Fifty years ago, Joan Crosby and her husband, Dick, moved from the Minneapolis suburbs to spend a winter on the outskirts of the BWCAW in a primitive one-room cabin without road access or modern conveniences. She baked pies in a Dutch oven while Dick kept the woodpile topped up. They heard the wolves howl and the loons call, watched the seasons change, entertained occasional visitors—invited or not—and made periodic trips across two lakes and a connecting portage to their vehicle, then on into Grand Marias to do laundry and replenish supplies.
They also blazed a trail through the woods to the road in anticipation of those difficult weeks when the lakes would be half-frozen, hence impassible. Dick added a room to the structure, doubling its size, but they dropped the idea of erecting walls around the privy. Why bother? The arrival of a new stove revolutionized their meals. Visits to new-found friends at nearby lodges and wildlife adventures stirred up by their malamute, Nooky, punctuated days that were more often filled with household chores, woodcutting, and pine-scented lakeside reveries.
It was a good life. But when the money began to run low, they realized the time had come to make some difficult decisions about what form their future would take.
Joan Crosby lives near Grand Marais, Minnesota, with her husband, Dick, and her beloved pug, Mr. Magoo. She has been a columnist for the Cook County News Herald for the past two decades. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Joan has also sold real estate and taught high school English and adult education. She loves the outdoors, street rods, gardening, visiting the Ozarks in the springtime, and, of course, writing.
Fifty years ago, she and her husband, Dick, moved from Minneapolis to spend a winter on the outskirts of the BWCA in a primitive cabin without road access or modern conveniences. That experience is the subject of this book.