey day.We beached our canoes so we could have lunch. Spam, rye crackers and some raisins. After lunch, I walked up a little trail. Maybe twentyfive yards from the beach was a clearing. There was a small cabin. An emergency cabin. Maybe 10 feet by 10 feet. One door and one window. Opened the door and walked in. Wooden frame bed. Rolled up brown wool blanket. Potbellied stove vented to the outside. Small table. One chair. Cupboard. Flour. Sugar. Salt. Flour. Matches. Knife. Fork. Spoon. Bowl. Cup Plate. Lots of names and dates were carved on the wooden cupboard. Jack 1955. Bill. Larry and Greg 1951. You get the idea.

Somebody had carved a longer message.

"Had to spend the winter of 1941 here. I came here too late in the Fall and got snowed in. I should have left this place earlier. I am grateful for this cabin. I have plenty of firewood and am keeping warm. I made some snow shoes. I have been catching some game with some snares that I made. It is quiet here. I am leaving here as soon as it thaws. My canoe is in good shape. Eric December 1941"

Just below was another message.

"I made it out of here OK. When I got home they told me that there was a war going on. I joined the Army and spent the war in the Pacific. I came back here to find a little peace and quiet. I spent the winter of 1946 here. Eric"

I walked back to the beach and we headed for the next portage.


Blogger MB said...

Cabins like that are meant to save lives. Sounds like this one did.

3:43 PM, October 15, 2007  
Blogger Fred Garber said...

Yes it did!

4:41 PM, October 15, 2007  
Blogger Beth said...

This story meant a lot to me today, for some reason. I guess I identify with that cabin somehow - the need for it, what it represented to that man when he went back to it. I've always wanted one myself. Thanks, Fred.

12:56 PM, October 18, 2007  
Blogger Fred Garber said...

Thanks Beth! I always wondered what happened to the man and the cabin. I have also wanted a place like that. Sometimes the world is just too much. Sigurd Olsen wrote a series of books about the northen Minnesota lakes country.

1:13 PM, October 18, 2007  

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