Boundary Waters Blog
David Johnson captured some amazing photos of a rough legged hawk the other day. Such an incredible photographer and he has a calendar for sale for only $14.99. It would make a great Christmas gift.
When it’s -20 degrees and blowing on the Gunflint Trail this could be a good way to market January.
We’ll be having a white Christmas on the Gunflint Trail. Some areas of the Gunflint Trail received over 12″ of snow. Unfortunately we didn’t get that much but we do have a good coating on the trees and on the ground. The river is still open but hopefully that will freeze soon so we can hike our favorite snowshoe loop across the river. We’re happy for the snow and knowing we’ll have a white Christmas.
DNR Question of the week
Q: Historically speaking, how often do we have a white Christmas in Minnesota?
A: Having a white Christmas is generally defined as having 1 inch of snow on the ground on Christmas Day. In the Twin Cities, this happens about 72 percent of the time. In northern Minnesota, the chance of a white Christmas is 90 percent or greater. In the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and the Lake Superior Highlands, a white Christmas is almost guaranteed. The chances decrease to the south and west, down to around 60 percent in far southwestern Minnesota.
For more details, including the probabilities of various snow depths in select cities, visit the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/climate/summaries_and_publications/white_christmas.html.
Pete Boulay, assistant state climatologist
The big lakes are still ice free while a few of the smaller ones have frozen over. Hopefully the temperatures will cool down and the big lakes will freeze solidly before the Lake Trout fishing opener.
The lakes don’t have too much time to freeze as the lakes inside of the Boundary Waters open for Lake Trout fishing on December 31st. Lakes outside of the BWCA open on January 14th. According to the MN Department of Natural Resources “trout continue to feed heavily in winter… trout were found with anywhere from 30 to more than 100 prey items in their stomachs, depending on the study.”
Hopefully they will be hungry when the fishing season opens!
We’re Making Gift Giving Easier This Year!
Voyageur’s Christmas Deals!
Between now (12/5/16) and Thursday (12/8/16) we’ll be offering the deals bellow. These deals will ONLY be available for 72 hours and end promptly at midnight on Thursday.
These deals will help you shop for gifts for others as well as treats for yourself. You’ll need to act fast because they will be available for 72 hours ONLY. There won’t be a second chance. We’d hate for you to miss out on a great deal like “Half-Price Cabins” or the popular “Tow Boat Tokens”.
Round Trip Tow on Saganaga for $50
That’s 40% off
Purchase a virtual token good for one Round Trip Tow on Saganaga Lake. Each token is good for one person and is valued up to $85.00.
You can buy more than one token to ensure each member of your party receives the same great deal or you can use them for multiple canoe trips. We will maintain a record of your purchase and apply it to your next canoe camping trips with Voyageur Canoe Outfitters. The best part about this deal is the token can be used for a Quetico or BWCA canoe trip and is good through September of 2017!
Stay at Voyageur
Purchase a voucher to stay in a lodge unit or cabin from November-April
$224 for 2 or 3 nights
That is over 1/2 price! $549 normal rate
This voucher is good for up to 4 people in either our Paddler Lodge Unit or our Riverside cabin for up to 3 nights. Guests can enjoy our 2 mile snowshoe loop, cross-country skiing at nearby trails or a hike into the BWCA for a day of ice-fishing. If you want to snowmobile then you’re sure to have fun on the groomed trail system.
Solitude and relaxation is what you’ll find during the slower season at Voyageur. You don’t need to know your dates in order to purchase this voucher. Just use it before it expires on April 30th 2017. You can add additional people or pets for $22 per night at the time of your reservation. Each unit has a capacity of 6 people.
Free Money! Well, Kind of. Purchase $100 worth of Resort Bucks for only $85. Use these bucks towards a Summer Resort Stay in a Cabin or Lodge Unit
Purchase Resort Bucks to save money on a future resort vacation at Voyageur. They are sold in increments of $100.00. So if you want to buy $1000.00 of Resort Bucks you would buy 10 at $85.00 each for a total of $850. It’s like getting free money because you save $150!
