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Lake Effect Snow and the Lack of It

Boundary Waters Blog - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 3:51pm

We haven’t been getting snow dumped on us and it’s kind of disappointing. Lutsen, the downhill ski hill in our area, is open but had to make most of their snow. I’m sure they would appreciate four feet of the real stuff right about now.  Cross-country skiers are biting at the chomp to hit the trails, including me, but it’s going to take a bunch of snow before the trails will open. Why aren’t we receiving lake effect snowfall? This article does a great job of explaining the process and if I had to guess at the reason we’re not getting big snowfall right now I would say it’s because there isn’t a big difference between the temperature of the water and the air on the North Shore. What do you think?

Science behind the lake effect Ed Russo POSTED: 12:27 PM EST Nov 17, 2014    UPDATED: 12:40 PM EST Nov 17, 2014

It’s no doubt that parts of the area are going to be dealing with an intense wintry blast over the next several days causing many headaches. There are other parts of the Great Lakes region, though, that will have it worse.

One key ingredient to lake effect snow is something called fetch. Fetch is the distance wind travels over water. The longer the fetch, the more intense the snow bands.

Since the prevailing wind over this part of the country is usually west to east, the fetch over Lake Michigan is relatively small, although still significant enough to create lake effect snow.

However, Lake Erie and Ontario are oriented more west to east so the prevailing wind matches up with the longest axis of both of those lakes resulting in much longer fetch. It’s no surprise that because of this, parts of northwest Pennsylvania and New York are going to be measuring snow in feet!

What about Lake Superior? The west to east distance is even greater than that of Erie or Ontario. Lake Superior is a much colder lake so the difference in air/lake temperature is never as great as it is on Erie and Ontario. The greater the temperature difference between air and water, the greater the instability, and as a result, stronger snow bands develop.

With a north wind Lake Michigan can really produce intense snow bands because the wind will travel along Lake Michigan’s longest axis which is a north to south distance of just over 300 miles. This is what generates major lake effect snow events in areas like LaPorte county. Due north winds are far more uncommon, however, than a west wind, since west is prevailing across this part of the country.

Another reason the eastern lakes have enhanced snowfall is because of the very hilly terrain across New York and Pennsylvania. This terrain causes the air to lift (called orographic lift) which results in heavier snow. Northern parts of Michigan, especially the UP, often see enhanced lake effect snow due to the higher terrain in places like the Porcupine Mountains.

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Barb Gecas on Cover of Minnesota Trails Magazine

Banadad Bulletin - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 9:13am

Hestons Lodge and Banadad Trail Association Board member Barb Gecas is on the front cover of the current Minnesota Trails Magazine. Her daughter is following her in the picture.

Barb Gecas and daughter on Gunflint Nordic Trails

Categories: Member Feeds

“Clean” Eggs Benedict? Oh yeah!

Aging Youthful - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 12:00am

Eggs Benedict is one of my all-time favorite restaurant breakfasts. I don’t have very often as it is not the most healthiest, but with this “cleaner” option, I may have to try to make at home! This recipe come from Clean Eating Magazine who has a whole section of “Classics Made Clean” where I found this week’s #RecipeOfTheWeek.

Classic Eggs Benedict with Lemon Basil Hollandaise

By Heather Bainbridge

Serves: 2
Hands-on Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 3 large eggs, divided
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp safflower oil
  • 1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped, plus additional for garnish
  • 2 1-oz slices all-natural turkey bacon, no nitrates or nitrites
  • 2 1/2-inch-thick slices vine tomato
  • 1 whole-grain English muffin, halved and toasted


  1. Prepare sauce: In a small saucepan on medium, whisk 1 egg, buttermilk, arrowroot, lemon juice, oil and cayenne. Reduce heat to low and cook, whisking often, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in 1 tbsp basil.
  2. Meanwhile, poach eggs: Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches water and bring to a simmer. Crack 1 egg into a small cup. With a spoon, make a swirling motion in water and slowly add egg, using spoon to tuck egg white close to yolk. Crack remaining egg into small cup and add to water; repeat tucking motion with egg white. Cook each egg for 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove eggs from water.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a medium nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add bacon and cook, turning once, until crisp, about 4 minutes per side. Remove bacon from skillet and cut each slice in half; add tomato to skillet and sear, turning once, for 1 to 2 minutes per side. Top English muffin halves with bacon, tomato, egg and hollandaise, dividing evenly. Garnish with additional basil.

