Paul From Minneapolis

Friday, June 17, 2005

Chasing The Lynx

A couple years back, on a bright September afternoon, my wife-to-be and I were concluding a pleasant day of boating on a lake off the Gunflint Trail, a road that heads due north into the dark woods from Highway 61, yes that Highway 61, the one that begins in the deep south and ends up hugging Lake Superior as civilization ends. God said to Abraham, kill me a son, and whether Abe did that or not he also created a wonderful setting of supper clubs and resorts amidst always-cool weather. It can’t be beat.

I was folding up my boat (I don’t really recommend one of these) when the woman in my life struck me excitedly on the shoulder. I looked up and saw, for 1.18 seconds: an extremely large yellow cat crouching and then leaping into the underbrush by the lake.


An empty Forest Service boat launch and a big wild cat: yes. Thank you. Four feet long! Was it a mountain lion? Was it a lynx? It was one of those; either is possible but both are exceedingly rare.

Well, idiot, did it have a tail to speak of? I don’t remember. Which is absurd. An opposing attorney would gaze at me quizzically here. I would fidget. It’s down as an “unverified lynx sighting.” That’s us, one of the black dots way, way up north in Cook County.

At the moment, I needed to know more! Thinking quickly if not particularly effectively, I grabbed the pry bar for the foldable boat (a tool for the exhausting job of assembling the thing) and headed into the brush after, potentially, a mountain lion. And a lynx would be no treat.

As my old pal who now owns a restaurant down in Grand Marais said later: Hey, what could possibly go wrong! You’ve got a stick!

Nothing happened.

Anyway, the point is I’m doing something similar these days over at the Huffington Post: chasing the angry lynx. Once again I do have my stick, a pry bar of sorts. What could possibly go wrong?