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Wildersmith on the Gunflint - February 22, 2019

Wildersmith-submitted by Fred Smith
Wildersmith-submitted by Fred Smith

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith    February 22, 2019    

It seems completely crazy our days should go by so rapidly. We gather around the radio this week with month two fading into its last chapter. Next week at this time, the planet will be MARCHing into month three.                                                                                                                                                                 

As I began the weeks’ report last Sunday evening, its hard telling what will be going on in our up north atmosphere by the time my Gunflint scoop hits the air. A summation of weather over the past week can be highlighted in three words, pretty much nothing.                                                                                

Our Gunflint heavens provided the most excitement since we last tuned in together. How about that bright “sucker moon” of February. The “super big cheese” boldly illuminated our deep winter in beautiful bluish splendor and eerie forest shadows, the likes of which mysteries might be authored. What a wow factor!                                                                                                                  
With exception of one windy evening and beautiful azure daytime skies, temps have been about normal, and this neighborhood has been just about snowless. Nighttime lows have been below the nothing mark with some serious cold earlier this week. President’s Day morning saw minus 32 on the Wildersmith thermometer.                                                                                             
Meanwhile, with growing solar power, this sunny warmth during daylight hours has provided exceptional opportunities for folks to get out and enjoy in the snow activities. Our great weather, in concert with the long weekend, found droves of Gunflint enthusiasts trekking the blacktop to favorite Trail locations.                                                                                              

Perhaps the biggest event took place over on Hungry Jack Lake where the Cook County Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club held the annual drag races. A perfect day of fun in the winter sun drew a big crowd with over thirty entries in the three engine classes. For races results and pictures of the winners, go to the Ridge Riders Facebook page. Thanks to Hungry Jack Lodge and Club organizers for all the hard work in putting this happening together.                                                                                                                                       

At this time next week, WTIP will be in the middle of its winter membership drive. The theme is “Wide World WTIP”, recognizing listeners from un-countable points on the globe who make our WTIP world go ‘round.                                                                                                                                         

The drive for 2019 membership renewals, along with an on-going quest for adding new family members, gets underway next Wednesday the 27th and runs until noon on March 4.                               

From Wildersmith, I urge all of our 1300 plus members to be ready for re-upping when the phones and online opportunities spring to life for this crucial start to the New Year. And if you’re a listener who’s not yet committed to the WTIP family, now’s the time to join in and share in the success of this great Community Radio endeavor. Let’s make March really come in with a Lion’s roar for WTIP!                                                                                                                                                                           

As sure as winter commences in October/November, spring is certainly going to be here eventually. This in mind, The Gunflint trail Historical Society and Chik-Wauk Staff are busy organizing for the 2019 visitor season.                                                                                                                                            

Excitement is mounting as two new chapters in Trail history will be opening on the Chik-Wauk Campus this summer. The long awaited historic Watercraft exhibit and Interpretive Cabin are entering the final stages of completion in hopes of being ready for opening day on May 25. In addition, a new temporary exhibit in the Museum will feature “Tommy Banks, Gangster of the Gunflint.” Folks will not want to miss these exciting new installments of the Gunflint story.                                                                                                                                                   

On a related GTHS note, the addition of two facilities finds the Society Leadership in a position of needing extra staff to manage the Watercraft exhibit facility. A job description and application instructions are posted on Interested applicants should check it out, as applications close soon.                                                                                                                                                    

As our daylight minutes increase with each passing day, I find it interesting how the winged folk around here are taking it all in by dining much later.                                                                                

Until I moved to this northern paradise, I paid minimal attention to our fine feathered friends. Now that I’m here, I’m intrigued, at avian flock behavior around the feeding trough as the sun begins to settle near the horizon.                                                                                                               
Bulking up for the long cold night ahead seems to create near hysteria. With arrivals and departures so frequent, such chaos reminds me of video shopping reflections on “black Friday.” I’ve come to understand the hysteria, as the energy expended to be ready by the roosting hour is truly a matter of life and death if those tummies are not filled. By its own nature, this frenzy is an elemental survival exercise for all in the “Wild Neighborhood”, and a joy to observe their zest for life.                                                                                                                                                                                

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, on the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, each enriched by the natural wonders around us!