The deadline for Operation Round Up Grant Applications has been extended to 4pm on Thursday, April 30th.
Funds are available for non-profit groups and organization in the Arrowhead Cooperative service area. Organizations may apply for a grant for a specific project or event. Awards will not exceed $5,000. Projects should fit in one or more of the following categories:
- Community Service
- Economic Development
- Education & Youth
- Disaster Relief
For more information and to download an application and guidelines click HERE.
Thanks to our summer neighbor Monica and some other key people Governor Mark Dayton is stepping in to put a halt to the collaring and killing of moose calves in Minnesota.
According to a Star Tribune Article yesterday, his office said that, “if humans are now the second-leading cause of death for collared calves, the additional risks to them aren’t worth the potential scientific gains. He has told the DNR that this spring’s calf collaring with be the last. And researchers say that even this next round will be cut short if calf deaths are too high.”
This is good news but it could be better news. We want the collaring of calves to be over now, we don’t want to wait until after this year after more calves have died due to collaring. If you feel the same way then please voice your opinion to the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources which is the appointed group of legislators and scientists who are controlling the funding for this project. Susan Thornton is the chair.
I want to know what is killing our moose but I don’t feel we need to collar calves in order to do so.
“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
It isn’t our Voyageur Crew who is paddling from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic but the crew of 6 is paddling Voyageur canoes complete with our logo stickers on the side. They own the canoes and I’m thrilled they are on this incredible journey.
Four of the trip participants are from St. Cloud, Minnesota, just like Mike and I and the other two are from Iowa. They have a website and you can follow along on their journey and see some amazing pictures.
4/20/15 - It is cold and snowing here today, so we didn't bother to check the ice depth. The melting has hit the pause button for the time being. - Bill
The title sounds like a match made in heaven. This Friday night, April 24th from 6-9pm Voyageur Craft Beer will be shared at an event in the Twin Cities. Filson is hosting a Boundary Waters event where Sanborn Canoe Company will be demonstrating canoe paddle restoration techniques. There will be complimentary Voyageur Beer and appetizers from The Minnesota Spoon. Filson invites you to bring your canoe paddles and your thirst for exploration! We hope you’ll attend.
RSVP at RSVPMinneapolis@filson.com
228 Washington Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
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
4/19/15 - We didn't hang around on the lake very long for today's ice report. Just long enough to drill a hole and measure 13.5" of ice. The last week of summer-like weather has changed to an all day rain with temperatures in the high 30s. - Bill
Brian drills the hole from the safety of the canoe. It was probably safe to stand on the ice, but we didn't want to find out the hard way that it wasn't.
I’ll bet that last week’s Unorganized Territory about my love-hate relationship with mud confused a few readers. I wrote about the delight of taking the first four-wheeler ride of the season, splashing through puddles on the trails. And I wrote about the joy of slogging through the mud in the Tofte Trek 10K.
So, am I a motorhead? Or am I a tree hugger? Believe it or not, I’m both. In celebration of Earth Day, which is coming up this week, I’ll try to explain.
I do love riding my ATV. I enjoy splashing through the mud and trekking up and down hills, the rockier and bumpier the better. It is very empowering to be able to maneuver through a rough spot in the road or to bounce along a trail for hours. Believe it or not, it’s not passive, it takes upper body strength to keep the wheeler on the road. Sitting up straight to muscle the heavy machine where you want it to go is a great core workout. You get tired riding an ATV.
But it’s the good tired that comes from being outside, active in the sun or the rain.
So yes, I am a motorhead. But I’m a tree hugger too. There are many stops along the way on a four-wheeler ride to check out wildflowers, to see if there are fish in a nearby stream, or if I’m really lucky, to pick some berries. I love coming up upon wildlife on the trail or watching birds glide through the air overhead.
And then there are times when I want to be afoot, without the vibration of the engine or the rumble of the motor. I love hiking, especially along a river. I love the sound of water cascading over rocks and the rustling of leaves along the path. I love the view from Caribou Rock, from Carlton Peak, from Eagle Mountain and others.
And when I’m standing near the top of one of those vistas, I like the reassurance of a sturdy tree. More than once I’ve found myself at an overlook, peering far below with my arm hooked around a tree trunk. So yes, I am literally a tree hugger.
I think there are more people like me than there are those who are entrenched in one camp or the other. I know there are some people who cringe at the idea of riding an ATV. And I know there are ATVers who hate just walking around the block. But truly, those folks are few and far between. Few people are that one-dimensional. People can like ATVs and snowmobiles and still enjoy biking and cross country skiing.
And all of the users of the beautiful public lands in Cook County have something in common. We may have different methods for getting out into the woods, but we all love this place we call home. Get out and enjoy it!
Happy Earth Day!
I don’t accept the idea there are two sides to any issue. I think the middle ground is to be found within most of us.
