Arrowhead Cooperative members with Dual Fuel: please note that there is a scheduled load control tonight from 6pm to 8pm.
I haven’t been out grouse hunting yet this year. I call it hunting but I usually just go along for the hike while Josh hunts. This year he’s been too busy to hunt so I haven’t gone either. Matt and the crew have been seeing a few grouse and eating them too!
Here’s a strange report from a Conservation Officer about a grouse hunter.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports one of the busiest fall weekends he has ever seen. Lots of leaf lookers, photographers, and grouse hunters. Grouse can be found off the beaten path and a few people have reported some success. The officer came across a woman who was road hunting with a fully loaded shotgun in her vehicle. When asked why her shotgun was loaded, CO Fagerman was surprised when she stated that she didn?t know how to load or unload the shotgun so her husband loaded it for her. Then he’d unload any rounds left after she got done hunting. Enforcement action was taken for AIS, ATV violations, and loaded shotguns in motor vehicles.
The trail trimming and mowing is now underway on the Central Gunflint Ski Trail system. The mowed trails are great for hiking, biking, and enjoying autumn activities. There’s still ample time to make the most of our fall weather here at Bearskin.
But once we start mowing, then mentally it’s “almost winter” for us. So just to get you into the same mindset, here’s a taste of winter in a new winter video for Bearskin Lodge. Watch it full screen if you can! Then call us to make your winter reservation, while your perfect dates are still available.http://www.bearskin.com/BearskinWinter.mp4
Last week crews installed the exhaust hood, walk-in freezer and cooler in the new kitchen. The mechanical contractors set a new AHU (air handling unit) on the roof. Demo continues on the old 300 Care Center wing and they just set the wooden trusses on the new 200 Care Center wing. Inside the hospital patient wing addition, work continues on the plumbing, HVAC and electrical.
One of these days I will stay awake and attempt to take photos of the northern lights myself. But each time I question myself and think, “I’m sure David Johnson will get some amazing shots.” Then I go back to bed.
Happy Member Appreciation Week! As part of Cooperative’s Month we thank our members with a week-long celebration. Stop by our office in Lutsen for a cup of locally roasted Fika coffee! Enter to win today’s prize: 10 delicious cinnamon rolls from Arrowhead Cooperative member Chicago Bay Marketplace in Hovland. Vote for member-submitted photos to include in our 2017 calendar. We hope to see you soon!
Meter exchange update: NexGen contractors are working up the Gunflint Trail this week. They’ll be installing on Sag Lake Trail, Gull Lake Lane, Island Road, Onagon Road, Seagull Point, South Gunflint, Mile O Pine, North Loon Lake, Gunflint Narrows, and North Gunflint.
Earlier this summer we had a strange thing happen at Voyageur. We have a guest who only paddles in the Boundary Waters and he only comes to Saganaga Lake through Voyageur. He comes up the Gunflint Trail a few times each summer and instead of hauling his canoe back and forth we keep it on our canoe rack across the river. This year when he came up for his first trip and we went to retrieve his canoe it wasn’t there.
There has maybe been two times over the past 20 plus years where we’ve had anything stolen. One time it was a kid in the store and another time a man was stealing motors and fishing gear from docked boats. Other than that if anything has gone missing we haven’t heard about it.
We were perplexed about where his canoe could be. We checked all of our canoe piles and had no luck finding it so we ended up just letting him use one of our canoes for his trip. It was really disturbing to lose his canoe and we felt terrible about it.
Sometime after his trip I remembered something Josh had told me. He and a friend had been out on Saganaga Lake and walked a portage into another lake. On the portage were two canoes but there weren’t any people around. They fished, returned and still the canoes remained. I mentioned this to a few of the crew and said, “I wonder if one of those is Ron’s canoe?” No one thought there was any reason someone would take Ron’s canoe and leave it out in the woods. If they did then how would they get back or get to the canoe in the first place as it’s located across the river and you can’t drive to it.
Later in the paddling season I happened to mention it to another one of the crew members and asked him to stop to check it out when he was on Saganaga. Sure enough the canoe was still there and it was Ron’s canoe!
We have no clue who brought it there, where they went or why they left it there. We only know Ron was very happy to have his canoe back on his next trip to Saganaga.
Arrowhead Cooperative will be doing some maintenance up the Gunflint Trail on Thursday, October 6th, from 9am to 12 noon.
This scheduled power outage will affect members from Fox Ridge Road north to the end of the Gunflint Trail.
Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns: 218-663-7239.
They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees;
But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.
-James Whitcomb Riley
Everything Riley writes in “When the Frost is on the Punkin” is true these days at Tuscarora, except for the fact that there is no frost and there also aren’t any pumpkins. Also, I was stung by a wasp while planting tulip bulbs on Saturday and the begonias beside the outfitting steps are still going gangbusters, so I guess we’re in a strange, not quite summer, not quite autumn season at the moment.
