Last week workers changed out approximately 350 meters. Just 5,000 more to go!
This week they’ll finish up on the Lutsen Resort properties and start working their way into Tofte.
Questions about the project? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page.
or contact us directly: 218-663-7239 firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s been awhile since I’ve written about earthworms but I haven’t forgotten about the destruction they can cause in a forest. Most people don’t realize the impact they can have but it’s super important, especially on the Gunflint Trail and in the Boundary Waters, that earthworms are disposed of properly. I’ve seen dead crawlers on a BWCA campsite and cringed hoping no live ones were dumped with it. All crawlers are invasive to Minnesota Forests so be sure to dispose of them in the garbage and help protect the forests.Earthworm invaders alter northern forests By Shireen Gonzaga in Earth | September 13, 2016
Native plant diversity in forests of northern North America is declining due to an invasion by earthworms introduced hundreds of years ago from Europe.Earthworms are welcomed in gardens around the world; they aerate the soil and consume dead vegetation to form worm castings that enrich the soil and help plants grow. But it’s a different story in the forests of northern North America where a non-native species of earthworm from Europe, brought by early settlers, are creating conditions that decrease the diversity of native plants, according to a new study published September 3, 2016 in the journal Global Change Biology.
The impact of non-native earthworms has been previously documented on a site-by-site basis. The study led by Dylan Craven of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research takes a broader view. He said, in a statement:
The earthworm invasion has altered the biodiversity and possibly functioning of the forest ecosystems, because it affects the entire food web as well as water and nutrient cycles.
During the last ice age, northern United States and Canada were blanketed in an ice sheet. Glaciers severely eroded the land, destroying almost all native earthworms. When the glaciers began their retreat, about 12,000 years ago, the land was gradually recolonized by a forest ecosystem that did not include earthworms.
Settlers from Europe introduced earthworms back into to these northern areas. The earthworms have since been disrupting forest ecosystems.
Craven and his team looked for a generalized pattern of how forest plant species diversity changed with the presence of European earthworms. They used previously-published data from 14 sites in the Upper Midwest, the Mid-Atlantic, and an area between Indiana and Alberta.
They found that the diversity of understory forest plants decreased significantly, not just with increasing density of the introduced earthworms, but also with a larger variety of earthworm species occupying different soil layers.
How are earthworms affecting forest ecosystems that evolved without them?
At the top soil layer, earthworms convert fallen leaves to humus. That’s a good thing if you’re growing a garden, but, in a natural forest, it causes a fast-tracking of the release of nutrients instead of allowing the leaf litter to break down more slowly, as it would without the earthworms.
Also, as they burrow through the ground, earthworms disrupt the mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship between fungi and plants. Some deep-burrowing worm species change the pH of upper soil layers by mixing in alkaline soil from deeper in the ground.
Burrows carved out by earthworms also speed up the drainage of rainwater, drying the soil faster.
All of these changes adversely affect native plants that did not evolve in such conditions. For instance, the goblin fern is rarely found in areas with high earthworm density. Other native plants facing threats include largeflower bellwort, trillium and Solomon’s seal.
Earthworms also consume the seeds and seedlings of some plant species, influencing what grows in the forest understory.
In some locations, grasses, with their fine root systems that quickly absorb nutrients, dominate the forest floor. Non-native invasive plants that evolved in soils containing earthworms gain an even stronger foothold in these forests.
Bottom line: European earthworms, introduced by early settlers, are changing the physical and chemical characteristics of soil in northern North American forests, creating a decreased diversity in native plants.
Shireen Gonzaga is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about natural history. She is also a technical editor at an astronomical observatory where she works on documentation for astronomers. Shireen has many interests and hobbies related to the natural world. She lives in Cockeysville, Maryland.
