Trial Balloon

Unbearable Heat

Posted at 6:00 AM on May 25, 2010 by Dale Connelly (40 Comments)
Filed under: Bart the Bear

Radio Heartland has tickets to a concert featuring Bruce Molsky and Ale Möller at the Cedar Cultural Center this Thursday, May 27th at 7:30pm.

Enter the drawing.
Obey the rules.
Good luck.

I was happy to receive a text message in the middle of the night from Bart the Bear, still roaming the north woods with a cellphone he found at an abandoned campground. It has been about one month since the last time Bart wrote. Last time, he forwarded a You Tube video, offering his feelings about animals wearing clothes - he's against it.
Especially pants.

Yesterday I texted him to ask what bears do on very hot days. Bart's answer has already been translated from Ursus textish to standard English.

Bart Blackberry2.jpg

Hey. Bart here. Boy oh boy. Hot days are not nice for bears. Mostly I lie around in a shady spot in the woods. I dig out a little hollow in the dirt and the leaves so I can sleep and wait for the sun to go down. If you know any hikers, tell them to stay on the trail, OK? Real important. Get off the trail and you could step on a sleeping bear's head! Then there's lots of growling and running and screaming, and everybody gets even hotter. Not fun. Stay on the trail.

At night I try to find campsite leftovers.

One good treat I really like is the plastic box. Sometimes the box has food in it - custard and pie and raw meat and good stuff like that. And always there's ice! Ice is nice. We don't see it in the woods after the middle of April, so I'm always real happy to find a few frosty chunks in the plastic box. Stick frosty chunks in your leg pits and that'll cool you off real quick.

And if people see you tearing open their plastic box, sometimes they'll run and get in the car and roll up the windows. I like when the car starts to hum and drip water, because that means it's getting nice and cool INSIDE. Mmmmmm. Pull the door off and crawl inside - it's really fun. Plus, you get to see the people doing even more running and screaming. And in the cool box, there's cup holders! Sometimes with cups still in them, and in the cups - sweet, sweet, sweet!

Also, sometimes I can re-charge my phone while I wait for the ranger.

I do like it when friends come to visit, so if you're in the woods, bring a plastic box with ice and be sure to say hello.

And leave the keys in the car!

I wrote back to Bart and told him thanks for the tips - I would most certainly not follow his advice.

What are your preferred techniques for staying cool on a hot, hot day?



Comments (40)

The ad on the TB page asks "Will your children be eaten by bears?" per the Gunflint Trail Association. AHHH convergence!

Posted by Beth-Ann | May 25, 2010 6:13 AM


live near Lake Superior, Bart. but stay away from "bear bait!" could be bad for you.

it was 49 degrees in Superior, WI yesterday afternoon. was a pleasant 73 here after the wind shifted. (we live in the Namadji River basin, so the cool air from Lake Superior just follows the low areas until it gets to Blackhoof. in Moose Lake, outside of the "valley," it was 90 yesterday.
got hooves trimmed and potatoes planted.
off to a busy day in Duluth.
stay cool, All.

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | May 25, 2010 6:18 AM


Good morning, all.

To keep cool, I adjust my schedule so that my run spans the sunrise. Then, I just stay indoors in the air conditioning. Yesterday I learned it would not have been too extravagant to have driven across the large parking lot to get to the Dunn Bros near my place of employment. The walk across the asphalt in the sun was not even a little bit pleasant.

Find and enjoy the cool!

Posted by elinor | May 25, 2010 6:27 AM


Good Morning, All

My dislike of muggy hot air led me to get a cabin on the coldest lake in America. I often have ice in a rocky area of my Lake Superior shoreline well into May. Chilling down during the day is easy: just put bare feet in Lake Superior. You'll be shivering in minutes.

When things get warm in northern Bayfield County it is usually still "good sleeping weather." The land heats up during the day, then releases that heat to the atmosphere after dark. The vacuum created is then filled with delicious chilled air that slides in from the big lake.

On a night when every air conditioner in the Twin Cities is humming, I usually have to sleep in a down-filled mummy sleeping bag if I spend the night in my gazebo. You wouldn't believe how nice it is to swing in a hammock in your sleeping bag, falling asleep to the rhythmic pulse of waves from Superior.

Posted by Steve in Saint Paul | May 25, 2010 6:28 AM


Good morning all. It was very hot here yesterday with a 95 on our thermometer in S. MN. I am behind on gardening and I just took a few breaks in the air conditioned house or in the shade to cool off. A cool beer at the end of the day was my reward for working in the heat.