That’s right, it’s October 3rd and we’ve yet to freeze on the Gunflint Trail. And what we’re lacking in pumpkins, we’re making up for in butternut squash. The squash plant must have received the perfect amount of rain and neglect this summer, because there are two beautiful large squashes hanging from the vines sprawled out on the lawn. (Mother Nature with her plentiful rainfall this summer sure helped out these inattentive gardeners.) We’ll wait until there’s a real threat of frost forming on their surfaces before we pick those squash and any of the other garden treasures.
In general, we usually figure the tomatoes have until September 20th to ripen. By the time we’re in the final third of September, we know a heavy frost will descend on the Gunflint Trail. On the evening of that frost, just as the sun is sinking on the western horizon, Andy and I will fill grocery bags with green tomatoes to ripen inside – our breath coming in misty clouds, our fingers growing increasingly numb as we pick.
But not this year. Our low temperatures this September were in the 40s and we didn’t even worry about a frost. Instead, Andy dutifully picked the tomatoes just as they started to turn red to keep the chipmunks from taking their customary single bite out of each reddish tomato and we made loads of BLTs and pico de gallo. When I was making supper, I’d say, “Hey Andy, can you get me a green pepper,” and instead of going to the fridge, he’d just go out the porch door and pick a green pepper from the large plant growing beside the tomatoes.
It feels like we’ve won something. Or like we’re getting away with something. We’ve been slowly shutting down the seasonal buildings without even once worrying about pipes freezing. Everyone’s a little giddy about it all. To top things off, the fall colors are brilliant this year and they’re lingering.
How lucky are we? I mean, 70 degrees on October 1st? Yes please!
To quote Laura Ingalls Wilder, there’s a deep sense that “now is now.”
Now is the time to take long rambles through the woods after work each day. Now is the time to eat garden produce fresh from the vine. Now is the time to just stop for a moment and soak in autumn sights and smells. After all, we might be just days, if not hours, from the first killing frost and the leaves tumbling to the forest floor.
There’s no time for delayed gratification. Now. The time to revel in autumn is now! Now, before the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.
Crews have finished the slabs on the New 200 Care Center Wing (old 100 wing area). The new kitchen area is progressing and the crews have installed plumbing, HVAC, electrical and started to drywall. The demo crews are working through the old 300 wing. A lot of action is happening up on the roof, out of site from the public. Roof joists are being installed and you can see then new roof tie-ins.
I recently received a heartbreaking news release from the Minnesota Department of Health. The email was full of statistics about suicide deaths in Minnesota in 2015.
It’s painful to read. The Department of Health reports that there were 726 suicide deaths in Minnesota in 2015, up from 686 in 2014. That equals 13 deaths per 100,000 Minnesotans.
And that means that all of us have likely been touched by the tragedy of suicide.
As Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper said, “Let us never forget that this is not about statistics; each and every one of these 726 deaths is someone’s friend, relative and neighbor. We need to work together by focusing on prevention.”
I’m extremely fortunate that I have never been that low. I had a bit of postpartum depression when I had my first child, but I went for counseling. Talking to a caring professional helped me figure out that my sadness could be attributed to exhaustion and the loneliness of living far away from friends and family. Talking helped.
But I have been an observer of the challenges a person with mental illness faces. I’ve watched family and friends struggle with social situations and normal day-to-day living. I’ve seen people I care about become so depressed that they have considered suicide as a way to escape their emotional pain.
I’ve also seen the difference that community support, medication and counseling can make. Talking helps.
The Department of Health news seems to bear that out. There is a bit of good in the report. The number of suicides went down for Minnesota residents under 25 (from 119 in 2014 to 114 in 2015). Most prevention efforts have focused on this age group in recent years.
So it appears that the old belief that talking about suicide will cause someone to harm him or herself is not true. The state and national efforts reaching out to teens and young people—talking and listening— to them is working.
We need to expand those efforts, which Minnesota Department of Health officials have pledged to do. The 2015 Legislature invested $47 million in new spending for mental health services. This additional funding is the largest investment in state history, which is great, but we as individuals need to do our part.
It’s not just up to mental health care practitioners and law enforcement. All of us can help those who face mental illness by being there, by talking and listening. By asking, “Are you okay today?” and really listening for the answer.
And for those that face the challenge of mental health issues, if you reach the point of wanting to hurt yourself, please reach out for help.
A loved one, a suicide survivor, received some excellent advice during treatment and counseling. A behavioral health practitioner gave some tips on what to do if my friend reached that critical point again.
She said to make a list. Write down the names and phone numbers of trusted friends or family members. Not just one person, make it a list of 10 or a dozen. Before contemplating taking your life, call the first person on the list. If you get voice mail, call the next. If you text the next person and they are unable to reply right away, contact the next person… and the next and the next until you find someone to talk to.
