Everybody breathed a sigh of relief on Wednesday as the weeks-long drought in Cook County was broken with a 3-inch rain. Well, maybe not everybody. As per usual, the parking lot in front of the Cook County Whole Foods Co-op flooded. The upside? A stand-up paddleboard heaven. In past years, kayaks and canoes plied the “lake” in the parking lot after a hard rain. It took about eight hours for all the water to drain away.
The weather should be great this weekend. though, so plan to explore all the cool things happening in Cook County.
There are several exhibits to enjoy. Susan Frame’s Sumi-e Painting Exhibit opened at the Johnson Heritage Post last weekend to critical acclaim. The exhibit continues through Sept. 13. The Heritage Post is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday and Monday.
The “Archives & Extras” exhibit continues at Betsy Bowen’s Studio & Galleries through Aug. 23. The show includes selected woodcut prints (some never seen before) by Betsy Bowen as well as works from her favorite artists. Stephan Hoglund is also exhibiting his photographs in the show, as well as his paintings by local and regional artists. The studio and galleries are open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
The Cross River Heritage Center is exhibiting works by painters Sandi Pillsbury-Gredzens, Charlotte Durie and David Hahn and mixed media art by Kim Knutson. The Heritage Center in Schroeder is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. The Lake Superior Watercolor Society opens an exhibit there Sept. 1.
For events this weekend, there will be a Nature Journaling Workshop at Sugarloaf Cove from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Participants will be supplied with a small sketch book and variety of drawing and painting equipment for the day. Cost is $20 non-members/$18 members. Preregistration is required. To register, click here.
The Cook County Farm & Craft Market opens at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Senior Center Parking lot. It features vegetables in season as well as a variety of arts & crafts. It runs through 1 p.m.
Melissa Wickwire will give a demo in the ceramics studio of the Grand Marais Art Colony at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
And at 5 p.m, Saturday, award-winning Duluth author Margi Preus will talk about her latest book, “Enchantment Lake,” at a Writer’s Salon at Drury Lane Books. All invited. Preus’ first novel for young people, “Heart of a Samurai,” is a Newbery Honor Book, a recipient of the Asian Pacific American Award for Children’s Literature, and an NPR Backseat Book Club pick.
Preus served as the artistic director of Colder by the Lake Comedy Theatre for 25 years and. with her collaborator, Jean Sramek, has written hundreds of comedy sketches, a couple of comic operas and dozens of plays for young people and grown-ups.
And finally, on Saturday night, the North Shore Music Association will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a gospel music bonanza with Rev. R.L. Bush and the Revived Sons at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. Rev. Bush was born into a legacy of great gospel music. His grandfather, Louis Johnson, was on of the lead singers for the Swan Silvertones, one of the greatest gospel quartets of all time. Now, with more than 20 years of singing and spreading the gospel under his belt, Rev. Bush is recognized as one of the strongest performers on the circuit. His most recent performance in Cook County was as lead singer for The Carpenter Ants at WTIP’s Radio Waves Music Festival last year. The music (and dancing) start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 adults, $5 18 and under.
On Wednesday, Aug. 26, cellist Yvonne Caruthers, flutist Gina Macy and oboist Philis Anderson will present “Musical Animals” at 10:30 a.m. at the Grand Marais Public Library as part of the celebration of the completion of the Summer Reading Program. The presentation includes a butterfly, busy bees and the duck from Peter and the Wolf. There will be a picnic and games on the front lawn at noon, too.
Aug. 27: Art Exhibit “Sofia” by Daniel Hansen, North House Folk School.
Aug. 28: Outdoor film screening of “Kharma Bums,” North House Folk School, 8:30 p.m
Aug. 29: William Kent Krueger, Arrowhead Center for the Arts, 3p.m. Aug. 29: Full Moon Reading with Kate Fitzgerald, Drury Lane Books, 5 p.m.
Sept. 3: Monroe Crossing, Arrowhead Center for the Arts, 7 p.m.
Sept. 4: Hand-painted Woodcuts Art Show, Betsy Bowen Studio & Galleries
Sept. 5: Writer’s Salon with Jim Perlman, Drury Lane Books, 5 p.m.
