Summer Solstice on the Gunflint Trail

If you could spend the longest day of the year anywhere you wanted then where would it be? How about the Gunflint Trail? Imagine all of the things you could do with that many hours of daylight.  You could take quite the day trip into the BWCA with 16 hours of daylight whether by foot or by canoe but why limit yourself to just one pleasure?

A day trip on the Gunflint Trail sounds like the perfect thing to do on the longest day of the year. Sunrise on the shore of a lake, breakfast at Trail Center and a paddle into the BWCA would be a great morning adventure. Follow that with a visit to Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center for some fun and a couple of hikes on their trails and a dip in a nearby lake to cool off.  For dinner you could choose from a number of places to eat but you would have to return to Trail Center for dessert, peanut butter maple malt for me please! Then a hike up to Honeymoon Bluff, Northern Light trail, Lima Mountain or somewhere else to watch the sun as it begins to disappear on the longest day of the year.

Make the most of the solstice wherever you are.

 

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Posted in Gunflint Trail

Lightning flashes in the sky

1, 2, 3, 4 BOOM! Thunder rattles in the distance. Is the lightning four miles away? That’s what we used to say. Here’s what Becky Bolinger has to say on Earth Sky’s website.

How far away was that lightning?

You probably do it. It might be ingrained from when you were a kid, and now it’s almost automatic. You see the flash of lightning – and you immediately start counting the seconds till it thunders.

But does counting really get you a good estimate for how far away the lightning is? Is this one of those old wives’ tales, or is it actually based on science? In this case, we have physics to thank for this quick and easy – and pretty accurate – calculation.

 So what happens when a big storm rolls in?

The lightning you see is the discharge of electricity that travels between clouds or to the ground. The thunder you hear is the rapid expansion of the air in response to the lightning’s intense heat.

If you’re really close to the lightning, you will see it and hear the thunder simultaneously. But when it’s far away, you see and hear the event at different times. That’s because light travels much faster than sound. Think of sitting in the nosebleed seats at a baseball game. You see the batter hit the ball a second before you hear the crack of the bat.

The visual part is instantaneous. Image via Pete Gregoire/Flickr.

When observing an event on Earth, you see things almost the instant they happen – the speed of light is so fast you can’t even detect the travel time. The speed of sound is much slower, which gives us time to do our calculation.

Let’s simplify the speed equation: Sound travels a little over 700 miles per hour, or 700 miles in 3,600 seconds. That means 7 miles traveled every 36 seconds. Make this even easier and round down to 7 miles every 35 seconds … or 1 mile every 5 seconds! Count to 5: If you hear thunder, the lightning occurred within 1 mile.

Now that you know how far away that lightning strike was, is it far enough to be a safe distance from the storm? That’s actually a trick question. Thunder can be heard up to 25 miles away, and lightning strikes have been documented to occur as far as 25 miles from thunderstorms – known as a “bolt from the blue.” So if you can hear thunder, you’re close enough to be hit by lightning, and sheltering indoors or in an enclosed car is your safest bet.

The ConversationAnd don’t count on the folk wisdom that lightning never strikes the same place twice to protect you. That one is just plain wrong. For example, lightning strikes the top of the Empire State Building an average of 23 times per year.

Becky Bolinger, Assistant State Climatologist and Research Scientist in Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Bottom line: An atmospheric scientist on using lightning to determine a thunderstorm’s distance.

Posted in environment

Life Vests only work if you wear them

News Release

06/12/2018

On Sunday, June 10, 2018 at 3:41PM, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a possible drowning on Perent Lake, which is in northeast Lake County within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.   

The reporting party stated the 31 year old victim had been missing since 11:00PM on June 9.  The victim had been in a canoe that capsized with 2 occupants, neither of which were wearing life jackets.  It was reported that the victim never made it to shore.  The other occupant was able to swim to a rock where he was rescued by another camper who had heard someone yelling for help.

One Monday, June 11 at approximately 3:34PM, the body of Joseph Bennett Fedick, of Coon Rapids, MN, was recovered from the water within a couple hundred yards of their campsite.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Lake County and St. Louis County Search and Rescue teams, Forest Service Law Enforcement and sea plane pilot, and Border Patrol all responded to assist in the search.

Read more at http://www.co.lake.mn.us/employment_opportunities/press_releases.php#CYPtCBdkk4qlvRQm.99

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Posted in BWCA

Yes, please!