Nutrients per serving (1 egg, 1/2 english muffin, 1 slice tomato, 1 slice bacon, 3 1/2 tbsp hollandaise): calories: 251, total fat: 11 g, sat. fat: 3 g, Monounsaturated fat: 4 g, polyunsaturated fat: 3 g, carbs: 18.5 g, fiber: 3 g, sugars: 6 g, protein: 20 g, sodium: 474 mg, cholesterol: 309 mg

Categories: Member Feeds

Deadline extended for Highway 61 feedback

Moving Matters - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 4:45pm

The deadline for providing feedback on the concept designs for Highway 61 through Grand Marais has been extended until Wednesday, November 26th. Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to shape the future of Grand Marais, whether you drive, walk, and/or bike. The next public meeting will be held in January.

View concepts and provide feedback at


Categories: Member Feeds

Looking for a Canoe, Kayak or Stand Up Paddle Board?

Boundary Waters Blog - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 10:35am

Our friends in Clearwater, Minnesota may have exactly what you need.  They are located just a short drive from the Twin Cities and can set you up with a watercraft you’re sure to enjoy. Right now they are entering names of anyone who purchases a boat into a drawing to win a trip to the Boundary Waters, courtesy of Voyageur Canoe Outfitters.  This is right in time for the holidays so check them out today!


Wenonah Canoes, Current Designs Kayaks, Pau Hana SUP boards, Jackson Kayaks, Native Watercraft Kayaks, NuCanoe, Liquid Logic Kayaks, Osagian Canoes, and periodically we get other used brands in.


Paddle board from Clear Waters Outfitting


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Kratt Chat: Get your MOVE ON!

Visit Cook County - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 3:22pm

NOVEMBER 17, 2014

Get your MOVE ON!  From tradeshows, festivals to movie theatres, you will find us busting out everywhere!  The quickest move for me this month was my dash into Lake Superior.  Well, actually, the dash out was more like lightning speed.

Visit Cook County is all about “getting our MOVE on”.  One of the two most significant moves occurred mid-month when we joined forces with our Info Center team and moved them to the new office building.   A four month renovation project was completed and our new location promises to be more visible from Highway 61 and more spacious for our visitors.

While most of the crew stayed home and coordinated our Moose Madness Festival, a few of us hit the highway and headed south.  Jim Vick, Kjersti Vick and I traveled to the Mall of America for the Minnesota Ski and Snowboard Expo.  It was heartwarming and satisfying to hear from so many people regarding their love of our area.  They truly call Lutsen Mountains home.   Kjersti hit the road again the next week and attended the Windy City Ski Show  in Champlain (Chicago) Illinois.  She is young and can do these back to back weekends which are extremely fun but very exhausting.

At the end of the month, the administrative team bid farewell to the Mayhew Building and MOVED to the heart of downtown.  Visit Cook County and the Information Center are all part of one big team located at 116 W. Highway 61 (the old Gunflint Realty Building).  I figure if I describe our location as the “old Gunflint Realty” AND NOT “right next to the Dairy Queen”, I might forget that a DQ Blizzard is literally 20 feet away.

Please make sure to mark your calendars for:

Visit Cook County – Open House

Wednesday, December 10th

3:00 to 5:00pm

Kjersti, Anna and I will be packing our bags and taking Cook County to the metro once again. You’ll find us wearing our moose horns and talking up a storm at the Midwest Mountaineering Outdoor Adventure Expo  on November 21, 22, and 23.  If you are visiting Minneapolis, please stop by and see us.    We will be joined by many area businesses who have found this show to be an opportunity not to be missed.

Visit Cook County will also be a part of (for the first time ever) the Arrowhead Ice Fishing and Winter Show in Duluth on December 12, 13, and 14 .  Just the name of this the show was screaming to me “you need to be here”!