Sept. 11-18: Plein Air 2015: Grand Marais Art Colony. Exhibit at the Johnson Heritage Post Art Gallery opens Sept. 18
Sept. 11-13: Eighth annual Radio Waves Music Festival, Sweetheart’s Bluff, Grand Marais
Sept. 17-19: Unplugged XIV, North House Folk School. Tickets on sale at www.northhouse.org.
In other art news, Sivertson Gallery has just received a new Cape Dorset print as well as four new tin collages by Michael Sweere.
Tickets are now on sale for the Grand Marais Art Colony‘s annual fundraiser: Tour d’Art: Artful Abodes, an exclusive home tour, reception, exhibit highlighting the art of architecture, home design, and functional art. The tour is Oct. 3. Click here for more info.
Definitely Superior Art Gallery in Thunder Bay announced this week that Sarah Link’s exhibit, which was to open in September, has been postponed until next year. The gallery will have a grand reveal party in the streets for the new Die Active wall-art creation during Culture Days and Open Days and Open Streets Sept. 26-27 in Thunder Bay.
And you might have missed this one: The Really, Really, Really Long Table event on Saint Paul St. in Thunder Bay, where more than 300 people will sit down to an outdoor five-course feast prepared by Steve Simpson, owner and head chef of Tomlin Restaurant. The event is a fundraiser for Roots to Harvest, a non-profit in the city. It was fully booked this week. Tickets went for $125.
For old-time fun this weekend, check out the Lake County Fair at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Two Harbors, Aug. 20-23. It’s an old-fashioned county fair with livestock, entertainment, a Midway and more. No chickens, though. Bird exhibits are prohibited because of the avian flu scare.
For music in Cook County this weekend:
Thursday, Aug. 2o:
- Joe Paulik, Music by the Campfire, Lutsen Resort, 6 p.m.
- Evergreen Grass Band, Gun Flint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 21:
- Gordon Thorne & Bob Bingham, Camp 61, Main St., Beaver Bay 6 p.m.
- Maria Nickolay, Music by the Campfire, Eagle Ridge Resort, 7 p.m.
- Bug Lite, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7:30 p.m.
- Evergreen Grass Band, Gun Flint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 22:
- Joe Paulik, Voyageur Brewing Co., 3 p.m.
- Gordon Thorne, Patio, Superior National Golf Course, 3 p.m.
- Pete Kavanaugh, Music on the Deck, Papa Charlie’s, 6 p.m.
- Bughouse, Gun Flint Tavern, 7 p.m.
- Eric Frost, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
- Joe Paulik, Music by the Campfire, Bluefin Bay Resort, 7 p.m.
- Rev. R.L. Bush and the Revived Sons, Arrowhead Center for the Arts, 7:30p.m.
- Gordon Thorne, Cascade Restaurant, 7:30 p.m.
- Evergreen Grass Band, Gun Flint Tavern, 9 p.m.
- Timmy Haus, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 23:
- Yvonne Caruthers, Bach with Breakfast, Sydney’s, 7:30 a.m.
- Pete Kavanaugh, Music on the Mountain, Caribou Highlands, 5 p.m.
- Yvonne Caruthers, Gunflint Lodge, 6 p.m.
- Joe Paulik, Big Bear Lodge, 6:30 p.m.
- Bug Lite, Gun Flint Tavern, 7 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 24:
- Timmy Haus, Gun Flint Tavern, 6:30 p.m.
This isn’t exactly a landscape photo, but it is a charming representation of Betsy Bowen’s Studio & Galleries. The painter, Pam Fioritto, led an evening of painting and wine at Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery last weekend.
Christian Dalbec caught these fox cuties the other day.
Here’s a sweet photo of the Cross River flowing into Lake Superior, courtesy of Lamb’s Resort.
Sandra Updyke captured this wonderful shot the other day.
Lots of people were out shooting at night last week. Here are a few of the beauties we found:
And last, but not least, this gorgeous shot of the Milky Way by Nace Hagemann.
