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Progress at Voyageur Brewery

Boundary Waters Blog - 2 hours 13 min ago

The outside of the Voyageur Brewing Company is really looking nice. We’ve received so many compliments from people who love the improvement from what the building and lot used to look like.  We’re thrilled with it and can’t wait to start finishing up the inside spaces.

The production area of the brewery isn’t too exciting to me although it will house everything we need to make the beer. It will contain lots of shiny stainless steel and of course beer!  The taproom will be the fun room where folks can come to taste the beer, buy growlers and eat appetizers while gazing at the lake or peeking in at the brewery portion.

There is plenty to be done yet but we’re still shooting for a January open date. I hope you are following along on Facebook and the Voyageur Brewing Company Blog.  Here’s a link to an interview Mike did with WTIP the other day.  Cheers!

Brewery in Grand Marais, MN

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10/25/14 - Moose photos from Paul Sundberg.

Sawbill Newsletter - 12 hours 36 min ago

10/25/14 - Longtime friend of Sawbill, Paul Sundberg, is a professional photographer who specializes in images from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and the Superior National Forest. Paul sent us this link to photos on his website from a moose encounter that he had near the Sawbill Trail a few days ago. - Bill

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Gorgeous on the Gunflint Trail

Boundary Waters Blog - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 9:56pm

Voyageur Crew members Tony and Hannah couldn’t have picked a better day to go out camping in the Boundary Waters. The high temperature today was 70 degrees and the sun was hot. Tomorrow the sun is expected to shine as well. I sure wish I was camping in the BWCA tonight.

You never know what the temperature is going to be when you’re paddling at the end of October but this is certainly a treat for them and anyone else who is out in the wilderness.

For the rest of us we’ll have to be content with their photos and story upon their return.  Have a great weekend!

If you didn’t get an email newsletter today then be sure to check it out online and sign up to receive it in your inbox in the future.

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Friday Fun From Voyageur Brewing Company

Voyageur Brewing - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 9:39am

I knew there were tons of different beer glasses out there but I didn’t know which to use for each beer. Who knew beer could taste so different?  We’ve come a long way baby. My first beer was probably Milwaukee’s Best out of an aluminum can, how about you?

Beer glass guide

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Capitol Christmas Tree Comes from Minnesota

Boundary Waters Blog - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 2:29pm

Minnesotans can proudly say the 2014 Christmas Tree on the front lawn of the White House is from Minnesota. This year’s tree will be cut from the Chippewa National Forest which is close to the headwaters of the Mississippi and Itasca State Park. The tree will be trucked to DC with numerous stops along the way so people can see it.  To find out where the tree will be stopping check out the website and if you’re in Duluth, Minnesota on November 5th you can see it there.

Here’s more information about the Capitol Christmas Tree


U.S. Capitol Christmas tree to make first stop at Itasca State Park

The 2014 U.S. Capitol Christmas tree will make its first public appearance on its journey to Washington, D.C. on Sunday, Nov. 2, at Itasca State Park, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.

The 60- to 80-foot-tall white spruce is coming from the Chippewa National Forest in north-central Minnesota, in partnership with the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. The 1992 Capitol Christmas tree also came from the same forest in partnership with the band.

The tree will stop at the Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers Show Grounds at the north entrance to the park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

To kick off the event, the tree will receive a drink of water via a horse-drawn wagon courtesy of the Go and Whoa Harness Club of Bemidji. The water will be transported from the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Itasca State Park to the Pioneer Farmers Show Grounds where visitors can view the tree, photograph it and sign a banner. The drink from the headwaters will help send the tree on its long journey of nearly 2,000 miles, which includes nearly 30 stops before it arrives in Washington.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the show grounds, a variety of activities will be offered, including horse-drawn wagon rides, tours of the Pioneer Farmers village buildings, a free-will offering lunch, music, ornament making, face painting, two-man log sawing and a visit by “Lars the Logger” from 1:15 to 2 p.m.

The search for the Capitol Christmas Tree began earlier this year. Search criteria for the Chippewa National Forest staff included a tree 60- to 80-feet tall, a full pyramid-like shape without gaps, healthy branches, a straight trunk, and a species hardy enough to withstand the trip to Washington, D.C. The tree had to be found among millions of other trees that make up the national forest.