It would be wonderful to have an option like this for boaters entering the US from Canada on Saganaga Lake.

https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-media-release/cbp-expands-roam-pilot-project

Reporting Offsite Arrival – Mobile (ROAM)

As part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) comprehensive effort to improve the security of our nation’s borders while enhancing legitimate travel, CBP has launched the Reporting Offsite Arrival – Mobile (ROAM) app.

Pleasure Boat Reporting Requirements

Pursuant to 19 CFR 4.2, operators of small pleasure vessels, arriving in the United States from a foreign port or place to include any vessel which has visited a hovering vessel or received merchandise outside the territorial sea, are required to report their arrival to CBP immediately (see 19 U.S.C. 1433).

The master of the vessel reports their arrival at the nearest Customs facility or such other place as the Secretary may prescribe by regulations. These reports are tracked in the Pleasure Boat Reporting System. Pursuant to 8 CFR 235.1, an application to lawfully enter the United States must be made in person to a CBP officer at a U.S. Port of Entry (POE) when the port is open for inspection.
Click here for more information on CBP reporting requirements.

Overview of  ROAM APP

The CBP ROAM app is a free mobile application that provides an option for pleasure boaters to report their U.S. entry to CBP via their personal smart phone or a tablet located at local businesses to satisfy the above reporting requirements. In limited areas, travelers arriving in remote areas may also be eligible to use the ROAM app. Contact your local POE to confirm arrival notifications via the ROAM app are accepted. Pleasure Boat Reporting Locations

The ROAM app also qualifies as an Alternative Inspection System that satisfies the boat operator’s legal requirement to report for
face-to-face inspection in accordance with 8 CFR 235.1 with some exceptions:

  • Travelers who require an I-94;
  • Travelers who wish to obtain a cruising license;
  • Travelers who must pay duties on imported goods; and
  • Other circumstances as applicable.

To use the ROAM app, travelers input their biographic, conveyance, and trip details and submit their trip for CBP Officer (CBPO) review. The CBPO may initiate a video chat to further interview travelers. Once the CBPO reviews the trip, travelers will receive a push notification and an email with their admissibility decision and next steps, if applicable.

Getting Started

Travelers should download the ROAM app on their web-enabled smart device. Note that a free login.gov account is required to use the ROAM app. After opening the ROAM app, tap “Sign In”.

  • Travelers who do not have a login.gov account should “Create an account” and follow the instructions
  • Travelers who already have a login.gov account should sign into their existing account, and will be redirected back
    to the ROAM app

After signing in to the ROAM app, users can create and save traveler and conveyance profiles. These profiles can be reused for repeat entry into the United States.

Availability

To use ROAM on your mobile device, download the app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. In certain locations, the ROAM app can also be accessed on tablets at partner locations.

For any questions or concerns about the ROAM app, please email us at  cbproam@cbp.dhs.gov.

 

Posted in News

Get Outside and visit a State Park

Minnesota state parks to offer free admission on June 9
Gov. Mark Dayton is encouraging Minnesotans to get out and enjoy the state’s outstanding outdoor opportunities by proclaiming June 2018 as Great Outdoors Month.

The proclamation cites the mental and physical benefits of spending time outdoors as one incentive to visit Minnesota state parks and trails.

As an added incentive, the Department of Natural Resources will continue its longstanding tradition of waiving the requirement for a vehicle permit (a $7 value) and providing free admission at all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas on Saturday, June 9, which is National Get Outdoors Day, an event held annually on the second Saturday in June.

“Exploring Minnesota state parks is a great way to spend time with friends and family, get active, and enjoy our state’s many natural wonders,” Dayton said. “This Saturday, I encourage all Minnesotans to ‘Get Outdoors’ and experience a state park or recreation area near you.”

Many special programs will take place throughout Great Outdoors Month and on National Get Outdoors Day to help make each visit memorable and fun for visitors, said Erika Rivers, director of the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “Our goal is to connect new people, especially families with young children, to the outdoors.”

