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Voyageur Brewing Company Opening Soon

Boundary Waters Blog - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 10:57pm

Ready or not it is going to happen.

It won’t be long until everyone will be able to enjoy craft beer and the beautiful taproom at Voyageur Brewing Company. The interior looks amazing thanks to the time and talent of local carpenters, painters and craftspeople.   We knew it was going to be nice when we started but I don’t think anyone thought it would be as stunning as it is.  We can’t wait to show you, but we have to, just a little bit longer. We hope to see you when we open February 12th.  Until then, here’s the story of our interior of the taproom in Grand Marais, Minnesota.

From a grain chute at Globe
Seat made from reclaimed barnwood
Redwood from Fitgers Beer Barrel

Voyageur Brewing Company’s Unique Décor

When you’re relaxing in the Voyageur Brewing Company taproom you’ll notice many different varieties of wood. One thing most of the wood has in common is that it is reclaimed. Why did we choose to use reclaimed wood you might ask?

Reclaimed wood has ageless beauty and character as you can clearly see. It is higher quality than wood made today and is unique as well. Most importantly using reclaimed wood makes environmental sense. By not buying new wood we are doing the earth a favor.

Much of the wood used on the interior of the Voyageur Brewing Company taproom is from Hovland, Minnesota. The interior siding we retrieved from an old barn on the Adam’s Farm. The base of the bar is made with cedar from the barn and has amazingly beautiful worm burrows in it. The birch used to make the back bar and the retail display is from the 1999 Blowdown. Mark Adams logged the wood using his horses.

A large portion of the wood at Voyageur Brewing Company is from the old “Globe Company” in Superior, Wisconsin. This was at one time the largest terminal grain elevator in the world. The structures were made from trees found on the shores of the Pokegama River. The lumber was sent on trains to an onsite sawmill and then used to build the granaries. The first train carload of grain loaded into the elevator was October 3, 1887.

The wood featured at the entrance of the taproom is from a grain chute inside one of the silos. Years of grain sliding down it made the intricate designs in the wood. The 6×6 Oak posts used for railings were used to frame the huts on top of the steeples of the granaries. The 2” trim used in the taproom is also from Globe.

We purchased the Douglas Fir for the tabletops and the Redwood that is on the wall facing the door of the taproom from Duluth Reclaimed Timber. The Redwood is from an old barrel used by Fitgers in their original brewery.

Hedstrom’s Lumber Mill sawed the white pine for our bars, benches, countertops and mantel. The wood is from the Iron Range and local woodworkers Brian Sherburne and Randy Schnobrich crafted them into exquisite pieces of art.

The tops of our barstools and chairs are made from reclaimed lumber. They are re-purposed by Amish Craftsmen in Pennsylvania. And last but not least our flight boxes are made from re-purposed pallets.

We hope you enjoy the ambiance and character of our taproom as much as we do.

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Beauty Awaits You at Voyageur Brewing Company

Voyageur Brewing - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 10:31pm

It won’t be long until everyone will be able to enjoy craft beer and the beautiful taproom at Voyageur Brewing Company. The interior looks amazing thanks to the time and talent of local carpenters, painters and craftspeople.   We knew it was going to be nice when we started but I don’t think anyone thought it would be as stunning as it is.  We can’t wait to show you, but we have to, just a little bit longer. We hope to see you when we open February 12th.  Until then, here’s the story of our interior of the taproom in Grand Marais, Minnesota.

From a grain chute at Globe

Seat made from reclaimed barnwood

Redwood from Fitgers Beer Barrel

Voyageur Brewing Company’s Unique Décor

When you’re relaxing in the Voyageur Brewing Company taproom you’ll notice many different varieties of wood. One thing most of the wood has in common is that it is reclaimed. Why did we choose to use reclaimed wood you might ask?

Reclaimed wood has ageless beauty and character as you can clearly see. It is higher quality than wood made today and is unique as well. Most importantly using reclaimed wood makes environmental sense. By not buying new wood we are doing the earth a favor.

Much of the wood used on the interior of the Voyageur Brewing Company taproom is from Hovland, Minnesota. The interior siding we retrieved from an old barn on the Adam’s Farm. The base of the bar is made with cedar from the barn and has amazingly beautiful worm burrows in it. The birch used to make the back bar and the retail display is from the 1999 Blowdown. Mark Adams logged the wood using his horses.

A large portion of the wood at Voyageur Brewing Company is from the old “Globe Company” in Superior, Wisconsin. This was at one time the largest terminal grain elevator in the world. The structures were made from trees found on the shores of the Pokegama River. The lumber was sent on trains to an onsite sawmill and then used to build the granaries. The first train carload of grain loaded into the elevator was October 3, 1887.

The wood featured at the entrance of the taproom is from a grain chute inside one of the silos. Years of grain sliding down it made the intricate designs in the wood. The 6×6 Oak posts used for railings were used to frame the huts on top of the steeples of the granaries. The 2” trim used in the taproom is also from Globe.

