The Forest Service

What does one do while stranded for weeks at the edge of a frozen lake? I have a part-time job with the US Forest Service in Cook, Minnesota. Because I am here in town and can’t get to the cabin, I have been working full-time instead of part-time. I haven’t worked  40 hour a week in years, but now I am! I was hired  to man the front desk at the Forest Service office and issue permits to people coming to canoe in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. It is difficult to canoe on lakes with two feet of ice on them, so every day we get a new list of the permit holders who have canceled their reservations. So far, after two weeks of work, I still haven’t issued a single permit. But I have washed windows, unrolled and rerolled maps, cleaned refrigerators, changed the rope on the flagpole, and put keys on new keyrings. All interesting, challenging and important tasks, for sure. And I pore daily over new satellite images of the lake, looking for changes in ice quality.

Lake Ice on May 5, 2022

3 thoughts on “The Forest Service

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  1. Hello Cousin, CIndy and I are out on our National Park Tour. We are going to be in that neck of the woods, shortly. Moose Lake 20th-23rd, Voyagers 23rd-26th. Was about to get your # and see where you were. Would love to see you and say Hi. Not sure of our plans while up there, trying to get some sightseeing and visiting in. Will update with more concrete plans.



  2. Probably because I’m sitting in Houston with the temp in the 90s, but everything in this post sounds so peaceful. I envy your life up north. Some day. . .


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