Wildersmith on the Gunflint

Fred Smith

Fred Smith
Fred Smith, a native Iowan re-located to the wilderness of border country at the end of the century, has been writing of happenings in the upper Gunflint territory for going on eight years, first with the local paper, and since December 2008 for WTIP North Shore Community Radio. Fred feels life in the woods is extraordinary, and finds reporting on it to both a reading and listening audience a pleasurable challenge. Since retirement as a high school athletic administrator from Ankeny High School, Ankeny Iowa in 1999, the pace of Fred's life has become less hectic but nevertheless, remains busy in new ways with many volunteer activities along the Trail. Listen at your convenience by subscribing to a podcast.

Arts, cultural and history features on WTIP are made possible in part by funding from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Check out other programs and features funded in part with support from the Heritage Fund.



What's On:
Ice Fishing

Wildersmith April 1

Old Man Winter wandered back to the upper Trail after taking a spring break in the middle part of the month. However, he brought only cold with nothing white to go along with it.

Pussy Willow

Wildersmith March 25

Gunflint Territory celebrated March’s supermoon even though it had to burn through the clouds last Saturday night. The effect in the upper Trail was not as had been expected.

Musher at Much for a Cure (by Stephan Hoglund)

Wildersmith March 18

After an upper Trail weekend of barking and angling, peaceful celestial events take center stage for residents and visitors.

Melting Snow

Wildersmith March 11

The season of cold and white is in a mellowing mood as March, week two concludes.

Red Squirrel in the Snow

Wildersmith March 4

Enter March, what happened to February? As the territory heads into month three, the atmospheric conditions have been less than lamb-like.

Icy Road

Wildersmith February 25

February’s end is in sight, and with it, the weather has yo-yoed since we last met. The thaw that we missed in January caught up with folks in the northland during week three.


Wildersmith February 18

A couple weeks ago I talked of this being the month of the full “worm” moon. I have discovered that I was a month ahead of myself as this lunar handle should be applied to March.


Wildersmith February 11

Alas, America is beyond its self-imposed Super Sunday! After more than two weeks of nonsensical analytical madness about cheese or steel, the masses can return to normal, whatever that means.


Wildersmith February 4

The north woods survived January, and we are off into the month of Namebini Giizis (the “sucker moon” as the Ojibwe call it).

Pine Marten (by travelling.steve on Flickr)

Wildersmith January 28

The romance and adventure of life in the wilderness was enriched last weekend with some big-time cold.