It’s hard to believe Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center has been open for 5 years already. It seems like yesterday I was visiting with Ralph and Bea but I guess it’s been a few years.
One visit to their place will most likely hold a permanent space in my memory. It was July 4th, 1999, the year of the big blowdown. I was concerned about them after the storm cleared so I drove over to check on them. Trees blocked their driveway so I parked at the end of the road and walked in. I knocked on their door and no one came so I knocked a little harder and yelled out. I was beginning to panic when Bea came to the door looking a little sleepy. I asked her if everything was ok and she said, “Yes, why?” I told her about the big windstorm and she said she and Ralph had been napping and didn’t even know there had been a storm. I was glad they were fine and said we’d have someone come clear their road with the chainsaw in awhile in case they needed to get out. Now both Ralph and Bea are gone but Chik-Wauk remains.
To celebrate the anniversary the Gunflint Trail Historical Society is having a dinner fundraiser catered by Valentini’s Restaurant in Duluth. It will be held at the Seagull Lake Community Center on July 5th and tickets can be purchased online. If you can’t make the dinner but still want to support the museum and the expansion you can do that online too.
Happy Anniversary Chik-Wauk!
6/29/15 - We have been remiss in introducing our new crew members. This is just the first batch, with a few more to come.
Logan Sheets and Claire Mutch take quick break from putting together the weekly grocery order. Logan is from Wisconsin originally, but now makes his home in Missoula, Montana where he attends the University of Montana. Claire is from Apple Valley, Minnesota and attends the University of Minnesota.
Daniel Dahl is from Northfield, Minnesota and attends the University of Minnesota, Duluth.
Elena Torry-Schrag is from Forest Grove, Oregon and studies at Macalester College in St Paul, Minnesota.
Olivia Nofzinger, is from the Twin Cities, but spent much of last year in New Zealand. She's attending Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.
As Fourth of July approaches, our dock takes on a more summer appearance. The buoys marking out the swimming area are now up. Of course the swimming beach has to share with the flocks our newly hatched mallard ducks. We must have about 5 different flocks. The only way to tell them apart is by their size. Since there are still fully grown male mallards around, there must be more flocks waiting to be hatched. By the end of August we will have about 50-75 ducks around. They are so used to eating corn that you can feed them from your hand.
My garden is also getting bigger. Although still small, tender lettuce is ready for harvesting. Parsley is fully grown and ready for plates in the dining room. Chives are full of purple flowers. They also look great on our dining room plates. We have 2 tomatoes that are about 2 inches in diameter. There seems to be a good blend between rain and sunshine for a garden this summer. Keep your fingers crossed that it continues.
From around the Bearskin Road on up the Gunflint Trail, it should all be called Lupine Lane. The lupines are out in full bloom and just marvelous to see. But don’t forget all the other wild flowers that line the road. We have yellow hawkweed, red hawkweed, white Shasta daisies and yellow buttercups. It really makes for a lovely roadside as you drive up the Gunflint Trail.
The past few days the patio tables have been full for lunches and dinners. Today we will entertain the North Shore Healthcare Foundation for their annual fund raiser. With 50-60 extra people coming for the BBQ, it would be nice to have a gorgeous sunshine day. Right now it is raining out so keep your fingers crossed for a little sunshine later in the day. At about 3:00 Don will consult the weather forecasts and radar maps to decide if the BBQ will be inside or outside. Getting caught serving outside when rain starts to come down can be a difficult adjustment.
Friday Lee and Eva arrive with Grant and Mae. Things will be a little more lively in the house for the week they are here. Then like all grandparents we will spend the next week catching up on our sleep and getting into our usual routine. Our friends Ron and Pat Malina will visit with their son James and his family for a few days next. The month ends when Robert, Miranda and Zach and Nick and Sandy spend a week with us.
During the months of July and August we will be overwhelmed with old guests at the lodge and with families of all sizes. It is always fun to see everyone. Of course, during those two months we go through more cookies than at any other time of the year. One day alone last year we went through almost 300 cookies. I remember watching a teenage boy stack four cookies and then carefully bite down all four of them at once. All the joys of summer!
