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Minnesota Outdoors

Star Tribune

Tell us your outdoors plans for the new year

A few Januarys back I wrote a story about my plan to do new things in the outdoors in the coming year, framed on the idea that anything, regardless of, say, expense and location, has worth.

The point: Embrace the microadventure. Any pursuit outdoors is time well-spent.

Last January, family, a few friends and I spent a weekend at a rustic little place among the Tettegouche State Park cabins. We didn’t do much, but it was everything: We tromped around in snowshoes along the peri­meter of little lakes like Mic Mac. And we lazed by a well-stoked wood stove. Speaking of fuel, that experience lit my 2019, and validated again for me what’s elemental: My contentment is out there.

We want to hear about your 2020 plans in the outdoors, some of which we will share in a future section of Outdoors Weekend and online at StarTribune.com/outdoors.

Write an e-mail (subject line “2020”) to outdoorsweekend@startribune.com, and include your name and mailing address. Or tweet #2020outdoors @striboutdoors.

To entice you to weigh in, we’ll pick one name randomly among respondents and send off a Star Tribune backpack cooler. It might come in handy.

Here’s to your new year in the outdoors in whatever ways you choose to experience it.

Golden Valley man is the No. 2 lumberjack in the world

Cassidy Scheer of Golden Valley, featured online and in the Star Tribune's Outdoors Weekend section Nov. 1, is a titan of U.S. lumberjacks. Now, he’s second-best in the world. He competed in the Stihl Timbersports world championships (shown above) Nov. 1-2 in Prague, narrowly edged by Brayden Meyer of Australia. 

Over e-mail, Scheer talked about the contests (six sawing and chopping “disciplines”) within the contest. Scheer finished top three in five of them. Below are edited excerpts from the conversation:

How do you feel about your finish?

“I feel pretty good. Obviously I wanted to win; however, that was going to be pretty tough with the awesome day Brayden had. Overall, I performed very well in five of the six events, getting second or third in them. The stock saw was the only let-down with a ninth. In the end, I was in it, and forced Brayden to make a clean hot saw cut in order to win. His hot saw died several times and he had to scramble to get three complete disks in before the one-minute time limit. If he hadn’t made the cut, I would have won the overall title.”

Any surprises for you in the events?

“Not really. I expected to be top three or four in every event except the stock saw, which has always been a tough event for me. The only real surprise on the day was beating Shane Jordan of New Zealand in the underhand and standing chops. He is one of the best ground choppers in the world. I think he might have drawn harder blocks, or just had an off-day. The only other surprise was just how on-point Brayden was. I didn’t expect him to win the stock saw or be top two in the single buck. He had a really good day, but I was still able to make him earn the win with his hot saw cut.”

Is Meyer a longtime rival? (You mentioned Aussie prowess in the sport.)

“Brayden is one of the young up-and-coming Australian timbersports competitors. This is his second Australian title and first world title. He is only 24. He’ll likely win more world titles, but it is a lot of work. The Australian series is like the U.S. series in that the field is incredibly deep. There is consensus among U.S. and Australian series that winning the domestic title is even harder than winning the world title.”

Has an American ever done as well at the worlds?

“Matt Bush of the United States won the very first world championship in 2005. Since then Matt Cogar has finished second twice, so I’m now one of three with a finish this high.”

(Link to the live stream is here)