Pain & Glory: The brutal, beer-soaked, free-for-all also known as Cyclocross






Holy hell this hurts. Holy Hell this hurts. Holy hell This Hurts. HOLY HELL THIS HURTS… What starts as a cursory observation turns into a sadistic mantra that ricochets around the brain during the 45–60 minute full-tilt boogie that is the average cyclocross race. Sure, other thoughts creep in from time to time, like “Why I am […]

Play ball: Returning to the roots of America’s pastime






Across the northlands each summer people flock to ballparks big and small to revel in the American tradition and pastime of the game we call baseball. They set up their folding chairs along grassy third-base lines, settle into cushioned seats under flashy jumbotrons, or relax on rickety bleachers behind home plate. This tradition dates as […]

Welcome to boathouse island






The view from the Highway 43 bridge that crosses from Winona into Wisconsin is pristine: muddy blue-brown channels and green islands decorate the Mississippi River as it flows past Winona’s historic downtown. On Latsch Island, situated on the Minnesota side of the river border, there are several fixtures along the beach just next to the […]

Photos: MN United FC vs. Club León at Target Field






Minnesota United FC took on Mexico’s Club León in the first ever soccer match at Target Field on June 25. Though the friendly game ended in a 2-4 loss for the home team, it was a great experience for fans in attendance, particularly the two main supporter groups, the Dark Clouds and True North Elite. The […]

Minnesota United FC brought the world’s game to Target Field






June 25 was a typical Saturday at Nomad World Pub in Minneapolis. Soccer matches filled every TV screen and black and blue soccer kits crowded the bar as members of the Dark Clouds, a Minnesota United FC supporters group, downed a pint (or three) of beer before heading to the match. However, instead of the […]

Minnesota’s stunning streams lure trout anglers






Anglers drawn by the lure of stunning streams have plenty of places to fish for trout in Minnesota. Southeast Minnesota, a land of forested hills and shaded valleys, is laced with high-quality streams that harbor brook, brown and rainbow trout. The state’s premier trout fishing destination, the region’s many streams—hundreds of miles of them—are among […]

Return of the rapids: Could the Upper Mississippi River run wild again?






Boulders and whitecaps surround me. My kayak feels unsteady at best, a mere toy in the hands of Mother Nature. I secure my helmet a notch tighter and grip my paddle with adrenaline-fueled super-human strength. I’ve never whitewater kayaked before, but I’m determined to learn. And what better place to do so than my hometown of […]

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On boards: How a Minnesotan taught the world to water ski






The date is Saturday, July 22, 1922. The place is Lake City, Minnesota, on the waters of Lake Pepin, the largest naturally occurring lake on the Mississippi River. The time is 4pm. The scene is set for Lake City native Ralph Samuelson to carve his name into sporting history. Samuelson, who is just one day […]

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Craft Culture: Great Northern Boatworks turns unusable boats into show pieces






Along the eastern edge of a chewed-up dirt lot off Como Avenue in St. Paul, the pristine white bow of a Windsor Craft boat noses through a large garage door, reflecting the bright afternoon sun. It’s an odd place to spot a boat, considering there’s not a drop of water in sight. The buildings around […]

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Roaring Dan Seavey: Pirate of the Great Lakes






When you envision a pirate, there’s a definite pop culture template. Johnny Depp, obviously; maybe Captain Hook or Errol Flynn for you old-timers. (Underrated pirate: Dave Parker of the 1979 World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates.) He has an eye patch, a treasure map, a sword, and he says “arrrrrrrrrr” and “matey,” a lot. He is […]

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Sanborn Canoe Co. bringing Merrimack Canoes to Minnesota






What’s a paddle without a canoe? Or a canoe without a paddle? Sanborn Canoe Co., known for their handcrafted canoe paddles, always planned to add handcrafted canoes to their product line. After recently acquiring Merrimack Canoes, one of the nation’s oldest canoe makers, they are one step closer to achieving their goal. According to Sanborn co-founder Todd Randall, […]

Think small, harvest big: Make the most of wee spaces for your gardening efforts






For five long summers, I gazed at my postage stamp-sized backyard in South Minneapolis and imagined what I could do with a grander, sweeping space. If I only had a farm, I mused, I could grow my own food and become that person who leaves zucchini and tomatoes on doorsteps around the community. But with […]

Seed swap: Promoting variety and restoring tradition one harvest at a time






I have this friend who has a half-baked dream of quitting her job to live on a farm and make her living working with her hands instead of shooting off e-mails from a standing desk. She’d keep chickens, plant squash and a blueberry bush, make jams and pies and other handmade things. I never joined […]

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Climate Generation gets the Birchwood Boost






As our month of conservation-themed stories draws to a close, we at The Growler have been thinking about how to be more involved in these pressing global issues in the course of our everyday lives. One thing we’ll do is eat at the Birchwood Cafe (I mean, we do that anyway, because we dream about those savory waffles), […]

Conservation in action: Restoring North America’s bison population






Take a Sunday drive along the rolling county roads of outstate Minnesota, watching out your window as lakes and clustered cabins give way to sprawling farmland and the odd barn or cowshed, and you might spot among the dairy farms and cornfields the occasional ranch dedicated to raising bison. From the safe side of a […]

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