In other exciting news, Lutsen Mountains opened for the 2014-15 season on Saturday. It was a beautiful sunny weekend with great man made snow. Open weekends until December, you can now get your move on down the slopes!

And last but not least, the coolest thing ever – our winter video will be part of pre-viewing in select theatres across the metro during the holiday season.  The 15 second winter video clip will hit 57 screens more than 12,000 times from November 14 through January 8th.    You will find us at the following theaters:

  • Showplace ICON at the West End – Minneapolis
  • Mall of America – Minneapolis
  • Rosedale 14, St. Paul
  • Eagan 16, Eagan



The post Kratt Chat: Get your MOVE ON! appeared first on Cook County Minnesota.

Categories: Member Feeds

Dual Fuel Rate Interruption Today: November 17th

Arrowhead Electric - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 11:24am


A Dual Fuel Rate Interruption will happen today, November 17, 2014 starting at 5:30pm until 8:30pm. You can check out load control schedules at

Categories: Member Feeds

It’s Beginning to Feel Alot Like Winter

Boundary Waters Blog - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 6:06am

Temperatures have dipped down into the single digits and the wind has been blowing fierce. It feels more like January outside than November. The good news is after a few days of bitter cold the weekend forecast calls for temperatures in the 30′s again. I think I had better get all of my outside chores done this weekend because who knows when we may see this warm of temperatures again. If this winter is anything like last year it will be quite some time.

Categories: Member Feeds

Quit Plastic and Think Your Safe From BPA?

Aging Youthful - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 12:00am

There have been many reports of the dangers of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical found in plastic food and beverage containers that can potentially leach into the foods they are stored, especially when microwaved. While there is debate over the ingredient, ever since I first heard of the potential danger, I will only buy containers with the “BPA-free” label hoping that it means it is safe and I NEVER microwave food in plastic. I will heat it on a paper or glass plate or eat it cold.

What I didn’t know is canned foods is one of the biggest sources of BPA  Americans ingest today. Yes, canned foods…like metal cans. According to the Good Housekeeping website:

The insides of food cans are often lined with an epoxy resin that keeps corroding metal away from the food. But bisphenol A in that resin can migrate into the foods; in fact, it’s the major source of our exposure to the chemical, says the government’s National Toxicology Program. While the FDA has issued reassuring statements about the risk, other experts aren’t so convinced. In 2007, the nonprofit Environmental Working Group found BPA in more than half of the 97 food cans it tested, with the highest levels coming from chicken soup, infant formula, and ravioli. Just one to three servings of those foods with those concentrations could expose a woman or a child to BPA at levels that cause serious adverse effects in animal tests, the group concluded.

Though you may see “BPA-free” on some canned goods, food manufacturers are not required to list the chemical on labels, so you have no way of knowing whether it’s present.

The scariest part of this report is the statement it’s in the cans of infant formula and if you read the rest of the article, children have the highest levels in their bodies. How to limit exposure? Just like how we SHOULD eat:

  • Limit processed, packaged and canned foods.
  • Buy broths in boxed containers instead of canned or plastic.
  • Have the bulk of your diet consist of fresh one-ingredient foods
  • Use BPA-free baby bottles and sippy cups

EXTRA SPECIAL CAUTION: Plastic water bottles left in cars in the heat can be the worst culprits. The bottles usually are NOT BPA-free and when they are left in the hot car in the sun, it can be a bad combination.

Categories: Member Feeds

A Fox Comes Visiting

Boundary Waters Blog - Sun, 11/16/2014 - 8:27pm

A pretty fox came by Voyageur today. My guess is it was looking for Mark.

Categories: Member Feeds

Some Snow on Trail but Need More

Banadad Bulletin - Sun, 11/16/2014 - 8:03am

Yesterday eleven members of Minnehaha Academy’s Nordic Ski Team lead by their coach, Anne Rykken, worked on clearing the west end of the Banadad.. The kids on the team thought the work was great fun.-

On the westend there is about 1-2″ of snow. Not near enough snow to get onto that end of trail with equipment. However, on the east end the snow measures 3-4 inches. Four inches is almost enough, but not quite enough, to get out onto the trail and start packing. While the snowmobiles are out  packing the packing crew will work on clearing the down trees remaining on the  remote section of the east end just beyond the Logging camp.