Enjoy your weekend, everyone!
In the past 24 hours we’ve received almost 1.5″ of rain. The rain was much needed as the land was parched. Fire is a four letter “F” word we don’t like to mention around here. We’ve been fortunate to not have to deal with it for a number of years and with this rain we’re pretty sure we’ll make it through another season.
Paddling and camping in the rain isn’t always an ideal situation but it sure beats not being able to go camping due to wildfires. We feel for the folks elsewhere in the US who are dealing with wildfires and we pray for their safety as well as the folks fighting the fires.
You can find out where fires are burning on this website.
There are times when one must change into or out of an outfit in a not very private space. I just read an article about one person who ended up in jail by exposing too much of himself in front of the wrong person.
Most public landings on the Gunflint Trail have an outhouse or adequate woods to provide privacy while urinating or changing. I encourage folks to use a private area rather than making everyone uncomfortable by changing out in the open. Yes, I have seen butts and boobs and other dangly things but I prefer not to see them up close and personal thank you very much.
Most of the time there is a vehicle parked at the BWCA landing you can take advantage of. Strategically placing yourself between your two open doors provides a pretty good screen. Just make sure no one is in the car or on the other side of the vehicle.
The article suggested using a bath robe or having someone hold a towel. While this does work an easier way for women is to bring along a long, billowy skirt with an elastic waist. It needs to be long enough so you can pull it up over your bust and still cover your rump. With this on you can easily change garments beneath it without giving anyone a show. You can also squat down to pee without exposing yourself too. It cuts down on bites to the buttocks as well as embarrassment.
Do you have any good advice for those who must change in places that aren’t so private? If so, then let me know, I’m always looking for new techniques.
8/18/15 - During the summer there are many opportunities to hear music informally at Sawbill - customers often bring musical instruments to play by the fire or down by the lake. In addition to more casual concerts, there are two Sawbill-sponsored events where customers and crew members come together to listen to quality, local music.
First is the Dome Dance, held this year on August 2nd. Crew members give the old dome a good sprucing up and everyone is invited for live music and dancing! If you don't consider yourself a good dancer, don't worry - there's a caller and if you can follow directions, you'll do just fine.
Partners swing down the aisle during the paddle dance
Ladies waiting in line
A former crew member is carried away during the paddle dance
The second musical event is the Songwriter Circle, hosted by award winning musician Jerry Vandiver. Jerry, who hails from Nashville, has recording credits on more than 15 million records, including songs with Tim McGraw, The Oak Ridge Boys, Lee Greenwood, and more. His songs bring together two of his passions, music and canoeing, with classics such as "Camp Coffee" and "Rocks and Roots."
Crew member Logan Sheets joined Jerry, Frosty (a former crew member) and Bill for a few songs.
Olive, another crew member, sang a sweet song called "Emmylou"
Logan and Olive were then joined by a third crew member, Claire, and performed "Sittin' on the dock of the bay," which should have been "Sitting on the dock of the lake"- Elena
This weekend we had a few special visitors to Voyageur Canoe Outfitters. All of our guests are special but these visitors were previous crew members.
Kristi and her grandmother drove to the end of the Gunflint Trail to visit us. She was our food packer for a couple of summers in 2010 and 2011. You would probably recognize her if you saw her because she is featured in a number of photos on our website, on the cover of our new brochure and on one of our t-shirts that has photos of the crew of 2011 on it.
Nick and his fiance came up the trail for a visit too. We’ve known Nick since he was a very young boy because he vacationed here with his dad and uncles when we first bought Voyageur. He enjoyed his time here so much he came to help out one summer for a week or two and then in 2001 he spent all summer as part of our crew.
It was wonderful to see these familiar faces and have a chance to catch up with them. As I’ve mentioned before, all of our crew holds a special place in our hearts and we welcome them back to Voyageur any time.
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?
We had many guesses in July, but only two were correct. The incorrect entries read like a Who’s Who of the fantastic hiking trails in Cook County. Some of the wrong guesses were the Lutsen Resort and Chik Wauk Nature Trails; the trail to Devil’s Kettle; to Oberg and Eagle mountains; at the Gunflint Hills Golf Course and more.
