Monday, May 22, 2006

Lake Water

Now that the rainy season seems to have ended, we are getting some sunshine. It's not really warm because the wind has been blowing the last few days. There is nothing colder than a strong wind blowing in across the cold lake waters. With the northwest wind, we have had whitecaps at the Gunflint dock. It must be really rough 5 miles down at the east end of the lake.

The blowing wind reminds me of a story I read written by Bill Magie, an old timer who was in this country for many years. During the late 1920's he participated in surveying the international border for Canada and the United States. Part of the survey was to determine the height of our lakes with regard to sea level.

Gunflint Lake really gave them some trouble. The surveyors finally decided that when a strong northwest wind was blowing down the lake, the east end of lake was higher than the west end. Eventually they ended up measuring the lake height in the winter when the ice cover gave a constant height.

In 1999 during the blowdown we also saw one end of the lake higher than the other end. The northwest winds of over 100 miles per hour, pushed the lake waters down to the east end. Later we went down and saw the highwater marks on the shore that were up 3'. At our end the water around the docks was quite a bit shallower than usual. I can't even imagine how much water that wind blew from one end of the lake to the other.

Right now the water is high in Gunflint. I measure it by looking at the logs on the main dock. We are up to the top of the last log but still have the board on top to cover. That's not exceptionally high but is a good start to the season.

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