Categories: Member Feeds

Tears and Dehydration

Boundary Waters Blog - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 10:53pm

I can see it now, a headline in the newspaper, “Woman Hospitalized After Suffering from Severe Dehydration Due to Excessive Crying.”  I thought I had let out all of the tears possible this week but I guess there were plenty more where they came from. Are they all out now after Mark’s funeral today? I don’t think I’ve shed the last tear for Mark yet.

This morning as we were leaving the house in Grand Marais a bald eagle flew over. I immediately thought, “That’s Mark making sure we’re on our way, wondering if I needed any help bringing stuff out to the car.”  I’ve never seen a bald eagle right in town in Grand Marais. We’ve seen them on the shore and we of course see them on the Gunflint Trail and in the Boundary Waters but it was unusual to see it fly over our house. On the way to Duluth Abby spotted another eagle which isn’t quite as odd but it made me think it was the same one, following us on our journey.

I imagine I’ll think of him when I see a fox.  I’ll probably think of him when I see a moose too and possibly a bear and when I catch a fish. I’ll most likely think of him when my car is due for an oil change and how he would try to shame me into getting an oil change if I had over 3000 miles on it, or 5000.  When I’m trying to figure out something with my depth finder or my boat motor I’m guessing I’ll think of him then too. And when I walk into the lodge I will expect to see him on the couch.  I’ll be waiting to hear him greet me and get the update on the wildlife or how much rain we got.

There were a large number of familiar faces at the funeral. Cabin owners, our local conservation officer, Mike’s brother, Gunflint Trail neighbors, some of our dear friends and many of our Voyageur Crew. It was nice to see so many of them there. I didn’t think about a picture until after Mike and Ashley, Dave and Bonnie, Scott Prom, Chad Autio and Mike Irwin had already left so they aren’t in the photo. I wish Mark could have been there.  I’m sure he was there in spirit unless of course the fish were biting in heaven.

Thank you to everyone who was at the funeral. Thank you for sharing your stories and showing Mark’s family how loved he was by all of us. Thank you for the hugs too.  I’ll try not to shed too many more tears but I can’t make any promises.

Voyageur Crew

Front Row Left to Right: Me, Adam Maxwell, Luke Yaeger, Abby Prom, Ryan Ritter

Back Row Left to Right: Mike, Matt Ritter, Tony Krusenbaum, Hannah Koivu, Mike Swenson, Paul Swenson, Evan Gates, Tessa Johnson, Charlie Drilling, Josh Prom, Tessa Olson

Categories: Member Feeds

11/15/14 - I am delighted to share the video of the original song, "My Sawbill Journey"

Sawbill Newsletter - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 11:26am

11/15/14 - I am delighted to share the video of the original song, "My Sawbill Journey" by longtime Sawbill friend and well-known Nashville songwriter Jerry Vandiver. The images are from local master photographer, Paul Sundberg. - Bill

It's obvious that Jerry and Paul share a love of Sawbill, the BWCA Wilderness and the great outdoors. I can't thank them enough for their generous celebration of Sawbill.

Categories: Member Feeds

Homework on Wednesday: Meeting Updates

Grand Marais Mayor Blog - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 4:10pm
This past Wednesday turned out to be a busy day!  I was able to attend three great meetings around town and gather a great deal of useful information for looking to the future.  I will use this post to explain a little about these meetings and the information given at each.  As you can see from the photo, I have a great deal of reading and homework to do to absorb all of the information!

1. Assisted Living in Grand Marais
2. City Council Meeting
3. Violence Prevention Center Meeting

1. The first meeting happened at the hospital...
I was invited to this meeting on Tuesday and was very glad that I attended.  Also at this meeting were the Directors of Community Development and Business Recruitment from the Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB), the directors of the Senior Center here in Grand Marais, the directors of the hospital and care center here in town, the director of Hill Haven Assisted Housing, representatives of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce, board members from Sawtooth Ridges Apartments, Care Partners, North Shore Health Care Foundation, and the Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA).