The tree will be cut during a public ceremony ( on Wednesday, Oct. 29, and will be moved to Bemidji State University, where it will be prepared for the cross-country expedition that includes a caravan of caretakers.

The tradition of the Capitol Christmas Tree, or “The People’s Tree,” began in 1964, when then speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John W. McCormack placed a live Christmas tree on the Capitol lawn. This tree lived three years before succumbing to wind and root damage.

In 1970, the capitol architect asked the U.S. Forest Service to provide a Christmas tree. Since then, a different national forest has been selected each year to provide “The People’s Tree.” The Minnesota Tree Growers Association will provide 70 companion trees to decorate the inside of the U.S. Capitol building and other sites throughout Washington, along with 10,000 ornaments created by children and others in Minnesota as a gift from the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.”

The Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the preservation and display of historic, rural/logging related Americana, for cultural, educational, entertainment, and heritage-related public benefits.

For more information on the 2014 U.S. Capitol Christmas tree and to track its journey, visit

For more information on Itasca State Park, visit

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AY Favorite Everyday Product: The Crockpot

Aging Youthful - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 1:00am

Get out your vintage crock pot as it makes eating healthy a breeze and without excuses and can help you eat healthy on a budget! I have had my crock pots for years, while this photo is not my own, I was too lazy to get up from my computer and pull it out of the cupboard and took this one off the internet, mine has just about the same brown spots on it! If memory serves me correctly it was a hand-me-down from my mother-in-law!

How it makes eating healthy a breeze: Well, who has time when they get home from work to make a full blown batch of soup or stew, OR who has time in the morning to make a big breakfast…YES you can put together your ingredients for an awesome breakfast the night before, turn the crock-pot on low and VIOLA! You have breakfast ready to go! In a super big rush, pull out the inside ceramic bowl, cover and pop in the fridge to take care of storage and clean up later!

The crock pot can also make eating healthy on a budget a breeze: By slow cooking, even the cheapest of roasts come out moist, juicy and fantastic! I will drop in a cheap arm roast, cover with water, add some organic beef boullian and extra pepper and sea salt and put on low all day long! By the time I get home at night, the roast is as tender as it gets, no need for a knife and has some of the best au jus you need! The best part? YOU control the amount of sodium! One of the absolute easiest recipes I make in my crock pot is Salsa Chicken….I put in boneless, skinless chicken breasts (fresh or frozen) cover with a cup or so of may favorite salsa (amount depends on how many chicken breasts I use), put on low and you have some amazing chicken! All you have to do is steam some veggies when you get home and you have a super-easy meal!

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, soups, stews, and just about every type of meat can be done in the crockpot. Prepare the night before, pull out in the morning and put on low all day…VIOLA, it’s like having your own personal chef!

I’d love to hear from you. What do you make in your crock pot? Share your story with me at and I may just feature YOUR recipe on the blog!!!

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The Thank-You Bar, Chris Gillis & Friends

North Shore Art Scene - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 10:56pm

Night Sky by Travis Novitsky. Travis said he likes this time of year when the leaves fall off the trees and you can see the beauties of the night sky.

There are lots of interesting things going on this weekend.

First off is the dance installation, “The Thank-You Bar,” with Emily Johnson and Catalyst at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts Oct. 24-25.

There are four shows:  7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday. They are all limited-audience shows — only 20 per performance, which will be held on the stage at the ACA.

This Bessie-award winning performance includes dance, live music, storytelling and visual images, connecting ideas of displacement, longing, and language to history, pre-conceived notions, architecture, and igloo-myth.

“The Thank-You Bar” was created and is performed by choreographer Emily Johnson with composers and musicians James Everest and Joel Pickard and features beadwork by celebrated artist Karen Beaver, costumes by Angie Vo and Kari Multz , lighting design by Heidi Eckwall and paper sculptures by Krista Kelley Walsh. The performances includes a companion concert by experimental music duo BLACKFISH (James Everest + Joel Pickard) at 9 p.m. Saturday night. There will also an art exhibit in the lobby of the ACA.
“The Thank-you Bar” first premiered in 2009 in Anchorage, and has toured across the USA to wide acclaim, propelling choreographer Emily Johnson into the national and international spotlight as a visionary contemporary dance maker.

In 2014, Emily Johnson/Catalyst received a Minnesota State Arts Board “Arts Touring” Grant to bring a series of performances and workshops to Grand Marais in 2014 -15.

