The warm air over the rocks and the cool breeze from the big lake create perfect aerial elevators; the thermals carry you up, up, until you reach cruising altitude, point your head south, and glide the rest of the way. If you're a bird, that is. If you're not, you may have to content yourself with a makeshift perch, a pair of binoculars, and an afternoon of envying the raptors (as many as 20,000 on a single day!) that pass over this spot every spring and fall. Any day with a "hawk wind" (a northwest breeze following a cold front) is good; or join the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union's Hawk Weekend, which usually takes place the second weekend after Labor Day, for a two-day dose of education. The union resides at the Bell Museum of Natural History, 10 Church Street SE, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0104; their e-mail address is [email protected], and the Web site is at


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