11/30/16 - Reporting on ice out status is usually a spring job, but this fall the weather keeps us guessing. Warm temps and lots of rain have caused an interesting phenomenon on the lake. The ice is still there, but there is now an inch or more of water floating on top of it. This causes a strange appearance of open water that doesn't have any waves, regardless of how windy it gets. -Clare
Bill snapped this photo showing the strange occurrence of Sawbill lake simultaneously frozen and open.
I had to find a picture with blue skies because I have forgotten what they look like. Another 1/4 of an inch of rain today and no sunshine. Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, shine your light on me.
It’s been raining off and on since early this morning. The temperature was in the high 30’s and 40’s all day so it was too warm for snow. Up the trail we received over a half of an inch of rain while closer to town they received over an inch. The rivers are running like it’s springtime and the majority of the snow has been eaten away. It’s suppose to cool off this week which should result in snow flurries which would be a little more normal for this time of the year.
Ok, don’t spoil this by watching the video from the beginning, well you could, but I want to suggest you start at 3:36 into the video. This guy is so enthusiastic about skipping rocks on ice, I love it! This could easily be done on a number of lakes on the Gunflint Trail(or anywhere) before the snow piles up. Believe me, I have done it and it is super fun. And I’ve thrown the really big ones on top of the ice to try to break it. You can have a ton of fun with a frozen sheet of ice!
In the summertime we have fireworks in Grand Marais for the 4th of July and again in August for Fisherman’s Picnic. The days of summer are long and it doesn’t get dark enough for fireworks until around 10:00pm. Last night we had a parade, the lighting of the town Christmas tree and fireworks. What was the difference between last night’s fireworks and the fireworks in the summer? About 5 hours! Just as beautiful.
Things have changed a little since we last spoke. After a seemingly endless string of days in mid-40s, a week ago Thursday, just before midnight, it started to snow.
By the time the weather system had passed us by on Saturday morning, we had almost 11″ of fluffy snow. By the time Monday morning rolled around there was a thin layer, about 1″, of ice completely covering Round Lake. Talk about Insta-winter!
The thing is, the winter weather hasn’t let up since. On Tuesday and Wednesday, another 5″ of snow accumulated and all day today, fluffy (and un-forecasted) snowflakes drifted down lazily to earth to freshen up the already very wintery scene. As much as winter clobbered us with its arrival this year, after such a long fall, the change in season was very welcome.
We’re steadily marching towards the shortest day of the year, but there are plenty of sights in this new winter wonderland to keep us distracted from the fading daylight. The songbirds (and squirrels) are back at the feeders, each morning we find a new set of wolf tracks zigzagging through the resort, and the otters have been busy slipping and sliding across the beaver pond near the Gunflint Trail.
Now that it actually looks like winter, it’s a little easier to thinking about things like winter camping and ice fishing. Dare we say, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . . ?
If you’re hoping to spend some of your holiday season at Tuscarora, you can check out cabin availability and give us a call at 218-388-2221 to book. Because the Lodge will be closed for renovations over Christmas and New Year’s, we have limited availability over the holidays this year and the cabins we do have available are booking up fast. Consider yourself warned!
As the snow accumulates outside we’re hunkering down, knuckling down on the Lodge bathroom renovation, and preparing for the busy holiday season ahead.
Not to add to the commercialism over this retail-centric weekend, but if you’re looking for Boundary Waters/Tuscarora presents for some of the paddlers on your gift list, look no further than the Gift Shop Mini-Mart we just launched on our website. You’ll find BWCA stocking stuffers like stickers and patches, as well as slightly larger items like coffee mugs for under the tree. Happy shopping and thanks for supporting small businesses!
All aboard and welcome to the blunder bus,
Come on canoodlers, don’t make a fuss,
Join the long-tailed scallywags and the rest of us.
Welcome you doodlers and you dawdlers, too,
It doesn’t matter if you’re red or blue,
There’s plenty of room on the bus for you.
Hey there rapscallions, join the hullabaloo,
Lost sheep and scapegoats, hornswogglers, too,
All aboard the blunder bus, there’s a place for you.
Fall has been long and spectacular this year. I admit I have not been doing my usual chores, but trying to work on projects and take some time to enjoy the outdoors. A great fall hike to High cliffs, some remodeling projects, some much needed yard clean-up. Of course I’ve also been spending time visiting Jaret at College in St. Cloud, and taking a little time off with Wyatt!
We’ve added a kitten to the mix this past August (Bow Flint Baker). He’s black with big yellow eyes. He’s super friendly and has been a big hit with some of the young kids.
We’re also having some work done on the website soon to make it easier for me to update more often. I always appreciate hearing from you, and know how much you all love to hear what’s going on in the woods – I just find it hard to want to spend more time at the computer – I prefer to talk in person, or by phone! Lets hope this is a wonderful winter season. I know last year was – the skiing was stellar for much of the season, and the temps made fishing and snowshoeing fun!
Remember this is you’re place to get away from the TV, e-mail overload, and constant pinging of your text messages! (But we still let you check in!!) Winter is starting to book up so start planning. We hope to see you in the Northwoods.
This time of the year I occasionally receive a few emails requesting items from our gift shop to be shipped out for holiday gifts. We have always had the Museum Store tab on the Chik-Wauk website but we have never developed it past that point. We are just in the starting stages of the online store but you can now visit the Chik-Wauk website and view some of the items we will have for sale this winter season. We will be adding some books and a few more DVD’s to the selection in the next coming weeks.
With the additional of new Administrative Building, we now have a place to store our gift shop items for the winter as well as our sensitive archival items. In the past we have actually had to turn away some important archival items because we did not have a proper storage area in place to house these artifacts.
When Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center opened back on July 4, 2010 we had the 2000 square ft museum packed to capacity. The end of the 2016 season marked the seventh season we have been open to the public. We do recognize after being open for seven seasons we need to freshen-up some of the exhibits in the museum.
With the opening of the Nature Center this past year we were able to compliment that building with some of the natural displays that were located up in the Museum. Within the next five years we would like to highlight some other areas that did play a big part of the first pioneers that made the Gunflint Trail their home.
If you have an item you feel is just perfect for the Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center collection, we invite you to fill out an Artifact Donation Form. (Before submitting the form, you may wish to review our Collections_Policy to make sure the item really is a good fit for us.) Upon receiving your completed Artifact Donation Form, the GTHS acquisition committee will review your artifact and get back to you shortly about how we’d like to proceed with the donation process. If it is a larger item, we will ask you to commit to holding onto the artifact for the next five years. We may contact you at any time in those five years to officially receive the item into our collection.
There are a few items we will accept without going through the Artifact Donation Form process.
We are always accepting any historic photos, postcards, new letters, flyers, diaries or brochures from the Gunflint Trail that you would be willing to gift or simply loan so we scan them into our collection and then return the originals to you. Books are another item we accept for our reading corner, as long as they aren’t duplicates of books already on our shelves.
Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have about donating artifacts to the museum at email@example.com or 218-388-9915. The Gunflint Trail Historical Society’s goal is to preserve the history of the Gunflint Trail and its early settlers for residents, guests, travelers, and future generations and your photos, artifacts, and stories play an important role in that preservation.
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
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
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
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