We purchased the Douglas Fir for the tabletops and the Redwood that is on the wall facing the door of the taproom from Duluth Reclaimed Timber. The Redwood is from an old barrel used by Fitgers in their original brewery.

Hedstrom’s Lumber Mill sawed the white pine for our bars, benches, countertops and mantel. The wood is from the Iron Range and local woodworkers Brian Sherburne and Randy Schnobrich crafted them into exquisite pieces of art.

The tops of our barstools and chairs are made from reclaimed lumber. They are re-purposed by Amish Craftsmen in Pennsylvania. And last but not least our flight boxes are made from re-purposed pallets.

We hope you enjoy the ambiance and character of our taproom as much as we do.

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Gotta go Skiing

Boundary Waters Blog - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 11:11pm

This morning it was beautiful outside and I really wanted to go cross-country skiing. Unfortunately there were more urgent and important things to do than spending an hour or two in the woods.  I realized today how little I have been outside this winter and it makes me sad.

Before the kids were born I pretty much went cross-country skiing or snowshoeing every day when there was snow. It was something I obviously took for granted at the time. Last winter I only went cross-country skiing once! I should be able to double that this year quite easily, but I’ve heard “should” is a fantasy.  Let’s hope not.

Before I can go skiing I need to get my ski pass and that takes a couple of minutes to do. I also need to get new ski poles. I received some for a Christmas gift this year but unfortunately they are too long and Mike hasn’t been able to remove the baskets or handles in order to cut them down to the correct size.  That means I need to get another set of poles before I go skiing and that too takes a few minutes to do.  My minutes are pretty limited right now.

The Voyageur Brewing Company is opening on February 12th and there is still plenty to finish before then. The place looks amazing and the beer tastes even better. I’m so excited for all of our Voyageur summer guests and neighbors to be able to stop in before or after(or both) their trips and have a beer or pick up a growler to bring home.  I know you’ll love it.

I may just have to disappear into the woods for a couple of hours. I’m sure I’ll be more productive after spending time in the woods, I just gotta get out skiing sooner rather than later.

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Midwinter Fun

North Shore Art Scene - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 12:42am

“After the Storm” by Paul Sundberg.

There’s lots of great music and great skiing and sledding this weekend, including a festival at Lutsen Mountains.

The Lutsen Mountains Family Festival features a Friday night magic show with Chaz (8 p.m.), the Choo Choo Bob Show on Saturday (4 p.m.), based on the Emmy award-winning, live-action television show featuring trained-themed music and a variety show suitable for all ages. And, at 8 p.m. Saturday, there are fireworks on the mountain.

Also this weekend, the Winter Plein Air event will be held at YMCA Camp Menogyn Jan. 28 to Feb. 1.  More than 15 plein air painters will attend. A virtual exhibit featuring works completed during the week is in the planning stages.

In Grand Marais, the Lynn Speaker Solo Exhibition at the Grand Marais Art Colony, “Liminal Space”  continues through Feb. 1. The Art Colony is open from 9-4 p.m. daily.

The winter Life Drawing sessions have begun at the Grand Marais Art Colony. The sessions are held Wednesdays from 6:30 to 9 p.m. No instruction is included. It is open to artists of all media and skill levels, 18 and older unless accompanied by/permission from a parent or guardian. The drop-in fee is $12.

In Thunder Bay, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery is currently exhibiting “Drawn From Legends: Works from the Permanent Collection,” featuring work by Bob Boyer, Carl Ray, Jackson Beardy, Doug Lafortune, Ivan Otterlifter and Roy Thomas among others. It continues through March 8. The Lakehead University Annual Juried Exhibition of best work by students opens Jan. 30 and continues through March 1. The gallery is open from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and noon to 5 p.m. Fridays through Sundays.

“The Garden Series: Lavender & Lace” by Sandi Pillsbury Gredzens.

In other art news, Sandi Pillsbury  will participate in a show at the Agora Gallery in New York City Feb. 10 through March 3. The opening reception for the show, entitled “Elemental Realms,” is from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 12.

A call has gone out for artists to participate in the “Igniting Imagination” exhibit that opens at the Johnson Heritage Post March 13. This is the fifth year The Spirit of the Wilderness has coordinated an exhibit inviting artists to examine the overlap between creativity and spirituality. For more information, contact Mary Ellen Ashcroft at 387-1536.

Ann and Wayne Russ are hosting four free dance practice sessions on Tuesdays beginning Feb. 3 from 7-9 p.m. at the 4-H Building. They are also holding Dance Floor Techniques classes for couple dancing. For more info, call 370-8949 or email russ@boreal.org.

