They say podcasts are the 'Wild West' of media. Out here on the frontier, with untapped and unknown potential, we podcasters make our own rules and don't have a boss to answer to. Feel like drinking a beer while recording? Go ahead! Feel like swearing? Go ahead! Want to talk about sex or drugs or rock and roll? Go right ahead... and then post it online for the world to listen to, for free.
I suppose the only rule is that you have to just do it. No one will force you to create a podcast, you have to not only take the leap of faith, but you also have to build the wall to jump off of. It's your choice on how high that wall is, what it's made out of, and even if you have help building it.
Between Two Paddles podcast started because we could already see the wall to leap from. Our wall was made of stories and voices, of lineage, adventure, grit, and creativity of the people who call the bold north home. We saw that these voices - these stories, could inspire more than just us, and we wanted a way to share them with the world.
We're here to tell all of you locals that your lives, your stories, your voices, are an inspiration.
Between Two Paddles strives to capture that magic ingredient of the north. When you can't be around the campfire - maybe you are driving, or cleaning, working out or relaxing at home - we will bring the voices, the stories, to you.
Stories from the ice house, from the rez, from the university office, from frozen waterfalls to the inside of coffee shops. From St. Paul to the North Shore. We strive to help tell the stories of 'Locals' who represent the full, diverse spectrum of our home's unique culture.
Ice fishing with northerner Wil Neururer:
A favorite among listeners who appreciate the unique humor of the north. Wil was born and raised in Federal Dam and became a fishing guide on the lakes he grew up fishing. This winter he took me out on one such lake and with a case of Busch Light, a portable ice house, and a little propane heater, we got to talking about this crazy thing called ice fishing. Part educational, part entertaining - the perfect episode if you need a laugh!
Home town hero Levi Lavallee: The most famous and record-breaking snowmobiler is from a small town up north. I met up with Levi at his home in Longville where he shared stories of how he got started, pivotal moments in his career (winning the XGames, winning SnowCross, landing the first ever double backflip on a snowmobile AND breaking the longest jump world record) and his hopes for the future.
World Champion Kay Bachman:
How fast can you skin a beaver? I bet it's not as fast as 6x world champion speed skinner Kay Bachman. Kay's story reminds us that Minnesota is still home to hard-working outdoorsmen and women just trying to make a living off the land. She shared with me her story of turning a challenge and a need into a record breaking skill.
'Rez Reporter' Rob Fairbanks talks Comedy:
"Yah... the temperature is about 18 below howah." Comedian and Leech Lake band of Ojibwe tribal member Rob Fairbanks shared with me the story of how he realized his dream of being a comedian and of bringing attention to his home, the Leech Lake reservation.
Nate Johnson and Emily Derke talk about their back-to-the-land lifestyle:
The people behind "Gathered & Grown." The name speaks for itself - this couple do their best to live completely from the things they either gather or grow. Life in a yurt with no running water can be challenging when it's 30 below zero, but that doesn't stop these hardy young souls from chopping through the ice to gather drinking water. I visited them in their home, warm from a wood fire, over a meal of venison and wild rice as they shared with me why they live this lifestyle, what keeps them going, and what's the hardest part about it - and it isn't what you'd expect.
Dr. Anton Treuer talks Line 3 Pipeline:
After learning that the biggest inland oil spill in history was in Grand Rapids, MN in 1991... and that the very same pipeline is proposed to be replaced this summer, my curiosity about Minnesota's relationship with oil was sparked. I turned to Professor, author, and culture teacher Dr. Anton Treuer to help me understand some of the bigger questions I had.
Ice Climbing with Shane Steele:
I talk to professional ice climbing guide Shane Steele as he coaches a new climber up an ice wall, talks about why he loves it, and shares advice for people just starting out.
Max Kelsey, lacrosse stick carver: Max is a talented Ojibwe-style lacrosse stick maker from Bemidji, Minnesota. He is helping revitalize culture amongst the community's youth by sharing his skills and bringing this game back to life. I talk with Max in his workshop in Bemidji as he carves a stick and shares stories of how he got started on this path.
Sugar Bush, a Northwoods Tradition:
I talk with maple syrup harvesting pros Tad Sonneman of Maple Island Syrup who runs a commercial operation near his home and 81 year old Wally Humphrey of the Leech Lake band of Ojibwe who's been tapping maples since before he can remember. We hear about wild sap thieves, the medicine of maple sap, and how to spot a dead zone.
Master of Boots, Craig Bartels: I traveled to Poplar, MN to meet Craig "Buster" Bartels of Buster's Boots in his 25x25 workshop packed to the brim with tools, machinery, and leathers. With 25 years under his belt, he's a master boot builder and a humble gem of the Northwoods. Listen in as he talks about how he came to be where he is now, why someone might choose elephant skin boots, and what it was like to apprentice to the "Dean" of boot building.
What is an Eel Pout?:
I adventured to the depths of all that is Eel Pout as I found myself at the International Eel Pout Festival and talking with two Leech Lake Eel Pout fishing guides: Tim Humphrey, also dubbed 'The Pout Man' of Aspen Outfitters, and Wil Neururer of Team One Stop Outdoors, to reveal the mysteries of this awe-inspiring fish.
Meet the Makers Mini Series: Local, Authentic, and Inspired... Meet the entrepreneurs who epitomize these words. Four business: Crapola, Minnesota Made, The Vintage Studio, and Adventure North share their stories.
To hear these stories, head over to iTunes now and subscribe to Between Two Paddles podcast. We love your comments and thoughts, so leave a review and let us know what you think!
We know 'Minnesota nice' sometimes means 'Minnesota humble.' It takes deep detective work to find some of these incredible folks with stories to tell. If you know someone, or you ARE someone that you think has an inspiring story, let us know!