With the David Brookses and Bret Stephenses of the world belching out upper-crust hackery, it’s reassuring to know there’s a salt-of-the-earth muser on the North Shore, one who’s immune to the hot-take chaos of our current hellworld. More than anything else, the Duluth News Tribune’s Sam Cook enjoys walks in the woods, always with his trusty yellow dog in tow. He paints portraits of humanity from chance encounters on the Superior Hiking Trail, makes peace with long winters on his snowy deck, and relishes the interconnectedness of swapping deer-hunting stories. Cook’s prose is comfort food; his outlook is as pristine and unpolluted as the wilderness he worships. Who couldn’t use regular doses of that medicine these days?