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New York Times

A resort in Minnesota, sandwiched between two countries, still feels the melancholy of lockdown

Angle Inlet, Minnesota — The Northwest Angle, which connects only a small area of ​​Minnesota with a waterway, feels like the coronavirus blockage isn’t over. However, empty cabins, boatless marina, and fishing guides outside of work are not the result of lockdowns imposed by the Governor of Minnesota. Nor do they indicate a serious fear of the virus. (Many residents have already been vaccinated and few wear masks). A gravel road through Manitoba. “It’s starting to feel very oppressive,” said Lisa Grett, who owns the Angle Outpost Resort with her husband Jason. She went to the Customerless Angle Outpost Resort earlier last week. I own it. “I don’t know if I can live this way. I don’t know if it’s really worth it.” Sign up for The Morning Newsletter at the New York Times. With about 100 full-time inhabitants, the economy is made up of little but tourism, so extra effort is always required. There is only one road, and you’ll need to bypass the Canadian countryside for 41 miles to drive there from mainland Minnesota. If you want to avoid border crossings, you’ll have to charter a seaplane or boat across the olive-colored waves of Lake of the Woods. This is dangerous on small fishing boats and costs at least $ 150 round trip on boats operated by professional operators. The icy road, which provided two months of rest from a border headache, has already melted. Ingres’s small family-owned resort has fostered loyal supporters of American visitors who have tolerated the hassle of customs clearance in Canada and again in the United States for decades, world-class fishing, I was able to enjoy the pine-scented forest and the pine-scented forest. The level of loneliness offered in several other places in Lower 48. But that loneliness is more obvious than ever and is no longer such an asset. Even if Canada continually bans COVIDs from American leisure travelers and their final destination is the United States, Angle’s business is dysfunctional, family traditions are disrupted, and for decades. Cross-border goodwill is likely to be eroded and reverberate long after the pandemic. Resort owners and fishing guides sought a part-time job, canceled another summer reservation, and in some cases, they, as a petition from the Minnesota parliamentary delegation for an exemption from tourism on the Angle River was ignored. Rethinking foreign relations that can be seen. Their dock. “I didn’t expect Canada to take this position,” said Paul Corson, whose family has owned Jake’s Northwest Angle since 1945, when the boat slides were empty this spring. The cabin is not rented. “As you know, it cannot be defended. It makes no sense. It does not follow any science.” Its existence of a treaty negotiated when the map of the area was inaccurate. The angle inlet that caused its existence has traditionally been the subject of diplomatic entanglements. Canada and the United Kingdom tried to buy back the region from the United States in the 1800s, but with no success. And just a generation ago, a trade dispute known as the “Walleye War” broke out over whether American resort guests could catch fish in Canadian waters, and some talk of withdrawal was raised. It was. But where the US and Canadian flags are hung on the roadside and many people have friends and relatives on either side of the line, this recent conflict feels different. More personal. It hurts more. The long-penetrating border line suddenly hardened. A small number of visitors who are still arriving are no longer allowed to fish in the waters of Canada, which many fishermen prefer. And a compromise — perhaps an international travel corridor, or a pilot car to escort tourists to Angle without contact with Canadians — hasn’t received much attention yet. U.S. State Department officials refused to talk specifically about Angle and didn’t say whether they forced Canada to make concessions. With each passing day, employers are paying more. .. In areas with heavy snowfall, not to mention the summer weather, even in late May, there is little time left to save this tourist season. “This is absolutely urgent. Congressman Michelle Fischbach, a Republican on behalf of Ingres who sent a letter to Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this month, has relaxed restrictions. Canada has recently relaxed the rules. Allowed full-time Angle residents to travel to mainland Minnesota to buy groceries and other necessities without negative results on the COVID-19 test, but owns a cabin Tourists and part-time Ingres residents, including those who stay only, said Canadian senior diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity on sensitive and fast-moving issues, while national officials said Ingres’s company. He said he was sympathetic and optimistic about his plight, saying that by the end of the summer, restrictions on vaccinated travelers could be relaxed. The ambassador said in a statement that he had discussed the Northwest Angle with Senator Amy Crobcher from Minnesota, but Hillman did not say when the border would be fully reopened. “For Angle, I think some people wouldn’t allow exceptions, given the small number you’re dealing with,” he said. “And they have to look at this on their own. I really think. “Now is the time when Ingres comes to life. According to locals, every year there is a boat jam at the marina in Youngs Bay, and visitors are taking pictures next to a brightly painted sign indicating that this angle is at the northernmost tip of the adjacent 48 states. I did. But lately, at Jerry’s Bar and Restaurant, Angle’s only restaurant, no one is waiting for a table. Also, no one is lining up to use a telephone booth where cross-border visitors have to report their whereabouts to customs. Some resorts have not had customers since the ice fishing season. Residents are talking about confused lives everywhere on the dusty roads where black bears and deer graze. Funerals on the mainland failed, jobs were lost, and travel plans were cancelled. There is also a growing sense of helplessness that neither country cares much about their predicament. “We have been forgotten. We have been abandoned,” said Retirement, who was unable to visit and was taking care of his neighbor’s cabin, who lost his wife who worked as a housekeeper at a local resort. Said Doug Freitag. “The United States has not done enough to give us the right to free passage as citizens. Canadians treat us as a very unique group and they I don’t know how to deal with it. ”Many Angle residents were sympathetic and supportive when the United States and Canada decided last year to close their borders on traffic that was deemed unnecessary. He said it was even targeted. However, as the closure lasted weeks to months, patience diminished. “They’re just prolonging the problem and trying to stop COVID,” said Andy Landbohm, a fishing guide at Angle for over 20 years. Andy Lundbohm lost. More stuffing work has been undertaken to make up for the lost income. Crobcher, Fishbach and other American politicians are also calling for a wider reopening of the border. However, many Canadians are strongly skeptical of allowing more travel abroad, and Canadian officials are facing domestic pressure to maintain restrictions. Part of the tension lies in the very different approaches of the two countries to the pandemic. In the United States, business has resumed. Domestic tourism has resumed. Vaccines are plentiful. And as the number of cases plummets, fully vaccinated Americans are advised not to need a mask in most situations: in other parts of Minnesota, including other parts of Lake of the Woods. Fishing resorts are booming because there are more square miles between the two countries than on land in Lord Island. However, in Canada, where the total number of people infected per capita is much lower than in the United States, the outlook for the virus these days is less promising and business restrictions continue in many countries. Manitoba is identifying new cases at a faster pace than any other state or state, and Canada’s vaccination campaign is proceeding much slower. About half of Americans and Canadians are vaccinated for the first time, but only about 5% of Canada is fully vaccinated, compared to about 40% of the United States. Canada’s Minister of Public Security and Emergency Preparedness, spokesman James Cadmore, said increased vaccination could eventually ease regulations, but “decisions on when and how to reopen borders It takes place in Canada and we consider the best interests of the Canadians to be our number one priority. ”At the Angle Outpost Resort, near the rippling waters of the geese last afternoon when Goure was mowing the grass. It was already flocking to Canada, but it was already about to be another stormy summer. With fewer reservations, a series of cancellations, and uncertainties about when and when the border will reopen, customers It made it difficult to change the schedule. Grett was planning another trip to North Dakota. There, he is engaged in the construction industry to make up for some of the income lost at the resort. And when many Americans returned to their relatively normal daily lives, families were exhausted trying to convince the Canadian border guard that each trip to the mainland met the country’s essential definition. “We are in the enclosure,” Grett said. “Or a prison cell.” This article was originally published in the New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company

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