I am planning a trip to Glacier National Park and will certainly follow Bart's advice about staying on the trails. I don't wan t a close encounter with one of those Grizzly bears, which would be even less fun than disturbing Bart by stepping on him in his resting place

Posted by Jim | May 25, 2010 6:39 AM


I grew up in a place that is routinely very very hot and humid for weeks on end every summer. So, except for the most miserable days (like yesterday), I do OK and have foregone air conditioning at my house. However, on days when we blow past the recorded high, I content myself with fantasizing about moving to Alaska - although it sounds like Steve has found a nice cool spot not quite so far away!

Cynthia... I was not that gal sitting next to you at CU. I started by circle doodling later in life. But what a hoot it would be if it HAD been me!

Posted by sherrilee | May 25, 2010 6:46 AM


Greetings! It's good to hear from Bart again! I would love to visit Steve in his cabin to stay cool -- our house only has a wall air conditioner. It works OK, but I try to only turn it on enough to be tolerable inside. But at night I need to be cool, so I crank it down then.

Trying to decide when I should plant my tomato starts -- I worked all weekend and now it's too darn hot!

Then of course, there's karate. I'm in training for my Advanced Brown Belt (September graduation) so we all sweated it out last night in class. No easy class just because it's hot. Although Mr. Z watches out for me and my bad knees and ankles, he still expects us to work hard. I always feel so much better after a shower -- that's heavenly!

Posted by Joanne in Big Lake | May 25, 2010 7:18 AM


i played golf yesterday and it was great. i didn't notice it was hot until i came out after dinner from the a/c and the air felt warm. it's all relative.

Posted by tim | May 25, 2010 7:38 AM


Dale - thanks for the birthday songs for Darling Daughter. She said that your "Rattlin' Bog" was even sillier than what they sing at school...especially the bit about the rash. She was, however, too busy eating a chocolate sprinkle donut (special breakfast for her birthday) to try to dance along. She was surprised and pleased by the songs - and liked the Peter Yarrow, too. Thank you!

As for keeping cool...well, I'll have to think on that. It would be nice if I could do like our dog and just curl up for a long nap on the cool bricks in front of the fireplace. Alas, I have to be a grown-up and go to work (where, unlike home, there is air conditioning, so I guess it's not so bad).

Posted by Anna | May 25, 2010 7:42 AM


Joanne, I am hoping that it will be okay to put out some tomato transplants today. I will try putting them out this morning before it gets too hot and protecting them with a gallon milk jug with the bottom cut out. Also, I enlage the opening at the top of the milk jug so it is a little bigger than the opening for pouring out the milk. If the top opening isn't enlarged a little for exta venilation, too much heat might collect in the jug. Other gallon jugs similar to milk jugs can also be used. I raid a large recycling collection bin here to get enough milk jugs.

Posted by Jim | May 25, 2010 7:46 AM


I'm like Sherrilee and Anna - don't like A/C at home, but I do climate control in the a.m. - close windows and shades on the side where the sun is, open window later when it's shady again, esp. if there's a breeze. Use ceiling fans if necessary. Take cool showers. Drink iced tea. If all else fails, go to the library.

Today - replace refrigerator that decided to give it up yesterday.

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | May 25, 2010 7:56 AM


Hot weather absolutely undoes me...I often nap through July waiting for that east wind off Lake Superior so I can function again.

So, I say, stay cool, everyone!

Posted by cynthia in mahtowa | May 25, 2010 7:57 AM


From Garrison's poem of the day:
"The theory that nature speaks to us,
A dumb idea."

"The Dime-Store Parakeet" by Gary Soto, from Human Nature. © Tupelo Press, 2010.

Posted by cly de pain | May 25, 2010 8:00 AM


A moist bandana around the neck. Keeps you a bit cooler, until it starts to chafe.

Posted by Tim Goetsch | May 25, 2010 8:02 AM


What's hot weather? Oh, we have it here, too. I stay in the shade, crank up the air (which I don't really like) and drink lemonade. Yesterday my daughter and I drove to Bismarck for her violin lesson and dodged dense and rolling fog, strong winds, a tornado near Mandan, thunderstorms, and deer on the highway.That's more excitement than I care to encounter on a drive. To make matters worse, the only available public radio station airs NPR opera on Monday nights. It was a long trip home.

