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Wildersmith July 9


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Cool June passed…and the season of sweating has been added to our time of swatting. July came in hot as a bottle rocket, and the moose and I are none too happy.
And…as if sweating hasn’t been bad enough, flies of several different sizes have been totally obnoxious. Some are known to be biting deep enough to draw red human liquid while other just torture with a nip at any place they can get an opening.
The upper Trail territory got its weekly shower last Thursday. This is the second week in succession where the rains have come on that day. We are grateful as another half inch was added to area lakes. However, many streams are still barely trickling.
The scorching early July mercury readings have caused a spike in lake water temperatures. They are almost to the point of being reasonable for body dipping. Here at Wildersmith, the last thermometer check showed 68.
The month of the full “buck moon” has brought on the beginnings of berry harvest time. Both blue and raspberries are coming on fast, and blue-fingered zealots, especially, have taken to their favorite patches along the upper byway.
Threatening clouds and off and on heavy downpours did not dampen the Fourth of July celebration at the end of the Trail on Saganaga Bay. With the big top pitched and canopies protecting various displays, the Gunflint Trail Historical Society unveiled the Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center. 
An estimated crowd of 350 was on hand as a program of tributes and thanks was graciously extended. Enthusiasm was exuberant as featured speakers Superior National Forest Supervisor Jim Sanders and Gunflint District Ranger Dennis Neitzke shared thoughts on the marvelous effort put forth by the historical society of our Gunflint community.
Especially poignant was the fact that several kin from Chik-Wauk Resort’s first family of owners, the Nunstedts, were present. In addition, representatives of the last private owners, Ralph and Bea Griffis, were on hand to share in the festivities…commemorating the rebirth of this historic place in the wilderness.
Attendees got a chance to reminisce about connections with Chik-Wauk’s magic of days gone by…while they marveled at the splendid restoration and story-telling exhibits.
Thanks go out to everyone in the Society that helped in organization of the event, from the splendid tent raisers to the great parking crew and right on to the gals who served refreshments. It’s surely a day that will go down in history!
Barely able to catch a breath following the museum/nature center opening, the Gunflint community is gearing up for the next extravaganza. The annual Gunflint, Seagull and Saganaga property owners Canoe Race fundraiser is but two weeks away.
Although the organizational wheels have long been turning for our July water happening, things are beginning to really intensify. It’s set for Wednesday, July 21in the late afternoon. As has been the case for many years, the paddling gala takes place on the waterfront at Gunflint Lodge.
Remember, this is one of two major fundraisers along the Trail for our Volunteer Fire Department, and you can purchase raffle tickets. They are on sale at several locations along the Trail as well as the night of the event. There are dozens of great donated prizes and, of course, the grand Wenonah Canoe.
On a final note, upper Trail residents are alerted to a workshop presented by the Cook County Coalition of Lake Associations, the county Planning & Zoning Office and the Tofte/Schroeder Sanitary Sewer District. The workshop will provide information about proper care and maintenance of private sub-surface sewage treatment systems, as well as the proposed new standards.
All property owners are invited to attend at either of two sites: July 26 in the west end at Birch Grove School (4:30 to 7 p.m.) or up here in the woods July 27 at the Fire Hall on Poplar Lake (Gunflint Fire Hall # 1) from 9 a.m. to noon. Pre-registration is requested by July 14. For registration forms call Biz Clark at 388-0115 or email to
Keep on hangin’on, and savor a trip along the Trail.
Airdate: July 9, 2010