Last night I made an announcement the harvest moon was rising. Then someone else said, “That’s not the harvest moon.” I thought I remembered reading something about it so today I had to look into it. Here’s what I found.On September 16, the Harvest Moon By Deborah Byrd in Tonight | September 16, 2016
Tonight – September 16, 2016 – that full moon you’ll see ascending in the east after sunset is the Northern Hemisphere’s Harvest Moon.
Over the years, we’ve seen lots of informal uses of the term Harvest Moon. Some people (in the Northern Hemisphere) call the full moons of September and October by that name. And that’s fine. For the few months around the autumn equinox, the time of moonrise is close to the time of sunset for several evenings in a row, around the time of full moon. It’s as if there are several full moons during each autumn month.
So for example the moon you might have seen last night, September 15, looked very full and round in the sky. Did you call it a full moon? Did someone say it was the Harvest Moon? It probably looked like one!
Astronomers are scientists, though, and it’s no surprise that, to them, the term full moon or the name Harvest Moon means something very specific. To astronomers, the Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the September equinox, and full moon comes at the instant when the moon is 180o from the sun in ecliptic – or celestial – longitude.
In 2016, this equinox takes place on September 22.
The closest full moon to the autumn equinox reaches the crest of its full phase on September 16 at 19:05 UTC. For us in the continental U.S., the moon turns precisely full during the daytime hours on Friday, September 16. By U.S. clocks, that full moon instant comes at 3:05 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 2:05 p.m. Central Daylight Time, 1:05 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time or 12:05 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.
But don’t worry too much about the instant of full moon, or the time on your clock, or even where you are on the globe. No matter where you live worldwide, you’ll see a full-looking moon shining from dusk until dawn on September 16.
The September 16 full moon will rise in the east around sunset, climb highest up around midnight and will set in the west around sunrise. At the vicinity of full moon, the moon – as always – stays out all night long.
Is tonight’s moon the Harvest Moon? It sure is!
What’s the big deal about the Harvest Moon? Why are the full moons special in autumn? Around the time of the autumn equinox, the ecliptic – or the path of the sun, moon, and planets – makes a narrow angle with the horizon at sunset.
Every full moon rises around the time of sunset, and on average each successive moonrise comes about 50 minutes later daily. But, on September and October evenings – because of the narrow angle of the ecliptic to the horizon – the moon rises much sooner than the average.
So, instead of rising 50 minutes later in the days after full moon, the waning moon might rise only 35 minutes later, or thereabouts, for several days in a row (at mid-northern latitudes). At far northern latitudes – like at Fairbanks, Alaska – the moon rises about 15 minutes later for days on end.
That fact was important to people in earlier times. For farmers bringing in the harvest, before the days of tractor lights, it meant there was no long period of darkness between sunset and moonrise for several days after full moon. And that meant farmers could work on in the fields, bringing in the crops by moonlight. Hence the name Harvest Moon.
At our mid-northern latitudes, watch for the Harvest Moon to shine from dusk until dawn for the next few to several days, starting on September 16.
Bottom line: Enjoy the 2016 Harvest Moon!
If you’re going for a walk in the woods then it’s a good idea to know if there are hunters out in those woods too. Find out what type of hunting is open when and learn about our Minnesota wolf population.
Minnesota’s wolf population remains stable
Results from the latest wolf population survey show no significant change in Minnesota’s wolf population during the past four winters.
The latest survey results estimate that within Minnesota’s wolf range there were 439 wolf packs and 2,278 wolves last winter, compared to 374 packs and 2,221 wolves the year before. There has been no biologically or statistically significant change in the size of the statewide mid-winter wolf population over the past four years. Find more about the survey, with a copy of the report and more about wolf management on the DNR website.