Congratulations to Lori Ericson of Minneapolis and Betty King of Tofte who both recognized the boardwalk on the trail to Carlton Peak in Tofte. Betty’s name was drawn and she will receive a free subscription to the Cook County News-Herald.
Try your luck! Take a look at the August photo. If you think you know where we were when we took this picture, send us your answer.
You don’t have to be the first to reply. The location will be announced next month and a winner will be drawn from all the correct answers.
Whoever is drawn from the correct entries will win a free one-year subscription to the Cook County News-Herald (a $32 value). Good luck!
Return answer by mail, e-mail or fax to:
Cook County News-Herald
PO Box 757
Grand Marais MN 55604
Answer to the August WHERE ARE WE? must be received by September 14, 2015.
If you happened to see the previous post about a scheduled power outage in the Maple Hill area, it has been cancelled and the rescheduled date will be published here when available.
8/17/15 - We've had a couple of nice notes from Sawbill canoeists.
Adam Lindquist sent along this beautiful photo of a solo canoeist ending their trip at the Sawbill Lake canoe landing.
Photo by Adam Lindquist.
We are privileged to meet so many interesting people here at Sawbill and Adam sure falls in the interesting category. Aside from his real job as an investment banking consultant, he is a well known Teddy Roosevelt impersonator. Check out his cool website at: http://teddyrooseveltlive.com/.
Gary Hamer sent us this link to a slide show of his recent canoe trip starting at Kawishiwi Lake. Thanks Gary! - Bill
Good-byes are not my favorite thing, especially if I have to say it to someone I really like. It’s twice as difficult to do when it’s two people and heart wrenching when those two people are Hannah and Tony.
Tony and Hannah have been part of the Voyageur Crew since May of 2014. They spent all of last winter with us at Voyageur and this fall they are heading back to school to finish up.
If you have met Hannah and Tony then you know what amazing people they are. Filled with positive energy and always wearing a smile they will be missed deeply by our family, crew and guests.
Another chapter in the Voyageur Canoe Outfitter’s book has ended. A new book has begun for Tony and Hannah and we hope it is filled with fun and success. They are truly one-of-a-kind individuals who together become even better.
We are grateful to have had them in our lives and hope they find their way back to Voyageur to visit soon or even better to begin another chapter with us. “Good-bye” seems to permanent so I’ll stick with “See you later, we’ll miss you and can’t wait to see you again.”
It has been hot outside. Keeping cool is important and the best way to cool off is by spending time in cold water. The lakes of the Boundary Waters are the perfect temperature for swimming right now. While Lake Superior is still pretty cold it feels mighty refreshing to take a quick dip into the big lake. If rivers are more your style then there are plenty to choose from on the North Shore. Today we chose a hike in the Kadunce for exploring and keeping cool.
If you have a chance to come up and visit Chik-Wauk Museum you will start to see the beginning of the new Nature Center that will be open for the 2016 season. A huge thank you to everyone that has donated to the Phase 2 Capitol Building Campaign we could not have done any of this without your generosity. We still have a bit to raise to continue the outstanding high quality of the presentations that you see in the Chik-Wauk Museum to match the same high quality we have planned for the Nature Center. If you would like to donate to the Building Campaign follow the link to The Gunflint Trail Historical Society website.
Summer is still here on the Gunflint Trail, it reminds me every day when the temperatures are above 75 degrees. I know some people think that is not hot but for me I love the winters. I don’t want to wish away summer just yet, I still have many places I want to get out and hike to or maybe get out on a canoe trip.
One event I can’t wait for is the Old Fashioned Pie and Ice Cream Social that is being held up here at Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center on the 6th of September from 11 am to 4 pm. We ask for a donation of $5 per slice of pie ala mode. Along with the Pie and Ice Cream Social the gift shop at the museum will be having a Side Walk Sale. You will be able to find some items up to 50% off. If you have not stopped into Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center this summer we are open 10 am to 5 pm daily until the 18th of October. See you soon.
