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Looking Good Mr. Moose

Boundary Waters Blog - Mon, 01/09/2017 - 5:30pm

Thanks for sharing your awesome photos David Johnson!

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New Kitchen Passes Inspection – Open for Business

The Minnesota Department of Health inspected the new hallway and kitchen and were certified for occupancy. With the new hallway open, crews quickly started demolition of the old 300 wing. Signs are appearing around the hallways, routing people to the new hallway. The Chamber of Commerce went on a tour Friday, January 6 of the new areas.

Pass throughs being installed in the new hospital’s patient rooms.

Curved radius behind the temporary construction wall.

Josh and Scott with Boldt removing the caution tape so we could officially open the new hallway.

Gloria Martineau was the first resident to walk down the new hallway. Gloria is a former CCNSHCC employee.

Directions routing people to the new hallway.

Demo of the old 300 wing hallway.

In the back you can see a brick wall. That is the old kitchen, soon to be the new ER.

The new kitchen is open for business. In the picture is Wendy Ford, Peggy Brisson, and Kayla Bronikowski.

New screen in multipurpose room.

Exterior tie-in work between the old building and the new care center 200 wing.

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Fishing on the Ice

Boundary Waters Blog - Sun, 01/08/2017 - 6:14pm

Matt and Cassidy went out ice fishing the other day. I haven’t heard if they caught anything yet, but at least their fishing shelter looks like a fishing shelter.

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There’s An App for That

Boundary Waters Blog - Sat, 01/07/2017 - 9:16pm

Ever see a bird and wonder what kind it is only to not remember specific details when you grab your book to look it up? That’s happened to me many times before. Now there’s an app to prevent that from ever happening again. If you can snap a picture of the bird then the Merlin Bird ID developed by the Cornell Lab of Orinthology can probably identify it.

Jessie Barry is the Merlin project leaded at the Cornell Lab. Barry said in a statement:

When you open the Merlin Bird Photo ID app, you’re asked if you want to take a picture with your smartphone or pull in an image from your digital camera.You zoom in on the bird, confirm the date and location, and Merlin will show you the top choices for a match from among the 650 North American species it knows.

If you can’t snap a photo but you can answer a few basic questions about the bird you saw then the Bird app can probably still help you.  It will give you a list of birds to choose from based upon where you are, the season it is and what birds would typically be present.  No more guessing about what bird is singing in the trees!

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1.7.2017 Central Gunflint Trail Ski Coitions

Bearskin Lodge Ski Trail Reports - Sat, 01/07/2017 - 10:29am

It’s chilly out there, but the snow is beautiful.  Latest snow measurements from Golden Eagle on 1/5/2017:

  • New Snow Last 24 hours:  Trace
  • New Snow Last 7 days:  7.5”
  • Trail Base, Staked:  Average 9 – 10.5”
  • Snow in Woods, Staked:  Average 17 – 19”
  • Groomed with classic track:  70 km
  • Groomed with skate lane:  58 km
  • Surface Conditions:  Groomed fresh snow
  • Last grooming day:  1-4-16
  • Total snowfall since Nov. 1:  40.35”


Comments:  We have seen several days with new snowfall this week, 7.5 inches over the last 7 days. Frequent grooming has continued to fine tune each trail; rougher trails have leveled out beautifully. With just over 40 inches of snowfall on the year now, we are only a half inch shy of where we were last year on this date. All ski trails are open and are in great to excellent shape. Lake ice is now over 12 inches in thickness so the North-South Link trail across Aspen and Flour Lakes is now being groomed with the Kassbohrer groomers. Temperatures are forecasted to be cooler until Sunday (1/8), so plan your wax and dress wear accordingly. Looking forward to winter 2017; it’s another ski season with plenty of snow!


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Mail Run Fun

Boundary Waters Blog - Fri, 01/06/2017 - 10:27pm

The Gunflint Mail Run begins tomorrow morning at Trail Center at 8am. Find out where to watch them run. Here’s wishing everyone a safe and memorable event.


Photo from the Mail Run website.


