Random Read

Perpetual Outsider {excerpt}

A few years ago, I rode my bike through a pack of wolves.

Don’t go into the wilderness alone. Especially if you’re female.

I had rented a cabin near Grand Portage, Minnesota for a week to write and hike and bike, alone. The last outpost on Lake Superior before Canada, Grand Portage blends the 21st and 18th centuries: a bright, timber-frame convenience store, gas station, casino, and lodge, all a short walk away from a reconstructed fur trading depot. The surrounding land—a slice of shore and the 1700-foot-high Sawtooth Mountain Range overlooking the lake—is owned by the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and is mostly wild. I parked at the gas station mid-afternoon and unfolded my recumbent bike from the car’s trunk. The 23-mile loop, recommended in a guidebook I found in Duluth, would take me down the coastal highway, up a small mountain, west along its crest, then down the mountain and back to the highway.

Open Doors: Stories from Wildlife Nation, an anthology edited by Janet Fancher, 2015.