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Wildersmith on the Gunflint - July 26

Wildersmith_Photo by Fran Smith
Wildersmith_Photo by Fran Smith

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith    July 26, 2019    
It seems hardly believable we can see the end of July as this Gunflint scribing comes your way.  But it’s true, as our next WTIP gathering will be in August.                                                                

While a major share of the Midwest was sweltering in miserable heat over the past week, we in the Northern Riviera dodged a bullet. Although it was warm and sticky at times, we can be thankful the mercury was nowhere near the triple digits.                                                                     

Further appreciation is expressed with another good dose of rain since our last audio meeting. A nice down pour dropped nearly an inch in the Wildersmith neighborhood.                                
The wet occurrence came during a brilliant, but spooky lightning display over Gunflint Lake and the surrounding area, just a short time after the annual canoe races finished the forty-third yearly paddle.                                                                                                                                                                 
It would seem the forest couldn’t have avoided a lightning strike somewhere. To date though, I’ve seen neither smoke nor heard reports of such. However, one can never rule out a sky to ground contact smoldering that might pop up in days ahead. In the meantime, Gunflinter’s will keep their fingers crossed hoping there is no issue.                                                             

Speaking more of the canoe races, the event was another huge success with throngs of people cheering on the racers in a sundry of different race classes. Further, visitors and supporters dug deep to pool funds in support of our firefighters and emergency crews. While contribution dollars are still coming in, there is no final tally to report, but it appears 2019 will be similar to the $20,000 plus of last year.                                                                                                                        

Two items can be confirmed though; number one, the winner of the Wenonah Kayak is Dan DuCharme of Hudson, Wisconsin, and number two, is everyone had a good time! Huge thanks are extended to organizers and their crew of community volunteers on a job well done!          

With August in sight, I’d like to give a shout out for the seventh annual afternoon of the Classical and Jazz Music concert. Gunflint Woods, Winds, Strings…and a Little Jazz will be collaborating with a “Sound of Music” in the Gunflint Forest on Sunday August 18 at 4:00 pm. The event will again be held at the Fire Hall #1 (Mid-Trail).                                                                                   
Tickets can be reserved by contacting Patsy Coleman @313-673-6202 or online @ As in past years, all proceeds, after expenses, will go to the GTVFD.
The mid-Trail hoedown fundraiser organizers remind folks, tickets are still being sold for their big raffle on August 7th. The time for this event commences at the noontime hour with the flea market, at Fire Hall # 1 & Schaap Community Center.                                                         
To say it’s busy along the Trail this time of year is pretty much and understatement. Activity at the Chik-Wauk Campus continues. This weeks’ Sunday program at the Nature Center features a concert with Jazz Guitarist Briann Morrison and Vocalist partner Roxanne Bergland. This end of the Trail performance will begin at 2:00 pm and all visitors, friends and neighbors are invited. The concert is free, but goodwill donations are appreciated.                                                                                                                             

I’m hearing bear activity in the mid-Trail area has diminished somewhat. Perhaps it’s due to the coming of the blues, blueberries that is.                                                                                             

The “Biggest Blueberry Contest” is now under way up the Trail. Designated weigh-in sites are posted, and I’m beginning to see empty vehicles parked at the usual spots along the black-top indicating pickers are out there somewhere, buckets in hand.                                                         

There have been no reports of harvest quantity, but the recent rains must have helped. We’ll see what reports come in during the days ahead.                                                                                       

During my volunteer day at the Nature Center last Saturday, I observed a number of excited pickers bring in their prizes to be weighed, many of them youngsters, with blue stained paws, so not all were being weighed.                                                                                                                                
Finally, while bear activity appears to have calmed, arrivals and departures from the hummingbird nectar station at Wildersmith have exploded. The mini birds have been AWOL for long periods so far this summer, but all that is history now as they are tanking up at the rate of a bottle a day. They have even dive bombed me, as I put up the re-fills. Happy days are here again!                                                                                                                                                                                   

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, on the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, as July pulls away from this idyllic location!