Many of you know that Gunflint Lodge is for sale. Just to keep the record straight, we have not sold. If a sale is finished, we’ll let you know.
It’s almost March and I don’t know where January and February have gone. It has been a strange winter so far. Gunflint Lake did not freeze until January 4th. Even now we do not have a lot of good ice. What we do have is slush! The east end of Gunflint seems to be hit the worst but you can find slush almost anywhere on the lake. Most of the lakes are in the same shape.
We have had a fair amount of snow. The side roads are very narrow. No one is driving them very fast just in case another car is coming at you. Also as things warm up, the roads are very slippery. It is another good reason to go slowly.
Moose seem to be coming back. Above is one of Sheryl’s pictures from just a week or so ago. Momma seems awfully heavy with one (or maybe two) new moose waiting to pop out. We have a bunch of moose around the Seagull-Sag area. There is also a big buck moose near the “Octagon” house on Loon Lake. Around Birch Lake and the Laurentian Divide, moose have also been reported. You and your vehicle are never going to win by hitting a moose so slow down.
The deer population on Gunflint is very sparse. We always have ups and downs in deer depending on how many wolves are in the area. For the past couple of years we have had 2 wolf packs on the lake. Now that the deer are down, the wolves with start to look someplace else for dinner. In a couple of years the deer population will recover and the wolves will move back in.
Bruce and I spent a good portion of January and February on vacation. This year we picked the island of Faisel which is one the islands that make up the Azores Islands of Portugal. We rented an apartment for three weeks and explored the entire island. The first two weeks were walking all over the main town of Horta. The last week we had a car and drove all over. Here is a little of what we learned.
In 1957 they had a volcano that started out to see and worked its way in for 15 months. The lava flow eventually covered and destroyed the main fishing villages for whalers. We spent quite a lot of time going through the underground museum that was built to tell the story of the volcano. Eventually the island lost 35 % of its population who moved out as a result of the volcano.
Up on the highest peak of the island was also the remains from a volcano thousands of years ago. The town had built a hiking trail around the rim which was about 3 ½ miles long. Bruce tried to walk part of the rim one foggy, windy, muddy afternoon. The wind was so strong he was almost blown off the rim even though he was using walking sticks. The next day we came back to beautiful blue sky. He walked up about 1000 feet to some communications towers we had not been able to see the day before. At the base of the towers was a gravel road to them. We drove up on this little road to look down into the hole.
During World War II this island was a stopover for planes being ferried from the U.S. It was also a main stopping point when the first trans-Atlantic cable was laid.
Most of our time in Horta was spent learning the rhythms of the people who lived in town. We both like to watch what is going on around us. There was also plenty of time to pick a restaurant for dinner, play three games of cribbage daily and sleep late in the morning.
As much as we enjoyed the trip, it’s good to be home.