Canoe and Equipment Package
Purchase a Canoe and Equipment voucher for a 4-Day Outfitted Camping Trip, $155 per person- over 50% off
Purchase this voucher good for a Canoe and Equipment Package for 4-Days. A Complete Outfitting Standard Expedition Package minus the Food and Cooking Gear for one person. We provide all of the gear needed for a successful canoe trip into the BWCA. You can see the complete list here. Also included in this package is a bunkhouse stay the night before your canoe trip, a hot breakfast the morning of your trip and a hot shower after your trip is complete. The only items not included in the fee are Food and Cooking Gear, permits, fishing li! censes and personal items.
What better way to say Merry Christmas than to reminisce or gain excitement about your Boundary Waters trip with Voyageur Canoe Outfitters? We are offering the two sweatshirts bellow as a bundle for $50 only, and that includes shipping! What a cozy and wonderful Christmas present for you and your loved ones!
Purchase the bundle here and we will contact you for your desired sizes via email!
Dates do not need to be decided at time of purchasing the vouchers, once you know what days you would like to come simply give us a call and we will set up a reservation for you! Vouchers must be used by September 30th, 2017.
Offers expire Thursday, December 8th at 11:59 pm.
We still have used Kevlar Canoes for sale and would love to set you up! Please contact us for the details on these wonderful canoes!
A friend planned a weekend get-away that was right up my alley. We drove over to Ely and rented a cabin on Burntside Lake at Camp Du Nord. I didn’t know what to expect but what I found was a magical place covered with pine trees on the edge of the Boundary Waters.
Today we went hiking through the woods. There wasn’t enough snow to snowshoe or cross-country ski but there wasn’t too much that we couldn’t walk on the trails. We hiked the Ole Lake Loop for a total of around 8 miles.
Ole Lake was frozen over with a light covering of snow but Burntside is still completely open. The creeks are still flowing with water and the ground is not yet frozen. A light snow fell from the sky throughout our hike and it was an absolutely beautiful day.
One bonus to the very short days are the longer nights and more time for looking at the stars. The Gunflint Trail is the perfect location for viewing the night stars because there is no light pollution.December Observing Highlight: Dark Winter Skies And Bright Shining Stars By Kelly Kizer Whitt | Dec 1 2016
Surround yourself with the beauty of the winter night sky. | Olegkalina/istockIn the United States, December has more hours of darkness than any other month, and it’s also the most overcast time of year in many places, which means we may not see much of the sun. With the winter solstice on December 21, long nights will rule. So let’s embrace the darkness and take the opportunity to appreciate the night sky.
On December 1, after sunset, a crescent moon will greet us in the southwest as it hangs near Mercury and Venus. Mercury will be very low on the horizon and will be easier to see later in the month. On December 2 and 3, the moon will pass Venus, and on December 4 and 5, it hopscotches over Mars. On December 6, the moon passes in front of—or, in astronomical terms, “occults”—Neptune, but this will happen during daylight hours in many places so the occult won’t be visible for most viewers. That evening as soon as it’s dark, train a telescope on the sky just past the bright glow of the moon’s lit limb to find magnitude 7.8 Neptune amid a sea of stars.
Aldebaran is the brightest star in Taurus the Bull and denotes the “bull’s eye.” It’s a variable star with an approximate magnitude of 0.85, lying 60 light-years from Earth. It has its name, which is Arabic for “follower,” because it trails behind the Pleiades in the sky. As the moon waxes large on December 12, it will float in front of the Hyades star cluster in Taurus, where, in midevening, it occults the bright star Aldebaran. The moon will pass over Aldebaran during the next hour, before spitting it back out on the opposite side. The moon occulted Aldebaran back in October, but that was after midnight, so this earlier event means more people can take a look.