There are some seats left for the performances. Tickets are available online at or, possibly, at the door.

There are two great music shows this weekend, too.  Chris Gillis & Friends will play at What’s Upstairs? above Betsy’s Bowen’s Studio at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights in what’s being called the Frank Gillis Fall Festival Reunion. The concert will feature blues, jazz & boogie woogie. This should be a fun night of music (and dancing) featuring Chris Gillis, Mike DeBevec, Carah Thomas, Max Bichel, Eric Hahn and Liz Sivertson. Bob and Tom Andrews, the drummer and bassist who played with Gillis’ father, Frank Gillis, will perform as well. Tickets are $10.

And the Clearwater Hot Club will play at the Gunflint Tavern on Friday and Saturday nights. Music starts at 8:30 p.m.

Members from both bands will be on WTIP’s The Roadhouse on Friday night talk about their music and play a few songs. The Roadhouse airs from 5-7 p.m.

There are also two wonderful art shows open this weekend, too.

Five Generations of Art & Craft, an exhibit at the Johnson Heritage Post, continues this weekend. Exhbitors include Ralph W. Smith, Glenn S. Smith, Nancy Daley, Jody Ouradnik, Amy Ouradnik and Madeline Burton. The exhibit continues through Nov. 2. The Heritage Post is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, 1-4 p.m. Sunday and Monday.

Liz Sivertson is one of the artists exhibiting in the Legacy Exhibit at the Grand Marais Art Colony.

The Grand Marais Art Colony‘s Tour d’Art Home Legacy Exhibit continues this week, too, featuring the home tour artists: Birney Quick, Byron Bradley, Hazel Belvo, Marcia Cushmore, Sharon & Steve Frykman, Liz Sivertson, and select students influenced by these legacy artists. The exhibit continues through Oct. 26. The Art Colony is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Also this weekend, the Octoberfest Brewmaster Dinner featuring the Bent Paddle Brewing Company and a five-course dinner by Chef Judi Barsness will be at Waves of Superior Cafe at Surfside Resort on Saturday. To learn more and see the menu, click here.

There’s lots of music this weekend. Here’s the schedule:

Thursday, Oct. 23:

  • Billy Johnson, Gunflint Tavern, Oct. 23

Friday, Oct. 23:

  • .Portage Band, American Legion Post, 6 p.m.
  • Frank Gillis Fall Festival Reunion, Blues, Jazz & Boogie Woogie, What’s Upstairs?, 7:30 p.m.
  • Eric Frost, Bluefin Grille, 8 a.m.
  • Gordon Thorne and Jim Ohlschmidt, West Branch Bar in Finland, 8 p.m.
  • Clearwater Hot Club, Gunflint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 23:

  • Portage Band, North Shore Care Center, 6:30 p.m.
  • Gordon Thorne & Jim Ohlschmidt, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
  • Frank Gillis Fall Festival Reunion, Blues, Jazz & Boogie Woogie, What’s Upstairs, 7:30 p.m.
  • Clearwater Hot Club, Gunflint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 27:

  • Pete Kavanaugh, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 29:

  • Open Mic Night, Gunflint Tavern, 5 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.

Here is a selection of the great photos we found this week.

Kathy Gray-Anderson took this wonderful photo of Devil Track Lake.


Bryan Hansel took this beautiful photo of Devil Track Lake at a completely different time of day.


Here’s a peaceful fall shot by Ken Hupila.


Linda Ryma said these are her favorite falls on the Pigeon River.


Paul Sundberg took this iconic shot of fall leaves and blue sky.


Linda Slining captured the charm and beauty of fall on Lake Superior in this shot.


And here’s a great capture of pillars of northern lights. It’s by Laurie Kragseth.


For wildlife, here’s Nace Hagemann‘s moose munching on a twig. It is featured on the cover of the latest Northern Wilds. But, in case you missed it ….

Photo by Nace Hagemann.


And last, but not least, here are some  fat and happy geese.

Photo by Steve Gernonazzo.


Have a great weekend, everyone!





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A Misty Day on the Gunflint Trail

Boundary Waters Blog - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 10:13pm

There was 0% chance of precipitation on Monday so I decided to go for a hike. Unfortunately the weather forecasters were wrong and it misted and rained off and on throughout the day. Nonetheless I had the trail to myself and was able to enjoy the beautiful scenery and peace and quiet.