I’m not sure which is more of a constant companion, my laptop computer or Rugby my dog. My laptop sits on a table on the deck outside while Rugby lies beneath the table. Rugby sleeps at the foot of my bed while my laptop rests next to it. The laptop accompanies me on the treadmill courtesy of my treadmill desk and Rugby sits on the floor nearby. Yesterday Rugby accompanied me in my portable office so I guess he wins.
I decided to drive the towboat yesterday because a group of my friends were heading out on a Boundary Waters trip. Rugby decided to come along for the ride while the laptop stayed at home. As I was boating across Saganaga I couldn’t help but take in my surroundings. The water was like glass it was so calm. The sky was a beautiful blue and the pine studded islands seemed to float somewhere between the water and the sky. Loons swam nearby, eagles sat perched majestically in trees and seagulls could be seen on distant rocks. Joy filled me when I thought to myself, “This is my office.”
How lucky could a person be? To live in a place as beautiful as I do and be able to enjoy the incredible scenery and serenity on a daily basis means I’m pretty lucky. I watched as dragonflies flittered above the water’s surface and wondered how many people have experienced this just one day of their life?
Our goal at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters is to help introduce as many people as we can to this amazing place at the end of the Gunflint Trail. It’s magical and we want others to experience it. Come check out my office with a view and say, “Hello to Rugby and my laptop too.”
6/27/15 - Our good friends, Fred and Suzi Dow, operate the U.S. National Forest Campground Guide. I'm sure they are the only people who have visited every single National Forest Campground, including Alaska.
In the current issue of their newsletter they feature the Sawbill Lake Campground and even include a beautiful slide show of the day trip they took in the BWCA Wilderness when they visited here.
Fred and Suzi Dow
We usually don’t start seeing loon chicks until around the 4th of July. Guests haven’t reported seeing them in the Boundary Waters yet but there are a couple of loon chicks in our neighborhood. The loon nesting platform in the bay of Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center had a pair of loons who began nesting very early this year. They successfully hatched two loon chicks at the beginning of June!
Loons are so much fun to watch with their chicks. I’ve observed adult loons teaching their chicks how to fish and it is very neat. The adult starts out by feeding the chick a minnow by placing it in the chick’s mouth. Then the adult will drop the loon in the water right in front of the chick so it has to get its beak wet. The next step requires the chick to dip it’s head into the water because the adult releases the minnow just beneath the surface of the water in front of the chick. I’m not sure how many days the adult loons have to do this but it sure is an amazing process.
We welcome you to the Gunflint Trail where you can help us welcome all the new loon chicks coming soon.
6/26/15 - Due to a combination of circumstances, we find ourselves in need of another Sawbill crew member for the summer.
6/26/15 - Due to a combination of circumstances, we find ourselves in need of another Sawbill crew member for the summer. If you know someone who might like to live and work at Sawbill for the summer, let them know.
We look for people who are friendly, hard working and can work and live easily with others. We give strong preference to people who have wilderness canoeing experience in the Sawbill area. We also need someone who can start very soon and stay through at least the middle of August. We're also interested in people who may return for two or more seasons.
We require a completed application form, with three work references with current email addresses so we can check with them quickly. You can visit our employment page for more details, including compensation. There is an application form there that can be filled in and emailed.
If you'd like to ask questions directly, you can call me at 218-663-7150. Thanks! - Bill
It’s somewhat of a secret that the Boundary Waters is unusually quiet over the 4th of July. It’s a perfect time to paddle and camp since the water is warm for swimming, the fishing is good and the bugs have usually tapered off. Why don’t more people take advantage of this prime paddling time? I think it’s because people have their 4th of July traditions they don’t want to miss out on. There are parades to attend, picnics to partake in and of course fireworks that light up the evening sky.
Wouldn’t you rather watch fireflies light up the sky or perhaps the northern lights? When I compare 4th of July festivities in a normal city with a trip to the BWCA all I can think of is, “I’d rather be paddling.” Crowds of people, traffic in the streets and time spent chatting with someone you only see once a year are what comes to my mind when I think about the 4th in the city.