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Kitchen equipment move in and patient rooms get casework

The past few days have seen some exciting progress as more equipment is being placed in the new kitchen. Also, in the hospital addition, the crews are installing the wood casework in the patient rooms. You’ll see one picture featuring a patient headwall that sits behind the patient beds that will receive hook ups for med gases, vacuum, nurse call, lights, etc.

Equipment is being put in place in the kitchen area.

The cafeteria is taking shape.

Hospital bed headwalls will have hook ups for patient needs.


Patient rooms are getting wood casework installed

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Rapunzel Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let your

The Lamprey - Fri, 01/06/2017 - 10:06am

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let your hair down,
I’m a rich prince and I’m new in town,
I’ve got a lot of charm, as you can see,
So let your hair down and run away with me.


(Rapunzel) It’s not that I question your sincerity,
But I’ve got to finish my PhD.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, with your student debt,
Don’t vacillate, I’m the best that you’ll get,
Even with your advanced degree,
You need a rich prince in the family.

(Rapunzel) It’s not that I question your generosity,
But here in the tower, I live rent-free.

Rapunzel, darlin’, put your feet on the ground,
I’ll buy us a castle, the finest around,
We’ll pay off your loans and be debt-free,
You need a rich prince in this economy.

(Recorded by SplinterTones, 2016.)

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Ice Fishing in the BWCA

Boundary Waters Blog - Thu, 01/05/2017 - 8:42pm

If the temperature was a bit warmer there might be more people out and about in the Boundary Waters ice fishing. There is good ice on most of the lakes in the BWCA including Saganaga. I didn’t venture out onto Sag but cabin owners were up on the Canadian side of Sag this past weekend and made the first tracks through the Sag corridor. Once they make a good trail and people travel over it, it will freeze over, get hard and prevent slush from developing. Normally the cabin owners will mark it with pine boughs so people know where to ride.

There are plenty of lakes to choose from if someone wants to venture into the sub-zero temperatures and wet a line. Me? I’ll wait til it warms up just a little bit.

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Winter has arrived!

North Shore Arts Scene - Thu, 01/05/2017 - 6:48am

Enjoying the North Shore by Kelley Marquart.

So, the website claims that Minnesota has the absolute worst winters in the country, but there’s beauty in that cold.

Check out this:

Miserably awesome Minnesota Winter by Bryan Hansel.

And this:

The Roger Blough (front to back), Edwin H. Gott and Cason J. Calloway wait at anchor swaddled in lake “steam” on Lake Superior off Duluth on Wednesday morning, when the air temperature was 11 below zero. Photo by Bob King, Duluth New-Tribune.

Here on the North Shore, we do hunker down (a little) when the wind chills are -30F, but that means we find lots of interesting things to do indoors.

First up is a fascinating presentation on cycling in Nepal’s Annapurna Mountain Circuit with Buck Benson, who will talk about his adventure at North House Folk School at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5.

Buck Benson will give a presentation about cycling the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal at North House Folk School on Thursday.

From the steamy jungles to the nearly 18,000 foot Thorung Pass, this challenging route made for an epic bike experience for Benson. He will share stories and photos of the spectacular Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains, the challenging bike terrain, picturesque Buddhist villages, colorful culture, and amazing geography.

The presentation is free and the first of the “Making It Through Winter” Thursday-night series at North House this winter. All invited.

Also on Thursday night, weekly modern Western square dance lessons and dancing begin at the 4-H Log Building at the Community Center from 7:30 to 9 p.m. No experience is necessary, and participants do not need to bring partner. Cost is by donation. All invited.

On Friday night, the Grand Marais Public Library begins its weekly winter film series, Friday Night Reels, with the screening of  “My Love Don’t Cross That River.”

A scene from “My Love Don’t Cross the River.”

The film is a documentary and the film crew spent 15 months with a Korean couple who have been together for more than 75 years and now face prospects for the transition to their next future. The award-winning film is rapidly becoming Korea’s most successful film ever. Free. The library will be screening free films every Friday through March 10.

Also on Friday night, David Gredzens will have an opening reception for an exhibit  of his photography at Tettegouche State Park from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Great Hall. Refreshments will be served and an artist’s talk begins at 7:30 p.m.