Saturday, Sept. 17: Archery deer season opens; small game season opens including for ruffed grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, spruce grouse, Hungarian partridge, rabbits and squirrels
Saturday, Sept. 24: Waterfowl season opens; hunting seasons open for woodcock and prairie chicken
Saturday, Sept. 24-Sunday, Sept. 25: Take a Kid Hunting Weekend
Saturday, Oct. 1: Fall turkey season opens
Saturday, Oct. 15: Pheasant season opens; hunting and trapping in north zone opens for raccoon, red fox, gray fox, badger and opossum
Thursday, Oct. 20-Friday, Oct. 21: First Camp Ripley archery deer hunt
Saturday, Oct. 22: Hunting and trapping in south zone opens for raccoon, red fox, gray fox, badger and opossum
Thursday, Oct. 20-Sunday, Oct. 23: Youth deer season
Saturday, Oct. 29-Sunday, Oct. 30: Second Camp Ripley archery hunt
Saturday, Oct. 29: Trapping seasons open for beaver, otter, mink and muskrat
Saturday, Nov. 5: Firearms deer opener
Take time out of your busy schedule to spend time on a lake or near a body of water. According to an article on Take Me Fishing just being near the water helps lower anxiety. I know I always feel more relaxed by a river or a lake. We’ve got plenty of them for you to choose from on the Gunflint Trail so come on up and relax.
Maybe September is the truly the most beautiful time to be in northern Minnesota. The temperatures and the scenery are stunning, and there is still so much to enjoy culturally and communally. This weekend in Grand Marais is the 15th annual Unplugged Festival at the North House Folk School, and we are excited to serve beer there this weekend and continue our association with the venerable North House Folk School, homegrown Fulton Brewery and new neighbors North Shore Winery. The weekend should be ideal for music, conversations and beverages next to the big blue lake.
Across the street at Voyageur Brewing we will be offering the musical stylings of one of our very favorite and most popular acts, Tim Haus, on Friday night. On Saturday we are lucky to host the duo LaFond and Grillo, whose talents are unique and unforgettable. Come watch the Vikings game with us on Sunday evening, before another beautiful week begins.
You only have a few more weeks before you can bust out your dirndls and leiderhosen for Octoberfest.
This week was another heavy week of demolition on parts of the old Care Center and future remodeling areas for the existing hospital. Crews are selectively placing new steel columns in the existing hospital where they will be remodeling in the future. Rough in continues in the hospital patient wing addition and new kitchen.
This weekend is going to be so much fun. The Grand Marais Art Colony‘s Plein Air 2016 continues more public events and concludes with a gala opening at the Johnson Heritage Post on Friday night. And, North House Folk School‘s Unplugged XV gets underway on Thursday, drawing in hundreds of people to enjoy live music and northern craft.
There are all kinds of other events, too, including two readings at Drury Lane Books, Artist Talks, a Bronze Pour, a Fireside Chat … and more. Here are the details.
First up is Plein Air 2016, which has brought artists from throughout the region to paint Cook County for a week and then exhibit their work at the Johnson Heritage Post through Nov. 13.
The event, which is organized by the Grand Marais Art Colony, is a highlight of season, and this year, 80 artists have registered for the event.
Tonight, Thursday, is the spectacular Quick Paint on Artists Point from 4-5:30 p.m. Artists bring their easels and paints and set up on various parts of the beautiful tombolo on the east side of the harbor. At 4 p.m. precisely, a horn sounds and they will begin to paint. They must complete their oeuvre by 5:30 p.m., and the public is invited to watch the process. At the end, they bring their canvases to a spot along the point and lean them against the rocks so everyone can see. It’s very cool. Check out this video crafted by WDSE a few years ago to get an idea of how it works. It’s entitled “Plein Air Brush-Off.”
The public events continue. On Friday, Dan Wiemer, the juror for the event, will give a lecture in the Founders Hall at the Art Colony at 11 a.m., which is open to the public. And then, that evening, the tour de force: the Opening Reception at the Johnson Heritage Post from 5-7 p.m. There will be more than 150 paintings there. Each of juried artists gets to display two paintings each, plus their painting from the Quick Paint and the Night Paint, if they participated. It’s an evening of anticipation, celebration and fun as the winners are announced. Refreshments are served.