Here’s the music schedule for this weekend:

Thursday, Jan. 29:

  • Eric Frost & Bill Hansen, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
  • Jim & Michele Miller, Gun Flint Tavern, 7 p.m.
  • Rod Dockan & Al Oikari, American Legion, 7 p.m.
  • Dead Man Winter and The Pines, Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.
  • James Moors, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 30:

  • Boyd “Bump” Blomberg, Moguls Grille, 4 p.m.
  • Maria Nickolay, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
  • Step Rockets, Papa Charlie’s, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 3:

  • James Moors, Moguls Grille, 4 p.m.
  • James Moors, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7 p.m.
  • Pete Kavanaugh, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
  • Bug Lite, Gun Flint Tavern, 8 p.m.
  • Step Rockets, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 1:

  • James Moors, Gun Flint, 7 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 2:

  • Joe Paulik, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
  • Songwriter Series: Tim Mahoney, Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 3:

  • Fingerstyle Guitar Workshop with Gordon Thorne, Moondance Coffee House, Lutsen, 5 p.m.
  • Jim & Michele Miller, Poplar River Pub, Lutsen Resort, 6 p.m.
  • Open Mic with Bump Blomberg, Papa Charlie’s, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 4:

  • Open Mic Night at the Gun Flint Tavern, 5 p.m.
  • Spotlight North: Ian Alexy of Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.

Here are some of the photos we found this week:

Here’s a great shot of an eagle photographed by Michael Bendtsen of Washington state.

Photo by Michael Bendtsen.

 

Much closer to home, John Sikkila caught this wonderful image of a Great Grey Owl the other day.

Photo by John Sikkila.

 

Grand Marais photographer David Johnson has been spending a lot of time on the breakwall shooting fantastic shapes of ice.

Photo by David Johnson.

 

Thomas Spence caught this shot of pancake ice in the harbor the other day.

Photo by Thomas Spence.

 

To continue our lighthouse theme, Bryan Hansel captured these pastel colors at sunset.

Photo by Bryan Hansel.

And here’s a sunset image from Paul Sundberg on a completely different evening.

Photo by Paul Sundberg.

 

Here’s another shot of  a beautiful sunset, this time by Stephan Hoglund.

Photo by Stephan Hoglund.

 

Photographers were out shooting the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon and came up with some great images.

Here’s one by Nace Hagemann. It’s a shot of Ryan Anderson as he runs behind his sled on a hill in heavy snowfall. Anderson went on to win the Beargrease.

Photo by Nace Hagemann.

 

And finally, this wonderful shot by David Johnson, again taken in the snowstorm, but this time at night.

Photo by David Johnson.

Enjoy your weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Eagle’s Eggs

Boundary Waters Blog - Wed, 01/28/2015 - 9:28pm

The eagle has landed.  Landed back at the nest and laid three eggs! You can check it out the live feed video to see for yourself.

January 28, 2015 – Eggs and video upgrade

Eggs!

How ‘eggciting’, we now have three eagle eggs! As appears to be the norm for the DNR EagleCam nest, this pair has again laid their eggs earlier than we would have anticipated. In 2013, the pair laid during the first week of January. In 2014, the pair waited a little longer and started laying eggs on Valentine’s Day in mid-February. This year, the eggs were laid approximately as follows-

#1 – Laid on the 19th or 20th of January
#2 – Laid on the 22nd of January
#3 – Laid on the 25th of January
Minnesota temperatures have been hovering above average, which will increase the chances of successful hatching. If all goes well, we should see the first egg pip around February 24th. Throughout February and March eagles all over Minnesota will be laying eggs and tending nests. This is a great time to get outside and watch eagles hunt and forage for food while they prepare for their new mouths to feed. Consider taking a walk outside and see if you can spot some eagles in action. Areas of open water along big rivers (such as the Mississippi) are great places to take a short walk to view eagles and much more! Bring some binoculars! More on wildlife viewing.

For more information on our MN weather, visit the DNR’s Current Conditions webpage – the nest is located in Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

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1.28.2015 No “livid” skiers here

Bearskin Lodge Ski Trail Reports - Wed, 01/28/2015 - 4:52pm

Today’s StarTribune reports that skiers in Minnesota are “livid” about the lack of snow in the entire state.  That’s weird. We see skiers all day every day and none of them look very livid to us.  Mostly they seem quite happy. Thrilled even.  After all, when you’re skiing in ideal winter conditions, there’s not much to get livid over.

Our phone calls are going like this each day:

 

Watching the melting snow drip off your roof day after day does get old. We might get livid too, if all we’d done this winter was wait for winter weather to appear.   But you can find winter on the Gunflint Trail  — it’s here, waiting for you.

We’ve put together some nice winter packages to entice you up north. Our musher, Erik Simula, has many openings for dog sled trips and Chef Scott Bergstrom has an awesome menu planned for dining every Saturday. More than 40 miles of beautifully groomed ski trails await you. We have a surprising number of openings this weekend, which is normally one of the toughest weekends all winter to find a spot here — it’s not too late to drop everything and make a plan to head up north.   Visit www.bearskin.com

The latest numbers, from the measuring man Zach Baumann, at Golden Eagle:

Central Gunflint Ski Trail Conditions on 1-28-15

  • New Snow Last 7 days:  3.95”
  • Trail Base, Staked:  9” – 12” average
  • Snow in Woods, Staked:  Low 14”   High 20”
  • Groomed with classic tracks:  70 K
  • Groomed for skating:  53.4 K
  • Surface Conditions:  Fresh Packed Powder
  • Last grooming day:  1-27-15
  • Snowshoe trails:  Open
  • Total snowfall since Nov. 1:  55.30”
  • Comments:  We’ve had beautiful weather these past few days with highs in the upper 20’s and now 3.25” of fresh snowfall again on January 26th. All trails have been freshly groomed and are in excellent shape; ski conditions are fantastic! More snow is predicted to fall before the weekend which means no rest for the groomers. We don’t mind, though; the snow-covered wilderness is absolutely gorgeous now!