Robert Frost famously penned a poem proclaiming good fences to be good neighbors. But we don’t really “do” fences around these parts and the fences that we do have are usually attempts to keep rabbits and deer out of our veggie gardens.
We kind of think that Robert misspoke when he wrote that poem. Did he mean benches? We’re pretty sure that’s it. Benches. He meant benches all along!
Case in point – just a couple weeks back, we got a really good bench from a really good neighbor.
We’d noticed that bench on the office front porch had done its job well, but was ready for a replacement. Andy mentioned that maybe Bob Sr. over on Gunflint Lake could make a couple new benches for Tuscarora. Ada and Bob know each other pretty well from their time working for the Gunflint Trail Historical Society and Chik-Wauk Museum. (You might also have bumped into Bob if you’ve ever been down to Gunflint Pines.) In fact, you’ve probably seen some of Bob’s benches if you’ve ever stopped in at Chik-Wauk. But we weren’t really sure if Bob was still in the bench making business, so to speak, but figured, hey, it never hurts to ask.
When we floated the bench building project past Bob, he said, “Sure!” and called it a “win-win.” He got to use up some materials that had been clogging up the back of his workshop and we got a brand new bench.
We weren’t sure of Bob’s timeline with the bench project, but we figured he’d give us a call in the next few months when it was finished and we’d trundle down to Gunflint Lake to pick it up. But just 10 days or so after we’d initially asked, Bob and grandson came rolling up with a new bench in the back of the truck. Such service!
After spending a little time in the Tuscarora workshop getting varnished, the new bench is now ready to be enjoyed by you as you wait for the rest of your group to finish up in the office. It would also be a good place to have an ice cream or cold pop (or beer) at the end of your trip.
Thank you Bob for the beautiful bench and thank you for being such a good neighbor.
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...
Jerry Vandiver, a good friend of Tuscarora and canoe country in general, will once again be in concert at Tuscarora Lodge and Canoe Outfitters. Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 8 at 7:30 p.m. when Jerry and a few Tuscarora crew members will tune up their guitars and fiddles for a night of paddle tunes.
Here’s Jerry and some friends when they stopped by the Visit Cook County booth at Canoecopia 2014 in Madison, WI. Ada and Andy happened to be staffing the booth that year and Jerry was kind enough to swing by for an impromptu concert.
Jerry’s an award-winning singer/songwriter based in Nashville. He scored a Billboard Top 5 single on Gene Watson’s “Don’t Waste It On The Blues,” a Top 20 on Wild Rose’s “Go Down Swingin’,” and #2 on Tim McGraw’s “For A Little While.” Jerry has songs on over 15 million records, two of which are hanging on the walls of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
His collection of paddle inspired songs, True and Deep is a available in the Tuscarora trading post and we feel lucky that he’s made his August concert at Tuscarora a tradition. All are welcome to attend the August 8th concert. We hope to see you there!
Joi Electra is a professional practicing artist from the Grand Marais area. She has been offering Painting Adventures all summer long. On Saturday she has been coming up the Gunflint Trail and stops at various places to paint. Today she and her student were up here at Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center, they choose to paint at my favorite lunch spot.
I had the privilege to meet Pastor Ham Muus who was one of the founders of Wilderness Canoe Base. He bought the land from Eve & Russell Blankenburg in 1954. Cheryl Hedstrom Dailey also stopped in today to drop off some placemats that she made with photos which she had taken back in 1964 or 65 of Seagull Lake. Cheryl’s family owned End of the Trail Lodge from 1946 to 1965. Cheryl told me a story today about how her and her sister Lee had to do various jobs at the resort. In the wintertime they would put up ice for the guests that would stay at the resort in the summer months. Not a favorite job for Lee was to go around and deliver the ice to the guests staying with them. Cheryl and her sister Lee have donated various items to be sold in our gift shop at Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center. That is what I love about Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center I get to meet such nice and interesting people every day. Some made the Gunflint Trail their home for so many years and some are just passing through for a quick visit.
Just found out there’s a power outtage scheduled for 9-12 noon today. NO phones or e-mail until it’s over!
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