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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. .


When the old-timers go
By Will Maines

“WHEN THE President of the Old Duck Hunters’ Association Inc. (ODHA) died, the hearts of many men fell to the ground.” — “The Old Brown Mackinaw”

Gordon MacQuarrie wrote that line to begin one of his most poignant ODHA stories, a story in which he acknowledged the passing of the fictional Mr. President who had led the two-man organization since MacQuarrie began the series of stories in 1932.

In reality he was mourning the passing in 1938 of his beloved father-in-law, Al Peck, a Superior auto dealer who served as the model for Mr. President.

Today my heart has fallen to the ground. My Mr. President,

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 10:56 AM
 
The winter of our discontent
By Will Maines

WHEN WILLIAM Shakespeare opened “Richard III,” a play he wrote in 1594, with the line, “Now is the winter of our discontent,” I’m quite sure he was not talking about the nefarious King Richard III, subject of the play, as many historians contend, nor the “sun of York” during a Yorkshire winter.

No, I contend the Bard of Avon had been doing some time traveling and was talking instead about the cruelties of a long, cold winter in north Wisconsin during the years 2013-’14.

I think, looking at what we have suffered through for

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 1:18 PM
 
Can’t beat beans, bacon and bread
By Will Maines

IT MAY BE a figment of my imagination, but I do believe that the very best meals I have ever eaten in my life have been cooked over an open campfire. Whether it be on a hunting expedition, fishing trip, camping outing or just a plain old picnic, food tastes better when one eats it while watching waves lap upon the shore of a quiet lake or along a roistering trout stream or in a duck blind or in the shadow of a Rocky Mountains peak.

I was introduced to campfire dinners at a young age when my dad and I would head out on overnight trout fishing expeditions either to Upper Michigan or the fabled trout streams of Wisconsin’s northwest, most notably the Bois Brule.

Understand that I was a little kid who thought peanut butter and

Tuesday, March 04, 2014 11:24 AM
 
The Birkie won, I lost
By Will Maines

EVERY AMERICAN Birkebeiner has its own stories, and this year’s edition had its share. The story really began late Thursday afternoon when a blizzard blew into Hayward and Cable that buried the 54-kilometer course under 13 inches of snow.
Every one of us who would take off from the start line Saturday morning knew what we would be in for — a skier-eating monster of a course — and yet when the gun went off for the first elite

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 12:02 PM
 
What happened to one and done?
By Will Maines

READY OR NOT, three days after this is published I will be at the start line, along with 10,299 other cross-country skiers, of the 41st annual American Birkebeiner.

With any luck, somewhere around six hours after the gun goes off for my sixth wave Classic start, I will trudge up Main Street in Hayward and complete my 19th Birkie.

Who wudda thunk it? My first Birkebeiner was in 1984, back when we still skied from Hayward to Telemark Lodge near Cable, and if all had gone according to plan, it would have been my first and only Birkie.

When I signed up to do the Birkie that year,

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 12:31 PM
 
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