"The song of the waters is audible to every ear, but there is other music in these hills, by no means audible to all. To hear even a few notes of it, you must first live here for a long time, and then you must know the speech of hills and rivers. Then of a still night, when the campfire is low and the Pleiades have climbed over the rimrocks , sit quietly and listen for a wolf to howl, and think hard of everything you have seen and tried to understand. Then you may hear it - a vast pulsing harmony - its score inscribed on a thousand hills, its notes the lives and deaths of plants and animals, its rhythms spanning the seconds and the centuries. "
    -- Aldo Leopold  



Camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area  

Solo Trip October 2010





Fall on the Gunflint Trail 

Fantastic Fall on the Gunflint Trail














Maybe Next Year-

        Try as I might I just can't seem to get an email newsletter done each month of the year.  I have the best intentions but inevitably I miss a month or two each year.  I really wanted to send one during October because it was such a beautiful month but instead I spent my time out in the woods enjoying the splender myself.  I apologize for being inconsiderate and I will do my best to send you a newsletter in December and one each month in 2011. 

     I'll blame September's weather for the reason I didn't send out a newsletter in October.  Since it was so cold and wet it felt like it was already October when in reality it was just September.  We received some amount of precipitation over half of the days of September for total precipitation of a little over 7 inches.  That is double the monthly average for September but I would have guessed we had received more based upon the lack of sunshine. 

     The sun didn't do its job keeping everyone warm and the ever blowing wind made the sun even less effective.  Temperatures during the daytime in September usually average around 64 degrees while nightly lows average near 45 degrees.  The October average high temperature is about 52 degrees and the low near 35 degrees.  This September the average high temperature was right around 57 degrees and the low just below 40 degrees.  These temperatures combined with the wind made it feel much more like October than it did September.  

     Since the weather tricked me into believing it would be a short fall I didn't bother writing a newsletter at the beginning of October.  I didn't want to encourage folks to come up and paddle in such conditions and by the time I realized October was going to be beautiful I was too busy to write.    

      It turned out October was an incredible month for canoe camping in the Boundary Waters.   Both Chelsea and I had the opportunity to go out and paddle  and camp for a weekend that felt more like August than October.  It was hot, calm and sunny with temperatures in the high 60's and low 70's.  It didn't even get cold at night.

     If it hadn't been for the cold spell the last week of October our temperatures would have been well above the average.  Even still we were a couple of degrees above average and compared with the average temperature in 2006 we were 18 degrees warmer! All but .30" of our 4.5" of precipitation came the last week of October.  If it hadn't been for the mega storm that dumped over 3.5 inches of snow and rain on the 26th and 27th our precipitation would have been below average. 

     As you can probably see the first three weeks of October were absolutely wonderful at the end of the Gunflint Trail.  I am sorry I didn't let you know sooner but maybe next year I'll do better.

 Gunflint Trail Moose

Monty Moose on the Gunflint 



 Voyageur Canoe Outfitters-

Where the Trail Ends Your Voyage Begins




 Foxy on the Gunflint Trail

Photo by Bruce Walters








What's New?-   

Wonderful Wildlife-

     This time of the year on the Gunflint Trail the wildlife becomes very active.  There are quite a few moose in the area including a nice bull, cow and a calf.  You can read about my most recent moose encounter on my blog

     We have spotted many wolves, deer and have a couple of very friendly fox living in our neighborhood.  Two of the fox were seen sleeping in a neighbor's flower pot the other night.  They like to hang out at the end of Sag Lake Trail to wait for a handout.

     No matter how many animals you see or how many times you see them it's always exciting to see the different creatures on the Gunflint Trail.

Prescribed Burns-

     Thanks to the weather during the first couple of weeks of October the USFS was able to do a few prescribed burns in our area.  There was a time I didn't like prescribed burning on the Gunflint Trail but after the Blowdown the USFS felt the need to clean up some of the dead and down trees.  The prescribed burns completed prior to the various forest fires on the Gunflint Trail did their job and now I'm all for prescribed burning.

     The first project to be burned this October was the Kekekabic Burn Unit.  This included three different units near Kekekabic Lake for a total of approximately 3500 acres.  The fire was ignited on the 14th of October and produced a significant amount of smoke on the 14th and the 15th.  Ash rained down at Voyageur and other places along the Gunflint Trail reminding residents of the Ham Lake Fire in 2007. 