A campsite on a wilderness lake, quality time with family or friends and peace and quiet is something I could really celebrate. I’m sure there are some great things to do on the 4th of July but I can’t think of anything better than canoe camping in the BWCA.
July is a great time to visit Grand Marais, Minnesota and it will be even better this year because our roof top patio at Voyageur Brewing Company will be open. Folks have been enjoying our tasty craft beer and wonderful view from the roof top already but soon they won’t have to bring their beer from the taproom up the stairs in order to enjoy it. We know you don’t mind the exercise but we’ll let you save your energy for the hiking and biking trails since we’ll be serving our beer out of the roof top bar by the 4th of July. Soak up some sun, watch the sailboats pass by and enjoy a spectacular view of the Grand Marais Harbor all while enjoying our delicious beer.
Our Ales for ALS Summer Ale will be available in July while supplies last. One dollar of each pint of Half Moon sold will go to Ales for ALS and ALS Research. We’re proud to be a part of this great fundraiser and appreciate your help in raising a pint and money for ALS.
We’ll be attending two craft beer events in July and we hope to see many of you in attendance too. The weekend of July 10th we’ll be in Lutsen at the Hopped Up Caribou Festival and July 25th we’ll be in Duluth at the All Pints North Summer Brew Fest. We’re excited for the opportunity to be surrounded by craft beer enthusiasts.
Cheers to a wonderful June and an even better July!
Right off of the bat, Bob Pranis stood up during the public comment period to invite the Council to participate in a potential $25,000 grant through the Broadband Commission to work on creating a trial co-working facility in Grand Marais as well as establishing several remote video-conferencing locations across the County to take advantage of the new broadband installation. "Co-working" is a term used to summarize an office space that has the general resources of an office (printers, fax, internet, etc), but that can be used by several remote-working individuals to meet their needs for a small charge. The grant would require a 25% match, not all of which would be coming from the City and which could be matched with "in-kind" donations, such as space or infrastructure. Since this was not an agenda item and because the Council requested more time to consider possible partnerships with the Broadband Commission on this project, the Council chose to decide on this issue at the next meeting on July 8th. There were a few comments expressing excitement for the proposed project as well as a few questions concerning why the co-working facility had to be in the downtown area since the whole concept of "remote working" doesn't need a specific space to make it work... More to come on that next meeting.
Next came the Consent Agenda, which yesterday included the agenda as published, the minutes of the last meeting, the bills for the City that need approval to pay, and a street permit for the North Shore Federal Credit Union to close down the street immediately in front of their building for their annual member's appreciation BBQ. The Consent Agenda was unanimously passed. See you at the Credit Union for a brat on July 16th!
Moving right along, Kristin DeArruda Wharton from Cook County Moving Matters presented the Cook County Grand Portage Active Living Plan to the Council, summarizing the action items that were created BY the City, FOR the City to work on. The City has taken on many of these projects and has made good headway, but there is more work to do to continue promoting/developing active living in our community. This is one of the aspects the Council will continue to consider as a part of its Comprehensive Planning activities. The Highway 61 redesign project was part of this Active Living Plan. Ms. DeArruda Wharton also invited the City to continue in conversation with Moving Matters to continue finding resources to assist in accomplishing the priorities of the Council.
Tied to the previous item, Administrator Roth brought forward a contract from the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic pertaining to the funds used by the City to accomplish the Highway 61 Redesign project. The monies for the project came from the Moving Matters grant and thus the City needs a way to represent that we accepted and used that money. The contract that we unanimously approved did just that in a retrospective manner since we have already spent that money.
Next the Council fielded a resolution that simply corrected some incorrect/confusing language in the description of a property in the City. This language has created problems in the handling of this piece of property, thus the request to correct the description. The Council had a brief conversation about why this came up now and not at earlier times when the property was sold/re-sold, but when the Council was satisfied that this was the right thing to do we passed the resolution unanimously.
The Park Department once again came before the Council to hire the remainder of its seasonal workforce, which the Council accepted. Welcome to the seasonal staff Noah Warren and Michael Sussano!
