Monday, September 19, 2011

Fires and a Trip

The BWCAW has been making lots of news with the Pagami Fire. Having been through fires, I don’t envy anyone going through it now. Except for a little smoke several weeks ago, we have had no effects from the fire. According to today’s press release, the fire is now 19% contained. Yesterday we had overcast, drizzle, and rain all day. I am sure that this really helped with the containment. Today is clear so the planes can fly again. This will add more space to containment.

There was a small (7 ½ acre) fire up by Seagull Lake. The Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department and the Forest Service jumped right on it. Without their great work, it could have become a big problem. The equipment that the GTVFD brings is these fires is partially paid for by receipts from the canoe races in case you are wondering why we do those races year after year. It took 2 ½ days to get the fire dead out. Remember this fire the next time canoe races come along.

I have missed most of the fire news because Bruce and I were out of town. We went with our friends Tom and Melissa to explore the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Five nights were spent in a rented house in Brevort which is just out of St. Ignace. Then we took two days driving back along the south shore of Lake Superior

The first day there we took the ferry out to Mackinac Island. After lunch we rented bikes for the 8 mile ride around the island. Don’t let the happy faces of Bruce and I on our tandem bike fool you. Our marriage would not survive another tandem bike ride. I can only see Bruce’s back, I can’t steer, and I can’t brake. Letting go of control is not something I do easily or graciously – Bruce calls it whining! After the bike ride, we visited all the fudge shops on the island.

Other days were spent exploring the area and hiking. We hiked 2-4 miles each day. The trails were easily but I still huffed and puffed my way along. Surprisingly we never met anyone else hiking on any of the trails. Even though most of the tourists were gray hairs or honeymooners, I would have expected there to be some hikers.

Driving home we stopped at several spots at the Picture Rocks National Shoreline of Lake Superior. My favorite spot was the Log Slide. The entire lake shore was made up of sand dunes that rose 300 feet above the lake. During the logging of white and red pines in this area, the huge logs were sent down sand chutes to the lake. It took a log 10 seconds to make the 500 foot trip! Needless to say, we did not climb down to the lake there.

I also learned a new bit of trivia – Mackinac Island is located in which of the Great Lakes? It’s Huron which I never would have guessed.

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