On December 12, look for the hazy patch of stars not far from the moon that sometimes looks like a tiny dipper. This cluster is the Pleiades, one of the best space objects to look at through binoculars. Its wide expanse makes it hard to fit into one field of view in a telescope, so train your binoculars on this star cluster and watch what looks like just a handful of stars resolve into tens more. You might even spot the wispy dust of nebula that surrounds these stars. In fact, 3,000 stars lie in the Pleiades star cluster, which spans 13 light-years and is at a distance of 444 light-years from us; however most of its stars are too dim to see with binoculars.
Before sunrise on December 22, the moon will be close to Jupiter in the southeast. You may also spy some Ursid meteors streaking across the sky on this morning.
The Geminid meteors are normally the best meteor shower of December, but this year the peak of the shower coincides with the full moon, which will wash out the event. The “Long Night Moon” reaches peak fullness at 0:06 UTC on December 14, or 4:06 P.M. PST on December 13.
We all know climate change isn’t good and for people who love winter it’s even worse.
From the MN Department of Natural Resources
Nature Sightings – Winter is Changing!
If you grew up in Minnesota, what childhood memories do you have of winter? Did you ever ice skate on a frozen pond or ice fish on a lake? Do you remember snow days, when school was cancelled but all of the neighborhood kids would be outside all day long building snow forts and sledding on the mountains of piled-up snow left by snowplows? Have you noticed that the cold and snowy winters that define us as Minnesotans seem to be on the decline?
Indeed, one of the leading symptoms of climate change in Minnesota has been rising winter and overnight minimum temperatures. Winter temperatures have been rising twice as fast as the average annual temperatures, and ten times faster than summer! So what does this mean for the future of cold, snowy winters here?
State climatologists have observed our Minnesota winters changing. The cold season is shrinking, even while major snow events seem to be increasing. So we are having a shorter winter period with heavier snowfall. Climate change trends and models indicate our extreme cold winters will continue to rapidly decline beyond the year 2025, and with the much warmer winter temperatures, the frequency of heavy snow fall will also begin to decline.
With this understanding of changing winters in Minnesota, it is interesting to wonder what winter memories our great grandchildren will have as Minnesotans continue to adapt to a changing climate.
Holiday hints from the Minnesota Department of Commerce!
‘tis the season… to brighten your holidays with LED lights that save energy & money
SAINT PAUL – Are you still stringing the same old incandescent decorative lights for the holidays?
The Minnesota Commerce Department advises that you can save money this year and for many holiday seasons to come by replacing outdated, energy-hogging lights with high-efficiency, long-lasting light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs.
When shopping for new holiday lights, look for the ENERGY STAR® label to ensure that the product meets strict federal energy efficiency guidelines. ENERGY STAR-qualified lighting, as well as appliances and electronics, use less energy than their older, inefficient counterparts.
ENERGY STAR-qualified LED decorative lights are an economical choice because they use 75 percent less power than conventional lights and they can last up to 10 times longer.
Other advantages of LEDs include:
Safety. LEDs are cool to the touch, reducing the risk of fire.
Durable. LEDs do not have moving parts, filaments or glass, so they are much more resilient and shock-resistant than other light strings.
Wide range of choices. LEDs are available in a variety of colors, shapes and lengths.
Up-to-date features. LEDs offer the latest features and functions such as dimming and color shifting.
The cost of buying and operating LED C-9 lights for 10 holiday seasons is about $18 compared with $122 for incandescent C-9 bulbs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy Energy Saver. Using timers or dimmers can save even more energy.
Watch for rebates to help defray the cost of LEDs and other energy-efficient lighting products. Many electric utilities offer rebates for LEDs. (Visit www.dsireusa.org to learn about utility rebates or contact your utility directly.) Learn more about decorative LEDs at the ENERGY STAR website.
Finally: Be sure to recycle your old holiday lights. The Recycling Association of Minnesota provides a guide to recycling locations in Minnesota.
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.