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Let’s Continue the ‘Up North’ Discourse on This Friday’s Open Thread

As we do every Friday, we're turning Racket over to you, the readers.

mngeo.state.mn.us|

Fight about it!

Howdy Racket readers, and an emphatic TGIF to you all. My colleague Keith Harris usually tees up these Open Thread prompts, but he's currently enjoying a soggy vacation heatwave in his home state of New Jersey. So I'll be the John Daly (larger, drinks more) to his Rory McIlroy (the best, per Google) and place a conversational catalyst atop this comment-section tee: Let's keep fighting about the geographic boundaries of what constitutes "Up North" in Minnesota.

As you may have seen on Twitter, or possibly at the bottom of yesterday's Flyover, this topic has gained a ton of traction among online squawkers such as me and you...

And as a lifelong Minnesotan, I'll jump right in and say Brainerd is actually kinda the perfect answer—geographically, culturally, Paul Bunyan-ly. Wanna get real nerdy about it? Nearby Lake Mille Lacs is well within the Laurentian Mixed Forest biome which, in the words of the University of Minnesota, is often considered "synonymous with the north woods or boreal forest." (The state's other three biomes are Eastern Broadleaf Forest, Prairie Parkland, and the tiny patch of Tallgrass Aspen Park.)

Now by this biome logic you could make a case for, say, Cambridge, but let's not get crazy. My answer is Brainerd! Brainerd!!! Anyway, I've blathered on enough here. What say you, fellow pedants: At which latitudinal juncture does northern Minnesota really begin?

Or, alternatively, talk about whatever the hell you want. This is your Open Thread, after all.

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