Walk the Burn: A Beaver, Minnesota Ghost Town Documentary & True Crime Story
CoyWolf Entertainment™ presents
Walk the Burn: A Beaver, Minnesota ghost town documentary & true crime story
Written and photographed by #1 international bestselling and award-winning author, photographer and illustrator Lisa Loucks-Christenson
Publisher: CoyWolf Entertainment™
Release: January 1, 2022
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WALK THE BURN BLURB
WALK THE BURN started as a 30-day documentary showing the daily changes following a controlled burn. A photo essay documented the actual fire and the black canvas it left behind in the ghost town I studied. It is now a wildlife refuge that superseded the former town of Beaver, Minnesota.
It’s a story about how life rises from the ashes and into a picture-perfect summer. Ironically, it became a crime and faith story about how God used it to break me into His service, transforming me into someone He could use to serve other people that were hurting deeper and broken harder than me.
"I’m Walking My Victory!™"––Lisa Loucks-Christenson
This is Lisa Loucks-Christenson’s unique faith-walk. It’s her adventures as she earned the fad names: The Town Joke, The Nature Photographer, The Bug Lady, The Eagle Lady, names that grew into The Lady of Whitewater. WALK THE BURN includes her first steps into the seven seasons covering a controlled burn and what followed in the former town of Beaver, Minnesota, a ghost town in southeastern Minnesota. These are the opening stories of what she experienced there. This is her: GOD ON A HARLEY meets GRIZZLY ADAMS dining with CRIMINAL MINDS while inspired by TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL.
Lisa Lisa Loucks-Christenson is a photojournalist and member of the ASMP and NATJA. She shot over one million images while covering her documentaries in the Whitewater Valley in southeastern Minnesota.
Lisa’s credits include most major publishers and imprints, news outlets, magazines, trade, and her own publishing houses: Esquire, Woman’s World, Self, Harcourt, Diversion, Career World, HSUS Kind News, Disney, Pearson, IBM, Christian Schools International, Travel World Magazine, Trips & Journeys, NBC KTTC-TV, KAAL-TV Channel 6 News, KIMT Channel 3 News, WEAU Channel 13 News Eau Claire, Post-Bulletin, Ron Schara’s Minnesota Bound and more.
Since 2006, Lisa has been the voice behind various shows, live and pre-recorded, including her own podcasts syndicated on iTunes, Bluebrry, Voice America, and various internet sites and terrestrial stations. As time allows, Lisa continues to interview celebrities and entertainers, authors, detectives, businesses owners, and others. Her featured guests include Aaron Neville, Foghat, Jan Fedarcyk, Captain and Tennille, Kathy Ireland, Charlie Daniels, Porter Wagoner, Ron Ferber, Tom Wilson (Ziggy), Veggie Tales, Beverly Swerling, Oakridge Boys, B.J. Daniels, Jean Craighead George, Dick and Dee Dee, Jim Owen, Brian White, Richie Mcdonald, Ray Stevens, and many others.
Nothing bad happened to me the first week of WALK THE BURN, just a guy standing behind the tree branches by my truck while I was heading out from my day at the eagle’s nest. He eyed me as I stepped out of the grasslands. I kept walking through the open woods, keeping my chin up to preserve my stoical expression, trying not to show a trace of fear.
After I stepped off the grassland and onto the blacktop, I had officially entered Minnesota State Highway 74, the road that ran between the parcels of state land. As I walked closer to my truck, I was ready to break another chain in my life and snatch up the bottle of pepper spray, a one-inch brushed steel can of trust that dangled just inches away from my face on the breastplate of my tripod. My check-out counter special had caught my attention twice in one day.
That’s what I thought about as it reflected the light of the afternoon sun into my eyes. Maybe the light beams hitting my vision were God’s way of saying He was nearer than He appeared. My thoughts wavered between hoping it was Him or someone He sent.
I watched his face and his dead stare closely, expecting him to move at any moment. My pocket-sized mace probably didn’t pack enough power to cause a tear––and if it did, it would probably be mine in a lightning-fast altercation. At that moment, I realized how inadequate and undersized it was. Was my life not worth more than a one-ounce bottle of this false sense of security?
A canister dressed in a white label and with ingredients that may as well have included fleeting hope. A handful of stinging nettles could inflict more harm––if only they were at a height I could grab; I’d take their sting without a second of hesitation. For the first time since seeing the man, I was fully aware of the situation I was walking into.
I kept walking. I tightened my grip on my tripod. It was the same one I’d use in the future, in 2007, when I’d become future me, to protect myself from a cougar running behind me, then alongside me before it jumped at the face of my future me.
Just in case I didn’t get out of the woods, I reached down, pressing the shutter on my Canon camera hanging over my shoulder and across my hip. I snapped at least ten shots of him, trusting the autofocus was working, and someone would see the photos if something happened to me, and I could leave the camera behind.
The man was about 25 feet away. He continued to observe me, but he didn’t move. His eyes lifted and dropped as he began sizing me up. I hated when men did that, disrespecting my existence as a woman, deciding I didn’t measure up to his standards. The Whitewater Valley didn’t have cell phone coverage, so I didn’t bring a phone with me. I repeated my passcode in my head, so I didn’t blank out if he came at me as I neared my truck. I kept my eyes looking toward my truck, hoping he’d think I didn’t see him.
I felt myself tensing as I entered my door lock code, 05975, into the keypad on a truck that was as seasonal as my journey into the first couple of years in the valley. I entered my truck, locked the doors, looked ahead into the turnaround, and stared at what had to be his truck. Using my eagle eyesight––I memorized his plate. I still remember it. He followed me for 15 years.
