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The Madison Area Vegetarian Meetup Group Message Board Meetup › proposal- wild blueberry picking/camping Necedah, Sylvania(UP), Iron River,

proposal- wild blueberry picking/camping Necedah, Sylvania(UP), Iron River, Boundary Waters (enjoy it before big mining push)

Milwaukee, WI
Post #: 93
I've done a few trips to the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota (­) in late July, to camp, canoe, and pick blueberries, and highly, highly recommend it. It can be a peak experience, one that you will remember always, as a highlight in your life. As stated on the website, it is listed by National Geographic as one of the top 50 places to see in a lifetime, pristine controlled wilderness (no electricity, no cellphone access, no signs, no buildings, only canoe access in most areas- you can canoe for days up there sometimes without seeing other people, drink water straight from certain lakes and spring fed streams, eat aquatic plants, skinny dip, etc.). During good years, people can pick up to 3 gallons of blueberries in an hour (one of the years I've experienced this abundance). The trip up there (7 hours from Madison) can also be enjoyable for veg*ns, as we've visited/stayed overnight at the River Haven veg*n intentional community near Menomonie, tubed on their lazy river and enjoyed the residents' gracious hospitality. There is also the excellent Raw Deal restaurant in Menomonie (vegan but for honey, I think),­, then Ecopolitan vegan/raw restaurant, in Minneapolis,­, plus excellent little coops, farmstands, and parks along the way. It's an amazing journey, one I was missing enviously while I lived in northern California up until the end of 2008.

Closer to Madison, there is pretty good wild blueberry picking (which is encouraged by the rangers, who distribute maps of picking areas) in the Necedah Wildlife Refuge (an hour and a half drive).

Iron River, Wisconsin has a blueberry festival, and it might be fun to do a trip to Bayfield, for picking, maybe canoe/kayak in and around the Apostle Islands, go to the waterfalls up there.

Another area that was recommended to me, that I've yet to try, is Sylvania National Forest, a similar experience to the Boundary Waters, while not as hardcore.

Unfortunately, with Obama's plan to endorse nuclear power on a massive scale, mining is about to expand dramatically in the north, from the Upper Peninsula to Northern Minnesota (uranium, as well as other minerals, are in very short supply, but seem to exist under native reservations and parks, at this point), http://www.timberjay....­,­
effects of this kind of mining http://www.greatlakes...­
Maybe the Mall of America should put a branch in the Boundary Waters, if only to deter the mining. I've yet to hear of a mall being destroyed to make way for a mine.

The idea that we should be enjoying, photographing, and documenting these great pristine places while they still exist, makes a lot of sense. And I think the effects on one's character can be profound. It's important to have a connection to the land, and understand how the native peoples lived for thousands (maybe ten thousand years) before us. Much of these areas are, alas, likely to be destroyed in our lifetimes. It makes me sick right through my heart to admit this, but it has to be faced straight-on.

"what remains in time,
that didn't fade away,
sometimes I need to see,
the way it used to be"-psb
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