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Will Maines

Trails & Tales

Will Maines is a native of the North Woods and an avid outdoorsman.
He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Walking circles is good training
By Will Maines

THE OTHER DAY?while shopping at one of our local grocery stores, I came to the end of an aisle, looked to my left and saw a young gaffer, maybe 4 years old or so, running around in a small circle again, again and again.
While his mother spent five minutes apparently trying to figure out what kind of apples to buy, the little guy never slowed up. Around and around he went in a circle about 6 feet in diameter, giggling and “wheeing” the whole time.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012 2:33 PM
Just wait ’til next time
By Will Maines

WHO WUDDA thunk it?
If you had tried to tell me a month ago that I would be sliding my canoe into the lake of my choice in Vilas County on March 24 for an afternoon of fishing, I would have called you a fuzzy-headed dreamer, a half-baked idiot or perhaps something of an even more imaginative nature.
Open-water fishing on March 24 in Vilas County —not possible.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 3:35 PM
Welcome back, my ducky friends
By Will Maines

After a forced separation of nearly four months, I have been reunited with the best friends I have ever known. It has been a very early, but a very welcome reunion.
As of Monday I renewed acquaintances with some of my best friends, including Mr. and Mrs. Mallard, Mr. and Mrs. Wood Duck and Mr. and Mrs. Hooded Merganser.
Yes, the ducks that are the love of my life are back, albeit a couple of weeks early, but unlike the freeloading black sheep cousin or uncle or in-law you hope will never come back for a visit, these friends are welcome in my neighborhood anytime, any place.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 3:30 PM
Antiseptic, gauze and adhesive strips
By Will Maines

I DON’T KNOW what got us on the topic the other day, but somehow a small group of us “intellectuals” got into a discussion about emergency rooms. We decided that today’s emergency rooms are abused by people with plush medical insurance plans.
I know people who haul their kids to the emergency room at the first sign of a cough or hiccup. Every time they come home from such a visit, they bring with them a bucketful of pills prescribed, I suspect, by doctors who would rather do that than waste any more time than necessary being threatened by parents who are sure “Johnny” or “Susie” is deathly ill and whose life can only be spared by ingesting a bucketful of pills.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 3:17 PM
March brings visions of spring
By Will Maines

SO THERE IT is. The “blizzard” of 2012 is in the history books, and for the first time in a long time, the “blizzard of the year” really was a blizzard.
Trust me, any time you have to shovel, plow and dig out from underneath 18 inches of snow in one day, it is a blizzard.
But now that’s done and over with and, at the risk of jinxing all of us, I will boldly proclaim that the end of winter will soon follow.
That leads us, of course, into spring and a whole new world of outdoor opportunities.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012 11:03 AM
It was almost a perfect day
By Will Maines

WHO KNEW THAT at age 62 I would have the time of my life skiing one of my best American Birkebeiner races ever. I sure didn’t, but there I was last Saturday cruising along and enjoying myself immensely.
The day started with a glitch when I remembered, four miles down the road toward the start line, that I had forgotten my poles. No big deal; one U-turn, a little heckling and the ski poles were aboard. My Birkie was back on schedule.
After that it was nearly a perfect day. My wax worked perfect, and for the first 200 yards after my wave of Classic skiers took off I was in the lead pack of 25 racers. One hundred yards later the freight train proceeded to pass me by, but who cared, I was out in front when we passed by the local TV cameras, and that’s the important thing.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 11:28 AM
Birkie volunteers are my heroes
By Will Maines

THE INVITATIONS HAVE been sent, and the beverages and treats have been ordered, leaving only another three days to wait for the big party to begin.
My wife and I infrequently host parties with a group of our friends, and I know quite well the feeling of trying to be sure you have enough to eat, enough to drink and enough places at the table for everyone who might show up.
Usually it’s a case of much ado about nothing, as all the 30 or so party guests wind up bringing food to pass, along with their favorite beverages, so that when all is said and done there is enough food and drink for 100 people or more.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 11:40 AM | Updated ( Tuesday, February 21, 2012 11:42 AM )
Hats off to hardy ice fishermen
By Will Maines

TO PARAPHRASE a popular TV ad, last weekend was all ice fishing, all the time.
It began on the brutally frigid side at 5:30 a.m. Saturday as four of us tried to put up the fish registration tent on the ice for the Plum Lake ice fishing tournament sponsored by the Sayner-Star Lake Lions.
Trying to work bare-handed to push up metal legs and framework was nasty. Fingers became useless icicles in seconds, but after a lot of wrestling, we got the tent up.
Fortunately, one of the guys had four 70-pound bags of sand in his truck which we used to anchor the structure, or we would have been chasing it all the way to Illinois the way the wind was howling.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 12:06 PM
Outdoors people always face a risk
By Will Maines

FOR THOSE OF us who spend as much time as possible in the great outdoors, there is always the knowledge that there is risk in what we do, however slight that risk may be.
Last weekend an unfortunate fall by a skier at Razorback Ridges resulted in a broken leg and a reminder that, yes, it may not be great nor something you give much thought to, but risk nonetheless is a part of outdoor recreation.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012 9:47 AM
This dream finally came true
By Will Maines

I HAD A DREAM, but for many, many years it was only a dream. Now that dream has come true.
No, I did not have two Victoria’s Secret supermodels call me last week and ask me if I would go out on a date with both of them — at the same time.
No, no, no! This dream is way better than that. By simply using that wonderful thing known as the computer, I was able to discover last week that for the first time in my life I will be hunting wild turkeys right here, literally right here, in my own back yard.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 4:42 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, January 31, 2012 4:45 PM )

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