Monday, January 09, 2012

A Warm Winter So Far

Above is a picture of our front desk staff. Sometimes it is nice of have a mental picture of the person you are talking to. From left to right you have Katie, Kaci, Marilyn, and Dave. They are the four who answer the phone the most. Of course, Sheryl, Bonnie, Bruce and I also answer the phone from time to time. Marilyn tells me, that the front desk is the glue holding the rest of us together. So you best nice to them or who knows where they might stick you.

Wolves are still all over the place. At breakfast the other day, everyone in the dining room got a see a wolf hanging out by the large point to the left (west) of the lodge. Last Sunday my big brown wolf calmly walked right in front of the lodge in the middle of the afternoon. He was about 20 feet out on the ice and totally unconcerned about any activity from us.

Adam had the most interesting sign of wolves. In the back basin Bruce has marked some large pines with red tape. From the tracks, the wolf walked up to one of the trees and pulled the red tape off. We don’t know if he thought it was food or if the tape was blowing in the wind and irritating him.

This past week we have gotten several inches of new snow. Although it has been warm up here for January, we have been able to maintain our ski trails. Dave Tuttle was out yesterday and groomed everything. Guests tell me that it is really great to get out.

The new snow also has everyone looking again for wolf tracks. At this point we are all looking for more signs of wolves. Luckily we have not yet seen any of the more unpleasant signs of wolves – dead deer. That sign will come too.

The ice on Gunflint Lake still does not give us a lot of confidence. After this next weekend, we will probably go out and test it. I am sure that many think we are being overly cautious. They are correct but this is most definitely a better safe than sorry situation.

Like most of you, we are having a very warm winter. Usually the temperatures hit 40 below this first week of the New Year. During the day they warm up to 30 below. This year nights are in the high 20’s. During the day we have temperatures that hover a couple of degrees above freezing. We all feel that true winter will come soon and will last way into April. Like everything about the weather, there is nothing we can do. That is what makes it so frustrating – no control. So hang in there, winter will eventually come to Minnesota.

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