Posted by Renee | May 25, 2010 8:08 AM


Renee--my daughter never got over public radio when she lived on Bowman. She then realized how spoiled she was; one of the commnets she made was that because of listening to ND broadcasters how hard it is/was to do the MS.

Posted by Cly de Pain | May 25, 2010 8:14 AM


Sorry I didnt get around to posting yesterday. Busy Morning! It was fun to see you in your natural habitat Dale. You really are in state of the art digs there. Thanks for letting me see the magic!

Posted by Aaron | May 25, 2010 8:18 AM


Renee and all—two small town ND stories for you from my daughter.
My daughter was called as a pastor to three churches near Bowman. She lived in a parsonage across the street from the church in Rhame. She has never been fond of tornadoes and she was alone for the first three months until she got married. Came the first tornado warning and she was scared, alone in the basement. Then there was a knock at the door; so she ran upstairs to answer it. 5-6 people rushed in telling her she could not lock her door during tornado warnings. Her house, because it had one of the few basements, was the town tornado shelter. More people came. So she popped corn, and they all sat around and talked every time it happened.
Rhame of course had the local siren which went off at specified times, such as noon. Why is it that when you are used to such a siren you look at the clock when it goes off? But you do. So our grand daughter before she was six month old when she heard the siren would look at the clock.

Posted by cly de pain | May 25, 2010 8:25 AM


Superior is so cool (and yes, I mean all meanings of that).

Minnesotans often turn on the car heat in winter and leave it there for months, then in summer they turn on the a/c and leave it there.

But I've often driven to Superior and gotten too cold. About twenty miles from the lake I'll be forced to turn off the car a/c, marveling at the act. Then when I get right by the shores, I might have to turn on the car heat to keep from shivering.

Hey, public radio people are always welcome at my cabin! If you bring wine, you can stay indefinitely. But I have an outhouse and no running water, so there seems to be a natural limit to how long people can stand to be up there.

Posted by Steve in Saint Paul | May 25, 2010 8:28 AM


steve--our son was born 40 years ago on June 3 1970. I brought him and my wife home from the hospital in Duluth in Jun 5. It was solid ice from Duluth to Two Harbors--worst year known for ice on Superior.

Posted by cly de noisie | May 25, 2010 8:42 AM


Dale-Thanks so much for Elmer and Bugs! They would have made last night's trip much more enjoyable.

Posted by Renee | May 25, 2010 8:53 AM


Yes - thanks for the opera this morning! The drama and the music, the pathos and the diction - all wonderful!

Posted by Teri in Zimmerman | May 25, 2010 8:56 AM


Wake up early and go outside and breathe in-- breathe out-- breathe in-- breathe out--breathe in--breathe out-- breathe in-- breathe out--breathe in-- breathe out--breathe in--breathe out-- breathe in-- breathe out--breathe in-- breathe out-- (you get the picture).

That's how I keep cool.
Then later on, I dance all night with a bottle in my hand.


Posted by Donna | May 25, 2010 9:17 AM


Jim - thanks for the info. Actually, I'm not too concerned about tomatoes --it's me out in the heat that I'm worried about!

Steve - good to know. If I came up, it would likely be a short visit. Even though I grew up in a scouting family, camping everywhere, outhouses, etc., I learned to hate it. Although it sounds lovely and rustic -- I could do it for a short while.

Posted by Joanne in Big Lake | May 25, 2010 9:35 AM


Tim G. - the bandana sounds like a great idea.
Looks like it will be nicer the rest of the week now, but I remember another one for the 95 degree days: run through the sprinkler with your clothes on.

Steve - watch out what you invite - we can handle outhouse indefinitely, but no running water could slow things down... We've spent much time with friends just outside of Herbster overlooking the Big Water. Where's your cabin? Love it up there, and it really does stay decent all summer.

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | May 25, 2010 10:13 AM


Right now I am sitting in my office with a scarf on my head and a shawl around my shoulders. It is 47 degrees outside and the wind is gusting to 45 MPH. The heat has been turned off in my building since it is late May and a person shouldn't need the heat on, and I am freezing. I would love a little warm weather.

Posted by Renee | May 25, 2010 11:53 AM


Barbara in Robbinsdale

If you were "just outside Herbster overlooking the Big Water" you were within spitting distance of my cabin. I'm just a bit west of Cornucopia on Roman's Point!

Posted by Steve in Saint Paul | May 25, 2010 11:54 AM


On a clear night from our house we could see Port Wing, Herbster, and Cornucopia. I have done several drawings of Cornucopia harbor.

