Today: Keith Myrmel, who has acquired a following with his oversized and intricately drawn and detailed maps of Minnesota hiking paths. The Star Tribune wrote about his first project: the Superior Hiking Trail.



I’ve been leisurely reading “Way of Survival,” an unpublished book by H. George Anderson, about growing up between 1910 and 1950. He lived through the Hinkley fire in 1918, watching his dad rescue people with his truck and everyone heading into Moose Lake in order to survive. He worked farms across northern Minnesota and saw jobs dry up as locusts decimated areas. They were so thick, he thought the farm owner had painted his barn green. Many jobs he had, from cutting ice chunks to save for refrigeration in the summer, to logging in a Civilian Conservation Corps camp, to commercial fishing in Alaska. Then serving in World War II in the Battle of the Bulge. An extraordinary life.


The differences in preparedness of various countries and how well some countries have controlled the coronavirus spreading while others have suffered — and the U.S. beginning to peak, which could be bad.

Part of our problem is mixed messages from leaders, to news organizations, to scientists, to people on the ground reporting what they saw in China and elsewhere. What seemed to be happening in countries that are having better results is one unified voice, swift action, and capabilities built into the risk management and emergency planning to mobilize fast. All in ways foreign to Americans.


People out walking, and taking a break from the isolation and challenges of everyday life (I’m keeping my appropriate distance). Also noting the seriousness in people’s eyes that change to a smile as we exchange a simple, acknowledging “Hi.”


Listening to Spotify music from the ’60s-’70s and Nordic folk, as it’s soothing to the soul. Gets my mind off this crisis as I put up new tile in my shower.

Example is “My People” by Livemusiken fran Sasong, and “Branches” by Crying Day Care Choir. It’s been a nice, mellow, slower pace of music.


Having finished my new map of Isle Royale, also known as “Minong, the Good Place,” I’ve been sending maps to like-minded folks, walking the trails while cleaning up trash, and planning for (hopefully) my next backpacking trip, around Lake Tahoe.

I hiked the Greenstone Ridge trail in 1975 with a college friend in late September on Isle Royale, and have been back a number of times fishing for lake trout. In hiking around Malone Bay and reminiscing about my hike there, I hadn’t seen a complete map with details I like for my backpacking trips. So, I did it like my other maps, from some experience there and what I want for information when I’m backpacking/canoeing/kayaking. The biggest thing is it has detailed maps of every campground, water access-only sites marked, cabins, tent sites, group sites, type of fires allowed, number of allowed nights to camp, outhouses. Now I hope to get back again and do some exploring.

I started exploring what map to do next once I finished the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness/Arrowhead map last winter. (Limited number of signed/numbered maps are online at