“Fallen Cedar” photograph by David Gredzens.

Gredzens’ work focuses on Lake Superior and its environs. All invited. The exhibit continues through early February.

Mushers and sled dogs are front/center this weekend for the Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race,  a premier sled-dog race on the Gunflint Trail featuring some of our favorite mushers. This is a continuous race consisting of two legs of equal distance, separated by a mandatory layover for the 12-dog teams. There are two classes: a 12-dog race (110 miles) and an 8-dog race (70 miles).

The Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race is this weekend, with Trail Center hosting the event. (Photo by Nace Hagemann.)

The fun starts at Trail Center Lodge on Saturday at 7 a.m. with the Blessing of the Teams. The race starts at 8 a.m. with a mid-afternoon layover for the 12-dog teams. The 8-dog teams finish is on Saturday night. Early on Sunday morning, the 12-dog teams will finish at Trail Center. The awards breakfast is at 9 a.m. Sunday. There are lots of great places to watch this race and don’t forget to layer-up to stay warm.  For more info, click here.

And on Wednesday, Jan. 11, Dat Dere Jazz will perform at the Grand Marais Public Library at 6 p.m. The band includes  Fred Anderson, guitar, Dave MacLean, drum kit, Martha Marnocha, piano, Bob LaMettry, percussion, Pat Flack, bass, and Don Grant, trumpet.

Dat Dere Jazz plays at a number of venues throughout the county. Here they are pictured at the Radio Waves Music Festival last fall.

The band plays a mix of jazz standards in Latin, Swing and Bebop styles.  Anderson, MacLean, Marnocha and Grant are also members of the North Shore Community Swing Band. Dat Dere Jazz will play at the North Shore Winery on Jan. 14 and Cascade Lodge Pub on Jan. 28.

There are some great exhibits to see in Grand Marais, too.

Jim Sannerud’s installation, “At the Table” opened at the Grand Marais Art Colony Dec. 29 and continues through Sunday, Jan. 8.

“At the Table,” an installation by Jim Sannerud, is on exhibit at the Grand Marais Art Colony.

A close-up of the place settings of “At the Table.”

Detail of one of the chairs from “At the Table.”







Sannerud crafted the table and chairs as well as made the drinking cups and a platter. He was inspired to do the work when he visited his ancestral farm in Norway. The installation is also a performance piece that will come to life through a potluck dinner in which participants will engage in dialogue about place, memory, and how traditions translate as they share the food they brought to the table.

Also this weekend, check out the Holiday Art Underground Show at Betsy Bowen Studio & Galleries.

This is the last weekend for the Holiday Art Underground Show at the Betsy Bowen Studio & Galleries.

The show features work by more than 30 local and regional artists and includes pottery, photographs, tiles, paintings, woodcut prints, fiber art, jewelry and more. The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

This is the last weekend for a great show at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery in Thunder Bay as well. John Books’ exhibit, “Oxen of the Sun” closes on Sunday.

John Books’ exhibit “Oxen of the Sun” at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery closes on Sunday.

The Canadian sculptor is now a resident of Grand Marais. The exhibit features more than 80 works. The gallery is located on the campus of Confederation College.

The Definitely Superior Art Gallery, 250 Park Ave., in Thunder Bay,  re-opened after the New Year and features a number of exhibits, including “Ineffable,” a juried show featuring the works of more than 45 local and regional artists.

Leslie Shaw has work in the “Ineffable” exhibit at the Definitely Superior Art Gallery in Thunder Bay.

The gallery is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.


 The North Shore Music Association presents Grand Marais Ole Oprey at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14.

There are two Community Conversations at the Grand Marais Art Colony this month. Melissa Wickwire will present “Large Scale Functional Installations” at noon on Jan. 18 and Ryuta Naka will present “The History and Nature of Installation and Conceptual Art” at noon on Jan. 21.  The Community Conversations are a way for people to connect and dialogue about various aspects of the arts in a guided discussion format, and are held from noon to 1 p.m. in the Founders Hall. Participants are invited to bring a lunch if they wish. They are free.

