With the Memorial Day Weekend just ahead, we are finally getting back on track for summer. We are full for the weekend which is music to any resorter’s ear. The horses, who were evacuees themselves, arrived home yesterday afternoon. The kitchen is geared up and we have had 12 new staff people arrive this last week. I, of course, made sure to introduce myself to the baker. Then we had to test her products and they passed with flying colors.
Yesterday the very end of the Gunflint Trail was opened for residents and visitors to go back in. I was not able to go up and have not been there since the fire. Reports are mixed but the one constant seems to be the surprising amount of green that is already coming up in black stretches.
I did go out in a boat yesterday into Magnetic Lake. It was very interesting. In several places the fire raged in the tree tops but didn’t make it to the ground. As a result there are these black tree trunks in among green groves of trees about five feet tall. Another amazing thing is how close to homes the burn out was started. We are talking within a couple hundred feet. There is no doubt that the burn out saved the west and south shore of Gunflint Lake. But it was still a gutsy decision by the overhead team.
Lately I have been walking back and forth to the lodge via the trail along the lake. This area, like the rest of the resort, was untouched by fire. Mother Nature seems to be going about her normal spring business. The bracken ferns are now foot-long fiddle heads. I saw lots of blue bead lily leaves with flowers ready to spring open. Tiny white star flowers are also out now. Anemone are blooming in the trees in front of my house. Sarah told me she has also seen some violets. Along the creek between Cabin #3 and Cabin #1, the marsh marigolds are putting on a beautiful yellow display.
Another sure sign of spring is that the annual flower order arrived yesterday. It is one of my most favorite spring arrivals. This morning Ronnie Smith, Carl (her helper this summer) and I plan on putting in flowers around the lodge. In a week or so, it will look beautiful again. Of course, my back will complain about being overworked. If you stop by the lodge this weekend, you will see us out working to get stuff in the ground.
There is also a huge tree-planting project going on along the Gunflint Trail. Starting at the Blankenburg Landing on Seagull Lake this Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 a.m. volunteers will gather to distribute and plant hundreds of native trees on the private lands in the Seagull/Saganaga area. We hope to give Mother Nature a jump start. If you would like to join in and need more details, Nancy Seaton at Hungry Jack Canoe Outfitters is organizing the plantings. You can call her at 218-388-2275. If you have enough information to join in, meet at the landing. Be sure to bring the usual stuff – long pants, insect stuff, gloves, shovels, lunch, beverages, etc.
Yesterday I talked with two biologists from the Forest Service who are up here surveying the fire results. We talked about what to plant. Their advice was to wait a bit before doing massive plantings. Take time to see what will come up on its own. They felt that we would all be surprised at how much would come up. It sounded like good advice.
Lee, Eva, Nancy (Eva’s mother) and I ate dinner in the bistro last night. Bruce was in the Cities so he missed out. There must have been about 40 or 50 people for dinner. The three wait staff were running around. It felt good to have a normal meal served without undue stress. As usual, we tried some of the new menu items along with old standbys like burgers. My commercial is that the food was really good and the view out the window was still pretty good too. Stop to see us sometime in the near future. You might be surprised at how northwoods normal we look.