It turns out, per a Minnesota State Trooper, he was a pot farmer, known in the area to law enforcement for his farms. I didn’t overstep his boundary line that day or care that I was on his turf that first week: I marched right over his divide. I continued to walk anywhere I wanted to walk in those miles of public land and also the private land I’d secured permission to use during my projects over the next 15 years of my life.
NOTES FOR MY UPCOMING BOOKS:
In my future stories and books, you’ll read about an impostor Minnesota Conservation Officer who detained me. He was wearing the name tag of an actual officer that, to this day, will claim he has never met me.
Keep reading about Lisa’s adventures in the chapters of the Pink Flamingo... but I’m not referring to a casino
Edward, the cutter
Men in the Brown Van and more.
Eagle’s Nest Incident (this full story will be in a future title)
LisaLC.com letters cut up on Lisa Loucks-Christenson’s truck window.
The Razor Blade Man, Woman, or Both? (Chapter title is subject to change)
This is how the back window of my truck looked when I returned from one of my eagle’s nest sites.
I came out of the woods and noticed someone had cut into the letters I’d applied on my back window. The letters no longer spelled out, not exactly, my website LISALC.COM. This site is one of a few websites I ran then and still operate, one that kept getting hacked.
Over time, I’d hired computer forensic experts, white hat hackers, security teams, private investigators, and others. The first year I spent thousands, close to $50K in equipment and another $50K in the services for people who dually protected me on my WALK THE BURN and LISA’S BALD EAGLE DOCUMENTARY, but these fees were just the initial costs of my journey.
MY DOG TEAM: (I will update this preview shown below in the future books and include more details and photos).
Shadow my husky and Sebastian my cat watching the flickers outside. Shadow loved the woods.
Valentine (left) and Ruthie Buttons also came with on my trips to the woods.
God equipped me with eight different dogs while covering my journey. Five dogs were mine and two were just along for the ride. One was my outdoor companion for a couple of trips, anyway. We trained two protection dogs but my other dogs will feature in the whole story of my books.
My trained protection dogs were born on 9/11/2004. I was only going to go with the dog that picked me, but after an Olmsted County Sheriff heard we wanted the male, he waited for the next litter. That decision allowed my husband to buy the only male in a litter of 10, our “Dale,” who joined our family and was reunited with his sister a week later. A dog that would change everything I knew about a dog. We put them through their training when they were a little over a year. They were loyal and faithful dogs, like my others, that walked and ran next to me, sometimes in tandem and other days solo.
We walked, ducked, crawled across the terrain, under branches, up and down bluffs. We broke our own trails; we broke through the ice of the frozen rivers together, there were flash floods, a whirlpool I pulled my female out of, almost falling in with her, quicksand, ice-coated bluffs, woods, meadows, grasslands, and bad people we’d encounter but also good people that had our backs. There were places I wish we didn’t find. The Pink Flamingo––not the casino, is one of them and ICE Rock Cave, suitably named.
My dogs protected me through my projects for as long as they could walk––their entire lives. I will always be a better person because I shared my days with companions who never flinched at teaching me how to fully enjoy my spirit of adventure.
Dale Bernard in the New Year's Eve Octopus Bank Heist, a Bow Wow Detectives® series, and another #1 International Bestselling title, in both English and Spanish editions.
Dale in DON’T EAT BEES!
Dale was also my inspiration behind my Amazon Hot New Release, #1 international bestseller, DON’T EAT BEES! – a double award-winning story, earning the coveted 2020 Royal Dragonfly 2020 Book Awards for best illustrations and an Honorable Mention for the story in the ebook category. Dale lives on in my upcoming sequel, HEAVEN CAN REST! Dale is an ambassador for my BOW WOW DETECTIVES® brand and appears in other books I’ve created.
Dale Bernard Vom Smaragdhügell is pictured above. He was my main field dog. Like his sister pictured below, he was a trained German Shepherd protection dog.
Dani and me.
This is Dani, Dale’s sister, and me. Dani Bernadette Vom Smaragdhügell always knew people and their intentions before they even moved. That was her champion bloodlines, training and instincts, and she never failed me.
You can read how Dani protected me, laying her body across me, with her face in front of mine, barring her teeth and giving warning to a man in the Dorer Pools. I have shots of him and his driver.
The story is full of suspense and engrossing.
Chapter: Men in the Brown Van.
One of the men from the brown van. A sketch drawn from memory, 15+ years later, still in Lisa's memory. This man sneaked up on Lisa while she was in her truck and to his surprise, met instead, her protection dog, face-to-face.
STORIES FROM THE WHITEWATER VALLEY SERIES™
WALK THE BURN: A BEAVER, MINNESOTA GHOST TOWN DOCUMENTARY & TRUE CRIME STORY, Book 1
WINTER BUGS: EXHIBIT EDITION, Book 2
HAPLESS HARRY: THE MINNESOTA MUSCOVY DUCK DOCUMENTARY, Book 3
TEN FEET UNDER THE CANARY GRASS, Book 4
As the seasons passed, the grass wherever I walked was a shade lighter—not greener, a color reserved for newbies—but taller, thicker, and deeper. It was like staring toward the ocean searching for the horizon; the grass had no visible end. When I walked away, 13 years later, I felt no desire to look back and see if I had changed, for I knew I had. My inner self was something I was carrying with me, confident and with my desires fulfilled. As I took my first step onto the highway, departing the trail at mile marker 45, I did so, knowing that the grasslands behind me would forever be a mirror for my experiences.
STRUGGLING FOR EXISTENCE: WHAT NATURE SHARED, Book 5
Lisa's Bald Eagle Documentary