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The Five: Jay Cooke State Park, a rock n' roll audio book and a runaway bride

Each week, senior producer Stephanie Curtis offers five suggestions to read, watch, listen to or experience.

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"Daisy Jones and the Six"
"Daisy Jones and the Six"
Penguin Random House

1) My colleague Marcheta Fornoff recommended the essay “The Crane Wife” to me. When she did, producer Julie Siple popped up meerkat-like to discuss her favorite parts.

It's about a woman who calls off her wedding and the crane-watching trip she takes a week later.

“Here is what I learned once I began studying whooping cranes: only a small part of studying them has anything to do with the birds. Instead we counted berries. Counted crabs. Measured water salinity. Stood in the mud. Measured the speed of the wind.

“It turns out, if you want to save a species, you don’t spend your time staring at the bird you want to save. You look at the things it relies on to live instead. You ask if there is enough to eat and drink. You ask if there is a safe place to sleep. Is there enough here to survive?”

It’s moving.

2) Minnesota drivers are required to give 36 inches of berth to cyclists. A new study from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs found most drivers do that. But there was one takeaway that is more alarming that Jennifer Brooks pointed out in the Star Tribune:

"During the road test, nearly 3,000 drivers passed the three researchers on bikes. When the team at the U’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs analyzed the radar data, they found just 33 drivers had broken the law and crowded in uncomfortably close to the cyclists.

What shocked researchers and county transit planners was the target of most of these drive-bys.

Lila Singer-Berk was one of three graduate students who did the legwork on the 2017 study. She was the only woman in the group.

Twenty-four of the 33 incidents of driver encroachment happened to her.

The radar recorded one driver who blew by just 13 inches from her — so close, she could have elbowed the vehicle in passing."

See the cyclists. Give them room. All of them.

3) Instead of reading "Daisy Jones and the Six," listen to the audiobook with Jennifer Beals, Pablo Schreiber, Benjamin Bratt, and Judy Greer. The fictional oral history of the making of a Rumours-like album recorded in 1970s Laurel Canyon community is a fun, quick read; the audiobook brings an added depth to the characters and the conflicts and the exhilaration of making art.

4) Get out and hike. There's a women's hiking group called "Fat Girls Hiking" and they have a trip planned for Jay Cooke State Park.

Here's the itinerary:

"We’ll be starting with the Silver Creek Trail at Jay Cooke State Park, which takes us across a swinging bridge, alongside creeks and through groves of basswood. After the hike, we’ll head into Duluth for lunch at Canal Park Brewing Company (300 Canal Park Dr, Duluth, MN 55802).

There will be fees for parking in Canal Park. After lunch we’ll continue our drive up the coast of Lake Superior, stopping at the iconic Betty’s Pies (2019, 1633 MN-61, Two Harbors, MN 55616), and then taking our dessert to Black Beach (Black Beach, Silver Bay, MN) to enjoy the gorgeous views. (No fee to park at Black Beach.) 

Finally, our last stop will be at Gooseberry Falls on the way back towards Duluth/the Twin Cities. The falls are a very short walk from the parking lot, down an incline (wheelchair accessible) or stairs. This whole trip will likely take until 6 p.m. followed by the 2.5 hour drive back to the cities. You are welcome to join us for any part(s) of this day trip you’d like!"


Non-fat allies are invited to join. 

5) Alice Howe is a singer and songwriter from Boston. She has a pretty voice.