The last item on the agenda was a resolution for the City to become a joint applicant with the County to apply to the state for "Regional Park or Trail Designation" for the mountain biking trails and infrastructure created at Britton Peak outside of Tofte and Pincushion Mountain outside of Grand Marais. This application, if accepted, is the first step necessary for getting our trail system eligible for MN Legacy Funding for the continuing development and expansion of the trails in our county. As part of this application there is a master plan that outlines roughly 50 miles of singletrack trails as well as other traverse trails to connect these systems. The reason that this could be a big deal and an economic driver for our County is that this trail system, if built, would be a national caliber destination mountain biking facility, something that would add significantly to amenities for our area. The Council asked several questions about the stipulations and consequences of signing on to this application and then voted unanimously to approve the resolution and become the co-applicant with the County.
On to Council and Staff reports!
Councilor Moody asked for clarification on who the contact person was for Arrowhead Animal Rescue so that he can get up to speed and get meeting dates. These names were given.
Councilor Mills reported that the YMCA approved its 2016 budget after significant conversation and number crunching.
I reported on four meetings that I attended in the past few weeks:
1. I met with a few residents of the community who brought up concerns regarding blight or poorly maintained properties/areas of the City. Concerns regarding how we present ourselves to visitors to the area as well as how poorly kept properties effect the property values of those around it. The big "ask" was, "What can the City do about it?" I did some looking into this issue with Administrator Roth and we discovered that the City does not have a "Blight Ordinance," but has a "Nuisance Ordinance" which largely applies to physical dangers that are present on a property and not aesthetics necessarily. When questioned as to why the City does not have a Blight Ordinance, the answer was that blight has not been a big enough problem in the past and that codifying the aesthetic that we would like to have in our city is much more comlicated than just outlawing peeling paint... In the end I volunteered to have a conversation with Sheriff Eliasen about his understanding of the Nuisance Ordinance so that we can see what the best way is for residents to report/have their complaints heard. It is the City's perspective that the best way to resolve differences between neighbors is to have a conversation with that neighbor or to be personally involved in the solution of the problem, but also understand that there are situations where a positive conclusion is more difficult, so we are glad to have this conversation.
2. I met with Emergency Services Coordinator Jim Wiinanen and County Commissioner Heidi Doo-Kirk to discuss the community's Emergency Operations Plan. This plan is a master document that summarizes how our community will coordinate and respond to any emergency in the county. This document is very detailed in its aspects and includes just about every consideration necessary in preventing emergencies from spreading and to put our resources to the best possible use. Every year roughly 1/4 of the plan needs to be re-addressed to make sure that it is still appropriate for our community. Our task is to reassess these several points by year's end, but we are striving to complete the project prior to September's Integrated Emergency Management Conference, which will be held in Grand Portage with all local agencies as well as Canadian agencies in attendance.
3. Upon the request of the District Heating Task Force, I made the request for a motion to be made to formally suspend the contract with FVB Energy as stipulated in the contract. This motion was accepted unanimously by the Council and comes following realization that capitalizing the project in the current economic environment would not be financially responsible nor prudent. The City will be in conversation with FVB Energy to provide a final report on the project and will settle all outstanding payments necessary. Since this round of work was funded through two grants, the City will now begin the process of reviewing the procedures for returning the remaining grant funds to the granting agencies. Our hope is that the work completed with provide us with a somewhat turn-key project should the economics of a biomass plant improve to a point where it would be viable again.
4. I met again with a few representatives of the North Shore Health Care Foundation to work on hashing out what the purpose of the conversations we have already had about healthcare for Seniors in our community. It became clear very early in the conversation that neither the City nor the Health Care Foundation was in a position to, nor should be the leading entity in this conversation. This created some confusion and frustration because we both believed that this study is a critical part of how we can better serve our residents and keep them in our community from "cradle to grave" so to speak. After much conversation, I made the offer of taking the initial lead in working to put together a coalition of organizations in our area that will invest time in educating ourselves about what the issues/opportunities are, seeking a study to formally understand these issues/opportunities, and then use the information we gather to create plans to meet the needs of our residents, which will benefit the community culturally, physically, and economically. I will be attending the North Shore Health Care Foundation's meeting on July 13th to discuss this directly with their board.
