OK So here is what is going on.
I got up the trail yesterday with the Red Cross. If anyone wants to help but you are not here please donate to the American Red Cross. The Red Cross has provided free hotel rooms to all displaced residents and offered free meals 3 times a day for all displaced residents and employees. Their website is www.redcross.org. What they are doing for our employees is unbelievable! Without their support our employees would not have a place to stay or anything to eat.
I don't remember the offical website for the fire, but you can go to www.boreal.org and they will have links to the official websites and maps. It is on the top of the page.
On the drive up the trail everything looked normal except for about 1 1/2 mile before the west end of the "old gunflint trail". This is one spot where the fire jumped the trail. The rest of the drive up to Gunflint Lake looks the same and hasn't changed at all...with the exceptions of the views at a couple of the scenic overlooks.
The scenic overlook just before the Gunflint Lodge sideroad has a spectacular view of the canadian side of Gunflint Lake. The Canadian side of Gunflint Lake has been burned from the narrows to the east end of the lake.
What is left...as of this moring all of the horseback riding trails and all of the ski trails are still totally the same as they were a month ago. Besides the views, nothing has changed. The cabins were being watered down by all of the volunteer fire departments. Yesterday there were 5 or 6 fire engines on our property, but there were many more fire engines hooking up sprinklers ont he neighbors houses and resorts. The number of people helping with the fire effort was incredible.
The other thing that we learned was how AMAZING our staff is. The last day we were at Gunflint we served over 1,400 meals. The breakfasts were cooked by 1 or 2 people every morning and some mornings they had between 200 and 400 people for breakfast. Lunches were made by our neighbors. The last 3 days they made over 1,000 sandwiches for each lunch. When we cooked dinner we usually only had 1 chef and possibly one other person helping. Only on the last night when we fed 500 fire fighters did we have 2 people for the whole day to help prep & cook. What our staff were able to accomplish was beyond anything I could have ever expected or asked from them. Eva and I feel SO LUCKY that the employees work for us.
What we expect when we return. Fortunately we are currently surrounded by forest and the property looks pretty good...but that could change anyday if the winds are strong or change direction. We will finish renovating our cabins (#22,23, & 24), finish our patio project, and spend a couple of days deep cleaning the whole resort. Then we will be off and running for the summer.
Here is our contact information if you want to get a hold of us. Our cell phone number is (218) 370-8427. The office phone # that is in our office is (218) 412-1485. If you want to e-mail us our e-mails are up and running.
Please donate to the red cross as they have been unbelievable to the evacuated.