On Saturday, Hazel Belvo will present “The Art of Seeing” at the Heritage Post. She will lead participants through a guided tour of the exhibit and a discussion on art-viewing from 11:30-12:30, with a $5 suggested donation. The Open Class Exhibit opens at the Art Colony at noon in the Founders Hall.
And the final event, a Fireside Chat with Dan Wiemer at Sivertson Gallery will be at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Wiemer is a watercolor and acrylic painter and is the past president of the Minnesota Watercolor Society. The Fireside Chat is free and open to the public. All invited. Refreshments will be served.
Meanwhile, at North House Folk School, Unplugged XV, has been launched. The event features a weekend of workshops, demonstrations and lots of music with concerts on Friday and Saturday nights under the Big Top.
On Friday night, join Tom Paxton, Lisa Brokop, Pat Alger, and Gretchen Peters at 7 p.m. for music in the songwriter-round tradition.
The same format will be used on Saturday night, when Don Henry, Amy Speace, Kim Richey, and Jon Vezner perform. Purchase tickets here.
Unplugged XV also offers a wide variety of demonstrations on everything from spoon carving, bead embroidery, birchbark weaving and iron work at the Folk Artisan Marketplace, which will be held on Friday and Saturday. The artisans also display their work, which is for sale.
There are lots of music opportunities, too, with a songwriting class and fingerstyle guitar workshop as well as jam sessions. Unplugged XV also offers a fantastic variety of workshops. Everything from breadbaking to jewelry making, basketry to leaf printing in a steam box will be offered. There’s also an online auction. Check it out here.
For all the details and register for classes, visit www.northhouse.org.
There’s a lot more happening this weekend, too.
Erin Theresa Watson will give a Full Moon Reading at Drury Lane Books from 7-8 p.m. on Friday.
Watson, who is a published poet, will read selections from some of the most critically acclaimed female poets of the last five years, including Nayyirah Waheed, Ada Limón, Jorie Graham and others. Come enjoy the full moon and treat your ears to something new, Her short collection of poems, “The Smallest Heart Wins the Day,” is available at the bookstore.
On Saturday, author Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux will be featured at the Writer’s Salon at Drury Lane Books at 5 p.m.
Arrowsmith-Decoux is a local author, entrepreneur, artist and co-owner of the Art House Bed and Breakfast in Grand Marais. She will be performing stories from her book, “The Marvelous Imagination of Katie Addams” outside the bookstore at the campfire as well as giving a preview of her next book, which is due out in 2017. Children are especially invited.
Make-A-Bowl for Empty Bowls starts this weekend, with one-hour sessions available on Saturday and Sunday in the ceramic studio at the Grand Marais Art Colony. Everyone is invited to sign-up and make a bowl or two for this fundraiser to help feed the hungry in Cook County. The Empty Bowls Dinner will be Nov. 10 this year.
Instruction is provided at the Make-A-Bowl sessions, and everyone learns how to throw a bowl on the wheel as well as hand-build one. The one-hour sessions are from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. A $5 donation is requested. To sign up, contact the Grand Marais Art Colony at 387-2737 or email email@example.com.
Also this weekend, Lutsen will hold its Fall Der All, with special events at participating businesses.
Last Chance Gallery in Lutsen, for example, will be participating with a household yard sale in the sculpture garden and in-store specials on selected paintings, prints, glass, cards, books and clothing. There will be a Bronze Pour open to the public at 4 p.m. as well.The Cross River Heritage Center in Schroeder has a new exhibit that runs through Oct. 22. Artists include Charlotte Durie, Sandi Pillsbury-Gredzens, Rose Vastila, Tim Ostroot, Kathleen Gray-Anderson, Trish Hunter and Mary Jane Huggins.
One of the artists, Charlotte Durie, will give a print demonstration at the Heritage Center at 11 a.m. Sept. 24.
And the Outdoor Painters of Minnesota have an exhibit of their paint-out in the Great Hall at Tettegouche State Park.
