It’s trout derby time on Gunflint Lake. Each year the snowmobile club puts on fishing contest for trout. It is often on Gunflint. On Thursday they plow are large circle so cars can drive out onto the lake and park for fishing. By Sunday the ice on the plowed area is even thicker than before. Right now we have about 30 inches of ice on the lake. Some years I have seen people bring large motor homes onto the ice. One year someone even landed an airplane on the ice.
Prizes are given for the largest lake trout registered between 11:00 and 2:00. But this is more than a fishing contest. It’s a large Grand Marais winter picnic. Families come up for the day. The kids are riding around on snowmobiles while the adults are visiting. The snowmobile club cooks up fish burgers, hot dog, brats and hamburgers for a lunch. There is an open fire to warm up at.
Below is a picture of in front of cabins 4, 5, and 6. In the this one you can see the corner of our dock house as I am looking over the picnic area. If you pivot 90 degrees, there are trucks and cars on the plowed road. Each one hopes they are in the sweet spot for a nice lake trout. Even if you don't win, it makes a great dinner.
Of course not every fish derby is as nice as today. Last year it was 30 below and windy. It’s not much fun standing out in that. Years and years ago the man plowing the road did not plow a big enough circle. There were so many cars in a small area that the ice was pushed down. Water started coming up through the fishing holes. By the time everyone was off the ice, some cars had water inside them.
Tomorrow there will not be a car out here. If it is windy, all signs of the road will be blown away. The minimum cleanup is one of the nice things about the trout derby.
Since the Gunflint Trail is one of the few places in the state with snow, we have really had a lot of snowmobilers on the trails. The ski trails are also in great condition. It is just a great place to enjoy all kinds of winter sports.
About a week or so ago I told you about the contest that Budget Travel was running for the coolest little town in the country. Well, Grand Marais won! I am not sure what the prize is except some publicity. Our win was due, in part, to all of you who voted. Thanks!
We are starting on spring projects. One of the major ones this year is to put new shingles on the lodge. This time of year is not the best time to do it but progress is being made. Things would go faster if it would stop snowing. More snow just means more shoveling to get the old shingles off.
I probably will not get to write next week. We are all going down to the gift show in Minneapolis to buy for the gift shop. It is a major project. We spend two days just looking and making notes. Then one night we make decisions on which items to buy. The next three days are spent buying. The only fun thing is that we get to eat in some good restaurants in the city.