Hiking on the Gunflint Trail



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Wintergreen is back!!!!

Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 3:20pm

Yes, it’s true! Paul and Susan Schurke are rebooting Wintergreen Northern Wear!

We are both happy and sad to announce that Wintergreen is back. We are proud of the fact that for the past four winters we have carried Wintergreen in our store. We met some fabulous people who came to us specifically to buy this iconic winter wear.

The good news is that even though company went through some hard times, Sue and Paul Schurke, the original owners, are back at the helm. Things are getting back on track!

The sad news is that we will not be selling Wintergreen at this time as they have their hands full supplying their own needs over in Ely. Who knows? Maybe in a while you will see it back in Grand Marais.

We wish Sue and Paul luck in their new/old endeavor. For those of you who haven’t met them yet, just know you could not deal with nicer people. Well, maybe us, but that is a discussion for another day. Follow them here.

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10/22/14 - Last night was the Sawbill crew's annual pilgrimage to the Silver Bowl in Silver Bay, Minnesota for a night of pizza, beer and bowling.

Sawbill Newsletter - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 10:18am

10/22/14 - Last night was the Sawbill crew's annual pilgrimage to the Silver Bowl in Silver Bay, Minnesota for a night of pizza, beer and bowling. - Bill

Bowling nicknames: (l-r front) Bilbo, TC, NilsJohn, (l-r back) Puckerman, Hammypops, Cindy Lou Who, Mongo, Carlita.

Hammypops demonstrates proper form.

Mongo's patient mate, Mary Henry, who lives nearby, was kind enough to join us and share her score-keeping skills.

One of the many amenities at the Silver Bowl are the black lights that make an already challenging sport even more challenging.

TC is carefully watched by the owner's baby.

We didn't catch the baby's name, but she's obviously very comfortable in a bowling alley.

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Recipe of the Week: It’s SOUP Time!

Aging Youthful - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 1:00am

This recipe comes from the Paleo Grubs website under their “100 Best Paleo Recipes“. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! I have just started to crave soups as the weather has cooled off a bit here in FL (I KNOW…it is Florida and the daytime temps are still in the 80′s…but it’s NOT at night!). I LOVE a good tortilla soup, and since I’m not a fan of beans to begin with, this recipe from Linda’ Wagner’s blog fits the bill! If you are true Paleo, leave out the tortilla strips too!

Paleo Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

This healthy version of Chicken Tortilla Soup will knock your socks off! You
don’t need to add cheese or tortilla strips the soup is full of flavor on it’s
Author: Linda Wagner
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 6
2 large chicken breasts, skin removed and cut into ½ inch strips
1 28oz can of diced tomatoes
32 ounces organic chicken broth
1 sweet onion, diced
2 jalepenos, de-seeded and diced
2 cups of shredded carrots
2 cups chopped celery
1 bunch of cilantro chopped fine
4 cloves of garlic, minced – I always use one of these
2 Tbs tomato paste
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
sea salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
olive oil
1-2 cups water
1. In a crockpot or large dutch oven over med-high heat, place a dash of olive oil and about ¼ cup chicken
broth. Add onions, garlic, jalapeno, sea salt and pepper and cook until soft, adding more broth as needed.
2. Then add all of your remaining ingredients and enough water to fill to the top of your pot. Cover and let
cook on low for about 2 hrs, adjusting salt & pepper as needed.
3. Once the chicken is fully cooked, you should be able to shred it very easily. I simply used the back of a
wooden spoon and pressed the cooked chicken against the side of the pot. You could also use a fork or
tongs to break the chicken apart and into shreds.
4. Top with avocado slices and fresh cilantro. Enjoy!
5. This is an easy one-pot meal that’s loaded with veggies, low in fat, and full of flavor! You don’t need to
add cheese or tortilla strips the soup is full of flavor on it’s own!

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Sign the Canoe to Save the BWCA

Boundary Waters Blog - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 2:04pm

I’m not sure how many of you are aware of the journey Dave and Amy Freeman are currently on. The couple started paddling in Ely, Minnesota back in August and are on their way to Washington, DC. The purpose of their trip is to prevent mining in Minnesota that could potentially destroy the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Their canoe is their petition and they’ve collected thousands of signatures during the many miles of their travel thus far.  If you’d like to sign the petition there is no need to track them down but if you’d like to they are currently near Ottawa. It might be easier to just visit their website and sign the petition electronically.  Here’s a video explaining the threat to the Boundary Waters.

