Friday, July 17, 2009

As much as I hate to admit it, the weather has been lousy this week. We have been having an overcast, misty, foggy mess. In addition the wind has been howling from the northwest. Usually our bad weather wind is from the east but not this week. The only saving grace is that the forest needed the moisture.

The blueberries needed it too. We have lots of hard little balls on the blueberry bushes. Now that we have gotten the necessary moisture, the next step is sunshine. You can’t imagine how quickly sunshine will give us a batch of large juicy berries. In fact, I am already thinking about blueberry pie and blueberry pancakes next winter.

The week has been a very busy one. Grandson Zach (Robert and Miranda’s child) has been with us. Nine-year-old boys are much more active than old grandparents. He has been horseback riding, fishing, minnow trapping and visiting friends. As you might expect, his energy is endless.

On Monday I helped serve a shore lunch (Zach helped too) at Chik-Wauk welcoming the paddlers of the Canoe The Heartland event. Their trip covers over 350 miles and is in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Superior National Forest and the Quetico Provincial Park. We served lunch to about 150 people. The U. S. Forest Service had a full line up of talks for adults and games for kids. That day, the weather cooperated.

Wednesday the annual Gunflint Trail Canoe Races were held at the lodge. It is hard to believe that these have been going on for almost 30 years. The weather was not totally cooperative for the races. As volunteers were setting up the event, we had mist and rain off and on. The wind blew steadily. By the time everything started, at least the drops stopped coming down. About 200 people appeared and $14,000 was raised for the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department. Next summer the department will be showing off a brand new fire truck that these monies have helped to buy.

On top of all this, the lodge has been filled with guests. Even in rainy weather people have been out and about. The fishing guides have been busy, hikers have explored the trails and the horses have done their bit. The place that has really been busy is the dining room. Both Justine’s and the Red Paddle have been bursting at the seams. Cool weather always makes us eat heartily. Of course, the most popular spot has been the hot chocolate machine. On Wednesday with everyone here for canoe races, there was a steady line for hot chocolate.

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