Art continues to flourish in Thunder Bay, too.
The Thunder Bay Potters’ Guild 40th Anniversary Juried Exhibition is under way at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery with 38 works by 17 potters on display. The show includes a wide variety of works, from functional ware to sculptures.
The opening reception is at 7:30 p.m. (EDT) Thursday. All invited.
Also at the gallery, a small sample of the works that will be featured in the Annual Art Auction Sept. 30 are now on display.
The Crossing Borders Studio Tour & Sale starts next weekend, Sept.23, and runs through Oct.2. Studios from Two Harbors to Grand Portage will be featured.
Beside showing their own work, resident artists frequently invite others to participate. In Cook County, Last Chance Gallery will feature work by bronze sculptor Tom Christiansen, as well as work by fiber artist Sue Stavig and bead painter Jo Wood. The Betsy Bowen Studio will feature work by Betsy Bowen as well as work by potters JD Jorgensen, Megan Mitchell and Fritz Lehmberg, tile artist Melissa Wickwire and wood turner and artist Jim Sannerud.
Hovland artists Lee and Dan Ross as well as Ojibwe bead artist Marcie McIntire (Grand Portage) will also participate in the tour. The studios are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. This is the 20th anniversary of the studio tour and its last year. So make plans to see it! And stay tuned for details next week. Check out the Crossing Borders website for more info and maps here.
Printmaker Jerry Raich, who lives in Little Marais, will hold an open house during the Crossing Borders Tour featuring his work as well as printmaking demonstrations. His studio is located just off Hwy. 61 at Milepost 65, on the lake side. The fire number is 6452. All welcome.
In other art news:
The all-music weekend continues at WTIP, with the Bughouse and Jim & Michele Miller performing on The Roadhouse. The Roadhouse airs from 5-7 p.m.
Stephan Hoglund is exhibiting his jewelry at Betsy Bowen’s Studio.
Betsy Bowen is creating a new line of work for the Crossing Borders Studio Tour–woodblock fragments from her book, “One North Star.” The woodblocks have been cut and painted by Bowen and will be a variety of sizes.
And, finally, here’s one for beer lovers: a stainless steel Lake Superior key chain and a beer bottle opener.
Here’s the music line-up for this week.
Thursday, Sept. 15:
- Gordon Thorne, Gunflint Tavern, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 16:
- Timmy Haus, Voyageur Brewing Co., 4 p.m.
- Unplugged XV, North House Folk School, 7 p.m. with Tom Paxton, Lisa Brokop, Pat Alger, and Gretchen Peters.
- Tree Party, Gunflint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
- Country Bug, Grandma Ray’s, 8:30 p.m.
- Rod & Al, Bluefin Grille, 9 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 17:
- Frozen Britches with Michelle Miller, Cascade Lodge Pub, 6 p.m.
- Pete K, Sydney’s Frozen Custard, 6 p.m.
- UnPlugged XV, North House Folk School, 7 p.m. with Don Henry, Amy Speace, Kim Richey, and Jon Vezner
- Gordon Thorne, Lutsen Resort Lobby, 7 p.m.
- Michael Monroe, Log Cabin Concert, rural Grand Marais. 7 p.m., reservations at www.michaelmonroemusic.com
- Tree Party, Gunflint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
- Timmy Haus, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 18:
- Timmy Haus, Gunflint Tavern, 7:30 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 19:
- Open Mic Night, Grandma Ray’s. 6 p.m.
- Teague Alexy, Papa Charlie’s, Monday’s Songwriter Series, 8:30 p.m.
- Boyd Bump Blomberg, Bluefin Bay, 9 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 21:
- Timmy Haus, Moguls, 5 p.m.
- Gordon Thorne & Bob Bingham, Bluefin Grille, 9 p.m.
We found a potpourri of photos this week. Here’s a selection.
Fall has arrived, for sure. Here’s a photo to prove it.