Please contact Golden Eagle Lodge (1-800-346-2203) or Bearskin Lodge (1-800-338-4170) for specific conditions and grooming information on each trail or route. Central Gunflint Ski Pass Required.

 


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New Walleye Regs for Sag, Seagull & Gull Lakes

Gunflint Pines Northwoods News - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 6:59pm

DNR tightens walleye rules for 3 popular BWCA lakes but loosens them for Lake Winnibigoshish
, Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Authorities are tightening walleye regulations for three lakes in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area but loosening them for another popular northern Minnesota lake.

The Department of Natural Resources announced the changes Monday as part of special regulations for nearly three dozen waters statewide that take effect March 1.

For Saganaga, Sea Gull and Gull lakes in Cook County, walleyes must be at least 17 inches long and the bag limit will be three instead of six. The change is meant to protect small walleyes in those lakes, which all lie partly in the BWCA.

But the DNR will relax size restrictions to give anglers more chances to keep walleyes from Lake Winnibigoshish. The protected slot there will be 18 to 23 inches, compared with the previous 17- to-26 inch slot.

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New Fishing Regulations in 2 BWCA Lakes

Boundary Waters Blog - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 2:03pm

I’m not surprised the DNR has decided to make changes to the walleye limit on Saganaga and Seagull Lakes in the BWCA. There had been a few public meetings where many people voiced their opposition to the new rules which dropped the limit from 6 walleye down to 3 walleye in possession.  There is a new regulation saying the fish must be at least 17 inches long as well and these rules will be in place for 10 years.  Gull Lake and I’m assuming the Seagull River(even though we’re not considered part of Saganaga according to the USFS) is also included in this new regulation.

What does that mean for me? Not too much because I can’t remember the last time I caught even three walleye in the same day. If I do catch them then I usually throw them back anyway. It might affect those who want to have a meal or two of walleye but hopefully the new regulations will help the fishery.

Locals claim the DNR is responsible for the lowered walleye population from year’s past.  It’s rumored the DNR took way too much spawn from the walleye of Saganaga Lake for too many years. I don’t know how much they took and I do know they have been trying to stock the lake in years past but from what I hear only with walleye not big enough to survive all of the predators in the lake.  I also don’t know what the DNR plans to do as far as stocking in the future.  Only time will tell.

New walleye regulations on some lakes in the BWCA

By Josh Lee

January 26, 2015 Updated Jan 26, 2015 at 4:13 PM CSTDULUTH, MINN. (NNCNOW.com) — Authorities are tightening walleye regulations for three lakes in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and loosening regulations for another popular northern Minnesota fishing lake.

The Department of Natural Resources announced the changes today as part of special regulations effective March First.

Walleyes taken from Lakes Saganaga, Seagull and Gull in Cook County, must be at least 17 inches long and the bag limit has been reduced from six to three.

The change is meant to protect small walleye in those lakes, all of which are partially in the BWCA.

Walleye taken from Lake Winnibigoshish, must been between 18 and 23 inches.

Effects of this regulation will be studied for the next 10 years, and will be reviewed with the public in 2024.

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Still in Tobago

Gunflint Lodge - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 8:36am
Although our days in Tobago arecoming to an end, we have had a chance to see a lot of the island.  One day we hired a guide/driver for some birdwatching and a visit to the rain forest.  That was not our best decision .  We knew more birds than he did.

Another day we went out for a day of snorkeling and fishing.  Bruce and Patty had three stops with a good variety of coral and fish.  Lunch was on the beach of a small bay.  The trip out was interesting as we were going into six foot waves.  We had a lot of bouncing.  Coming back in we trolled a line with an artificial lure but no luck.

Of course, we have driven all over the island.  There are several beaches close to our house for Bruce and Patty to do a little snorkeling.  Just give me a book and a chair and I will watch the gear.  One day just as Bruce and Patty were coming in, music announced that the ice cream truck was there.  We all got ice cream bars.  It reminded me of the Good Humor trucks tha came around the neighborhood when I was growing in Chicago.

Another day we drove to a bay just up the coast.  From our porch we could see fishermen putting in seine nets.  We drove by the bay just as about 15 people were pulling in the net.  There were a couple hundred small white fish that were pulled in.  One of the women told me the fish were sweet but very bony.   The net also held two turtles.  Each was about 12-18 inches in diameter.  They were released back to the sea.

Last Sunday we drove to Englishmen's Bay.  After a picnic lunch, Bruce and Patty spent an hour snorkeling one side of the bay.  Then we all walked down to the other side of the bay.  It was  nice outing.

