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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. .

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 )
Don’t take this land for granted
By Will Maines

LIKE A LOT of people, I sometimes tend to take this great North Woods country of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan for granted.
When you’ve been surrounded all your life by hundreds of lakes and miles of forest that is your playground for the taking, you forget what a privilege that is.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 4:33 PM
Ice tradition continues to thrive
By Will Maines

COME WINTER, the North Woods of Wisconsin and ice fishing tournaments have become synonymous. Old-fashioned fishing jamborees have been around for a long time, mostly put on by local civic clubs to raise money for their community projects.
Three Lakes has had one forever, while Phelps holds a couple of good ones; Conover, a kids’ event; Land O’ Lakes, at least one tourney; St. Germain, one that benefits the Plum Lake Emergency Medical Services; and Sayner-Star Lake, a really good one.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 3:57 PM
Believe it or not, spring is here
By Will Maines

HAVE YOU looked around lately? Have you noticed that without warning springtime has arrived?
Don’t be fooled, spring is here whether you believe it or not.
No, it has nothing to do with the ridiculous January temperatures we’ve been seeing which keep threatening to reach 40 and beyond. And it has nothing to do with the fact we’ve only got about a half-foot of snow in the woods.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 3:46 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, January 10, 2012 3:51 PM )
To snow or not to snow
By Will Maines

WINTER IS HERE. Finally. If you like snow blown on northers straight from the Arctic, and temperatures dangling down near zero in the morning, then you have gotten what you wanted — for a few days anyhow.
The heavier white stuff may not have gotten here in time for a lot of businesses who badly wanted and needed it through Christmas week, but as is the case with most things in life, better late than never.
Weather is, despite the current temperature, a hot topic around here where snow is considered white gold and, when we don’t get enough of it early enough, the talk always turns to global warming, El Niño, El Niña and anything else that has to do with the perceived disruption of longtime winter patterns in the North Woods.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012 4:02 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, January 03, 2012 4:05 PM )

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