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Dual Fuel Control Today

Arrowhead Electric - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 1:41pm

A DUAL FUEL Rate Interruption will happen today, October 21, 2014 starting at 6:00 pm until 8:00pm. Water heat control 5:30pm-9:30pm. Dual Fuel Interruptions are usually posted on the Boreal News Feed, our Facebook Page, and on our website at and on Great River Energy’s website at

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Where are We in October?

Unorganized Territory - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 11:09am



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?

Last month’s photo of Highway 61 as it crosses the Onion River—viewed from above at the Ray Berglund State Wayside—was recognized by a number of readers. We did not receive any incorrect guesses this month. Drawn from the correct entries was Mike Nelson of Tofte.

Congratulations to Mike, he wins a one-year subscription to the Cook County News-Herald.

Try your luck! Take a look at the October photo. If you think you know where we were when we took the picture, send us your answer. The location will be announced next month and a winner will be drawn from all the correct answers. Whoever is drawn will win a free one-year subscription to the Cook County News-Herald (a $30 value). Good luck!

Return answer by mail, e-mail or fax to:

Cook County News-Herald

PO Box 757

Grand Marais MN 55604

Fax: 218-387-9500

Answer to the October WHERE ARE WE? must be received by November 10, 2014.


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Long pants and big wigs

Unorganized Territory - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 10:58am

School has started so that means Girl Scouts are meeting again. That means things are a little more hectic in Unorganized Territory

Being a Girl Scout leader is very rewarding. It was fun over the summer to see “my” Girl Scouts at various events. And it was delightful to welcome them back to our first meeting, to receive hug after hug from happy young ladies.

But it’s also a challenge getting back in the swing of weekly meetings, monthly leader meetings and planning activities for the various badges the girls need to earn.

At first just remembering the name of our region—Girl Scouts Minnesota -Wisconsin Lakes and Pines (GSMWLP)—was tough. Until the other leaders let me in on the secret mnemonic—Girl Scouts Must Wear Long Pants! It is so silly I’ll never forget it.

I do however, sometimes forget that we are supposed to have an activity for those very energetic young ladies on Thursday afternoons. More than once I’ve ended up frantically googling “Girl Scout activities” just hours before a meeting.

Being a leader forces me to be more organized. There is no one-size-fits-all curriculum for Girl Scouts. There are suggested activities for the assorted awards, but much of it is left to the leaders’ discretion.

For example, our fourth-grade Scouts are working on the Flower badge. The leader handbook gives some basic ideas—meet with a botanist, go on a field trip to identify wild flowers, or learn about how flowers are used in the perfume industry or healing arts.

Our fifth-grade Girl Scouts are working their way through the “Agents of Change” journey. It’s an empowering process that teaches the girls that one person can make a difference in the world and also teaches them the importance of working together. At the end of their journey they must work together on some sort of community service project. My co-leader/daughter-in-law Michele and I can’t wait to see what they come up with.

But there are no step-by-step directions for these things. Which is sometimes difficult, especially with the additional challenge of leading both fourth- and fifth-grade girls.

Michele is the leader for the fifth-graders and I’m her co-leader. I’m the leader for the fourth-graders and Michele is my co-leader. With different badges for the different ages, we try to plan ahead because it of course makes meetings go much smoother but sometimes we just can’t. Hence the googling of Girl Scout activities.

At a recent leader meeting, all of us burst out laughing when we heard that the instruction manual for new leaders states that a leader can expect to spend about four hours a month on Girl Scout duties. How do these super leaders get it all done in just four hours? How organized are these women, we wondered?

However, constant time crunch aside, being a Girl Scout leader is an awesome experience. The loose curriculum can be exasperating but it also gives us the flexibility to come up with interesting ways to fulfill badge requirements.

One of the fun things Girl Scout leaders get to do is take part in parades with the girls!

We’ve had some great adventures. While working on our Brownie “Water Journey” badges, we visited the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources fisheries building at Devil Track Lake, a field trip the girls loved. We also visited the Grand Marais Public Utilities wastewater treatment plant—something the girls did not enjoy as much.