Following a few comments from Administrator Roth concerning the City's role in the planned library lawn rain garden, the meeting adjourned at a reasonable hour.
*In closing comments, I am writing this summary during one of the breaks at the League of MN Cities Annual Conference where I am attending several sessions such as:
1. Seeking Solutions to the Workforce Housing Challenge2. How can my city get involved with community solar gardens?
3. Attracting and Retaining the Next Generation in Your Community
4. I had a great conversation with the Preservation Alliance of MN concerning ways to preserve aging buildings in our community as well as creating succession planning for business owners in our area.
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?
We had many guesses in May—all correct. The waterfall that appears on the upper side if Highway 61 near Five Mile Rock is a familiar site to many. The waterfall has slowed to a trickle now and a winner has been drawn from the correct entries.
Congratulations to Don Hill of Lakeville, Minnesota who recognized the waterfall near 2021 East Highway 61 in the Colvill area.
Try your luck! Take a look at the June photo. If you think you know where we were when we took this picture, send us your answer.
You don’t have to be the first to reply. The location will be announced next month and a winner will be drawn from all the correct answers.
Whoever is drawn from the correct entries will win a free one-year subscription to the Cook County News-Herald (a $32 value). Good luck!
Return answer by mail, e-mail or fax to:
Cook County News-Herald
PO Box 757
Grand Marais MN 55604
Answer to the June WHERE ARE WE? must be received by July 13, 2015.
I love to watch the northwoods plant life change as the days pass by. The strawberries, blueberries, roses, service berries, bluebead lilies and more bloom early in the summer and then transform into their mid-summer look. In place of petals pieces of fruit appear on plants like strawberries and blueberries. As the flowers drop off of roses a fruit known as a rose hip begins to develop.
It’s amazing how quickly the process of change happens on the Gunflint Trail. Our growing season is short and weather can make a big difference to the appearance of our plants; A little too wet, not enough sun or too many days without rain all factor in. Identifying animals or their scat is relatively easy compared to knowing what a plant looks like in its various stages of growth.
The ever-changing plant landscape is a reminder of how time flies quickly by. Don’t let it slip away from you before you’ve had a look for yourself.
Fabulous, exquisite, beautiful, inspiring … these are just a few of the words that describe what we saw this week in the northern sky and what we will see when “Through Our Hands IV,” the Northwoods Fiber Guild’s exhibit, opens at the Johnson Heritage Post Friday, June 26.
Members of the guild are exhibiting everything from quilting, weaving, felting, basketry, and beadwork, to handmade paper, clothing, knitting, jewelry and more. The quality of the work is truly awe-inspiring. Add to that the whimsical and creative handmade signal flags that hang in the entry room, and one can easily say that this is an exhibit not to be missed.
The opening reception from 5-7 p.m. on Friday will be exceptional, too. Guild members will be offering a beautiful selection of handmade finger foods as well as wine or punch, and the floral arrangements will be stunning as well.
The exhibit continues through July 19, and the Heritage Post will be open every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Demonstrations are also planned for Saturdays. Stay tuned.
Actually, this weekend’s activities start on Thursday when the Roe Family Singers perform on WTIP Community Radio at 4 p.m. Hailing from the Mississippi-headwaters community of Kirkwood Hollow, the Roe Family Singers blend characteristic old-time music with rock ‘n’ roll. They will be performing at the 7th Annual Kakabeka Falls Bluegrass Festival this weekend at the Kakabeka Falls Camp in Thunder Bay. For the complete schedule, click here.
And “Eleemosynary,” a production of the Grand Marais Playhouse, opens at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. Performances are at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday as well. Tickets can be purchased at the door or at www.tix.com.
One of the high points of the summer art scene in Duluth is the Park Point Art Fair June 27-28. More than 100 artists in every genre participate in this show on Park Point, and there are lots of food vendors and live music. Michael Monroe, for example, will play on June 27. There’s also an emerging artist exhibit, an iron pour and kids activities. Click here to learn more.
