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The Evil iPhone

Boundary Waters Blog - Tue, 09/22/2015 - 10:44am

I know it isn’t fair to only pick on the iPhone so I will include all smart phone type devices when I say they are evil.  According to a web article I read the first iPhone was released June 27, 2007. In my opinion it should be recognized as a day of gloom every year. Obviously no lives were lost like on D-Day or September 11th but the undesirable habits and behaviors those handheld gadgets have created are very depressing.

The ugliness of the iPhone and like gadgets has no boundaries. It affects people of all ages and races without discrimination. I’ve seen grandparents ignore grandchildren who are in the same room just to text someone or look up some trivial information.  I’ve seen babies play with iPhones and toddlers watch movies on them. I’m going to pick on my kids and their friends only because it was the most recent abuse I witnessed.

Abby and Josh had some friends up to Voyageur this weekend and we finally have broadband internet. I walked into our living room once and saw all of them on their personal evil device. Scrolling through Instagram feeds, snap-chatting their friends, watching senseless vine feeds, “liking” photos on Facebook and who knows what else these children sat on the sofas like little zombies. They were all in the same room yet they were not interacting with each other.

It was a very sad scene and I’m afraid my living room isn’t the only place it is happening. It’s everywhere. At sporting events, restaurants, in vehicles and everywhere you look the iPhone is replacing conversation and worse. I don’t think we’ll know all of the ill-effects these gadgets have for awhile and it will never be soon enough.

Luckily I live in a place where cell phones don’t work and I can turn off the wi-fi.  That motivated them to get off of the couch and get outside to enjoy the 70 degree temperature and sunshine.

I took them to a campsite in the BWCA to enjoy the afternoon. They played catch, swam, visited, explored and had a great time. Back at Voyageur they played at the volleyball court, jumped off the dock, went fishing, paddleboarding and swam some more. They even played a game of cards.

When it was time for a movie at night the wi-fi was back on and the gadgets were back in their hands. None of them could watch a movie without checking something on their iPhone every fifteen seconds. I’m not kidding. These kids are so addicted to these gadgets they can’t be without them.  And as I said before, kids aren’t the only ones.

What are adults afraid they are going to miss out on if they don’t continually have access to their phones? Is it a missed Facebook post about who has the brightest child, cutest puppy or best husband? I have no idea but I do know you can get away from this by taking a canoe trip into the BWCA.

There are adults who can’t imagine going on a Boundary Waters trip because they can’t use their iPhone. How sad is that? I hope you will challenge those people you know to spend a week gadget free and there’s no better place to do it than in the Boundary Waters.

I don’t know what the solution is but I do know there is a big problem and it is one I dislike very much. It sure would be nice to go back in time 8-years and beg someone to not release the evil iPhone. Until that happens, visit the BWCA frequently and run quickly away from evil.

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Kratt Chat: Summer’s success

Visit Cook County - Mon, 09/21/2015 - 11:39am
Kratt Chat: Summer’s success September 2015

New Gondola Installation at Lutsen Mountains

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.


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.


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:

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 post Kratt Chat: Summer’s success appeared first on Cook County Minnesota.

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Cache Bay Ranger Station is “Where We Were”

Boundary Waters Blog - Mon, 09/21/2015 - 6:38am

Congratulations to BWCARunner who guessed the location of the photos posted in the blog on the 18th of September. I’m guessing more people knew where the photos were taken but didn’t take the time to comment on the blog to let me know their answer. Here are some more photos that would have taken the guessing out all together.  Thanks for playing!

Cache Bay Ranger Station


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A Year in the BWCA Begins Soon

Boundary Waters Blog - Sun, 09/20/2015 - 4:26pm

This is the time of year most people think about putting their paddles away for the winter. Not Amy and Dave Freeman, their paddling adventure will begin on Wednesday and it won’t end until the lakes turn hard. Then their mode of transportation will switch from paddling to dogsledding for the winter months before they will once again bring out the paddles to complete their one year stint.

Their one year adventure in the Boundary Waters is to bring awareness to the threats posed by sulfide-ore copper mining near the BWCA.  They want the wilderness area protected from potential harm from mining. It’s something they along with many others are passionate about.

In 2014 the Freeman’s paddled a canoe and sailed from the BWCA to Washington D.C. in an effort to “Save the Boundary Waters.”  The fear of an environmental catastrophe that would alter the BWCA is what is driving them to take this adventure.

