Rosey’s a bit under the weather today, so this is Rosey’s dad filling in. I’ll spare you the ruffing and barking. That’s her gig.
Are you thinking pink? There will be lots of pink thinkers having fun and raising funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation during Mush for a Cure. Who could resist a pajama party, head shaving, big burly dudes cross dressing in too much pink, pseudo-drunken pseudo-pirates, dogs pulling humans, humans pulling dogs and an ample supply of silliness? It should be fun
The silliness begins Friday night at Windigo Lodge with a pasta feed and head shaving. Dennis Neitzke and Don Kufal will be the victims – I mean shave-ees. Of course Dennis has gone the extra mile by dying his silvery shock of hair electric pink. That was after meeting the halfway point in his fundraising goal. He’s been sporting very non-USFS color coordinated hair for a while now. But it’ll be all skin tone Friday night! The pink pajama party begins around 8 PM, so get out your pink stuff, be ready for silliness and come join the fun.
On Saturday, the fun begins around 10 AM with skijoring at Gunflint Pines Resort. Skijoring is one dog or sometimes two dogs pulling one human on cross country skis. It can get pretty exciting – especially when the dog to human weight ratio is just right. I hope my friend Thor will be there with his human April. Thor REALLY likes to be in front of everybody, which is a good thing when you are racing and his enthusiasm has great entertainment value for everyone - except April. But I think she kinda likes to win too.
At noon, the dogs will pull humans and sleds from Gunflint Pines toward Trail Center and around 3 PM the humans will pull dogs! I think that race will be much shorter and it should be interesting to see how well the dogs keep their humans under control.
Back at Trail Center, they’ll be getting all pirate-y with Jack Sparrow. Then the party kind rolls on into the evening with lots of other pink fun, music and fundraising.
If you’re looking for a slightly less silly way to spend your weekend you might just stay up late and hope for cloudless skies. There is a HUGE solar storm coming our way, and while that messes up all kinds of communications and electronic stuff, it also brings on the Northern Lights. This promises to be one of the best displays we’ve seen in a while. Find a good view of the northern sky and check it often. If you’re into taking pictures it might be a good time to try out that bulb setting on the camera.
I’ve always maintained that you can tell a lot about a person by their dog. We’ve recently lost two long-time Gunflint Trail residents who had some of the most interesting and fun dogs I’ve had the pleasure to know. Frank Shunn was a great guy, an excellent carpenter, a top-notch fishing guide and had a way with dogs. One day, I was picking up some guests at the Saganaga landing and stopped to talk with Frank’s wife Pat, who always had something to say. Their dog was wading around in the shallow water looking down and obviously following something. I asked Pat, “What is your dog doing?” “Fishing!” she said, without the slightest bit of irony. “It’s Frank’s dog. What else would it do?” At that exact moment, the dog shoved its snout down into the water and nabbed a large minnow in its jaws, raised its head up and looked right at Pat wagging its tail. Well, that dog is gone, Pat left us a few years ago and Frank is now fishing everyday too. I’ll bet that dog is right there in the boat with him and they both have a crooked smile.
We also lost our good friend and neighbor Sue Jankovich of Hungry Jack Lake. Even if you have lived on the Gunflint Trail for a while, you might not have known Sue. She was a quiet, behind-the-scenes kind of lady. She moved here in the early ‘70s to get away from Chicago and raise her two boys. She worked at Nor’Wester Lodge for many years until she retired just two years ago. Last year, she moved to town and just recently passed away. She was very kind and gentle, and loved her dogs like they were children. She had several dogs over the years we knew her, all of them very unique and loaded with personality and surprises. I think there was more to Sue than any of us knew. Her dogs certainly knew. Sue was a very devout person, lived her life simply, found joy in small things and took joy and inspiration from her morning walks with God. She and her dogs are probably out for a walk right now.
That’s all from the Gunflint Trail where we have plenty of snow, the people are friendly, and the dogs are extra special.
This is Dave Seaton, for Nosey Rosey, for Wildersmith, for WTIP Community Radio. Have a great weekend and don’t forget to hug your dog.
Airdate: March 9, 2012