You can view the Gunflint Trail Historical Society Newsletter by clicking on the link below.
4/18/15 - Today's ice thickness is 15". It's hard to believe that we were confidently skiing around the Kelso Loop just a week ago. Progress has been rapid, but the forecast taking a drastic turn for the colder tomorrow and for the foreseeable future. Sigh. - Bill
We have another celebrity ice testing technician today. Tyler Campbell, Duluth native who now lives in Colorado and long-time Sawbill crew member, does the honors.
The Cook County Chamber of Commerce and the Moving Matters project of the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic are pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 Great Place Project. Twenty seven local businesses, nonprofits, and individuals submitted creative ideas from across Cook County and Grand Portage. $10,000 in grants will be awarded to 13 recipients to help create great places within our communities.
“It’s both gratifying and exciting to see so many creative applications in the second year of the Great Place Project,” said Jim Boyd, executive director of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce. “Our county already is a Great Place; these projects make it a bit greater, and we all get to enjoy the results.”
The Great Place Project is a friendly, local competition for mini-grants to use high impact, low cost ideas to create great places in our communities. A great place is inviting, beautiful, and catches the eye. It reflects the unique character and identity of the community. And a great place encourages people to slow down and spend time there. “We know that people will be active where they have pleasant and safe places to do so. The Great Place Project has been an incredible opportunity to invest in community spaces and the health of our community” said Moving Matters Coordinator Kristin DeArruda Wharton.
2015 Grant Recipients:
Arrowhead Pharmacy: Mural paintings by local artist Betsy Bowen, complemented by seating and landscaping.
Birchbark Books and Gifts: Locally themed mural paintings with hidden books by local artist Tim Young.
Border Designs: Rustic park bench and plantings by walking path in Lutsen.
Cook County Higher Education: Welcoming entrance with plantings, enhanced walking path, and picnic table.
Cook County Historical Society: Gathering place with plantings, seating, and enhanced bike parking at museum.
Grand Portage Wellness Committee: Community Park gathering table and grill in Grand Portage.
Java Moose: Chair seating by the Grand Marais Harbor, at both café locations.
Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery: Log bench seating area with plantings.
Last Chance Studio: Moose sculpture created by local artist Tom Christianson.
Oddz and Endz: Resting spot with benches, tables, and planters using repurposed and recycled materials.
Schroeder Area Historical Society: ADA accessible viewfinder at Taconite Harbor.
Tofte Historical Society: Planters to enhance the plaza at the North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum.
Visit Cook County: Enhancement of Grand Marais Visitor Center common area with benches and planters.
The Great Place Project is sponsored by the Moving Matters project of the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic and the Cook County Chamber of Commerce. The Moving Matters project, with funding from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota’s Center for Prevention, is working to create safer and more accessible places to walk and bike in Cook County and Grand Portage.
Published in the Cook County News-Herald, 4/18/15 edition.
I have a love-hate relationship with mud. Mud is a sign of spring, of warmer weather and the coming greening of the woods around my house.
When I’m wearing work clothes and mud boots, I love splashing through puddles. I enjoy clearing deadfall out of the creek by our house each spring, sometimes sinking ankle deep in mud. It makes me feel like a little kid again.
I have wonderful memories of being bundled up in warm clothes and a rain jacket, working to get the water flowing in the ditch in front of my parent’s house on County Road 7. My sister and I must have spent hours there, stomping to make a path through the ice, digging trenches with sticks, breaking mini log jams to get the water running again. It was always a blast when we successfully undammed a spot and the rushing water would nearly knock us off our feet.
I love that my grandkids enjoy it too. They like to join my husband Chuck and me when we are clearing the creek. The kids are adorable in their funky little mud boots.
I also enjoy mud when I head out on forest roads and trails on my all-terrain vehicle (ATV) for the first spring ride. The first rides are the muddiest as there are always puddles to go zipping through. Even if you try to go slow—which I’ll admit I don’t—you are going to get muddy. I don’t mind. If I get a little mud in my hair or on my face, it’s like getting a facial at a fancy spa. A big, open-air spa under bright blue skies.
I even have some clothing that declares my enthusiasm for mud. My favorite hoodie is from the Off-Road Vixen company and it declares, “Girls Get Dirty Too.”
The back of my Cook County ATV Club T-shirt declares, “Kids of All Ages Like to Play in the Dirt.”
I like to wear that ATV Club T-shirt when I do the Tofte Trek 10K on the 4th of July. The walkers get to start first and I’m a walker. So as the runners catch up and jog past, they read the sentiment on the back of my shirt. Sloshing through the shoe-stealing mud holes, many of them chuckle. Tofte Trekkers definitely like to play in the dirt.
However, I also despise mud.