And then I was there too... Representing the newly elected city council.

Needless to say, it was a pretty experience heavy meeting, regardless of if I was counted or not!

The meeting was called to discuss the possibility of bringing a permanent, Medicare and Medicaid certified Assisted Living facility to Grand Marais.

Over the past several years as our residents have aged and transitioned to different seasons of their lives, their living situations have needed to change too.  Some move to the independent living apartments around town, some move in with family, and some leave town altogether.  This final option is not ideal considering that many of these people are the people who helped to build Grand Marais from rock and timber and who would like to live out their days in this community.  Also, it was acknowledged that there is a "care gap" in our community where some not-so-critical patients have a hard time receiving just the care that they need.

These factors caused a few community members to contact representatives of Spectrum Health Services to come and present information about the possibilities of bringing Assisted Living services to Grand Marais.  There was some great conversation had, concerns raised, relief expressed, and at the end of the almost two hour meeting we came up with an action plan for moving forward:
1. Get a market study done to see if Assisted Living IS NEEDED and COULD SURVIVE in our community.  This study will show how many beds of Asssisted Living our Cook County Community could sustain.  It will take into consideration the services that are already being offered so that the presence of Assisted Living would not cause hardship to already existing services and locations as well.  *This study will be owned by the City of Grand Marais (pending the approval of the City Council to proceed), paid for through a grant from the North Shore Health Care Foundation (pending application and acceptance of the grant), and will give us the information necessary to make an educated decision to move forward or not.
2. IF the market study shows that there IS a need for these services and they will compliment (not compete with) care structures already in place in the county, then we proceed to investigate locations and companies that could offer these services.  As a part of this step, the City of Grand Marais would be in conversation with the IRRRB who voiced their feeling that most, if not all of the infrastructure necessary to build an Assisted Living location would be paid for through Community Development money from the IRRRB.

RESULT:  A top of the line, cutting edge Assisted Living facility in our city that cost the City very little to no money and will bring in high rates of property tax.  The benefits of this arrangement look really good on paper, it will be the job of the new city council under advisement of our health care providers in the county to make sure that these benefits translate from paper into real life.
*There are not many details available as to what the Assisted Living facility would look like, but it would be en suite rooms with 24 hour nurse care available, three hot meals a day, and potentially memory care services as well.

2. City Council Meeting.  All of the City Council members were present for the Wednesday meeting included the newly elected members of the council, David Mills and Anton Moody... (I was there as well, but I don't like referring to myself in the third person...).  Although it was a short meeting, some very important items crossed the desk.
A. The City received a $50,000 grant from the Blandin Foundation to continue the process of bidding, securing customer agreements, and finalizing financing for the construction and operation of a district biomass heat plant here in Grand Marais.  Although most of you have probably heard about this project, the idea is to build a heat plant on the edge of town that would provide hot water heat at a stable price to all of the city and county buildings as well as some of the larger business buildings along the Hwy 61 corridor.  The price of this heat would be stable because the fuel for the heat plant would be slash from logging operations in the National Forest.  This grant will allow the continuing research into if and how this would work for the interested parties.
B. Kimber Wralstad from the North Shore Hospital and Care Center requested that the Council sign a letter of support so that they can receive the funding grant for the renovation of the health care campus.  The board voted unanimously to do so!
C. The Council viewed and held a brief discussion regarding the many boards and committees around the city that are going to have vacancies after this year.  There are several ways to get involved.  If you have any interest in getting involved, let me know and I will get you a list of what is available.  I may even put up another post with opportunities after this one!
D. After the meeting, the other newly elected councilors and I received a handsome bundle of minutes for all of the City Council and city department board meetings that we are to review and ask questions about to get ourselves up to speed on what has been happening around town.  I assure you all that we will study this information and will be ready to hit the ground running in January when we are sworn in.