Yesterday we went on one of our rare evening outings.  There was  steel band contest for the entire island.  We had been warned that things like this often start late.  We came a half hour early and it started a hour and a half late.  We only saw four bands of the small class but each one had about 25 people playing.  There were lots of people to see the bands and we had a great time.

On Thursdaywe start home.  We will let you know what is going on in the north woods.
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Fresh Snow on the Gunflint Trail

Boundary Waters Blog - Mon, 01/26/2015 - 9:04pm

We received some fresh snow today and it looks like a winter wonderland again.  The additional snow will be nice especially for the North Shore where it was scarce. It will help the cross-country ski trails and the North Shore snowmobile trail and make the trails on the Gunflint even better.  I’m sure the Beargrease participants don’t mind the snow either because at least it means it isn’t freezing cold outside.  Now if I can just find some time to get outside and enjoy the snow, I hope you can do the same!

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2015 Overnight BWCA permits

Clearwater Lodge Tales - Mon, 01/26/2015 - 5:32pm
Overnight permits for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness will be available starting Wednesday January 28th at 9am CST; day passes are always free and do not need to be reserved.  Contact us (218-388-2254) if you would like help securing your permit or you can head over here:http://www.recreation.gov/wildernessAreaDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=72600 and do it yourself.

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Crazy Doesn’t Begin to Describe It

Boundary Waters Blog - Sun, 01/25/2015 - 10:30pm

The “It” I am referring to is something that is supposed to resemble our life. I’m not sure if it’s me or Mike or the combination of the two or the addition of the two kids that made us crazy but our lives are definitely crazy. Thank Goodness for great friends, Tony & Hannah and cell phones with wi-fi.

One question I ask myself frequently is, “Why didn’t I let Josh quit hockey when he wanted to give up in Kindergarten?” The other boys in his class were playing hockey so he thought he should play hockey too. The only thing was he had never skated and didn’t have an older sibling that he had watched play. When he couldn’t skate as fast as the other kids he decided he didn’t want to play but we insisted. “You’re a part of a team, you wanted to play, you signed up and you don’t have to play again after this year, but you’re not quitting now.”

Maybe if we hadn’t been carting him all over for the past 7 years we wouldn’t have agreed to having Abby play volleyball on a team in Duluth this winter. Guilt makes you do crazy things. Like drive down to Cloquet on Friday for a 2pm hockey game and back to Duluth for a 7:30pm volleyball practice then back to Cloquet the next day for a 10am and 2pm hockey game. Then ditch your son with another hockey family so you can get up at 4:30am to drive to St. Paul for a volleyball tournament and not get home until 10pm.

I wish I could say this week will be better only it won’t.  Josh has practice in Silver Bay Monday night, practice in Two Harbors Tuesday night and Abby has practice in Duluth on Wednesday night. Then on Thursday night it’s back to Duluth for a hockey game and Friday head down to the cities for another volleyball tournament on Saturday and Sunday while Josh has a game in Ashland, Wisconsin on Saturday as well.  Maybe the next weekend will be better? Nope. Hockey in International Falls on the weekend and volleyball in Duluth on Sunday.

Yes. We are crazy. Crazy about our kids and their athletics. The insanity will end all too soon and we’ll be wishing we were chasing around with them again, at least that’s what other parents tell me. I don’t think any of those parents ever spent as much time on the road as us, but I do believe I will miss it. So, until they say, “Uncle.” I’ll say, “Hurry up, we gotta go.”

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January 25 2015

Gunflint Pines Northwoods News - Sun, 01/25/2015 - 7:23pm

Fishermen are reporting good trout fishing.  A group from Two Harbors who just checked out after Lake Trout fishing over the past 4 days reported that most fish caught were in the 18-24 inch range.  Early mornings and later in the day were the best bites, with the middle of the day being slow.  They spent most of the time fishing 30 – 40 ft with jigs and jigging spoons.

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Beargrease Begins Tomorrow

Boundary Waters Blog - Sat, 01/24/2015 - 8:25pm

The 31st running of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon begins tomorrow in Two Harbors, Minnesota.  The race normally begins in Duluth, Minnesota but due to the lack of snow it is beginning a little farther north.  The start of the race is always fun to watch. The dogs bark and jump and jump and bark as they wait for their turn to start.  As soon as they are free to run they quit barking and fall into their own rhythym.

If you’re looking for something to do tomorrow head on up to Two Harbors and check out the Beargrease!

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Vote for Grand Marais as America’s Coolest Small Town

Boundary Waters Blog - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 7:53pm

I know Grand Marais is a cool town, even in the summer thanks to Lake Superior.  In all seriousness, Grand Marais, Minnesota is a semifinalist in the “America’s Coolest Small Town” contest sponsored by Budget Travel.  I’m sure you think Grand Marais pretty cool too, if so then go online and vote for it.  That would be cool if it one…

Is Grand Marais ‘America’s Coolest Small Town’? PAM LOUWAGIE | Updated 1/22/2015 The Boundary Waters gateway city is one of 15 semifinalists in Budget Travel’s online contest for “America’s Coolest Small Town.”

