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:
Lake ice

Wildersmith On The Gunflint Jan. 6

As the northland is a week into another loop around old Sol,”a belated happy New Year wish comes to one and all from the Wildersmith two.

Northwood’s Christmas Service and sleigh ride at Okontoe held last Saturday night

Wildersmith On The Gunflint Dec. 22, 2009

Days of anticipation, cinnamon, chocolate and joy are finally here ….Pre-Christmas congregating has been going on for days and days since Thanksgiving and now is the time for the excitement to get serious as the Christian welcoming is again renewed.

Jack Frost works his magic at Wildersmith

Wildersmith On The Gunflint Dec. 17, 2009

T’was the week before Christmas, and all through the forest, Winter has finally settled before us! 

Since the first of December, it’s as if someone just flipped a switch, and the fall season was gone. With a warmer-than-usual November spoiling us, the last lap of 2009 grabbed a hold and folks out this way have been shocked back to reality.

Misty Sunrise on Magnetic Rock Trail by Melissa Anderson

Wildersmith On The Gunflint Dec. 9, 2009

The wilderness rendition of holiday decorating has taken on a more serious note since last we met on the radio. A white blanket of snow has been spread through the upper Trail. Several light doses have layered up to five or six inches in most places, flocking a zillion pines to look like a seasonal Gunflint greeting card.


Wildersmith On The Gunflint Dec. 2, 2009

Appropriately, the last segment of 2009 serves up a double-cheese whammy of northern lunar brilliance. As this column heads off into cyberspace, the universe celebrates the coming of the full cold moon.


Wildersmith On The Gunflint Nov. 25, 2009

The weather for Thanksgiving week in the northland continues to be other than normal. El Nino is right on track as experts have predicted, sending wave after wave of warmth along the Canadian border states right into our territory. We remain gray and mucky.


Wildersmith on the Gunflint Nov. 18, 2009

The north woods are in the midst of November week three, and the atmospheric conditions remain as they came in, rather lamb-like. More above normal temperatures crushed what would have been a dandy snowfall last weekend when instead, rainfall in the amount of 9/10 of an inch fell at Wildersmith.

A Whiskey Jack eats from Fred's hand

Wildersmith on the Gunflint Nov. 11, 2009

The overture toward winter stalled out since we last met on the radio, and those in the upper Gunflint that have been in despair about the gray skies of the past weeks are smiling once again.


Wildersmith on the Gunflint Nov. 4, 2009

We can be comfortable in knowing that summer has passed as we enter week one of November in the north woods. Our windiest segment of the year is just now beginning to build.


Wildersmith on the Gunflint Oct. 28, 2009

The northland leaves a typical October and enters the 11th hour of 2009.