3. Violence Prevention Center Meeting.  After the City Council meeting adjourned, I went to a meeting at the Violence Prevention Center to gather some more information regarding the services that this organization offers to our community.  Coming off of their annual fundraiser/awareness night, Lunafest, there was a lot of good energy in the air.  The VPC offers advocacy resources to anyone who sees themselves as a victim of violence, whether that be domestic violence or sexual violence.  They can help you figure out what is available to you, they will just listen if you just need to tell someone something, or they will listen if you are concerned for someone else's safety.  I was surprised to learn that the VPC handles several hundred instances a year and relieved that they exist in our town.  Their hotline, which is an anonymous way to access their services, is available 24 hours a day and does not cost anything.  It will not get you or anyone else in trouble with the law; it is meant purely as a support mechanism.  Their number is 218-387-1237.

So, as you can see, it was a busy day!  Now, a few days later, after I have finished sorting through all of this information, I am ready for next week and the information that will come to me then as well!

*As always, if you would like to meet with me or share your feelings on a topic, please do so at

Thank you!

Categories: Member Feeds

Where are We in November?

Unorganized Territory - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 2:36pm


Do you know where the News-Herald was when this photo was taken? Give it a guess!

Cook County News-Herald staffers love to get out and about the county. So we decided, while we are traveling the highway and bushwhacking through the forest, to take pictures to see if our readers can guess WHERE ARE WE?

Last month’s photo was apparently too tough. We had no correct entries. The picture was of a new bridge over Swamp Creek in Hovland—on the Hovland Woods ATV trail. Try your luck! Take a look at the November photo. If you think you know where we were when we took the picture, send us your answer.

The location will be announced next month and a winner will be drawn from all the correct answers. Whoever is drawn will win a free one-year subscription to the Cook County News-Herald (a $30 value). Good luck!

Answer to the November WHERE ARE WE? must be received by December 15, 2014.

Send your entry to:
Cook County News-Herald
PO Box 757
Grand Marais MN 55604

Drop it by our office at: 15 First Avenue West
Fax: 218-387-9500
Questions? 218-387-9100

Categories: Member Feeds

America Recycles Day

Boundary Waters Blog - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 11:10am

Tomorrow is America Recycles Day and I love to recycle. We have a recycling center in Grand Marais that does a good job with the main items like aluminum, cardboard, tin and glass.  Unfortunately only Type 1 and Type 2 plastic can be recycled here.  I’m hoping for a change but so far it hasn’t come about. I cringe when I put other plastics into the garbage but I can’t possibly hold onto them all to bring them to Duluth to be recycled. Hopefully a change will come soon.

Did you know there’s a great resource you can use to find where to recycle things?  From batteries to paint to construction materials you can search where to recycle things at  There are events scheduled for America Recycles Day but unfortunately I didn’t find any in Minnesota.  You can search for events in your area on their website.

Are you going to do anything special for America Recycles Day on November 15th? How about taking the pledge to recycle more? Every little bit helps.


Categories: Member Feeds

11/13/14 - Here are some great pictures taken by talented local photographer Tom Spence.

Sawbill Newsletter - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 4:26pm

11/13/14 - Here are some great pictures taken by talented local photographer Tom Spence.

Bull moose near the Sawbill Trail in early November. Photo by Tom Spence.

Morning fog in early November. Photo by Tom Spence.

Late season canoeists at the end of October. Photo by Tom Spence.

Speaking of late October canoeing, here is a link to a well written article by Greg Seitz from Wilderness News Online about his trip out of Sawbill a few weeks ago. - Bill

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Unique Situation

Boundary Waters Blog - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 2:55pm

In expressing my deep sorrow publicly I have received some very kind words, emails, comments on Facebook and telephone calls. I really don’t like attention and I don’t like the Social Media craze nor do I want or need praise or pity from someone in order to feel like I exist.  It is however very nice to know people care and I appreciate their sympathies expressed to our Voyageur Family and to Mark’s family as well.  Death is a difficult thing to deal with.

This death has been especially awful. I know it’s more difficult to accept death when it is unexpected and when someone is young. I also realize a death of a parent, child, sibling or other close relative or friend is very hard. I was informed by a fellow outfitting business owner and friend that we are in a unique situation when it comes to the death of an employee.