Posted by cly de shore du nord | May 25, 2010 12:00 PM


Hi Clyde

Isn't that harbor area nice? I'd like to see your sketches sometime.

From our side, the first big thing I can see up the shore from Duluth is a large building at Silver Bay. All low buildings along the shore are lost behind the curvature of the earth.

Posted by Steve in Saint Paul | May 25, 2010 1:10 PM


One of our favorite drives when we lived up there was Cty 13 from Superior over to Bayfield. We would stop at the picnic place in Port Wing, then in Herbster for awhile, but then spend a couple hours in Cornucopia, which is a great town name.

You are seeing the taconite plant at SB. There is a road that comes down in Beaver Bay, just down the shore from SB. From the top of the hill on that road you see the Apsotles laid out before you. It is my favorite view of the red clay side of Superior from the granite side.

Posted by Clyde | May 25, 2010 1:21 PM


My cabin is positioned just about where red clay gives way to solid sandstone.

The cabin sits on the site of a brownstone (red sandstone) quarry that was functional just before and after 1900. We look out over a 50 foot cliff, but our land also has a jumble of huge boulders left by the quarrymen.

Posted by Steve in Saint Paul | May 25, 2010 1:25 PM


Steve--I believe I just found you on the photo version of Mapquest. Very detailed for that area. I always wonder how some remote places get very detailed aerial photos.

Posted by cly de Queste de Mappe | May 25, 2010 1:39 PM


Clyde--Thanks for the tip! I've been studying the map. If you look at the lakeshore on the north end of Roman's Point, there is one large block of sandstone lying in the water. Very visible on the map. That is toward the left side of our lake view.

Come visit sometime! The South Shore has its own sweet ambiance, not the same as the North Shore but as pleasant.

I'm serious. Public radio people are welcome. Heartlanders especially.

Posted by Steve in Saint Paul | May 25, 2010 2:41 PM


I guessed wrong, but now I know where you are.
Thanks, Steve. Maybe when you are up there we could drop in. I love the South Shore, in part for the lack of traffic, but for itself. The Porkies, AHHHH!! But we will have to see how travel works for my wife. We are going to MO in the middle of June. Then in September flying to San Diego for our son's wedding, he who turns 40 next week, the day I have my evaluation of cancer and plans for treatment. That's an ironic coincidence, don't you think?

Posted by Clyde | May 25, 2010 3:25 PM


Wow, who knew how many people know the South Shore?? I love that sort of general store in Cornucopia, and there's a book store down by the harbor...

Might be we could do a Radio Heartloand day sometime at Barb's (and Cynthia's?) goat farm, and then go on the next day to Steve's cabin!

Clyde - so your house was right in Duluth?

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | May 25, 2010 4:38 PM


p.s. Dale - caught the Mel Blanc on the rebroadcast, and thought, why would anyone need any other radio station than this?
Thanks, Renee, for whatever you said that made him play it! Hope it warms up there, but not TOO much, because then it comes here...

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | May 25, 2010 4:40 PM


Barbara--No, my house was 3 miles north of Two Harbors, overlooking Hwy 61 and then the lake. You have to be a ways up the shore to see the three SS towns. The stores in Herbster and Cornucopia sort of come and go. Basically Renee said she did not like traveling and having only opera to listen to. Not an opera fan but somehow western ND has operatic landscape.

Posted by Clyde in Mankato | May 25, 2010 4:57 PM


Steve et al. - last friday we were lunching on whitefish sliders at the Village Inn in Cornucopia (on our way back from taking Dodger's kids, Loki and Dancer, their new home - a goat heaven - farm outside of Bayfield.

Clyde - cancer? i have been missing the blog much of the days lately. and why waiting until Sept. for treatment? i'm sorry i've been remiss in reading the days' blogs.

we were in Duluth today. near the lake (a block or two) it was foggy and COLD. in south Superior it was at least 90. 86 here in Blackhoof twp. the goats are suffering. took them out to be in the shade. supposed to storm tonight; can see why that might happen, as humid and hot as it is.
stay cool and safe

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | May 25, 2010 5:08 PM


barb--envy you that trip.
No, wedding in September, to which I hope we can get my wife with no issues. Cancer stuff starts next week.

Posted by Clyde in Mankato | May 25, 2010 9:31 PM


Oy, isn't that odd that I skimmed some of the entries and then posted, completely missing the cancer one. More power to you, Clyde.

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | May 25, 2010 9:57 PM


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