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Wildersmith on the Gunflint: March 7

Gunflint Lake
Gunflint Lake

Wildersmith_20140307_finalcut.mp37.74 MB

As Gunflint Territory turns the page into March, Old Man Winter is still gnashing his teeth. Keeping his pedal to the metal, the “great white father” refuses to loosen his bitter cold grip.

Although significant snow has been a missing character for several days, frigid temps are ongoing. When one would think that 30 below should be history, at least two mornings since we last met on the radio have exceeded that mark in our neighborhood, while minus 20s have filled in the gaps on most other days.

So the beat goes on with what must be a record number of mornings where sub-zero cold has been chronicled. The count at Wildersmith as of this past Tuesday morning was 79. Day after day, it’s enough to make your eyebrows frost, nose drippings freeze, forehead ache and toes numb.

Bitter cold and a brutal west wind greeted some 30 “grizzly tough” entries in the annual trout fishing derby on Gunflint Lake last Sunday. It was definitely not for the faint of heart. Believe me, the weather was biting more than the trout as not too many catches were hung on the board by contest closing.

It might be a good bet the May walleye opener will be better suited to ice fishing than was this past event. Perhaps the sponsoring Cook County Snowmobile Club should think about a re-run in month five (or six).

The largest catch of the day was a fine trout at just under six pounds. The lucky catcher was Matt Packer of Fridley, Minn. This weekend visitor to the upper Gunflint took home a first place prize of $500 and of course the lunker, a frozen fish stick.

Attention is now focused on this weekend’s “Mush for a Cure.” Color the days pink as excitement reigns over numerous activities to raise money for National Breast Cancer Research.

The featured events are two dog sled races (a short and long course) that commence late Saturday morning from the waterfront at Gunflint Pines Resort. There are a number of related activities too, including the “bald, brave and beautiful” contest on Friday evening.

This celebrity head shaving will clip off at 9:30 p.m. up the Trail at Windigo Lodge. Check www.mushforacure for a complete listing and time schedule for all happenings.

Saturday morning, yours truly and several Gunflint/Loon Lake neighbors will be serving pancakes and the trimmings as part of the fundraiser. The feed takes place from 8 until 11 a.m. in the lodge at Gunflint Pines. 

So bundle up in your pink duds and come on out for a big two days of fun with an awe-inspiring purpose!

Spring is seemingly farthest from our minds out here with oceans of snow and cold. Yet some spring-like nonsense is being sprung on us this weekend. Yep, it’s the time when America sets the clocks ahead early Sunday morning (2 a.m.).

Adding a little soap-box commentary to my weekly scoop, it would seem the country’s masses are already wound way too tight with things to do and get done. Yet, a few decades ago some self-appointed expert thought we should alter creation and perhaps enable us to cram more into life’s 24-hour segments by moving the clock ahead an hour. Our leadership fell in line! So here we are, and whatever you do, don’t get left behind, “spring ahead.”

On a note that makes far more sense than daylight savings time, there is an important “spring forward” event going on right here and now. It’s the annual WTIP spring membership drive.

The four and one-half day run commenced Thursday and extends until noon on this coming Monday, March 10.

The time is now to step up and renew your support for this tip of the Arrowhead communicating treasure. Please do some “springing ahead” that makes real sense. Give us a call at 218-387-1070 or 800-473-9847; stop by at 1712 West Highway 61; or just click and join at

Keep on hangin on, and savor the sounds of the north land, on WTIP!