You see when you work at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters it is a very unique situation.  It isn’t like a McDonald’s where a person clocks in at 10am and clocks out at 6pm to go home. We don’t have hundreds of employees each year. We have a handful of people who come to work for us each year. Most of these people come just for the summer season.  When they work at Voyageur they eat three meals a day with us, they live on property, they work side by side with us and many times they recreate with us too.  Whether it’s a hike, a boat ride, a dinner or just chatting in the lodge the little free time we do have in the summer we spend with our Voyageur Crew.

When you spend that much time together it’s more than a work relationship and it’s more than a dorm relationship. It’s almost like adopting someone into your family.  As I’ve gotten older I’ve felt more like a Mother Bear to our Voyageur Crew then ever before. I worry about their safety when they are out towing or camping.  I want to make sure they are eating enough food and drinking enough water. I warn them about speeding, using seat belts and wearing their life vests so much that I’m sure it’s annoying. I only do it because I care about them and I feel somewhat responsible for them even though most of them are already self-sufficient adults.

Members of our Voyageur Crew aren’t just our employees. They are much more than that and we develop a bond and relationship with these people that isn’t normally made in the real world anymore.  Maybe as a part of a wagon trail, Native Tribe, Cult or Big Brother cast you would develop similar relationships but not many other places would allow the opportunity for this type of unique relationship to occur.  We depend upon each other, we care about one another and we love each other.

I guess it boils down to love. The less you love someone the less it hurts when they die. The more you love someone the more you hurt when they are gone. The unique situation we have at Voyageur is that we love a lot of people and never once had I thought about losing one of them. I wasn’t prepared, it was unexpected, Mark was young and he was a part of my family.

I’m trying to rationalize the hurt I feel. Why it hurts so much. Good people, kind people, they die every day right? But not my good, kind person who has lived under the same roof for three years. Not Mark Ceminsky. Maybe grief has to do with the size of heart the person who died had, that would explain it. Mark had a super big heart and so I, along with others who knew him will feel super big grief.

It’s a unique situation and it’s one I don’t like nor do I want to be in again any time soon.

Mark was a loyal reader of my blog, always complimenting me on my posts. I don’t know what he would think of this one.

Categories: Member Feeds

Psycho Chiller

Voyageur Brewing - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 7:52am

Voyageur Brewing Company is home to a new 10-ton KRP chiller. It doesn’t feel like we need it this week, but this mighty beauty is a vital component in our brewhouse. Its features include insulated copper piping, washable condenser filters, a stainless steel heat exchanger, a compressor crankcase heater, and a 24 volt digital temperature control. Best of all, it is environmentally friendly. You may admire this awesome beast on future brewery tours. Stay tuned for more exciting news about the pieces coming together to make more beer in Grand Marais.

Categories: Member Feeds

Everyday Favorite: The Cyclone Cup

Aging Youthful - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 12:00am

This #FavoriteEverydayProduct is a new one! I have been doing a lot of networking on LinkedIn and received a message from a connection asking me if I’d like to give his blending bottle a try and give feedback. Never one to turn down an opportunity to help out a fellow entrepreneur, I said “sure!”. The next day Jeremy of Cyclone Cup mailed me my very own bottle.

For years I have been using the blender bottles with the wire ball inside them and have liked them just fine. Except, I’ve lost a few of the wire balls and when you do have them in the bottle, they make noise rattling around while you are driving (am I the only one who hates rattles in their cars?) and finding a container that fit inside to hold my protein without opening up was a challenge too (you can put the protein powder on the bottom of the cup and add water, but then end up with a big chunk of goo later…).

Enter The Cyclone Cup. What’s really cool about it is it all fits into one container…there is a screw on cup on the bottom to hold your protein powder so all you have to do is add water to the main part of the container, screw off the protein powder and drop in. Now I have to say I WAS pretty skeptical whether the do-hickey thingy that mixes would work as good as the blender ball. Well, after  a half-dozen uses, I am sold!

The cups come in numerous colors…so if you are a fashion conscious gym goer, you can have one that matches every one of your outfits! This can also be used for mixing pancakes, salad dressings, or anything you want mixed. It’s convenient and very sturdy, so it should last for many years to come. Let me know what you think!


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