And here’s another.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
It’s a great time to be out in the Boundary Waters. The almost full moon lights up the sky and reflects off of the calm surface of the wilderness lakes. It’s a beautiful sight to see and a wonderful time to be out paddling and camping in the BWCA. No flashlight needed for a trip to the latrine and night time navigation doesn’t require a flashlight. What more could a person ask for? Come enjoy the allure of the full moon in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness with Voyageur Canoe Outfitters.
from space weather… SPOOKY ECLIPSE OF THE HARVEST MOON: According to folklore, this Friday’s full Moon is the Harvest Moon. For many observers, the usual luster of the silver orb will be dimmed by a spooky shadow as the Moon experiences a “penumbral lunar eclipse.” Larry Koehn of ShadowandSubstance.com has created an excellent animation of the event.
A penumbral eclipse happens when the Moon passes through the pale outskirts of Earth’s shadow. It is much less dramatic than a “blood moon” total lunar eclipse. In fact, when observers are not alerted beforehand, they often do not realize an eclipse is underway. Nevertheless, the subtle shadow of Earth is visible to the naked eye if you know it’s there.
The eclipse will not be visible in the Americas. Observers there can enjoy the Harvest moonlight, undimmed, while watching the eclipse unfold elsewhere in the realtime photo gallery.
9/14/16 - Sawbill's own Laura Hoppe was recently recognized in this summer edition of Legacy, published to keep readers up to date on how philanthropy fuels discovery at the University of Minnesota. Here is a link to the online article.
Laura has been a key member of the Sawbill crew the past four summers so we are very excited, but not too surprised, at the difference she is making. It's always great to see members moving on to bigger and brighter things. We can't wait to see where Laura goes next! - Jessica
Arrowhead Cooperative is installing new automated meters
Arrowhead Cooperative will be installing new, automated meters over the next 3-4 months to increase the efficiency and reliability of our electric system. Improving the efficiency of both operations and electricity delivery can helps us keep down costs for members.
You can find a schedule of areas where we will be exchanging meters updated weekly here on our website or on our Facebook page. Crews will begin on September 14th and will be working in the area around our office in Lutsen, then heading south down the shore.
Members’ kilowatt hour rates will not change. Your first bill following the installation will show two readings: one from the old meter and one from the new meter.
In addition to reducing operational costs, the new meters, which can receive and send information to computers at the co-op headquarters, will help improve the reliability of our system. The new technology allows us to detect problems more quickly and to locate outages more precisely. In some cases, we will be able to fix the problem before members know their power has been out.
The new technology can help us monitor the electric system in almost real-time. We can use this information to make the process of delivering power much more efficient.
Members can also expect to experience fewer blinks, surges and spikes as a result of the upgrade.
The meters, which provide hourly information about power use will help consumer members understand how and when they are using electricity. Armed with this information, Arrowhead Cooperative customer service representatives will be in a better position to help members address billing inquiries.
At Arrowhead Cooperative taking advantage of new technologies is one more way that we are looking out for our members.
It is the end of another season at Gunflint. The leaves are quickly turning and fall is here. This is also the end of our time at Gunflint Lodge. As many of you know, we decided to sell the resort several years ago. It is something that is easier said than done.
First we had to emotionally get over the fact that our life was moving on. Then finding the buyers was a project. We searched to find a buyer who would feel as we do about the lodge. John and Mindy Fredrikson have really fulfilled our hopes.
This couple were raised in the Midwest and then moved out east as Mindy worked as a lawyer for Delta Airlines. They came with their son Jack to be active owners of the lodge. Bruce and I were pleased to sell to a family rather an investment group. This is turning out to be a wise move. They are moving in to truly make Gunflint their home.
Bruce spent about two months working with them about the operations at the lodge. I think you will find that much as remained the same. As they worked planning packages for the next season, Bruce found that already John and Mindy had ideas to contribute. They will, of course, make changes but we did too. We all knew that Bruce was never against making good changes so he was happy to see new ideas coming from them. After all, we didn’t have a monopoly of how to run good resorts.
