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Wildersmith on the Gunflint - March 19

Wildersmith Let it Snow
Wildersmith Let it Snow

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith
March 19, 2021    

Spring along the Gunflint seems to be back on track following a brief guest appearance from “old man winter” about ten days ago. The one and done snowy stop over happened just as last weeks’ scoop hit the air waves, so it missed deadline.                                                                   

Just when we were beginning to see brown patches of ground, the late season happening was the first big snow in this neighborhood since the Christmas Holidays. The dropping saw near nine inches here at Wildersmith and upwards of near a foot at end of the Trail. While this was nice and much overdue, total snow measured at this location, to date, is just short of sixty inches, far below what normally would be expected.                               

Accumulations diminished as one headed down the Byway toward the village. At the same moment, we may have experienced the last sub-zero temperatures of the season on a couple mornings following.                                                                                                                                    

While people who live at forty-nine degrees north and beyond have affection for the cold, whiteness, fishing on hard water and  skiing or sledding on the fluff, enough has become enough. Perhaps I’ve shoveled, cranked the snow blower and plowed for the last time. At least one would think so ending week three.                                                                         

Getting back on track is surely the order as the Vernal Equinox sets the course for re-birth this weekend. The calendar and day light saving time are now in sync, so to speak.      Speaking of DLST, I’ve heard scuttle someone in D.C. governmental leadership is introducing legislation to enact daylight saving time permanently, no more “falling back.” Obviously this person doesn’t care the sun would not be rising until about nine in the morning at these latitudes, and kids in this neck of the woods will be heading to school in the dark. Don’t those folks have more important issues with which to deal?  At the moment of this keyboard exercise, the hour lost has me a bit blurry-eyed.                                                                  

Meanwhile, as the warm-up starts to escalate, ice on Gunflint Lake has not started to make its disappearing act, at least along the Wildersmith shore. Neighbors fishing in this locale report hard water out here remains in excess of two feet. While two feet of ice is two feet, this thickness remains like our snow, less than normal. It’s been pretty much a non-winter, except for one week.                                                                                                                                                 

I was out on the ice a few days ago with the neighbors and their grand-sons. It was a beautiful day, and what a good time those young lads were having, even though catching action was slow. A flag finally tipped up, and the excitement was over flowing onto the ice.                          

A nice eater trout was pulled through the hole by a nine year old followed by grins and high fives all around. One couldn’t help but reflect on an old adage dating back to the “Greatest Generation”, that “no boy is ever bad, when he’s fishing with his dad,” or Grand-dad.”                        

It would be a fair assumption the critters snoozing away the cold season may be rolling over and opening an eye to check on conditions for emergence. “Woody the Chuck” AKA ground hog was right again, as conditions have confirmed his six more weeks’ prediction of back on February second.                                                                                                                            

It’s funny the mythical prognosticator, historically, has always predicted with one hundred present accuracy. So we can expect “chippies” skunks, “Bruno’s and other dozing folk soon to be adding new chapters of Gunflint tales.                                                                                    

While there is still a good bit of snow on the ground, most folks paying attention to the beautiful Gunflint Trail know there is plenty of mankind littering hidden below. This in mind, the Scenic Byway Committee is reminding lake homeowner associations, it’s time to start thinking about the annual Trail clean-up, due to commence in May.                                                                

Please get those pick-up teams organized and ready to hit the Trail when the ground is bare. The official date for County pick-up crews to gather up the roadside bags of collection will be announced as soon as confirmed, around May day or sooner. I’ll have more info as it becomes available.  Thanks in advance to all pitching into those bags.                                           

Speaking of the recent extension of daylight minutes, both “nighttime and daytime” things are going on right now at the community radio station, up on the hill, along the north shore. The WTIP family is in the midst of their own rendition of spring renewal with the “Night and Day” membership support campaign.                                                                                                

As I introduced last week, the drive for both renewing and new family members kicked off this past Wednesday and continues through this coming Monday at noon.                          

While face to face visits to the station during the drive are still COVID restricted, daytime operators would love to talk with listeners on the phone, and 24-7 online communications of support will also be deeply appreciated.                                                               

If you haven’t “sprung” into action, it’s time to move into spring with your caring gift either “Night or Day.” Locally call at (218) 387-1070; or toll free at 1-(800) 473-9847; or “click and join” on line at                                                                                                                 

For WTIP, this Wildersmith, along the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, as spring will soon be “busting out all over!”