Listen Now
Pledge Now


Wildersmith on the Gunflint - September 6

Larry Wooding Photo by Mona Hanson
Larry Wooding Photo by Mona Hanson

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith
September 6, 2019   
It’s not too surprising the way days fly by, a week of month nine is into the books. It seems like a long long time from May to September, but folks are suddenly humming an Equinox tune. Although official autumn is a couple weeks down the road, yours truly believes it’s fair to say, the Gunflint is really into this fall thing.                                                                                                      

Fall is a time for heavy thinking as one can reflect on the mystery of our earthly presence over decades as compared with times for uncountable wild things in our natural world whose span of life endures about four months. The next few weeks spell the end for a good many wild growing things we humans often take for granted. Guess we should pay homage to these beautiful beings one more time by getting out and enjoying them as they pass from our midst with flying colors.                                                                                                                                                            
Yep, we’re mellowing into September. We have thoughts of bear and grouse hunting, peeping at a different rainbow of colors, all the while, waiting for frost covered ditches and a crinkling of ice on the bird bathing dish. It seems month nine couldn’t have come at a better time.                                                                                                                                                                                                

If there was ever a time of peace on earth, it was never more evident for yours truly than during a quiet time on my volunteer day at Chik-Wauk last week.  Looking across the Sag Lake Bay, east of the campus, a whisper of air abruptly sent a patch of reeds and cat tails a swaying gently. Simultaneously the glass like surface was disturbed with a subtle applique’ of ripples. A mini paddling of ducks hidden in the long green stems were spooked into a smattering of splashes only to quiet as the greenery swung back in opposition. An eagle soared on a thermal while the sun pierced thin puffs of heavenly moisture.            

Then the universe around me was captured in a rapture of quiet as “Mother Nature” held her breathe to calm the scene. It was such a simple happening, but so exhilarating at a time when human turmoil torments our every waking hour.                                                                                                                                                                        

Speaking of sweet times, the ninth annual Pie & Ice Cream social at Chik-Wauk last weekend was so extraordinary that some late comers missed the pastry part of the Trail bake-off. At eight slices per pie, nearly fifty pies were not enough to fill every plate for an estimated four hundred visitors.  Nevertheless, ice cream filled the void for several.                                                              

The weatherman smiled on end of the Trail while lively visiting and reminiscing happened to the accompaniment of the North Shore community Swing Band. It was a glorious day in the wilderness. To view a sampling of pie eating satisfaction, see the face of a happy pie eating expert, scroll down to Wildersmith under the Community Voices column on the web at                                                                                                                                                                               

Thanks to Gunflint Lodge for the ice cream donation, all the pie bakers, our consummate GTHS event organizer, many volunteers, the Band, the Campus staff and of course all the attendees for a splendid day at end of the Trail.  There’ll have to be more pies next year!                                   

A reminder to GTHS members and area visitors, the last membership meeting of the season will be held this coming Monday, September 9th. The gathering is at the Schaap Community Center (mid-Trail fire hall # 1), beginning at 1:30pm. The usual business meeting will be followed by Dan Helmerson, who will be sharing a pictorial of “Canoeing through the Superior National Forest…along the Gunflint Trail… 1917.”  Coffee and conversation will follow as we bid farewell to a great summer of historical Gunflint reflections.                                                                                                                                                  

See you all at “Radio Waves” this weekend!                                                                                            

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, on the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, in the cooling northland!