     The Dawkins/Extortion Burn and the Meeds Lake Unit were ignited early in the week of the 17th.  Both of these units were near the mid-trail area of the Gunflint Trail and were uless than 2000 acres in size.  Planes and helicopters could be seen flying overhead and fire trucks and USFS crews could be seen alongside the roadways.  

     The prescribed burns brought back some feelings of hysteria and anxiety like were experienced during the Ham Lake Fire.  The smell of smoke in the air, the orange sky and all of the fire activity makes one feel a bit vulnerable.  Thankfully the USFS did a great job and kept the fires from escaping their boundaries.  I'll gladly experience a couple of days of smoke and fear if it prevents a catastrophic forest fire from burning for weeks in the BWCA.


     I can't think of a place I would be more thankful to be than at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters for Thanksgiving.  We have a cabin and a lodge unit waiting for you and your family to come and stay for the long weekend.  In fact, any weekend in November you are welcome to be our guest for only $249 for up to 3 nights and 4 people.  Additional nights and people or pets are available for an extra charge.  Give us a call today; your family will thank you.  1-888-CANOEIT.












 Voyageur Canoe Outfitters Crew

Ron and Elsa 


SMagnetic Rock Hiking Trail on the Gunflint Trail

Kristi on the Magnetic Rock Trail




Quiet at Voyageur-   Slowly but surely our summer crew left us for parts unknown.  Well, most parts are known actually but they are no longer here.  It's even quieter than normal with Chelsea away this week.  

     Some of our crew is back in school while others travel or work in the real world.  Tessa is in school and living abroad in Italy for the semester.    She has been traveling all over Europe including Switzerland, London and more.  She's a lucky gal and Ron and Elsa are too.

     It's been five years since Elsa has been to her home in the Phillippines so it was with great enthusiasm she and Ron departed for the Phillippines last week.  They will be visiting her family and traveling for a couple of months before returning for the remainder of the winter.  We're going to use this time to hopefully lose a little of the weight we put on from all of Elsa's wonderful cooking this summer. 

     Adam and Kristi are both in Duluth, Minnesota.  Adam is working and going to school while Kristi searches for the perfect job.  Unbeknownst to her Voyageur is the perfect job and the sooner she realizes it the better off she will be.

     Andrew has entered the real world and is working and living in the Twin Cities.  He's taken advantage of a couple of his weekends to visit us and to take a couple of trips into the Boundary Waters.  He even went camping last weekend and woke up to a blanket of snow on Saturday morning.

     John is hanging in there with us here at Voyageur.  He's still trying to finish my list of projects I gave him at the beginning of the summer.  I wonder when he will realize he'll have to come back next summer to finish them all?

     We sure miss our crew when they are gone.  They are all so much fun to have around.  While it's quiet now we know it will only be a matter of time before next year's crew will be back at Voyageur for another season of fun. 

     If you are interested or know someone who may be interested in being a part of the Crew then let us know as positions fill up quickly.


 Paddling at Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center

Paddling at Chik-Wauk Museum




Enjoying the Wilderness-

     As a canoe outfitter I love to introduce people to paddling and the wilderness area at the end of the Gunflint Trail.  As a Mom I enjoy spending time with my kids and their friends from school.  As a member of the original Board of Trustees for Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center I love to spend time showing off this incredible place.

     Can you imagine what a wonderful time I had when both Abby and Josh's classes came up to Chik-Wauk for a field trip?  It was a perfect day for exploring the trails, picnicking and paddling around the bays in a canoe.

     Some of these kids had never been to the end of the Gunflint Trail and others had never been in a canoe.  It was a blast teaching them how to paddle and watching them as they got the hang of canoeing.

     The best part about the day was hearing the kids say they can't wait to come back and they want to spend even more time canoeing!   


Canoeing at Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center

Having Fun at Chik-Wauk!



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Share Your Experience-

     We love to hear about people's adventures with Voyageur Canoe Outfitters.  We also enjoy looking at everyone's pictures from their canoe trips.  Did you know you can share your story with us and our blog readers?  Take the time one of these days to visit the site and share your Voyageur Story.

      If you want to help us attract other people to Voyageur Canoe Outfitters then please write a review at Trip Advisor.  We go to this site when we're making plans and we always look for testimonials from people who have visited the place before.  It's easy to do and we'd be grateful if you could help other people make the decision to vacation with Voyageur.

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We hope you enjoy our newsletter and tell others about it!

  Mike, Sue and the Voyageur Crew  


Sierra Trading Post Sierra Club