I love this advice. It is gut wrenching to receive such a call. But it is horrifying to think that you may not be available to answer that call or text. So as part of a support network, it is reassuring to me to know that there are other options.
The tattered list remains in my friend’s billfold. Thankfully, because of medication and counseling, it hasn’t been needed. But it is a lifeline that needs to be there.
If you face depression that could lead to death by suicide, please make a list. Please, please, please talk to someone.
Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your
perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in
everything. That’s how the light gets in.
Banadad Ski Trail, BWCA’s Longest Tracked Ski Trail will hold their annual Trail Clearing Event and Annual Meeting/Dinner.
The annual meeting of the Banadad Trail Association (BTA) will be Friday, October 21, 2016 at the Schaap Community Center on the Gunflint Trail. (Next to the Fire Department, close to the Lima Grade intersection). The meeting will be at 5:30 and will follow with a Potluck Dinner; all are welcome.
The volunteer Trail Clearing Event will be Saturday, October 22, 2016 beginning at 9 a.m.; Meet at Boundary Country Trekking/Poplar Creek B&B at 8:30 a.m. for tools and instructions.
The purpose of the BTA is to maintain and enhance the Banadad Ski Trails, preserve the history of the forest and the trail and promote appreciation and care of the BWCA wilderness. The BTA is a volunteer organization open to all who share these goals.
Subscribe to the Banadad Bulletin, our free quarterly e-mail newsletter.
Banadad Trail Association
With heavy heart we must report that we lost Sota early this morning. We will miss her greatly. She was a major part of our life here at the Gunflint Pines Resort. She was the camp greeter and often could be found opening the door to run out and greet the next guest as they arrived.
She often guided guests on hikes to Lonely lake or High cliffs. Many a guest would start off hiking only to find her flushing the path in front of them and waiting at the intersections to be sure they were on the right path. But many a guest would also come back without her, distraught only to have us ask how long they were hiking. We knew that if they had taken a short hike – she found others to hike with before coming home. She was an excellent bird dog, squirrel or chipmunk chaser and mouser. She was smarter than and had more grace than many humans (I swear!) and was nothing but loving to everyone.
Sota was 11 years old and had a good life. She was loved and adored by many children who returned each year only to ask where she was so they could pet her belly.
Sadly we feel we must also tell you that she was killed by Wolves. At 3am this morning, she had to go to the bathroom. Within minutes we heard them, quickly dressed and scared them off. It was too late. This happened within 30 ft of the building. It is a testament to the severity of the Wolf situation. We understand that this was always a possibility, and that the wolves are just trying to survive. We also know there are those out there who will criticize us for even mentioning the wolf situation, but those who do not live here, have no idea how large the population is.
We used to have a deer herd of roughly 100 on the south shore of Gunflint. This year I have seen fewer than 4. Please understand that we also love the wolves and appreciate there need for balance in nature, but our position has and always will remain this: if you are going to manage the Moose, deer, small game etc populations – you must also manage the wolf population. There is no longer a balance in our area. The wolves are beginning to becoming desperate. How long before they begin starving and become aggressive.
Rest in peace Sota – many will miss you!
Happy New Year! 2016 looks exciting and welcoming! This past holiday season was the best we’ve had in many years. The temperatures were great, the snow was plentiful, the ski trails were packed and tracked, sleds were sliding, snowmen were being made, quite the happy winter start!
For Christmas my son bought me a Chinese Checker board, favorite game of mine! I found my marbles so I’m ready to go! Stop by if you want to play a game. Remember we’re a pet friendly destination and I love puppies so feel free to share. This little guy (still unnamed) was only 10 weeks old and looked like a stuffed animal! He was adorable. We offered the names of Sasquatch and Yeti – but they were leaning towards Cesar or similar.
Gunflint Lake froze over late this year!!! The west end out front of us only froze over on the 30th of December. The East end finally froze over the morning of the 4th. With the colder temps the past week we are building ice quickly just in time for the Trout Opener this weekend.
This past year we started posting our future availability by means of google calendars in our blog section. While we still do not have online booking capability and I have to update them manually it can give you a good guide as to what might be available for our cabins, camping cabins or our Lakehome. I have also started relying on the google calendars to make updating our snow report and Ski Trail report easier and more up to date. You can always feel free to call us directly for up to date information 218-388-4454.
Summer reservations are starting to book as people seem to be planning further ahead – don’t wait too long to give us a call and start planning your escape up north!
One word describes how I felt as I watched the helicopters soar over Lutsen Mountain – Thrilled! This investment from leadership at Lutsen Mountains only reinforces the energetic growth felt throughout Cook County. In July, I completed my second year working for Visit Cook County. When I started, I thought I knew a lot about this wonderful corner of northeastern Minnesota. I have now come to realize the depth of the partnerships we share in making life here enjoyable and energized. I am delighted.AN INCREDIBLE SUMMER!
