Grim's Tales: An early look back and an earlier look ahead

This past summer was one of reaching for goals

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It's not over, but 2022 has been a year of goals.

It was my goal to dig my first silver coin while metal detecting. I blew that one out of the park with a 1916 Barber dime.

Barber dime.JPG
This 1916 Barber dime was dug from the site of a store that ran from 1934-1978, thanks to information from local historical documents and aerial photos from 1968. It's worth only a couple dollars at most, but as the first silver dug by Travis Grimler, it is a priceless reminder of the value of setting goals.
Travis Grimler / Echo Journal

I followed it up with a 1963 Roosevelt dime, a 1946 Washington quarter and a 1965 Canadian quarter - all silver, all found because I did extra research.

For years I've had an old, beat up Jon boat in my yard with most of the rivets removed. It was my goal to get it ready for the water.

All that's left is re-riveting the boat with a friend. Getting that far required a lot of work hammering out dents, braising cracks, wire brushing old adhesive, sawing a new transom and much more.


I should be able to finally put it back in the water next spring, and that feels good.

I have been stockpiling footage from projects and adventures for years, and three or so months ago I finally started a YouTube channel to showcase that footage. In most cases it took a lot of work to edit the videos together and willpower to actually do the editing.

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Most of all it took self-confidence to share those videos, knowing people might not watch. Two of my videos have over 100 views and that was a nice confidence boost.

I think it's good for our mental health and personal growth to constantly set goals. Goals keep us moving, and because the difference between success and failure is often trying new things, having goals ensures we try and learn new things.

Winter is prime time for goal-setting. There's a lot of down time, so it's a good time to stock up on motivation.

It can also remind us that the cold days are numbered and we'll be getting back into the warm summer air before we know it. It may not be New Year's yet, but I already have a few goals in mind.

I've always wanted a permanent ice shack. I am one door short of all the materials I need. I might still start this before the snow gets too thick. I just need to be decisive and get a move on.

Having found silver, gold is next on my bucket list. I plan to hit some lake sandbars now that I have a proper underwater detector and a seaworthy vessel. Beaches are also on the list of places to go to look for rings.


While I'm at it, a treasure float down the river from Shell City could be a blast.

I want to continue spending more time with family. I'd like to go fossil hunting with my brother and his kids near the Cities, and I'd like to do the same with my sister and her kids at/around Hill Annex Mine. We could hit Lake Superior for beach glass and agates while we are at it.

The last few years I have gone to Lake of the Woods to catch massive pike with my uncle. That has inspired me to do at least one fishing adventure with one or preferably both of my brothers. They live in the southern part of the state, so maybe longnose gar are in our forecast, or maybe white bass, catfish or big carp.

Finally, I've always admired Native American arrowheads and similar tools. I'm doing research to see if I can find common river crossings, hunting grounds and maybe seasonal camps where I could hunt for arrowheads without disrespecting those that came before.

Like silver coins this past year, arrowheads will be at the top of my list of goals for the summer of 2023, even above gold rings.

These goals will require a lot of work and thought. I will have to use my mind for research and planning, my legs to get me to where the goods are, my arms to lift building materials and fight fish, and my determination to keep going when results aren't instantaneous.

Just like any workout, flexing these "muscles" will make them stronger, and that's what goals are all about.

Now I throw it to you readers. I'm always willing to invite people to join me in my adventures - the more the merrier. I'm often hesitant to ask for help, but if you can point me toward arrowheads or catfish, or if you want to help me with any other goal here, I'd be grateful.


Finally, I'd love to hear about your goals.

What do you want to accomplish in 2023? What do you think it will take to do so? What did you accomplish in 2022 and what did you get out of it?

You should be able to find this column on Facebook. Feel free to stop by and leave a comment. We'd love to hear from you.

Travis Grimler is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper in Pequot Lakes/Pine River. He may be reached at 218-855-5853 or

Opinion by Travis G. Grimler
Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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