Voyageur Quote:  "A forest changes with every step taken into it.  It whispers much, but I always sense there is much more held back, much more to be discovered if I can only take the time to stop and stare and listen and sniff.  And return again and again, because the forest will be different each time." Michael W. Robbins







Weather Report

A heat wave has hit on the Gunflint Trail.  Daytime temperatures have been in the thirties and forties and nightly lows in the teens.  The temperatures are so mild that when out cross-country skiing this past week I only had to wear a t-shirt and a sweatshirt to stay warm.  The warm daytime temperatures mixed with the nightime lows have produced a forest of beautifully frost coated trees in the morning.  The snow sparkles like diamonds underneath the daytime sunlight and you can't help but admire the beauty of it all.  Even the smell of the forest invokes a sense of calm and inner peace.  In spite of the warmer weather there is still tons of snow to recreate in.  Mike has been out exploring the Canadian logging roads and says the snowmobile trails are in great condition.  The forecast is for more mild temperatures and the chance of some snow flurries.  I could say that this weather means Spring is here, but I know better than to say that.  On the Gunflint Trail there will be more snow and cold probably until April when Spring will finally visit us here. 



Snow Fleas









Snow Fleas and other winter bugs-  I am often asked the question, "When is the best time to come and avoid bugs in the Boundary Waters."  At this question I usually chuckle and think to myself, "When it's twenty below actual temperature and 5 feet of snow on the ground would be your best bet, there aren't any bugs at this time of the year." But when out snowshoeing the other day I saw differently.  I saw on the path in front of me a bug that looked like a mosquito walking slowly across the top of the snow.  I mentioned this to a friend of mine and he said, "It was probably a snow flea."  I always thought a snow flea was like a snipe or jackalope, but upon checking into it further I found out there really is a snow flea.  What I saw however was not a snow flea but a winter crane fly which is much larger than a snow flea.  My kids and I were out walking again and did get a chance to see some snow fleas.  We had to look very closely because they resememble small flecks of pepper in the snow.  If you watch them carefully then you can see them actually jump around like fleas too.  They live underneath large amounts of snow and can survive through the winter because the snow provides enough insulation for them to survive.  On warm sunny winter days these and other winter bugs find their way to the surface for whatever reason.  To learn more about snowfleas you can check out this site

Voyageur Canoe Outfitters

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What's New?

Voyageur's BWCA E-mail Newsletter turns 1-Year Old! In March of last year we sent out our first e-mail newsletter.  We have been pleased with the positive comments we receive about our newsletter and are glad our readers enjoy it.  To show our appreciation to our valued subscribers we will send a Voyageur bumper sticker to the first fifty people who respond to this offer.  Thank you all!

Outdoor writer Sam Cook was along for Mike's ice fishing adventure into the Quetico Park that I wrote about last issue.  To read a great article about their expedition you can go to the Duluth Star and Tribune website.

Mike and Sue, owners and operators of Voyageur Canoe Outfitters will be at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Sport show in booth #715 this March 12-22nd.  The show is held at the State Fairgrounds and they'd love to discuss any questions you may have about a wilderness canoe trip.  Be sure to stop by the booth and say hello if you're at the show.



Learning Canoe Country Basics-  Some of you were brought up camping, canoeing and spending time in the great outdoors.  Some of you thought camping meant staying at a hotel without a swimming pool.  There is good news for you women out there who want to enjoy the Boundary Waters but have no idea where to start.   This year Voyageur Canoe Outfitters is offering three women's only canoe trips.  There will be a group leader who will teach you the basics of canoe country camping.  She will not do all of the work like a guide would but she will teach you everything you need to know to take your own canoe trip into the BWCA.  She will show you how to read a map and navigate the wilderness waters, teach you how to portage and paddle a canoe, show you the best way to set up a campsite and will introduce you to the joys of canoe camping.  If this is something you are interested in or know someone who would be interested, then please check out our website today.  


Princeton Tec Aurora 


Product Review 

Princeton Tec Headlamps

A headlamp is an awesome addition to any canoe camping adventure.  I love to be able to read a book in the tent with a bright light shined directly on my pages.  It's great for walking out to the latrine and leaves both hands free.  It makes doing anything in the dark much easier because you always have your hands free.  Princeton Tec is a U.S. company that has been around since 1975 developing outdoor products.  We love their Aurora headlamp that operates on 3 AAA batteries up to 160 hours.  It only weighs 2.8 ounces and is water resistent.  There are three high output L.E.D.'s that provide a great beam of light.  The thirteenth person to tell us why they love their headlamp will get an Aurora sent to them.  The rest of you can purchase one from us for $29.99, just e-mail or give us a call toll-free, 1-888-CANOEIT.


photo by Mark Ceminsky



Fishing Report  

Another winter ice fishing trip... This winter has just been incredible for enjoying the area we live in.  Mike and I joined a group of our guests for a ice fishing trip into Mowe Lake.  We brought our two children, Abby 4 and Josh 2 along for the adventure.  It was a perfect day with the temperatures in the high 30's and the sun shining brightly.  We snowmobiled out to Saganaga and traveled to the most northeastern corner of the lake to the Northern Light Railroad Portage.  This is an old rail bed that connects Saganaga to Northern Light Lake in Canada.  We then snowmobiled across Northern Light and followed logging roads and portages into Mowe Lake.  After 20 miles of snowmobiling we were ready to start ice fishing.  Power augers are allowed in this area, so holes were drilled and lines were sent into the depths to entice lake trout.  Not too much time passed and a fish was hooked and brought up through the hole.  Within a half an hour another fish was caught.  Our family was on a schedule so we packed up, got back on the snowmobiles and headed for home.  The kids had a blast on their first family ice fishing adventure.