While working on our Artist badge, we painted, painted and painted on all sorts of surfaces. We had a great afternoon with Hovland artist David Hahn. We created chalk art on the pavement and we hiked to the Grand Marais Art Colony to see the plein air exhibit.

As leaders we get to see “our” girls growing up before our eyes. To earn their Citizenship and Patriotism badges, we talked a lot about the history of our country and our flag. We wrote cards and sent them—along with Girl Scout cookies—to folks in the military with Cook County ties. And when each troop was in third grade, they took on the task of conducting the flag ceremony at Girl Scout events.

We’ve also had some hilarious moments. While preparing for Girl Scout Investiture, the ceremony that rededicates us all to the Girl Scout mission at the beginning of the year, Michele and I lectured the girls a bit about proper behavior at this event. Officials from Girl Scouts Minnesota -Wisconsin Lakes and Pines would be at the meeting, Michele told the girls. She cautioned them that they needed to behave in front of the “bigwigs” from Duluth.

The look on our Girl Scouts’ faces was priceless. Big wigs? We could see the question in their eyes—why do the Duluth women have weird hair? Just how big are these wigs?

It took a little while to explain the odd phrase and get our meeting back on track. And I think perhaps our girls were a little disappointed when the GSMWLP representatives showed up at Investiture with ordinarylooking hair.

It makes me smile every time I think of it. Just one of the many rewards of being a Girl Scout leader.


Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple, and it is also that difficult.

Warren Bennis

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10/21/14 - Gene Dale Kalligher sent along this wonderful picture of Sawbill Canoe Outfitters after a recent visit.

Sawbill Newsletter - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 10:24am

10/21/14 - Gene Dale Kalligher sent along this wonderful picture of Sawbill Canoe Outfitters and our refurbished canoes for sale after a recent visit. He has an excellent photography blog at:

When I saw this picture I thought, "I want to live at this place... oh, wait..."

I snapped this shot of a couple embarking from the Sawbill Lake canoe landing a few days ago.

The weather in October can be lovely, but it can also be nasty. I always advise to plan for the worst and hope for the best. - Bill

Here is last week's edition of the Cook County West End News from WTIP, North Shore Community Radio.

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Eyes on the Sky This Week

Boundary Waters Blog - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 4:35pm

It seems like there have been more reasons to keep your eyes on the sky this year.  There have been numerous solar flares causing what seems like higher than normal northern light activity and we had the lunar eclipse a couple of weeks ago. This week there will be a partial solar eclipse and tonight is the peak of the Orionid meteor showers.  It’s a great week to visit somewhere like the Gunflint Trail where the skies are dark from the absence of  light pollution providing a great place to keep your eyes on the sky.

This week: solar eclipse and Orionid meteor shower By Mike Lynch

Posted:   10/19/2014 12:01:00 AM CDT | Updated:   about 2 hours ago

This year has been a good year for eclipses. In April and again this month, we witnessed a total lunar eclipse. And this week, we’ll see a partial solar eclipse

Lunar eclipses are a lot more common than solar eclipses. Next year, we’ll have two more total lunar eclipses. The next solar eclipse visible from the continental United States will occur on Aug. 21, 2017.

Thursday’s solar eclipse will begin around 4:23 p.m. and peak at 5:35 p.m., when slightly more than half of the sun’s disk will be covered by the moon. We won’t see much of the eclipse after that because the partially eclipsed sun will set at 6:15 p.m.

It’s going to look weird. There will be a definite reduction in daylight in the late afternoon, kind of like twilight occuring before the sun has set.

Plan to watch the solar eclipse the right way. Staring at the sun is never a good idea; doing so can permanently damage your eyes. Never, never look at the sun with a pair of binoculars or a telescope.

In the past several columns, I’ve written about special safety glasses you can buy to view a solar eclipse. I hope you got a pair.

If not, use the projection method to safely watch the moon march across the sun. Make a pinhole in a piece of white cardboard. Find another piece of stiff white cardboard or fiberboard. Stand with you back to the sun and hold the pinhole piece toward the sun. Aim the shadow of that cardboard over the blank cardboard, and watch the eclipse.

Autumn is known for meteor showers.

 One of them is the fairly reliable Orionid meteor shower that will peak between midnight Monday and the start of morning twilight Tuesday. The Earth, as it orbits the sun, is heading into a trail of debris left behind by Halley’s Comet. Due to the absence of moonlight, sky-watchers in the outer suburbs or the countryside may see 20 to 30 meteors an hour.