The Grand Marais Writers Guild meets at the Grand Marais Public Library at 6 p.m. Jan. 19. All writers invited. The group meets each month to talk and write. Bring a notebook.

The 100-Day Project, an opportunity for artists to explore their creativity in any medium for 100 days, will be Jan. 21 to April 30 this year. Last year, 45 artists in the community registered to be part of the project. A Kick-Off Information Session will be at noon  in the Founders Hall of the Grand Marais Art Colony on Tuesday, Jan. 17. All invited.

Reservations are now being taken for the Robert Burns Dinner at Cascade Restaurant Jan. 21. The program includes a full course dinner followed by poetry readings and a sing-a-long after the meal. A piper from Thunder Bay will bring in the haggis with much pomp and ceremony. The meal is from 7-9 p.m. but a cocktail hour starts at 6 p.m. with live music and a tartan weaving demonstration. For reservations, call Jeff Morgan or Mary MacDonald at 218-387-1221.
The cost of the dinner and program is $35/person.


 CALL FOR ARTISTS: Applications for the Isle Royale National Park’s 2017 Artist-in-Residence Program will be accepted through Feb. 16. This program provides professional artists the opportunity to become part of a long-established tradition of interpreting national parks through art. Click here for more information. Applications must be postmarked by Feb.16.

BIG BEND, TEXAS PAINTING CLASS Feb. 28-March 3: The Grand Marais Art Colony is hosting a never-before-offered off-campus class with Neil Sherman in Big Bend, Texas. For those of you who winter in the southern states or who are looking for a warm get-a-way, consider moseying over to the Bighorn state and paint away! Click here to view the full class description. Call the Art Colony at 218-387-2737 to register.

Window Shopping

Two Harbors plein air painter David Gilsvik has new work at Sivertson Gallery.

David Gilsvik’s “Spirit of the Season” is at Sivertson Gallery.

Drury Lane Books has a wide variety of 2017 calendars featuring the North Shore and the Northwoods.

North Shore-themed calendars are at Drury Lane Books.

The bookstore will remain open this winter. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Tara Block has her pottery at Joy and Company.

Tara Block has her mugs and bowls at Joy and Company.

Kah Nee Tah Gallery is featuring work by watercolor artist Trish Hunter of Lutsen.

“Spirits of the Night,” giclee print, by Trish Hunter.


In Other Art News

Molly Rider is the new market manager at the Grand Marais Art Colony.

Molly Rider is the new market manager at the Grand Marais Art Colony.

A Cook County High School graduate, Rider holds a visual arts degree from Bowdoin College and has worked most recently in the area of marketing and design for Maurices’ corporate office in Duluth.

Betsy Bowen is painting this winter. “Happy,” she writes. Here’s the latest.

Painting by Betsy Bowen.

Here’s the music schedule for this week:

Thursday, Jan. 5:

  • Boyd Blomberg, Mogul’s Grille, 4 p.m.
  • Briand Morrison, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
  • Gordon Thorne, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
  • DJ Beavstar, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 6:

  • Jim & Michele Miller, Mogul’s Grille, 4 p.m.
  • Pete K, Voyageur Brewing Co., 4 p.m.
  • Black River Revue, Gun Flint Tavern, 8 p.m.
  • Jim & Michele Miller, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
  • Jim McGowan, Raven Rock Grille, Skyport Lodge, 8 p.m.
  • Lake Effect Festival, Frogleg & Black Market Brass, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 7:

  • Gordon Thorne, 3 p.m., North Shore Winery
  • Jim McGowan, Voyageur Brewing, 4 p.m.
  • James Moors, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7 p.m.
  • Pushing Chain, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
  • Blues Happy, Grandma Ray’s, 8 p.m.
  • Black River Revue, Gun Flint Tavern, 8 p.m.
  • Lake Effect Festival, The People Brothers & The Lakers, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 8:

  • Briand Morrison, Scandinavian Jazz Brunch, Moguls, 10 a.m. to noon
  • Briand Morrison, Bluefin Grille, 7 p.m.
  • Timmy Haus, Gun Flint Tavern, 7:30 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 9:

  • Charlie Parr, Monday NIght Songwriters Series, Papa Charlie’s, 8:30 p.m.
  • Pete Kavanaugh, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 10:

  • Eric Frost, Poplar River Pub, 6-8 p.m.
  • Open Mic with Bump Blomberg, Papa Charlie’s, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 11:


We found lots of fun photos this week.