You can find out more about their journey by visiting the linked websites in this blog. You can also sign a petition to help “Save the Boundary Waters.”  We wish them a wonderful year in the BWCA and look forward to helping them when they get to our neck of the woods.

Save the Boundary Waters


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Testing Time

Arrowhead Electric - Thu, 09/17/2015 - 3:28pm


Arrowhead Cooperative linemen will be doing pole testing in Hovland and Colvill, starting September 22nd and lasting until the beginning of September. The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) requires testing of all of our power poles. Per their guidelines, Arrowhead Cooperative tests 1/10th of our system each year, or about 800 poles. The linemen make sure the poles are still serviceable and look for any defects. If you see our guys out working next week give them a wave of thanks for maintaining our system, keeping our lights on and keeping us all safe!

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Earthwork has started

Very fitting that the week of Labor Day marked the actual start of real construction.  Edwin E. Thoreson, Inc. from Grand Marais is on-site doing the earthwork.  The parking lot for the Care Center has been removed and earthwork is taking place for the new addition.

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Autumn Brew Review, Unplugged and More at Voyageur Brewing Company

Voyageur Brewing - Mon, 09/14/2015 - 2:58pm

Fall is usually a season when things start to slow down but that doesn’t seem to be the case this year at Voyageur Brewing Company. We have a fun-filled week planned and lots to look forward to.

This weekend is Unplugged, a fall gathering put on by the North House Folk School in Grand Marais.  There are classes, artisans, a schedule full of great musicians and Voyageur Craft Beer.  We’ll be pouring our beer along with Fulton beginning at 5:30pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We hope to see you at this wonderful event.

On Thursday, September 17th at 2:00pm Duluth Mayor, Don Ness will be at Voyageur Brewing Company.  He’ll be talking about his new book he just released and enjoying our craft beer.

This Saturday, September 19th is the Autumn Brew Review and Voyageur will be there along with 110+ other breweries. It’s an outdoor festival on the banks of the Mississippi River at the historic Grain Belt Brewery complex in Northeast Minneapolis! Tickets are sold out but hopefully you already have yours.

And last but not least we have started bottling our beer. Bottles of our beer are now available at numerous locations in our area as well as at the Grand Marais Municipal Liquor Store. You can pick up a six-pack of our Devil’s Kettle IPA or our Boundary Water’s Brunette, a wild rice brown ale.

We’re happy to be busy with all of these activities and bottling our beer for you to enjoy.

Six Pack Bottles of Voyageur Beer


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Walk to School Day: Wednesday, September 16th

Moving Matters - Fri, 09/11/2015 - 9:01am

Students are returning for another school year and many will be getting there on foot or bike. The Safe Routes to School Committee works year-round to make it safer and easier for children to walk and bike to and from school. Studies have found that physical activity, such as walking or biking to school, allows students to concentrate better during the school day. And while many students in our county do not live in Grand Marais, many walk or bike to an after-school destination in Grand Marais. This past week, Slow Down lawn signs, an additional speed feedback sign, school zone speed enforcement, and a new school entry design at ISD 166 were all at work reminding our community that school has started and drive carefully to keep students safe. This coming Wednesday (Sept. 16th) will be the first Walk to School Day, with three routes of Walking School Buses in Grand Marais.

Walking School Buses are groups of students and adult volunteers walking to school together. The first monthly event will be on Wednesday, September 16th, accompanied by members of the Grand Marais City Council, the Mayor of Grand Marais, and officers from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. Each Walking School Bus stops at ISD 166 and GES on time for school to begin. If your student normally gets a ride to school, come in a little early and walk or bike with the Walking School Bus from one of the starting locations: the Cook County Courthouse (7:30 am departure), Birchwood Apartments (7:40 am departure), or County Road 7 and 7th Ave. East (7:40 am departure). Students are welcome to join along the route or meet at the starting location (see map for routes).

Will your student be walking or rolling to/from school this year? When not participating in a Walking School Bus, it is recommended that you pick a route with your child and test is out together. Once a student and parent/guardian set a route, it is best that the student follows it consistently so that an adult knows where the student is traveling. *Please note that the Safe Routes to School group, Minnesota Department of Health, and Statewide Health Improvement Program work together to encourage walking and bicycling to school, but do not ensure safety or assume liability for anyone’s commute to or from school.