Just how “cool” is Grand Marais?
Elizabeth Flores

First, Duluth-loving voters took to the Internet to catapult the Lake Superior city to the title of Outside Magazine’s “Best Town in America.”

Now fans of Grand Marais, the tiny tourist destination up the shore, are campaigning for a contest of their own.

The Boundary Waters gateway city is one of 15 semifinalists in Budget Travel magazine’s online contest for “America’s Coolest Small Town.”

The city became a semifinalist after receiving 472 nominations online. It’s competing with towns from Maine to Hawaii during online voting which closes at 11:59 p.m. on February 25. The top 10 towns will be featured online and in an upcoming issue of the magazine.

The only other Minnesota town to be a finalist was Ely, in 2010.

To vote on this year’s contest, go here.

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Working on a special day

Unorganized Territory - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 4:56pm

I was delighted when I visited Sawtooth Mountain Elementary this week to see the portraits of Dr. King on the wall. This one was made by my grandson Carter.

I’m chagrined that I didn’t write a column last week sharing thoughts about Civil Rights and the pivotal role of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. I’m embarrassed to say that I almost let the important day designated to honor Dr. King go by unnoticed.

Thankfully, it is now a national holiday so I was reminded by announcements of numerous commemorative events around the United States, as well as thoughtful (albeit after deadline) submissions to the Cook County News- Herald from our legislative representatives.

My co-workers remembered and we had a discussion over whether or not the News-Herald office should be open or not. The decision to work or not to work was left up to each individual staffer. I didn’t take the day off. Not because I don’t have the utmost respect for Dr. King, but because I actually think one of the best ways to honor Dr. King is by working.

The best and highest way to remember Dr. King is probably by spending the day in some sort of volunteer activity, doing something that builds community. In fact, that is what some of the original organizers of Martin Luther King Day wanted the commemoration to be—a day of service. The holiday was designated and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1983. In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday and Service Act, expanding the mission of the holiday as “a day of community service, interracial cooperation and youth anti-violence initiatives.”

Since then, every year meaningful tasks are undertaken to remember the work of Dr. King. All over the United States, there are youth expos and anti-bullying events. There are unity marches and symposiums on nonviolence. Volunteers offer hours of service, picking up trash on roadsides, helping repair homes for low income seniors, collecting donations for food shelves, giving blood, serving at soup kitchens and much more.

Our leaders set the example. President Clinton followed up the signing of the service act with the creation of AmeriCorps in 1994. President George W. Bush spent Martin Luther King holidays lending a hand in rebuilding efforts in Hurricane Katrina-torn New Orleans or visiting schools. This year President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama spent time with kids completing a literacy project at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington. In years past, they’ve served meals at homeless shelters.

All of these are great ways to remember the slain Civil Rights leader. Another way, I learned this week, is to go to school.

I had a nice visit with a local school board member about Martin Luther King Day. I asked if the school had gotten any feedback from people upset because the school does not follow the federal and state holiday policy. Yes, she said, they had heard a few complaints. But not as much in years past as the school has made an effort to let parents and the community know that while school is held, Dr. King’s memory is still honored.

When school is held on the third Monday of the month, the day federally designated as Martin Luther King Day, schools are required to incorporate the story of Dr. King. From kindergarten through high school, on that day or leading up to that day, during history lessons or social studies or English classes, the story of the Civil Rights struggle is woven into the curriculum.

Through age-appropriate lessons, students learn about segregation and desegregation; about voting rights and the Nobel Peace Prize; about bus boycotts and sit-ins and sadly, about the assassination of a great man. Students hear his words of wisdom, such as the famed I Have a Dream speech.

I’m glad the school honors the special holiday. I’m pleased that our school works to bring Dr. King’s legacy to life. And I’m glad that they reminded me to do the same.

**************

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?

Martin Luther King, Jr.


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Gum in the Boundary Waters

Boundary Waters Blog - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 7:29pm

I usually don’t bring gum into the BWCA with me but now I might. Check this out!

Categories: Member Feeds

1/22/15 - We received this note from or friend Becky Rom.

Sawbill Newsletter - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 11:42am

1/22/15 - We received this note from or friend Becky Rom. Becky is the daughter of Bill and Barb Rom, who were canoe outfitting pioneers in Ely.

Hi - As you know, Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness/Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters is hosting a series of talks this weekend in the Twin Cities about the threat of sulfide-ore copper mining to the Boundary Waters and surrounding area. Would you please send out the invitation to these talks to your friends and family, and perhaps your customer list? Would you post this on your website? Three of the talks are described on the attached postcard. In addition, the Izaak Walton League is hosting a talk at REI on Saturday.

We are also asking that people contact Congresswoman Betty McCollum's office in St. Paul with a request that she permanently protect the Boundary Waters. Betty is the ranking member of a key committee in the House, and can influence Boundary Waters policy. Phone calls and emails to her office are best. We will be putting up more detail on our website SavetheBoundaryWaters.org in the next day or two, but calls and emails can have a very simple message (why you care and please protect) and should start right now.

Thanks.