The managers have pretty much stayed the same so you will see familiar faces as you visit us again. Bruce and I are not here but we still live in the area about five miles from the lodge. In fact we hope that many of you will visit us at our home. Just a phone call will let you know we are there and it will also give me a minute to pick up the house.
Personally this change has been a great relief for Bruce and me. You always hope to sell to people who share your goals and we feel that John and Mindy do. It has also enabled us to do more of the activities that you all come up here to do. We have done more fishing and eaten more fresh walleye than in years. It has also freed us up to travel a little bit more and know that the lodge has successfully passed into new owners hands.
As usual, we hope that you will visit Gunflint soon. It will always be a special place in our hearts with very special guests who spend time with us. John and Mindy seem to already find that it is a special place on the Gunflint Trail.
“So, how often do you get out for trips yourself?”
We’ve spent all summer answering that question and now the answer that we usually give is upon us: September.
September is when we go on canoe trips.
Of course, that’s not a hard fast rule. Like most folks, we go when we can. Sometimes that means June, sometimes we manage to sneak away at the peak of the season in late July or early August, but if we have our druthers, September is the month we choose for paddling trips.
Last autumn, Andy managed to get out for a trip with his buddy Andrew during the second full week of September. They did a six day/five night Quetico canoe trip via the Falls Chains, Kawnipi, Agnes, and McEwen Lakes.
It’s not the best photo documented canoe trip that ever was. Andrew’s camera broke on the second night they were out there.
(Here’s the last photo that camera ever took – Andrew with a walleye on the shores of Heronshaw.)
But the photos that they did get show just how beautiful an autumn canoe trip can be.
There are lots of reasons to opt for a late season canoe trip. With school back in session, the woods of the Boundary Waters and Quetico get pretty quiet. While there’s a little influx of visitors over each weekend in September, after Labor Day it’s not unheard of to go for days without seeing another soul, especially in Quetico. Traffic-free portages and the lack of campsite competition allow late season visitors to travel at their own pace. The days are noticeably shorter, which forces you to set up camp earlier and cool nights are infamous for good “sleeping weather.” The lakes start turning over, which means better lake trout fishing, if not poorer swimming conditions as the water temperature drops.
Of course, fewer people in the woods and colder temperatures mean late season campers need to be a little more vigilant about their personal safety. It’s especially important to have a good pair of rain gear along to keep you warm and dry during the inevitable September storms. Also, use a heavy duty pack liner to keep all your gear bone dry while you travel and embrace the lifejacket as your most important canoe trip fashion accessory.
If you’re hoping to get some fall colors in your late season canoe trip photos, be sure to check out the fall color updates that the Superior National Forest naturalist posts weekly. Although we’re starting to see some of the brushy undergrowth turn on the Centennial Trail hillside along the Round Lake Road, we’re still a ways out from true fall colors on the Gunflint Trail. A wet summer like the one we’ve just experienced usually coincides with lingering fall colors, but we’re not going to make any color predictions just yet.
While we can’t tell you when to time your trip for peak fall colors, here are a few things we can tell you definitely about planning an autumn Boundary Waters canoe trip:
- If you want more daylight than nighttime on your trip: go before the autumnal equinox on September 22nd.
- If you want to catch lake trout: go before the lake trout season closes on September 30th.
- If you’d like to enjoy French toast the morning you start your trip: go before we close the kitchen on September 30th.
- If you don’t want to pay for a Boundary Waters permit: go on or after October 1st, when all you need is a free, self-issuing Boundary Waters permit to camp overnight in the BWCAW.
A couple other autumn notes: our office hours are now 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. for the remainder of the 2016 season. We continue to serve breakfast at 7 a.m., so bunkhouse guests can still get an early start on the morning of their trip.
We hope to see you for an autumn canoe trip this fall.
What’s your favorite part of a late or early season canoe trip?
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