Let’s start with a little lesson.

Michael Furtman posted these two photos of a ruffed grouse on Facebook the other day.

A ruffed grouse climbs a slippery branch in search of fruit.

Ruffed grouse have little growths on their toes that help them grip icy branches.







The photo at left shows the grouse in a tree limb, in quest of fruit. In winter, they feed primarily in trees. The photo at right shows how they can climb icy branches.  They have tiny comb-like growths on their toes, called pectinations, that help them grip slippery surfaces. Furtman also suggests the pectinations act like snowshoes in deep snow.

And our local photographers caught two of our wild neighbors with lunch.

An otter and its fish. Photo by Bryan Hansel.


Young lynx gets a snowshoe hare. Photo by David Johnson.


Here’s a shot of what it can be like on the Gunflint Trail after a heavy snowfall.

Photo by Paul Sundberg.

And here are more wildlife photos.

“Racing his shadow” by Michael Furtman.


Bobcat by Paul Sundberg.


Pine grosbeaks by David Johnson.


Check out this great sled dog photo by Layne Kennedy.

Bart & Leo, Canadian Inuit sled dogs by Layne Kennedy.


Meanwhile, it’s cold outside. Here are some photos of that.

Sunday Surf by Don Davison.


Photo by Kjersti Vick.


Winter frost and ice by Dawn LaPointe.


“Agate Beach” at Park Point by Gregory A. Israelson.


Grand Marais Harbor Walkway by Paul Sundberg.


Winter winds by Candace LaCrosse.


Mounds of fun at Stoney Point by Christian Dalbec.


It was the new moon this week.

New Moon by Tom Fiero.


And during a warm spell, everyone was ready to play. Kjersti Vick took this funny shot the other day.

“Who will be the first to move?” by Kjersti Vick.

And finally, as Minnesotans know well, cold is beautiful.

Winter’s artistry by Mary Amerman.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

P.S. Putting this blog together every week is a joy and is my contribution to the arts on the North Shore.  If you enjoy it, please consider making a donation to help support it. Thank you!













































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Arctic Blast? You Betcha

Boundary Waters Blog - Wed, 01/04/2017 - 9:34pm

Just as the forecasters predicted an arctic blast of freezing cold air arrived and settled in. The temperature on the Gunflint Trail didn’t get above zero degrees all day long and the wind chill factor was -20 to -30 degrees below zero. It was a stark contrast from yesterday’s temperature in the 20’s.

When there’s a new coating of snow on the ground noise seems to be absorbed. It’s eerily quiet and if soft was a sound that’s how I would describe it.  When it’s below zero degrees everything sounds crisp and staccato like. Boots crunch on the frozen ground and a crust like layer protects the softer snow below.

The forecast calls for the arctic like weather to continue at least until Sunday. Until then our high temperatures aren’t expected to get above -5 degrees and our low temperatures are predicted to be in the negative teens. It will be nice when the temperature gets into the double digits above zero again, until then, we’ll be keeping the fireplace stoked with wood.

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A Time for The Community to Pull Together.

Grand Marais Mayor Blog - Wed, 01/04/2017 - 7:17pm
As I write this I am torn up inside due to the tragedy of losing Gunnar Anderson. I knew who Gunnar was as he was a senior the first year that I coached Cross Country and Track, and I knew of  Gunnar through stories relayed by friends and just seeing him around town.

I never heard a bad thing about him.

I am sure that he had his moments, as we all do, but the stories that I heard were of him volunteering to build a doghouse for a customer he was building a garage for, just because he liked the dog. I remember seeing him talk to and encourage the younger football players as they walked, no, strutted out to the practice field with their cleats clicking on the sidewalk. I heard time and time again about his good attitude and his zest for life.

I feel so epically bad for those that were close to him and I send my deepest possible condolences to his family.