Becky

Thursday, January 22
Ridgedale-Hennepin County Library, RHR Room
6:30 pm Open House
7:00 - 8:30 pm Presentation
12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka

Saturday, January 24
Bachman’s Floral Gift & Garden, Heritage Room
1:30 Open House
2:00 - 3:30 pm Presentation
6010 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis

Saturday, January 24 - Sponsored by the Izaak Walton League
REI Bloomington
6:00 Open House
7:00 - 8:30 pm Presentation
750 W. American Blvd., Bloomington

Sunday, January 25
2:30 pm Open House
3:00 - 4:30 pm Presentation
Turtle Lake Room 110
4580 Victoria St. N., Shoreview

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Music, Square Dancing, The Beargrease & More

North Shore Art Scene - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 12:33am

A soft-color sunrise by David Johnson.

There’s lots of live music this weekend in venues around the county. And much more is happening as well.

There’s a square dance at North House Folk School on Saturday night and, in Thunder Bay, a wild fashion show called “Direlicte” on Saturday night, too.

Then, on Sunday, the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon starts, and on Tuesday WDSE”s The Playlist comes to Papa Charlie’s for a live recording of some of the best bands in the county.

The week is  is capped off by the arrival of The Pines and Deadman Winter, who will play for two nights at Papa Charlie’s.

First up is old time square dancing. Two classes will be held in conjunction with this event: a banjo workshop with Aaron Tacke and an Old Time Fiddle workshop with AJ Srubas. The classes will be held at the Cook County Community Center on Saturday from 3:30-5:30 p.m. To sign up, call Elise Kyllo at 612-961-4691 or email her at ekyllo@hotmail.com.

The Old Time Square Dance will be held at North House Folk School from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Saturday with live music by The Boot Lickers. Dances will be taught, no experience or partner is necessary. Just bring a water bottle.

“Direlicte: A Fashion Odyssey,” is a fundraiser for the Definitely Superior Art Gallery in Thunder Bay and Lakehead University Radio,  and will be held on Saturday night, too.

This over-the-top show includes wearable art, dance, music and performance and is held at the Black Pirates Pub, 215 Red River Road. The event, which starts at 8 p.m., includes four live bands and DJs, 10 local fashion houses, video-mapping projections, 16 wearable art pieces and more than 100 artist/models. Last year, more than 600 attended the event. Tickets are $10 at the door.

On Sunday, the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon starts at Highway 2 outside Two Harbors. The route has changed a little this year because of lack of snow, especially along the lake shore. The Mid-Distance race starts at 2 p.m., the Marathon at 3 p.m. Seventeen mushers have registered for the Marathon, 29 for the Mid-distance.

The Mid-distance will finish at Devil Track Landing this year, not at the AmericInn in Tofte as it has in past years. The first finishers are expected to cross the line around noon on Monday.

The first Marathon teams should arrive at the Sawbill Trail rest stop around 1:30 a.m. Monday, the last leaving about 7:30 a.m. The first teams are expected to arrive at Trail Center around 9 a.m. on Monday. The Marathon finish is at Billy’s in Duluth and the leaders are expected to arrive about 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday

There are a number of local mushers competing in this year’s marathon, including Frank Moe, Odin Jorgenson, Erin Altemus and Rita Wehseler.

All the mushers will be wearing GPS devices, so the race can be watched online. For more info, see www.beargrease.com.)

The SplinterTones (painting by Liz Sivertson) will be at Papa Charlie’s on Tuesday night in a live taping for WDSE’s The Playlist.

On Tuesday, WDSE’s The Playlist is taking over Papa Charlie’s for a Cook County music/recording session featuring Eric Frost, Pushing Chain and The SplinterTones.

Everyone is invited to the be part of the live audience and listen to some of Cook County’s finest. The evening begins at 8 p.m. with Frost. Pushing Chain (Bump Blomberg & Adam Moe) play at 9 p.m. and the SplinterTones play at 10 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. Cash bar available. PlayList Swag at the door. The initial broadcast will be through WDSE in Duluth with a statewide distribution to follow. Come be part of the audience and join in the fun!

The Pines play with Dead Man Winter at Papa Charlie’s Wednesday and Thursday night.

Then on Wednesday and Thursday nights, two fabulous Twin Cities bands play at Papa Charlie’sThe Pines and Dead Man Winter. On Wednesday night, there will be an acoustic singer/songwriter circle with members of both bands. On Thursday night, each band will play a set. Performances start at 8 p.m.

The Pines (David Huckfeldt & Benson Ramsey), is an indie-roots band with a truly unique sound that captures ears and stimulates the mind.

Dead Man Winter, the side project of acoustic barnburners Trampled by Turtles’ frontman/songwriter Dave Simonett, the Minnesota quintet consists of three members with TBT – Simonett, Tim Saxhaug and Ryan Young – along with guitarist/producer Erik Koskinen and drummer Noah Levy.

Both bands are wildly popular in the Twin Cites. Tickets are $10 a day, $16 for a 2-day pass.

David Gilsvik sits in front of the second wall of his mural that will be installed at the Heritage Center.