This is also the weekend for the Lutsen 99er, the Ultra Mountain Bike race on the North Shore. More than 1,500 riders are expected to participate this year. The race starts at 7:30 a.m. Saturday on Lutsen Mountains. All invited to come watch the race. For more info, click here.
In Grand Marais, the Cook County Farm & Craft Market will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in the Senior Center parking lot with lots of artisan work as well as fresh vegetables and plants in season.
Also, there will be a clay demo with Joan Farnam at the Grand Marais Art Colony‘s ceramics studio at 1 p.m. Saturday. Free and open to all. No registration required.
The Woodland Chamber Music Workshop at Surfside Resort is ongoing this week. Mina Fisher, former Minnesota Orchestra and Bakken Trio cellist, the Gichigami Trio and Betty Braunstein are Artist-Faculty in Residence. And French hornist Kevin Miescke will be the resident brass expert for the workshop. A Gala Concert will be held on Sunday at 11 a.m. featuring participant ensembles and the WCMW Chamber Orchestra, followed by a farewell reception/light luncheon. The concert is open to the public. For more info, click here.
And finally, busically Celebrate July’s Full Moon, and the start of the 4th of July weekend with a little drama and a lot of small-town fun as Grand Marais cellist Yvonne Caruthers performs the world premiere of “Ring by the Lake” and a medley of patriotic classics at. Beautiful music in a spectacular setting. The music starts at 8 p.m. Fool moon rises at 8:27 p.m. See you there!
Hovland Summer Arts Festival, July 3 & 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Ugandan Woodcut Print Show, Betsy Bowen Studio, opens with reception July 3, 5-8 p.m.
Sam Miltich with the Sky Blue Jazz Quartet, Arrowhead Center for the Arts, July 11
Grand Marais Arts Festival, Grand Marais, July 11-12
In other art news, two new exhibitions have opened at the Definitely Superior Art Gallery in Thunder Bay — the 27th Annual DefSup Members Exhibition, a multimedia art exhibit by 60+ emerging and established professional regional artists, and Black Night: Die Active Exhibition, a multi-disciplinary black light, glow-in-the-dark graffiti art installation by new generation artists. The gallery at 250 Park Ave. in downtown Thunder Bay is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
The Duluth Art Institute has opened an exhibit on comic strip artists entitled MN Comics. It continues through the summer.
The Thunder Bay Art Gallery is featuring “Continuum” by Sonny Assu through Sept. 6.
The Blue Moose is featuring jewelry this week including fused-glass vegetable pins by Geri Persons and birchbark earrings and pendants by Katie Best.
Ron’s World Rocks, located at Betsy Bowen Studio & Galleries, has agate beads ranging from 2-3 inches in length, as well as a great selection of jewelry with precious and semi-precious stones.
Threads (Joy & Co.) has new pottery by Jay Gaare of Tofte, including whimsical stoneware planters.
Great Gifts of Lutsen has hand-hammered copper ornaments with North Shore icons, including moose, bear, loons and fish.
Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery in Lutsen has new block prints by Gloria Larsen and batiks by Nedra Nicholls.
And David Gilsvik has brought a new collection of paintings to Sivertson Gallery.
The Grand Marais Art Colony has put out a call for artists to create a 5×7 ” piece (or pieces) of art to donate to the Clothesline Art Sale Fundraiser held during the Grand Marais Arts Festival. Each unframed piece will sell anonymously for $35. Last year’s sale raised more than $2,000 to support the Art Colony. Participants will be promoted on its website and in the Clothesline booth. The deadline to submit pieces is July 1. Call 218-387-2737 for more information.
Two pottery workshops are planned for this summer at the Art Colony. Duluth potter and ceramics instructor Dorian Bealieau will teach Creative Ceramics from July 27-Aug. 1 and Minnesota potter Guillermo Cuellar will teach “The Place of Pots” Aug. 24-28. Both workshops are hands-on in the clay studio. For more info, click here.
Also, the Art Colony is currently hiring an administrative assistant to help two days a week on either a Friday & Saturday or Sunday & Monday schedule. The deadline to apply is June 28. For more info, click here.
