Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Animal Encounters

We have had a good week here at Gunflint. First of all about 8 inches of snow came down on Friday and Saturday. It looks beautiful! The trails are in great shape with a solid base and a good track on top of that. Even if they are just skiing on the lake, everyone is having a ball.

After the snow we got clear skies and a full moon. You know what that means. The temperature just dropped. We have had 25 below or less for the past two nights. It is beautiful but best seen by looking out the windows. We have noticed that everyone in camp comes to get a movie. They probably have the fireplace going and are just sitting back with the movies. Maybe there is a little popcorn to go with the movie.

People have been seeing lots of game. Earlier this summer you may remember me talking about seeing a lynx where Bruce parks his truck at our house. We think that the animal has been hanging round. All the snowshoe hares have disappeared. Last weekend, some guests were skiing near the junction of the Lonely Lake Trail and the Big Pine Trail. They spotted a lynx. The animal did not just run off but stood there looking at them for several minutes. This let them get a really good look at the lynx. It is a great thing to see.

Sheryl also had an exciting viewing one night. It was late and she was reading in bed. Suddenly she heard what sounded like bleating. She looked out her bedroom window into the parking area behind Cabin #7. There was a deer that had just been taken down by a single wolf. Sheryl was able to get some great picture but they are a little too graphic for me. After feeding for a bit, the wolf moved into the bushes and howled before coming back to feed some more. By morning there was nothing to see. Looking around, Sheryl saw where the remains of the animal had been dragged into the woods between Cabin #9 and the road.

The interesting thing was Sheryl’s reaction to this. She was watching it all from a nice, safe house. Even so, there was a shiver that passed through her. That shiver must go back thousands of years when mankind was not so safe from wolves.

I had that happen to me years ago. Bruce was at a sports show in Milwaukee and I was the only one home. Our dog, Itzy, was restless. She was up and about and around and just would not settle down. I turned the outside lights on but there was nothing to see. Finally I let the dog out and stepped out myself. I could hear the howling of a pack very close to the house. Even safe in the house, it was not comfortable. Bruce just laughed when I told him about it. The next morning I found the tracks of the wolf pack right behind the outfitters building.

If you are interested, now is the time to come up and experience our wonderful snow. A word of warning, most of the cabins are booked on weekends. Mid week there are still cabins available but even that is filling up quickly.

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