Wildersmith On The Gunflint Aug.19, 2009

Sunset over lake
Sunset over lake

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The cool trek through summer stalled out last week. I’m sure that those who had been whining about it being cold for the past several months are smiling now.

For the moose and me, though, about one day of that 80-degree stuff is more than enough, but the territory was blessed with several. So the Alces alces in the area are holed up in the balsam shade and cool swamp waters, out of sight but not out of mind. Meanwhile yours truly is remaining in sedentary mode until this misery passes.
Guess I must have embarrassed the rain gods when I harangued them last week about their wimpy distribution of rain around here. No sooner had my remarks hit the airwaves than a consequential dose was received and several lesser measures were added over last weekend. So we woodsy folks are thankful, and ask that we not be forgotten for such a long stretch in the future.
Water temperatures spiked up to the 70-degree mark at the Wildersmith dock, the warmest of the season thus far. This could be the top as the degrees start to trickle away about this time of year. The summer of ’08 saw a warmest water temp of 76, and that lasted for several weeks.
The friendly fox that was hanging out here for a few weeks has flown the coop. Can’t imagine that it would leave when it got plenty of epicurean treats, but the ways of the wild are unexplainable most of the time. Bet it’ll be back though.
There have been several spectacular sunsets here on the Gunflint of late. Those steamy days have provided the atmosphere for some peachy heavens just as Sol is dipping behind the northwestern granite.
One such sunshine departure cast a rainbow on the waters. As the gaseous ball was settling down a night or two ago, it reflected a red-hot iron bar on the unusually calm lake, from horizon to our dock.
A passing boat provided the wake and Sol did the rest. Beams caught the rolling waters and a masterful display of liquid hues surged to the shore. The spectacle of Mother Nature that usually arches across our universe was presented this time as heaven on a wilderness lake. What a gorgeous tribute to another day in paradise.
Another great day on the Trail happened last Saturday as the mid-trail property owners held their 12th annual August showdown. The flea market, boutique and live auction netted a hefty $5,625. The 2009 grand prize quilt ticket was drawn and the winner was an elated Natalie Rogers from the UP of Michigan. My how those tickets get around!
This amount, when added to the over $14,000 generated at the July canoe races, totals just under $20,000 added to the support coffers of our great Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire and Rescue teams.
Congratulations to all those splendid mid-trail event organizers and thanks to all that contributed to the success of another extraordinary Gunflint community effort!
Work continues on the building and trail system up at Chik Wauk Museum and Nature Center. Several days of volunteer efforts along with a crew of MCC (Minnesota Conservation Corps) have sped up trail clearing. Several interior chores have been completed in the lodge, with carpet scheduled for installation this week.
Folks can check out the progress at the annual Gunflint Trail Historical Society picnic Monday, Aug. 31 at noon, meeting and program to follow. Mark your calendars, bring your lawn chairs and have a good time with friends and neighbors.
Keep on hangin’ on, and savor the sweetness of summer-fall!

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