And finally, there will be live music in Harbor Park this summer! The Grand Marais Music Collaborative, a not-for-profit corporation organized to serve the needs of those who produce, perform, or enjoy music in the Grand Marais area, has worked with the Grand Marais City Council to allow live performances in Harbor Park during the summer. Board members include Todd Miller, chair; John Mianowski, secretary/treasurer, and Grant Adams and Betsy Bowen. For more information, contact Mianowski at 218-370-9216.
Here’s the music schedule for this week:
Thursday, June 25:
- Joe Paulik, Music by the Campfire, Lutsen Resort, 6 p.m.
- Bump Blomberg, Gun Flint Tavern, 6:30 p.m.
Friday, June 26:
- The 7th annual Kakabeka Falls Bluegrass and Old Tyme Festival, Kakabeka Falls Bible Camp, 4547 Highway 11/17, 4 p.m., runs June 26-28
- Portage Band, American Legion, 6 p.m.
- Rod & Caribou, Voyageur Brewing Co, 8 p.m.
- Evergreen Grass Band, Gun Flint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
- Joe Paulik, Bluefin Grille, 9 p.m.
Saturday, June 27:
- Gordon Thorne, Superior National Golf Course Patio, Lutsen, 4 p.m.
- Don Juan Trio, Sydney’s deck, 6 p.m.
- Eric Frost, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
- Joe Paulik, Music by the Campfire, Bluefin Bay Resort, 7 p.m.
- Jim McGowan, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7:30 p.m.
- Jim & Michele Miller, Voyageur Brewing Co., 8 p.m.
- Evergreen Grass Band, Gun Flint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
- 4onthefloor, Papa Charlie’s, 9 p.m.
Sunday, June 28:
- Joe Paulik, Moguls Music on the Mountain, 5 p.m.
- Amorak, Caribou Highlands Lodge, 5 p.m.
- Wild Berry Jam, Gun Flint Tavern, 6:30 p.m.
Monday, June 29:
- Joe Paulik, Bluefin Grille, 9 p.m.
Tuesday, June 30:
- Briand Morrison, The Pie Place, 6 p.m
Wednesday, July 1:
- Briand Morrison, Music on the Deck, Papa Charlie’s, 6 p.m.
- Full Moon Music with cellist Yvonne Caruthers outside by the campfire, Drury Lane Books, 8 p.m.
So here are some of the great photos we found this week. Let’s start with a selection of northern lights photographs. The lights were just spectacular.
Here’s a completely different mood.
And here are some great wildlife shots. First, two of a loon family by Paul Sundberg.
Thomas Spence was surprised to get this shot!
Layne Kennedy couldn’t resist this one … lamb reports a fleecing. LOL
And last, but not least, how about these photos of moose triplets that David Johnson took this week? Absolutely amazing. Enjoy!
Enjoy your weekend, everyone!
6/24/15 - Most people come to the Boundary Waters to spend time "off the grid," and in hopes of spotting some local wildlife. Depending on when and where you paddle, seeing even one moose is considered lucky. Recently, one visitor stumbled upon something of a different variety of luck.
Ian, age 9, discovered a trove of four- and five-leaf clovers in the campsite in which his family was staying. Sawbill will not be releasing the number of the campsite in which these lucky clovers can be found - visitors will have to do their own scouting. After all, four-leaf clovers are only lucky if they are found, not given.
Ian carefully pressed his clovers, which will make an excellent souvenir
Five-leaf clovers are even more rare than four-leaf ones. While four-leaf clovers are almost universally thought of to bring luck, five-leaf clovers are supposed to attract money. What a treat for Ian!
Another visitor, Tim Petricek sent us some pictures he took of wildlife he spotted on Sawbill Lake. Sending us pictures from your trips is encouraged - we love to hear and see what you experienced.
A snapping turtle waits to lay her eggs by the shore
This mama loon has been carrying her chick all over Sawbill lake. Many of you moms and dads will be familiar with the endless chauffeuring that parenting entails! - Elena
We have been seeing the family floating around the bay periodically these past few weeks. Just see how much they have grown.