Special programs taking place June 9 at Minnesota state parks include:

Pop Can Casting, 11 a.m.-noon, Fort Snelling State Park in St. Paul. Make a fishing pole with a pop can. Bring a clean can with the tab still attached and meet at the fishing pier.
Peregrine Falcons, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Gooseberry Falls State Park, Two Harbors. Drop by the Visitor Center Auditorium to see live falcons and learn about these remarkable birds from Jackie Fallon of the Midwest Peregrine Society.
Outdoor Recreation Day, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Father Hennepin State Park on Lake Mille Lacs near Isle. Displays, demonstrations and activities, including stand-up paddleboarding, fish identification, and a kids fish casting range. There will also be a special appearance by Smokey Bear (11-11:20 a.m.), followed by Archery in the Park (1-3 p.m.) for ages 8 and older.
Family Outdoor Fair, noon- 3 p.m., Whitewater State Park near Winona in southeastern Minnesota. Make a walking stick and visit activity stations, including archery, trout fishing, geocaching, canoeing, bird watching and more.
Minnesota Zoomobile, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., Minneopa State Park in Mankato. Live animals, storytelling, and an ice cream social.
Nature Photography, 2-3 p.m., Big Bog State Recreation Area in Waskish. Join a naturalist to learn some basic techniques. A limited number of digital cameras will be provided, or visitors can use other digital equipment (cell phone welcome, too).
For a complete list of statewide programs, with times and locations, visit www.mndnr.gov.

Free loaner equipment—Most parks allow visitors to check out GPS units, binoculars, fishing gear and Kids Discovery Kits (featuring activities, stories and tips to help ensure a child’s park visit will be fun). For more information on where to find the free stuff—not just on National Get Outdoors Day but every day—visit www.mndnr.gov.

For more information, contact the DNR Information Center by emailing info.dnr@state.mn.us or by calling 888-646-6367 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday).

Posted in News

Take a Kid Fishing at Voyageur

From the MN DNR

Take a Kid Fishing Weekend is June 8-10
On Take a Kid Fishing Weekend from Friday, June 8, to Sunday, June 10, Minnesotans can fish without licenses if they take children 15 or younger fishing, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

“Fishing together with kids can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors and have some memorable experiences,” said Jeff Ledermann, DNR angler recruitment, retention and education supervisor. “We encourage people to give it a try. It’s fairly easy to buy or borrow fishing poles, and one good way to start is by fishing for bluegills with small hooks, bobbers and live bait.”

Minnesotans 15 and younger don’t need fishing licenses any time of the year. Take a Kid Fishing Weekend is a way for adults and kids to fish together without the step of buying a license.

The DNR’s Take a Kid Fishing Weekend page at mndnr.gov/takeakidfishing includes links to a beginner’s guide to fishing; DNR’s Fish Minnesota page that includes regulations and locations of easy-to-access fishing piers and shorefishing areas; and information about fishing in Minnesota state parks.

Fishing gear is available to borrow at state parks and the DNR’s I Can Fish! program teaches the basics of fishing and runs throughout the summer at state parks. Even when it’s not Take a Kid Fishing Weekend, Minnesota residents generally can fish in state parks without a fishing license if the body of water does not require a trout stamp.

Posted in fishing

Memorial Weekend Heatwave

We had a beautiful Memorial Weekend with plenty of sunshine. The temperature was in the 80’s and the water temperature heated up quickly into the 60’s. I haven’t been swimming on Memorial Weekend except for maybe one other time and I remember the water was freezing. This time it was a comfortable temperature and perfect for cooling off.

According to the Duluth News Tribune…

The Duluth airport reported a high temperature of 92 degrees — shattering the previous record high for May 26 of 85 degrees, set in 1978 and again in 2014, the National Weather Service reported.

There was relief near Lake Superior, with temperatures at the Duluth harbor only in the mid-50s as of mid-afternoon Saturday; the Grand Marais harbor stayed in the 40s much of the day.

The average high for Duluth at this time of year is about 65 degrees.

Posted in News

The ice is gone!

It’s official! Saganaga Lake is ice free! These photos were taken this morning. Yipppeeee!You can see when other lakes in Minnesota became ice free by checking out the MN DNR website.

 

Saganaga Lake Ice Free

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Posted in News

Fire danger very high

According to the Minnesota Incident Command System, “Heads up NE : *Koochiching-St. Louis-Cook-Lake-Itasca-Cass-Itasca-Crow Wing-Aitkin-Carlton-Pine* Dry & breezy conditions N of Hwy 2 mean elevated fire Wx danger where developing fires may spread quickly.

Posted in wildfire

Saganaga holds onto its ice

An icy opener on Saganaga this year. Not enough to stand on but not enough to push through either. We’ll see what this week brings but we’re guessing it will be gone by next weekend!

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Posted in News

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