A Minnesota mindset

Photo courtesy of Paddle North
Photo courtesy of Paddle North

As I write this on a Friday in May, it’s 67 and sunny in Minneapolis — and set to be in the 80s all weekend.


In Minnesota, I suppose due to our super-cold long winters and comparatively delayed daffodils, we know how to properly appreciate spring.

We fish, we garden, we bike, we paddle, and we just sit and soak it all in, I’d argue, with a relief and wonder Californians can only imagine.

It is from within this Minnesota mindset that I welcome you to our first ever Outdoors Issue of Good Age! 

And who better to grace our glossy cover than the Minnesota treasure that is former WCCO-TV anchor-turned-environmentalist Don Shelby.

Not only is he an avid outdoorsman — and in the midst of teaching his grandson and three granddaughters how to fish — he’s a staunch advocate for Mother Earth.

And it’s not just talk.

Despite having retired roughly seven years ago, Shelby serves on the boards of the Audubon Center of the North Woods, Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy, the Climate Science Rapid Response Team Roundtable, the Great Plains Institute and the Mississippi Park Connection, in addition to doing volunteer work for other charitable organizations.

In this issue we’re taking a closer look at the man behind the legend, who grew up exploring the forests near his home in Indiana.

I hope you enjoy his story!

This issue also includes Dave Nimmer waxing poetic about the magic of fisherman’s Zen — that feeling of being in the moment, body and spirit, made possible, it would seem, only on the water, ideally in Minnesota or Wisconsin or Canada.

Finally, be sure to check out our non-traditional travel story, spotlighting the adventures of long-distance backpacker Chet Anderson, a St. Croix Falls, Wis., native who has explored nearly 9,000 miles, all on foot, on locally and nationally revered trails.

Now that’s a true appreciation for the great outdoors!