Fishing is always fun but catching is even more fun. Our guests and our Voyageur Crew have been catching fish and enjoying some fish dinners too. We’d love to have you come up to Voyageur Canoe Outfitters on the Gunflint Trail for a day or a week so we can show you some fishing and catching fun.
6/23/15 - Spirits are high here at Sawbill, with both crew members and customers enjoying the sunshine we've had in the last few days. Clear nights make for incredible star-gazing, and last night (Monday), the Northern Lights were visible starting around 10:30 p.m. Crew members made the trek down to the dock on Sawbill Lake to watch the sky shimmer and dance. The lights are most commonly seen during late fall and winter, so we hope you all caught a glimpse of them!
There have been a good number of moose sightings lately, both far away and close to home. Recent crew sightings include Octopus Lake, Jack Lake, and Sitka Lake. In general, smaller and more remote locations are better for wildlife sightings. There are also lots of Mergansers out on the water with little ones in tow.
A mama and baby moose make an exit from Sitka lake
The Merganser has a serrated edge along their beak, giving them the nickname "sawbill"
In addition to looking for wildlife and northern lights, although both are most often spotted when you are not looking for them, we encourage you to soak in as many Boundary Water sunsets as your trip allows. At night when the lake gets glassy and still, you can see the shoreline and sky reflected in an almost perfect mirror image. A perfect end to a summer day.
Even spiders enjoy the sunsets here! - Elena
Yesterday was a rare weather day at the end of the Gunflint Trail. It rained and rained and rained some more and it never seemed to completely stop raining. We saw blue sky through the clouds a couple of times but for the majority of the day it was wet and grey. We received over a half of an inch of rain and there are no complaints of thirst from any of the trees or plant life.
Groups who were out in the canoe country wilderness yesterday hopefully stayed dry. If they were paddling then there’s no rain gear good enough to have kept them dry. As one of my tow boat drivers said, “He was soaked to the bone.”
Today the sky is blue and the sun is shining. The moccasin flowers are blooming in full force and so are the lilacs in Grand Marais. We’re always behind the Twin Cities and Duluth when it comes to blooming lilacs and our growing season is much shorter up here.
The days are passing by quickly and last night I had a nightmare the trees were already changing to their fall colors. Thankfully when I looked outside today the leaves were still green. Summer flies by so be sure to get yourself to the Gunflint Trail and out on a wilderness canoe trip before the leaves have dropped to the ground.
Unless we have an unusually early spring, the moccasin flowers bloom right around Father’s Day each year along the Gunflint Trail. This year, the moccasin flowers bloomed right on schedule at Tuscarora Lodge. We spotted this beauty on the first stretch of the little trail across the creek from Cabin 2. The bunchberry grow thick beside this path and there’s plenty of other wildflower treasures tucked in if you look close enough – starflower, false lily of the valley, perhaps even some northern mountain cranberry plants and definitely, lots of little green blueberries.
Other things have been right on schedule at Tuscarora too. The outfitters keep busy getting groups of all sizes (including our annual group of 48 wonderful middle schoolers) ready for the woods, while the housekeepers whip up French toast breakfast most morning and keep the place looking great as the paddlers and cabin guests come and go.
It seems only natural that the days are at their longest while we get into the summer swing of things and there seems to be endless possibilities for activities and fun. On the Friday, most of the staff went into town to take part in some the solstice/wooden boat show festivities at North House Folk School, including the contra dance. There’s so much summer fun on the horizon: a 5th anniversary dinner celebration put on by the Gunflint Trail Historical Society and the annual Gunflint Lake Canoe Races on July 15, just to name a couple options. Perhaps we’ll see you in our neck of the woods sometime soon for your own summer fun.
It always seems like time moves so quickly after summer solstice. Dusk creeps in a little sooner each passing evening. Sometimes it seems as if we blink and suddenly it’s late August.
That’s why I like to keep my eyes to ground and watch for the wildflowers popping up right on schedule. It keeps the passage of time in perspective. Each bloom (big or small), along with everything else, has its place and season. It’s our job to notice those seasons and schedules as they pass us by and to take a moment to truly appreciate and enjoy each season’s nuances and beauty. Happy Summer!