In other art news, David Gilsvik is working on the second wall mural for the Heritage Center at the Grand Portage Monument. The project will include four murals which should be installed by early summer.

Jack Nickolay will direct the One Act Play by the Grand Marais Playhouse that will be entered in the Minnesota Association of Community Theater’s Festival in March. Auditions for the play will be held from 7-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 27 at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. The play will be selected after auditions. For more information, contact the playhouse at (218)387-1284 x2 or playhouse@boreal.org.

Sivertson Gallery has announced plans to hold a Fireside Chat Weekend Feb. 13-15. Click here to see more and stay tuned.

And finally, Lynn Speaker’s exhibit at the Grand Marais Art Colony continues through the end of this month. The Art Colony is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Here’s the music schedule for the coming week:

Thursday, Jan. 22:

  • Eric Frost & Bill Hanson, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
  • Gordon Thorne, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
  • Billy Johnson, Gun Flint Tavern, 8 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 23:

  • The Sivertones,  Moguls Grille, 4 p.m.
  • Pete Kavanaugh, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
  • Clearwater Hot Club, Gun Flint Tavern, 8 p.m.
  • Billy Johnson, Papa Charlie’s, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 24:

  • Pushing Chain with Boyd Blomberg, Papa Charlie’s, 3:15 p.m.
  • Eric Frost, Moguls Grille, 4 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik, Papa Charlie’s, 6:45 p.m.
  • Gordon Thorne, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
  • Jim McGowan, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7 p.m.
  • Old Time Square Dance, North House Folk School, 7:30 p.m.
  • Paul Mayasich & Al Oikari, Gun Flint Tavern, 8 p.m.
  • Billy Johnson’s Roadshow, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 25:

  • Evergreen Grass Band,  Papa Charlie’s, 3:30 p.m.
  • Classic Guitar with Scott Fraser, Bluefin Grille, 6 p.m.
  • Timmy Haus, Gun Flint Tavern, 7 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 26:

  • Joe Paulik, Big Bear Lodge, 7 p.m.
  • Boyd “Bump” Blomberg, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
  • Communist Daughter, Songwriter Series, Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 27:

  • Joe Paulik, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
  • The Playlist Live at Papa Charlie’s with Eric Frost, Pushing Chain & The SplinterTones, 8 p.m. Free

Wednesday, Jan. 28:

  • The Pines & Dead Man Winter, acoustic singer/songwriter circle, Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 29:

  • The Pines & Dead Man Winter, Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.

We found some interesting photos this week.

Let’s start with Kjersti Vick’s wonderful shot of frost on a pine tree.

Hoar Frost by Kjersti Vick.

Here’s a wonderful shot of a common eider hen by Michael Furtman. Eider ducks are normally found in the Arctic but this hen has taken up with a bunch of ducks in the Duluth harbor.

Photo by Michael Furtman.

 

Here’s fantastic portrait of a red squirrel, taken by John Sikkila.

“Red Squirrel in the Shadows” by John Sikkila.

And for the domestic livestock photo of the week, check this out.

Nosy pigs at YKer Acres. (Photo posted on YKer Acres Facebook page.)

 

We had some wild waves and winds recently. Don Davison caught this shot.

West Breakwall I by Don Davison.

 

David Johnson caught the magic the wind and waves created.

Sunset Turned to Blue Hour by David Johnson.

 

And it’s been cold and grey. Here’s Bryan Hansel‘s beautiful take on that.

Grey Day at the Tombolo by Bryan Hansel.

 

And the cold created this beauty by Travis Novitsky. Enjoy!

Frost-Ice sunrise by Travis Novitsky.

Have a great week, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

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Paddling Entertainment

Boundary Waters Blog - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 9:38pm

If you’re a paddling enthusiast looking to be entertained then you might want to check out a couple of things. One is a television show called the “Paddling Bryans.” I haven’t watched it yet but a friend suggested I check it out on Facebook.  It’s about two Canadian guys named Bryan who travel around by canoe and I imagine they have awesome Canadian accents that would be fun to listen to.

When you can’t go paddling it’s always nice to watch shows about it or hear about it.

Adam Maxwell will be giving a presentation at the University of Minnesota Duluth on February 23rd.  He, along with some other paddlers are the ones who canoed to the Arctic this summer.  It’s from 7-8:30pm at Duluth’s Bohannon Hall and it’s free. Below is the description of his presentation.
Program description:
During the summer of 2014 a crew of 6 young men and women completed a
canoe expedition covering 920 miles from Northern Saskatchewan to Whales
Cove, Nunavut, led by UMD graduate Adam Maxwell. Adam will share
stories and photos of their travel which began in the boreal forest then into
the arctic tundra and eventually to the coast of Hudson Bay. Wildlife sightings
included thousands of caribou, musk ox, polar bears, and a wolverine. The
crew faced many challenges including long portages, a busted canoe, and
several low water streams. In addition to hearing stories about this expedition
join in a conversation about the planning of northern river travel, including
ways that college students can take advantage of their large amount of free
time over summer break to complete a budget conscious trip with very little
transportation cost.

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