What a rough way to start a New Year...

One thing that we CAN do is that we can all remember his zest and put some of that into our own lives... in Gunnar's memory. We can care for and reach out to others in our community and give them a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen. We can go out on a limb and build that dog house just because you like the dog or say thank you to the person behind the counter for being there every time you need gas or a cup of coffee.

We live in a place where the loss of one person is not just significant, it's personal. I didn't know the impact that Gunnar had on so many, I just knew what his impact was on me, "He's a good guy," that's what I thought and what I still do think. Let's help remember Gunnar by taking care of each other and continuing to be the kind of community that can produce young men like Gunnar.

Blessings to you all and if I can be of any assistance through this process, please let me know.
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1.3.2017 So much snow!

Bearskin Lodge Ski Trail Reports - Tue, 01/03/2017 - 10:58pm

It just snows and snows here.  We never seem to get the 12 inches of snow that the weather service repeatedly predicts — thank goodness! — but almost every day the trails need to be groomed again due to a dump of fresh fluffy snow.  For those of you who are looking out your window at wimpy snow-cover in other parts of Minnesota or Wisconsin, it helps to remember that it’s not like that on the Central Gunflint Trail System.  Man,do we have snow!

We’re entering the season now of groom/snow/groom/snow/groom …..repeat, repeat. We’ll post on the blog whenever something novel happens, or when there’s some change in the routine; but we will probably not post every time we groom. Our new Pisten Bully runs so well and is so efficient that we take it out on the trails almost every day.  You can trust that the Central Gunflint Trail System will have some of the best grooming and best snow in Minnesota, whenever you decide to come.

Call either resort if you have questions about specific trails.  Unless something dramatic happens, such as melting temperatures or a sleet storm, we will just roll through the winter on our snow/groom/snow/repeat cycle and you can count on consistent, good regular grooming many times each week on this trail system.

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Happy New Year !

Happy New Year to all and hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable holiday. This year’s Chinese New Year is the year of the rooster, being the sign of dawn and awakening, triumph and success can only be achieved at the price of hard work and patience in 2017.  We are looking forward to a year of success in completing the new additions and remodeling.  Crews are close to finishing up the new kitchen and turning over to the CCNSHCC staff.  Progress continues on the new hospital addition.  The crews are painting the metal doorways and rooms.

New kitchen being cleaned for inspection

Progress photo – new hallway

New hospital wing door frames being painted

New hospital wing – future nursing team care area

New hospital wing nursing care team area

Progress photo – new hallway

Care Center Wing new ductwork, plumbing and electrical

Progress photo transition between Care Center Wings

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<p>1/2/17 - We rang in 2017 with a

Sawbill Newsletter - Mon, 01/02/2017 - 5:10pm

1/2/17 - We rang in 2017 with a whole host of visitors this year. Sawbill crew members Alissa, Owen, Britta, Claire, Kevin, Megan, Brian, Betsy and crew by association Amy, all came up to visit Dan, Clare, Jessica and Kit! Huckleberry was arguably the most delighted to see everyone.

With splendid blue skies and temperatures in the 20's we spent the daylight hours skiing and snowshoeing, saving the feasting and saunaing for the evenings. The lake ice is measuring at a very solid 15 inches of clear strong ice. There is about a foot of snow on top of that, and some large pockets of slush on Sawbill. A good set of snowshoes will keep you on top of it, though. -Clare

Welcome to Wilderness, in the winter!

Brian Henry captured the glorious last day of 2016.

Kit loves to nap while snowshoeing (she has warm water bottles to snuggle in there).

Claire, Megan, and Kevin winter camping on Sawbill.

Happy New Year from (l-r) Clare, Kevin, Owen, Dan, Jessica, Britta, Claire, Alissa, Megan, and baby Kit. Thanks Brian for the photo!

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The River Wye and the Moon See the King

The Lamprey - Mon, 01/02/2017 - 8:21am
The River Wye and the Moon

See the King stumble,
See the King grin,
See the King singing,
Stinking of gin.


