Voyageur Quote: "There's one good thing about snow, it makes your lawn look as nice as your neighbor's."  Clyde Moore  




Winter at Voyageur



Weather Report

Winter has arrived on the Gunflint Trail.  Since the last newsletter we have received over 17 inches of snow!  The weather stayed consistently below freezing until the 29th when it rained almost an inch and melted alot of our snow.  On the 30th we received almost 3 inches of snow and the forecast calls for more of the white stuff.  If you are interested in looking at weather information on the Gunflint Trail then check out this site.  The official Gunflint Trail weatherman keeps track of temperature and precipitation and has history dating back to 1996.  The temperatures will be much colder this coming week.  Daytime highs will only reach into the teens and nightly lows will fall below zero.  It looks like winter is here to stay. 



Mountain Ash  




Wildlife and Nature: 

Mountain Ash Tree-The American Mountain Ash tree is one of my children's favorite.  It is typically short in height and the diameter of it's trunk is anywhere between 4-12".   The trees do well around the edges of swamps and in other moist areas.  All parts of the Mountain Ash tree have been used for various purposes; the branches for poles and hoops, the bark to treat diarrhea, the berries for sore throats, jelly, cider, and flour, and I'm sure children of the past threw the berries at each other too.  In the summer the tree has cream colored flowers and towards the end of the summer it has bright red berries. The birds love to eat the berries and there is a legend about the more berries on the Mountain Ash the more severe the winter will be.  Be sure to read this legend online.   




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What's New?

Professional Paddlesport Association- Mike is President of the PPA and we recently attended the annual conference and trade show in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  We spent a week learning and visiting with people who own paddlesport businesses all over the United States.  If you would like more information about the PPA or if you are planning to paddle then be sure to check out their website.  The website lists outfitters, liveries, and manufacturers in all regions.

The Boundary Waters Blog- Have you ever heard of RSS?  It stands for Really Simple Syndication and I really don't understand the whole concept behind it. I do know there are people who have feedreaders set on their desktop so they can receive recent news postings from websites or blogs that are of importance to them.  We now have RSS capability on our Boundary Waters Blog. What this means is you wouldn't have to keep going back to the blog directly to see if I have recently updated it.  The feedreader will show you the most recent postings and will include a headline with the first couple of words of the latest entry.  Then if you want to read more, you just click on and continue reading the entry.  If you already have a feedreader then you can add our address to it. If not, then you can check out our blog for directions on how to install the software into your computer.  RSS or not, please keep reading the blog and tell your friends about it.    






Shop the Voyageur Trading Post







Product Review: 

A Taste of the Gunflint Trail- This book cover may look familiar to you because it is the 2nd time I have mentioned it in my newsletter.  The Taste of the Gunflint Trail is such an awesome book I want to encourage you to buy it as a Christmas gift.  It is not only a cookbook but also a history book that contains so much interesting information it is hard to put down. I have learned things about the Trail and my neighbors that I never knew and it is fascinating.  Anyone, whether or not they have visited the Trail, would enjoy reading these amazing stories about lodge owners on the Gunflint Trail.  The recipes, even though they are delicious, are really just a bonus to the wonderful tales included in the book.  Be sure to order this book and look for other gift ideas at our online Trading Post.  If you prefer then you can always call or e-mail and send a check or pay the $20.00 by credit card.




Reprinted from Fish and Game





Wilderness Skill:

Ice Safety- Before you head out onto the ice this winter make sure you take the time to determine if it is safe.  It seems as though every year there is a winter enthusiast or two who takes a gamble on whether or not the ice is thick enough to hold their weight.  This is an unecessary risk and the result could be tragic.  Taking a few extra precautions when venturing out onto the ice is more than worth the effort.  Here are some safety tips from the Michigan DNR website.

  • "Know before You Go." Know the conditions of the ice before venturing out; taking into consideration recent possible effects changes in the weather have had on the ice.
  • Children should ALWAYS be supervised on the ice.
  • Use an ice spud bar or an auger to test the ice ahead of you.
  • Before venturing out onto the ice, check with local sources, such as bait and tackle shops, for the most up-to-date information.
  • Avoid ice formed over flowing water near shore, around inlets and outlets of streams, or on lakes with springs.
  • Be suspicious of gray, dark or porous spots in the ice as these may be soft areas. Ice is generally strongest where it is hard and blue.
  • Heavy snow cover insulates ice and prevents it from freezing as evenly and as quickly as it would if the snow weren't there. Snow cover is also deceptive and makes evaluating the ice cover difficult.
  • Be especially wary of river ice, as it can be highly variable in thickness due to the erosive action of the underlying river current. One can be standing on ice eight-inches thick on a river and just a few feet away, the ice may be only two-inches thick.
  • Carry a couple of large nails and a length of light nylon rope. If you should go through the ice, the nails could help provide a "grip" on the slippery surface and aid in getting out.
  • Should you break through the ice, try not to panic. Remember to turn
  • toward the direction you came from -- toward the ice that supported you. Use the nails or your hands to gain a hold on the unbroken surface of the ice, and advance by kicking your feet.
  • Once you are out of the water and are lying on the ice, don't stand! Roll away from the point where you broke through until you are on solid ice.
  • If you do see someone fall through the ice, do not run toward them. Carefully extend a rope, ladder, pole or line to the victim.







Fishing Report

Until the ice becomes thick enough to walk on there isn't anything to report.  I would like to encourage anglers to take this time to go through their summer fishing gear and organize it so it is ready when the ice goes off in the Spring. You can check the barbs on hooks, get rid of old or damaged tackle, and take inventory of what you need to re-stock.  Now is a great time to find deals on summer tackle.  You can even remove your old fishing line from your reel so all you have to do come Spring is put some new line on, put the boat in, and get ready to catch some fish. 





 Thank you for reading our newsletter.  We hope you enjoy it and tell others about it. 

  Mike, Sue and the Voyageur Crew