As our summer season closes, I want to highlight a few spring, summer and fall highpoints. We are all aware that Cook County offers some of the biggest and best of the midwest: tallest peak, highest waterfall, most groomed cross country ski trails, largest ski resort in the Midwest, most BWCAW entry points – you get the picture. This list is endless, and keeps on growing. Another “best” came across my desk today – Hwy. 61 from Duluth to the Canadian border was included in Mashable’s “7 Scenic Fall Foliage Drives.” And perhaps the most reputable, the title of “Coolest Small Town in America,” awarded in February to Grand Marais. We would love to hear from other business owners regarding the summer experience of 2015. We know World’s Best Donuts sold more donuts than they have since opening in the summer of 1974! We look forward to hearing many more great sucess stories as we enter the last part of 2015.MEASURING SUCCESS
Safe to say – our efforts in marketing and media relations have paid off. I, along with the Visit Cook County team, serve our tourism related economy tirelessly. Thanks to our partnership with Giant Voices and LINPR we have built a successful marketing and PR strategy that is showing results. These partnerships allow us to build upon great outreach opportunities like sharing a booth with WTIP at the MN State Fair (a complete blast) followed by a live media appearance with KARE 11.
The one true measurement of tourism success for Visit Cook County is our lodging tax. This is always a moving target as we have lodging properties that pay monthly, quarterly and annually. We measure our monthly decreases and gains based on prior year figures which actually allow us to be pretty close on the measurement. And of course, we work extra hard to bring people here in our shoulder seasons of April and November. The County collects the lodging tax and prepares all the reporting. You can see all the figures if you look here: http://www.cookcountychamber.org/charts.php?id=15
That said, Visit Cook County’s fiscal year began May 1. If you calculate the success in the first three months of our fiscal year, the statistics are astounding. A quick snapshot of May-July shows growth in Lutsen/Tofte/Schroeder up 15.9% and Grand Marais is up 15.8%. And on an even bigger scale, lodging sales in 2014 totaled $33Million dollars. In a county that records $150million in sales, we need to tip our hats to the lodging property owners – not only as economic tourism drivers but also as employers.
We hope you have saved the date to celebrate with Visit Cook County and the Cook County Chamber on November 3rd at Lutsen Resort. You can look forward to more information about the event in the coming weeks, but until then, make sure you’ve saved the date!
The Trapper’s Daughter & The…..
The day we have all been waiting for is finally here!!!
It is my great pleasure today, on April 25th 2015, to present to you for the first time,
Wow, isn’t she a beauty??
After their long sail along the Lake Superior coast, the Trapper’s Daughter, Bear & Raccoon are finally able to relax on the shore near a big campfire. With beautiful bright embers floating toward the starlit sky, this print … read more
Day 5! Day 5! Day 5!
Today is the last day of our countdown before we reveal the NEW Trapper’s Daughter print for 2015!!
We kick off today’s countdown with a truly incredible print from 2013,
“The Trapper’s Daughter Crosses the Height of the Land as Winter Fades From the Woods & Waters.”
“The Trapper’s Daughter and the Spring Moose” came into the gallery like a hurricane. We could hardly keep this image on the walls and in the bins after … read more
Day 4 of Our Trapper’s Daughter Adventure!
Day 4 of our Trapper’s Daughter adventure beings with the winner of our 2014 Summer Solstice Trapper’s Daughter Bracket Competition….
In 2010, Rick Allen decided to try something new. With 26 different wood blocks, and 26 individual passes through the press, Rick and his famous helper Janelle, the Warrior Printress, worked their tails off on this one!!!
But wait…. there’s MORE!
The Kenspeckles decided to add a beautiful moon to the Long … read more
Day 3 of our Trapper’s Daughter Voyage!
We commence day 3 of our Trapper’s Daughter voyage with the eighth image in Rick Allen’s series….
Back in 2009, you could hear all of our jaws collectively drop, “KER PLUNK,” as we viewed “The Trapper’s Daughter Takes the Otter Slide” for the first time. What a beauty! Rick Allen really went to town with this gem.
One of my favorite parts about Rick’s prints is that so often they spark a wonderful, rich memory. … read more
“The Trapper’s Daughter & the Second Day”
We kick off day two of our Trapper’s Daughter countdown with Rick Allen’s 4th image in this enchanted series. Released in 2006, this beauty is a gallery staff favorite:
Our first glimpse of the Trapper’s Daughter out of the winter, we see her strong, axe wielding arms and bare feet. A vision of strength and courage, she crosses the lake atop two loons. When looking at the clouds, I can’t help … read more