Mike Lynch is an amateur astronomer and professional broadcast meteorologist for WCCO Radio and is author of the book, “Stars, a Month by Month Tour of the Constellations” published by Adventure Publications ( Check out his website at Write to him at

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A Little Anti-Freeze Ingredient With Your Breakfast Sandwich?

Aging Youthful - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 1:00am

Each week I as I look for a subject on the What’s REALLY in our food posting, I get more and more sad about what is allowed to go into our food supply. What is most disturbing; many of these ingredients are banned in other countries, so when you go to a McDonald’s or buy a Gatorade overseas, they will NOT have the harmful ingredients in them, PROVING that it can be made without it and still appeal to the masses. If that doesn’t get you angry, it should!

Forbes magazine researched the ingredients in fast food breakfast egg sandwiches. While eggs are an ingredient, you may be surprised to find other nasty ingredients as well: propylene glycol (Subway), Potassium sorbate (McDonalds), Soy Oil (Dunkin’ Donuts). Article author, David DiSalvo says:

I found several interesting ingredients, and one big surprise (at least it was surprising to me). I fully expected that McDonald’s or Burger King would take the prize for the most unrecognizable ingredients, but neither one stacks up to the egg manipulation of Subway.  McDonald’s still takes second prize, but as you’ll see, it’s the “Eat Fresh” folks whose list is easily the most baffling.

I would have to agree that I am surprised Subway made the top of the list…”Eat Fresh” anti-freeze ingredients?  Again, choose to have fresh foods as much as possible. If you are in a rush for breakfast, choose a protein meal replacement shake, but again be sure to READ THE LABELS. Many of them are full of harmful and artificial junk and fillers as well. There is a reason I chose organic, undenatured whey protein concentrate from an exclusive cattle herd in New Zealand!


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Pink Paddles for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Boundary Waters Blog - Sun, 10/19/2014 - 10:31am

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. You’ll notice more pink in October than you will on Valentine’s Day and almost as much pink as you find at our annual Mush for a Cure event on the Gunflint Trail.

A long time ago I created the Pink Paddle.  It’s a graphite, bent-shaft canoe paddle made by Wenonah and it’s PINK! I decided to do this to raise funds for breast cancer and thought it was a good idea.  It turns out it didn’t raise alot of money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation but Mush for a Cure has. You can find Mush for a Cure on the main sponsor page of the NBCF website as we’ve donated $226,500 over the years.

The Pink Paddles are great paddles and I love paddling with mine. It’s lightweight, durable and always gets attention. The logo on the paddle represents a blessing and means,”May your new beginning bring you strength, peace and tranquility and may your journeys over water always be safe.”

I didn’t order too many of the paddles to begin with and I have a few of the paddles left for sale.  On the last order the handles came separate from the shaft so we can cut the paddles to a specific size.  We then glue and epoxy the handle onto the shaft and it doesn’t always end up as beautiful as the ones that came pre-cut and glued from the manufacturer.  I have retailed them over the years for $155.00 each plus shipping and handling.  Depending upon where the paddle is getting shipped the cost varies from $9-$20.

For the month of October we’re willing to let these paddles go for $99 plus shipping and handling.  If you’re interested in purchasing one then email or give us a call at 1-888-CANOEIT.  It’s a great price for a unique paddle.


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Planning for the 2015 Paddling Season

Boundary Waters Blog - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 10:13am

It’s the end of the paddling season at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters. We may still have a few folks who come up for a late fall trip but for all practical purposes the 2014 BWCA canoe camping season is over. That means the Voyageur crew will continue to prepare for winter by cleaning and storing all of our canoes and gear.

Sometimes Mike likes to make it easier on the crew by offering used gear for sale. If you buy it then they do not have to deal with it!  We still have some nice canoes, packs and paddles for sale at a great price. You may have received an email with this information already but if not, then here it is.

Also included in the email was a special for outfitting in 2015. It is a canoe and equipment package for 50% off but we’re only selling 50 of those and it has to be purchased by October 22nd.  You don’t need to know your dates for your trip, you just need to know you’re planning a BWCA or Quetico canoe trip in 2015.

We hope you are planning to visit us in 2015 as we look forward to the next paddling season.



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