All drawn and quartered,
The Withered Maid waits,
On Cats and on Time,
Serving up plates,
Of baked beans and mash,
And old sour grapes.
High on a hillside,
The Red Queen chortles,
And dusts off her album
Of heartbroken Mortals.
Her fag end is burning,
She wags to the tune,
of teardrops in coffee,
The River Wye and the Moon.

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Angel Motel We pass by the Angel Motel

The Lamprey - Sat, 12/31/2016 - 9:37am
Angel Motel

We pass by the Angel Motel somewhere west of Salt Lake City,
And at a 24-hour cafe you can get the $4.99 buffet.


Most folks on the bus are still sleeping except the sisters in the back,
They’re both young but they both have babies,
When those kids cry they get slapped.
I pretend that I don’t notice,
I pretend everything is okay,
Like we’re all going somewhere better,
Like we’re headed for a brand new day.
The bus driver he starts talking about the way things used to be,
How he’s been driving this road for 25 years,
All the animals he used to see.
Now, he says, there’s nothing out there,
Except 24-hour cafes,
And convenience stores and outlet malls,
But nothing that is wild and free.
Late night on Interstate 80, Reno is a mile away,
All lit up like a carnival, casting shadows on a better day.
The sisters, they’re getting off here, there’s a motel across the street.
I roll up my coat for a pillow, I’m just trying to get some sleep.

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How to harvest the perfect Christmas tree in the Superior National Forest

Visit Cook County - Thu, 12/01/2016 - 10:32am
How to harvest the perfect Christmas tree in the Superior National Forest Have you ever harvested your own Christmas tree from the forest? If you are someone who likes to choose your own adventure and drink hot chocolate from a thermos while wearing a festive flannel – Christmas tree hunting is for you! For as little as $5 you can embark on a memory filled adventure out into the forest to find the perfect Balsam fir tree.

What you’ll need to make your outing successful:

  1. Permit. You’ll need to obtain a Christmas tree permit from the US Forest Service. It is $5 and can be picked up from any forest service office. Pro tip: pick up a map of the Superior National Forest. It can be purchased at the same time as your permit or from a local outfitter. Not only will it guide you through the backroads and identify the US Forest Service boundaries but is also a handy companion for year round navigation.
  2. Balsam Fir Forest. The Superior National Forest is filled with perfect trees dreaming of brightening up your home this holiday but you’ll need to know what you are looking for. Only certain types of trees can be harvested for Christmas. Balsam fir trees are the preferred species because they smell wonderful, are ideal for displaying ornaments and grow back rapidly so it keeps the forest healthy. Pro tip: bring a tape measure. You cannot return the tree to the forest if it is too big for your living space so it is important to know what you can accommodate.
  3. Saw. A folding handsaw or a chainsaw are the ideal tools for the job but any kind of cutting device or axe will be sufficient.  Pro tip: look for tree of six inches or less in diameter and cut near the base of the tree at a slight angle. This will help determine the direction that the tree will fall.
  4. Rope. You’ll need something to secure your prized tree to the roof of your car. Similar to tying a canoe to the roof of your vehicle, you’ll need rope or locking straps to attach. Pro tip: bringing a blanket or tarp wrap the tree to protect it during travel will ensure the majority of needles stay intact as well as keep the roof of your vehicle scratch free.
  5. Winter clothing. It is not allowed to harvest a tree within 200 feet of a road or trail so you will have to venture into the woods to get your tree. Therefore, wearing appropriate winter clothing is a must. Besides you would never want to miss an opportunity for an impromptu snowball fight with your loved ones, would you?  Pro tip: bringing a sled along to help pull the carefully selected tree out of the woods.

Learn more about the types of trees you can harvest and the nitty gritty details from these resources:

Permit locations in Cook County MN: 

  • Gunflint Ranger District -

    2020 W. Highway 61, Grand Marais, MN 55604 |  PHONE:

    (218) 387-1750  |


  • Tofte Ranger District - 7355 West Hwy 61, Tofte, MN 55615 | PHONE: (218) 663-8060 | Email:

Happy hunting!

The post How to harvest the perfect Christmas tree in the Superior National Forest appeared first on Cook County Minnesota.

