Wildersmith March 15

Musher at Much for a Cure (by Stephan Hoglund)
Musher at Much for a Cure (by Stephan Hoglund)

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After last weekend’s snow, it seems hard to believe the official calling of spring is only five days away. This neighborhood got only about five inches but I’m told there was more in other places down the Trail.
 
Temps were just right for a nice flocking of the forest as the “great white spirit” of the north paid his visit. We are hoping that it will not be his last, as every little bit of precip is a blessing. So the snow banks that have been gnawed on by old Sol have been replenished for the time being, and the wilderness canopy is decked out like it was going to the prom.
 
Ahead of its calendar time, America has declared spring with that daylight savings time nonsense. Yes, we sprung forward an hour out here in the woods too, for what I know not, except that it’s dark when I wake up once again.
 
The Gunflint Lake ice was alive for a second consecutive weekend with the big pink celebration. Events went off like clockwork in the fund raising effort to support national breast cancer research.
 
Official figures have not been confirmed, but it has been reported that the endeavor raised nearly $40,000 this year. If this is correct, it would put the seven-year total at well over $100,000, pretty cool for a small but energetic bunch of woodsy folks!
 
Main event on the weekend card was the dogsled run. Once again it was a blast to see about 30 entries hit the Trail. Many states were represented from as far away as Louisiana. Of special interest were several entries from the Samoyed Dog Club of America. This event is obviously gaining nationwide attention when mushers are coming from far and wide.
 
Although finishing first is not the main objective, it is always interesting to hear which team reaches the mid-Trail destination ahead of the rest. This year’s fastest finisher was Jessica Berg-Collman. I’m told that her time was just over two hours while the final team took about five hours.
 
Congratulations to all the mushers for blessing this event with their presence. And a great border country thanks to all the organizers, many volunteers, hundreds of donors and sponsors for making this a superb happening! Good job, Gunflint community and all of Cook County!
 
The next few weeks will be a somewhat subdued as momentum begins growing for buddin’ time. It’s of interest that although it has not been as warm as a year ago at this time, I recently happened on a few fuzzy pussy willow buds peeking out of their husks. A humorous thing about this observation was that it happened while I was plowing snow along the Mile O Pine last Sunday morning. Bet they’re glad they had fur coats on!
 
In spite of the recent snow, another sign of the times presented itself when I saw the first crow return to the yard. This one was busy scratching for morsels from where deer are prancing and pawing during their daily browse. It wasn’t long before I heard some raucous chatter, so there are more somewhere about the neighborhood.
 
Coupled with our thoughts of new birth in the region, our Gunflint Green-up is not too many weeks away. Scheduled for the first weekend in May, coordination of the event is being handled by the folks at Gunflint Lodge. If you’re interested in helping or participating, look for more details at www.gunflint.com.
 
The new snow has further enhanced the trails for some great cross-country skiing. There will likely be some days ahead where the snow may be sticky; nevertheless, there is plenty of time to hit the region’s groomed system before we call it a winter.  
 
Speaking of tracks, a fellow who grooms these ski trails tells me about seeing plenty of lynx activity. Movement of the north woods tabbies around the Gunflint Lake area extends from the south rim trail on the east to the Cross River on the west. He indicates an interesting trait-- that they most often paw right along in the tracks set for skiers. Probably easier walking, pretty smart, huh!
 
On a final, but very important note, your community radio station is in the midst of its “15 Reasons” spring membership drive. To keep this broadcast treasure moving forward for all of us, your ongoing participation and financial support is needed.
 
Don’t wait, call 387-1070 or 800-473-9847 or click and join NOW!
 
Keep on hangin’ on, and savor this vernal time in the making!

Airdate: March 15, 2013


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