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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Last Frontier

When I was up in the Boundary Waters on the old logging roads on a motorcycle following the grey sandy roads through fallen trees and second growth forests I had the feeling that I was on the edge of the last frontier. It was summer and I had been away from the "Lower forty eight" for three weeks and one definitely felt there was this life and there was the modern life below.

You do not have to look for the reason people went West. They went West to find themselves. The frontier was declared closed in 1880 by Frederick Jackson Turner and this left people with the notion the Great Adventure was over. It was not. The million acres Teddy Roosevelt set aside on the top of the country that became the Boundary Waters was and is largely untouched.

When I was researching Jack Pine I was amazed to learn all the trees had been logged out and that all I was seeing was the Jack Pine. One can only imagine what the country looked like with the towering white pines all well over three hundred years. I haven't been back to The Boundary Waters since those years of research. But I will go back one day...if for nothing else than to see the Last Frontier one more time.

Jack Pine

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Books by William Hazelgrove