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Talking helps

Unorganized Territory - Wed, 09/21/2016 - 8:23pm

I recently received a heartbreaking news release from the Minnesota Department of Health. The email was full of statistics about suicide deaths in Minnesota in 2015.

It’s painful to read. The Department of Health reports that there were 726 suicide deaths in Minnesota in 2015, up from 686 in 2014. That equals 13 deaths per 100,000 Minnesotans.

And that means that all of us have likely been touched by the tragedy of suicide.

As Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper said, “Let us never forget that this is not about statistics; each and every one of these 726 deaths is someone’s friend, relative and neighbor. We need to work together by focusing on prevention.”

I’m extremely fortunate that I have never been that low. I had a bit of postpartum depression when I had my first child, but I went for counseling. Talking to a caring professional helped me figure out that my sadness could be attributed to exhaustion and the loneliness of living far away from friends and family. Talking helped.

But I have been an observer of the challenges a person with mental illness faces. I’ve watched family and friends struggle with social situations and normal day-to-day living. I’ve seen people I care about become so depressed that they have considered suicide as a way to escape their emotional pain.

I’ve also seen the difference that community support, medication and counseling can make. Talking helps.

The Department of Health news seems to bear that out. There is a bit of good in the report. The number of suicides went down for Minnesota residents under 25 (from 119 in 2014 to 114 in 2015). Most prevention efforts have focused on this age group in recent years.

So it appears that the old belief that talking about suicide will cause someone to harm him or herself is not true. The state and national efforts reaching out to teens and young people—talking and listening— to them is working.

We need to expand those efforts, which Minnesota Department of Health officials have pledged to do. The 2015 Legislature invested $47 million in new spending for mental health services. This additional funding is the largest investment in state history, which is great, but we as individuals need to do our part.

It’s not just up to mental health care practitioners and law enforcement. All of us can help those who face mental illness by being there, by talking and listening. By asking, “Are you okay today?” and really listening for the answer.

And for those that face the challenge of mental health issues, if you reach the point of wanting to hurt yourself, please reach out for help.

A loved one, a suicide survivor, received some excellent advice during treatment and counseling. A behavioral health practitioner gave some tips on what to do if my friend reached that critical point again.

She said to make a list. Write down the names and phone numbers of trusted friends or family members. Not just one person, make it a list of 10 or a dozen. Before contemplating taking your life, call the first person on the list. If you get voice mail, call the next. If you text the next person and they are unable to reply right away, contact the next person… and the next and the next until you find someone to talk to.

I love this advice. It is gut wrenching to receive such a call. But it is horrifying to think that you may not be available to answer that call or text. So as part of a support network, it is reassuring to me to know that there are other options.

The tattered list remains in my friend’s billfold. Thankfully, because of medication and counseling, it hasn’t been needed. But it is a lifeline that needs to be there.

If you face depression that could lead to death by suicide, please make a list. Please, please, please talk to someone.


Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your
perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in
everything. That’s how the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen

Categories: Member Feeds

2016 Banadad Trail Association Annual Meeting and Trail Clearing Weekend

Banadad Bulletin - Tue, 08/23/2016 - 5:09pm

Banadad Ski Trail, BWCA’s Longest Tracked Ski Trail will hold their annual Trail Clearing Event and Annual Meeting/Dinner.

The annual meeting of the Banadad Trail Association (BTA) will be Friday, October 21, 2016 at the Schaap Community Center on the Gunflint Trail. (Next to the Fire Department, close to the Lima Grade intersection). The meeting will be at 5:30 and will follow with a Potluck Dinner; all are welcome.

The volunteer Trail Clearing Event will be Saturday, October 22, 2016 beginning at 9 a.m.; Meet at Boundary Country Trekking/Poplar Creek B&B at 8:30 a.m. for tools and instructions.

The purpose of the BTA is to maintain and enhance the Banadad Ski Trails, preserve the history of the forest and the trail and promote appreciation and care of the BWCA wilderness. The BTA is a volunteer organization open to all who share these goals.

Subscribe to the Banadad Bulletin, our free quarterly e-mail newsletter.

Questions contact:

Andy Jenks,
Banadad Trail Association

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