Cook County Safe Routes to School (SRTS) strives to improve the health of kids and our community by making walking and bicycling to school safer, easier, and more enjoyable. In addition to coordinating Walking School Bus days in the fall and spring, SRTS also offers the annual bike rodeo in the spring, in-school bike education, and works to create safer routes with improved pedestrian and bicyclist infrastructure, crossing guard equipment, and community signage (“Slow Down & Smile! Kids on the Move!”). The October Walking School Buses will be on Wednesday, October 21st.

For more information about Safe Routes to School, to volunteer, or for a Slow Down lawn sign, contact SRTS Coordinator, Maren Webb, at 218-387-2330 or

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Sat. Aug. 15, 5pm – Clearwater Centennial Party

Clearwater Lodge Tales - Tue, 08/11/2015 - 9:34am

We’re throwing a bash to celebrate our 100th birthday this Saturday, and you are invited! We’ll be honoring Charlie & Petra Boostrom, their extended family, and all the lives that have been touched over the last century here on the Gunflint Trail. We’ll have the BBQ hot, and we provide the brats. We’ll also have treats available from the bakery for a small donation. And be sure to bring your dancing...

The post Sat. Aug. 15, 5pm – Clearwater Centennial Party appeared first on Clearwater Historic Lodge & Canoe Outfitters.

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June 16 power outtage!

Gunflint Pines Northwoods News - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 8:24am

Just found out there’s a power outtage scheduled for 9-12 noon today. NO phones or e-mail until it’s over!

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The Trapper’s Daughter & the…..

Sivertson Gallery - Sat, 04/25/2015 - 3:06am

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

The post The Trapper’s Daughter & the….. appeared first on Sivertson Blog.

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Trapper’s Daughter Day 5!!!

Sivertson Gallery - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 5:07am

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

The post Trapper’s Daughter Day 5!!! appeared first on Sivertson Blog.

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Day 4 of Our Trapper’s Daughter Adventure!

Sivertson Gallery - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 3:24am

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

The post Day 4 of Our Trapper’s Daughter Adventure! appeared first on Sivertson Blog.

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Day 3 of our Trapper’s Daughter Voyage!

Sivertson Gallery - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 3:17am

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 post Day 3 of our Trapper’s Daughter Voyage! appeared first on Sivertson Blog.

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The Trapper’s Daughter & the Second Day!

Sivertson Gallery - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 1:50am

“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

The post The Trapper’s Daughter & the Second Day! appeared first on Sivertson Blog.

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The Trapper’s Daughter & the Unwritten Story

Sivertson Gallery - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 1:31am


The Trapper’s Daughter & the Unwritten Story


This year’s Gallery Hop Earth Day Celebration at Siiviis in Duluth will be unlike any other event before! Why, do you ask? Well my friends, because this year’s celebration is truly a dream come true. On April 25th, the ladies of Siiviis, along with the Kenspeckles of the Kenspeckle Letterpress present to you:

A THIRTEEN year retrospective featuring all 17 of the Trapper’s Daugher breathtaking appearances in print, including this year’s truly amazing addition to … read more

The post The Trapper’s Daughter & the Unwritten Story appeared first on Sivertson Blog.

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“Early”Winter at Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B

Poplar Creek Courier - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 1:47pm
November 20, 2014- This morning the temperature dipped below zero (-1) for the first time this fall. About 4-5" of snow on the ground. Yesterday Poplar Lake was frozen over. Winter is arriving earlier then we have had in a few years.
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Down Trees from July Storm Block Ski Trail

Poplar Creek Courier - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 1:47pm
Volunteers Log Productive Day on the Banadad; But alot More to do “Imagine going out for a lovely ski on the Banadad Ski Trail and coming across a very large clump of down birches, balsams and a twenty inch aspen flanked by two other large aspen blocking the trail. ...
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storm Hits western area of the BWCA

Poplar Creek Courier - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 1:47pm
    PRESS RELEASE Superior National Forest Superior National Forest July 23, 2014 Contact: Kris Reichenbach 218-626-4393   Many Cooperate in Emergency Response to Windstorm   The storm blows many trees down and there were repors of some of the Gunflint Trail area side roads blocked ...
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