For example, I dislike that my driveway gets soft and rutted in the spring. I try driving a different path every time I go up and down the drive to prevent ruts, but it doesn’t help. Every spring I look forward to the day that the driveway finally firms up.
It also annoys me that the muddy driveway turns my lovely silver car a dirty, streaky brown. I like mud on my mud boots or my four-wheeler tires or even on me—but not on my Kia Sorento!
Parking and entering my house is difficult in mud season. Every time I get close to my house, I face a dilemma. Where to park? What looks drier? The slanted ground at west end of the house? Or the flat area by the basement door?
Inevitably I choose wrong and I step out of my now-dirty car only to sink several inches into the mud in my good shoes. If I have to get something out of the car—again, inevitably—I brush up against the car and get mud on my clean pants or shirt.
Luckily this year the mud in my front and side yard is not too bad. The snow seems to be melting at a reasonable rate and we haven’t had too much rain. There are years when I’ve dragged pieces of wood and placed them between the car and the house, making a path to avoid the mud, like an old-fashioned corduroy road.
I haven’t been driven to that extreme this year. But the mud inside my house is driving me to distraction. The same mud that is so enjoyable when I have my mud boots on becomes an irritant and an eyesore when it is brought inside by my two wonderful dogs.
Although it doesn’t seem as muddy in my yard this year, the dogs somehow can find mud in which to wallow. They are good dogs and they are almost trained to sit at the door while I wipe them down. But there is only so much a towel can do for a mud embedded dog’s foot. No matter how well I think I’ve cleaned them up, when they walk across my white linoleum floor, they leave a trail of dog prints.
And as soon as they dry off, they want to go outside again.
It’s all a matter of perspective. For the dogs, every day is a day to enjoy mud season. I’ll try to remember that they are just having fun as I walk through the house wiping up puppy prints. I’ll try not to be jealous!
Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
Central Gunflint Ski Trail Conditions on 3-21-15
New Snow Last 24 hours: 0”
New Snow Last 7 days: 0”
Trail Base, Staked: 3”-10” varying by area.
Snow in Woods, Staked: Average 12”
Groomed with classic tracks: 70 K
Groomed for skating: 53.4 K
Surface Conditions: Tilled snow
Last grooming day: 3-21-15
Snowshoe trails: Open
Total snowfall since Nov. 1: 75.00”
Comments: Don’t put away those skis yet; we’re still grooming and skiing on the Central Gunflint Ski system! Definitely expect spring skiing conditions though the freshly groomed skate and classic lanes are still holding up very well and are, condition wise, great after a recent grooming! Continuing with our plans from last week, we are still grooming select trails at this time, depending on each individual trail’s condition. Currently, 42.5 kilometers of trails have been/will be groomed between today and yesterday.
Twin Citians are reveling in the record-setting March temperatures in the metro area. Up here in the far north we are also experiencing some warmer days, but unlike other parts of Minnesota, we have a serious base of deep snow. We’ve seen a little snow melt, especially off our roofs and roads, but as of 5 PM on Tuesday we still have a solid 12 inches of compacted base on the ski trails, with far more than that in the woods.
If you’re coming up to ski in the next few days, you should prepare for spring skiing conditions. Spring skiing is the best, but the sun is powerful at this time of year so even on a chilly day there will be freezing and thawing. Plan ahead for the varying conditions.
Early morning: The skate lanes and classic tracks will be frozen hard; perhaps the tracks will be icy if they have thawed the day before and refrozen overnight. These conditions are great for fast skating with minimal edge control on hills. Grip tape or waxless skis are your best choice for early morning skiing in these hard tracks.
Mid morning: The sun is softening up the tracks and the skate lanes are still firm. This is the best skiing of the day. When skiing through shade and sun your skis will glide differently; be careful on the hills! If it’s chilly but sunny, these conditions can last most of the day.
Late afternoon: As things warm up the snow will start to lose its structure, and you’ll sink in. Because of the released moisture, your kick will be compromised, and skating will get harder due to “suction”. Waxless skis are the best choice for these conditions.
Then, if it drops below freezing at night, the cycle repeats.
The trails are being groomed differently for these conditions. We plan to continue grooming for as long as possible. Later in the month we usually open some ski trails to snowshoeing, but we’re not ready for that yet. Our actual snowshoe trails, though, seem fairly unaffected by the temperatures and offer a great additional option if there are any afternoons that seem too warm to ski.
Our musher, Erik Simula, is still taking trips out and should be able to continue for quite a while longer. Like skiing, however, on very sunny days the dog sled trips go better in the morning; the dogs have to work very hard to pull groups through wetter snow. If you’re planning a dog sled trip in March, earlier appointments are the best choice.
For those of you in the rest of Minnesota, your spring has probably truly started. Up here, however, we know that the next blizzard could still come at any moment. We will be extremely surprised if our winter is actually winding down now.