Camp Cold Departure

The gear is packed, camp is set and your ready to go. Then something unexpected sends you in another direction and instead of lashing on snowshoes and gazing across a frozen lake you’re buckled into a seat gazing down at clouds, which, for me, always seem to turn the world upside down.

Hopefully I can return soon, maybe for some summer camping, fishing and paddling then again when the water turns to ice.

Until then, thanks to Maria Hennessey at SMAK Strategies, Mark, Corin and the folks at Baffin, Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve and all the rest.

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Descending through the clouds the airplane begins to groan, as if it is unsure what to do. Then the wheels lower, grind and lock. No one makes a sound. The surrounding white becomes milky like a tile floor tracked with muddy boots. Snow covered roofs emerge and we land.

Cold Camp Day 1

BURLINGTON, Ontario – Travel days are fun because even if the airplane had the feeling of blasting over 10 dozen speed bumps at 500 mph and had been designed with seats about half the size needed for most of the people (myself included) squeezed into them, when you arrive at a beautiful town like Burlington and the nice folks at the Waterfront Hotel make you feel at home, it’s fun.

Dinner tonight at a place called Emma’s Backporch, which must be grand to sport a name like that.

A stop at Baffin HQ tomorrow then on to Limberlost Forest and Reserve for two days and nights in the woods and snow. Snowshoeing, which I’ve never done, fat biking on a frozen lake, which will also be something new, maybe some ice fishing and more. Details to come.

The photo is the view from room 502. Not bad.

Camp Cold

I was whining to a friend and colleague who is skilled at blogging and social media that my blog wasn’t getting much traction.

“When did you last post?” he asked.


I vowed to do better and will start now.

Departing for Toronto and points north Wednesday for Camp Cold, which will include a little more than camping. Stops include Toronto, Burlington and Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve The good folks at Baffin and others are helping, including Maria Hennessey at SMAK Thanks to all.

More from Canada on Wednesday.

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You might have noticed a change of the blog title. End of the Road and Turn Left were directions to my uncle’s house. When I see you I’ll tell you the story.

Kentucky Wildlife Officials Extend CWD Ban

Chronic wasting disease (CWD), an always fatal neurological disease that affects whitetail deer and other cervids, is closing in on Kentucky but state game officials are determined to keep it at bay.

After CWD was recently detected in 10 deer killed in Tennessee, Kentucky wildlife officials extended a ban that prohibits the transport of any deer, elk or other cervid into Kentucky unless the brain and spinal cord have been removed. The ban now applies to any cervid taken anywhere outside Kentucky and is effective immediately. It previously applied only to cervids taken from states or provinces where CWD had been detected.

Chronic wasting disease has not been found in Kentucky. It has been reported or detected in at least 25 states, including Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee, six of the seven states that border Kentucky.

Kentucky wildlife agency spokesman Kevin Kelly said quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal cord or head attached, boned-out meat, antlers, antlers attached to a clean skull plate, a clean skull, clean teeth, hides and finished taxidermy works can be brought into Kentucky.

Details at or call the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources at 1-800-858-1549.



Theodore Roosevelt National Park

When you visit the Dakotas, Mount Rushmore National Memorial isn’t the only place you will find Teddy Roosevelt, whose image is carved in the big rock alongside other notable U.S. political rock stars.


Roosevelt is also remembered and celebrated at Theodore Roosevelt National Park which, I recently spotlighted for USA Today. Check it out here.


Hill of Little Devils

As the Corps of Discovery moved up the Missouri River during the summer of 1804 they heard stories from some of the Native Americans about a hill that was the home of little devils. The tribes were terrified of the place. Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were determined to see it. On the morning of August 25, along with nine men and Seaman, Lewis’s large Newfoundland dog, they left the river and headed north. The hill was about nine miles from the river.

IMG_4763Seaman didn’t make it. After about 4 miles the heat and humidity left the dog exhausted and dangerously overheated. The commanders sent Seaman and two men back to the Vermillion River.

They arrived around midday. They discovered no little devils but found the country delightful and loaded with game. The view from the hill gave Clark and Lewis their first expansive view of the plains.  They were impressed. Clark wrote, “from the top of this Mound we beheld a most butifull landscape; Numerous herds of buffalow were Seen feeding in various directions.”

The Missouri River of Lewis and Clark is not the Missouri River of today. In the 214 years since the Corps of Discovery muscled its way upriver the Missouri has shifted; changed course, and, later, was impounded. There are few places where those in the footsteps of the explorers can stand where they stood; see what they saw. This is one of them.

Clark’s Hill of Little Devils is today known at Spirit Mound. It’s located six miles north of Vermillion, S.D., just west of highway 19.

The Huff Site

About the time Christopher Columbus arrived in what he considered the New World,  more than 1,000 people lived in this plain along the western shore of the Missouri River in what is now southern North Dakota. They were the forerunners of the Mandans. They were a well-ordered agrarian society who lived in earthen lodges.


They eventually moved upriver; then farther upriver. Their descendents were living near where the Knife River feeds the Missouri about 60 miles north of this spot when, in the fall of 1804, the Corps of Discovery arrived.