Are You Ready for some Football?

It’s that time of the year and football season is here. Mike is helping coach the Cook County Varsity Football team for the second season this year. Last Friday night his team played in Duluth, then we drove up to Thunder Bay to watch our son Josh play a game on Saturday and today he took Abby and a friend to watch the Minnesota Vikings play. Tomorrow Josh has another game in Silver Bay, Minnesota as does the Junior Varsity football team so Mike will have had 4 days in a row of travel and football.  I sure hope he was ready for football!

It’s also volleyball season for Abby and she has games on both Tuesday and Thursday night of this week. The forecast calls for lots of windshield time this week.

Josh as kicker

Football season is here

Josh at Qiarterbacl

Football

Posted in News

Adventures in the Wilderness

Every once in awhile we have a guest share their Voyageur Experience with us. You can find more stories on our website but I thought I would share one with you here.

Bill and I have just returned back from a terrific trip to the Boundary Waters. It had been years since I had been on a canoe trip, and my husband had hardly even been in a canoe! So, we were very excited for our adventure in the North Woods. Voyageur Outfitters came highly recommended from a friend living in the Twin Cities area. We weren’t disappointed! Due to our lack of experience, we opted to stay in a cabin for a few days and do day trips; only venturing out into the wilderness the final day for an overnight camp out. From start to finish, the crew exceeded our expectations. All crew members were enthusiastic, informative, and genuinely concerned with our enjoyment and safety. We were given lots of advice on routing, both for our day trips and the overnight. This group truly loves the wilderness and their job! I hope to see all of them again. I hesitate to mention names because they were all outstanding. But, I guess I have to give a special shout-out to the girl! s: Kyra, Abigail, and Hannah. They were the best!

We didn’t see an bears or moose – but the LOONS!!! We were thoroughly captivated by their calls! One evening, we heard them do their dance – unforgettable!

Mike and Sue are running a great operation. We hope to be back next year!

Lindsay & Bill – Atlanta, GA

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Wolves on the Gunflint

On Wednesday a guest arrived and told us he had seen a wolf on his way up the Gunflint Trail. Hannah who has worked at Voyageur all summer expressed displeasure that she had been here all summer and still hadn’t seen a wolf.  I told her it was easier to see them in the fall and winter and that we see quite a few of them.

That afternoon she drove down the Gunflint Trail and called me when she got to Grand Marais. “Guess what I saw on the drive to town?” Yep, she saw a wolf. Then on Thursday when I drove to town to watch Abby’s volleyball game guess what I saw on the drive to town? Yep, I saw a wolf. Today on my way up the Trail guess what I saw. Yep, I saw another wolf.

It’s funny how things like that happen. We can go all summer without seeing one and then see one a day. You just never know what you’re going to see on the Gunflint Trail, but if you had to guess…

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Weekend Fun in Grand Marais

This weekend in Grand Marais is the Unplugged Festival at the North House Folk School.  If you have never been to it then I suggest checking it out in the future. There are some great bands and fun to be had. This Saturday night Mike and I will be pouring Fulton Beer at the Festival. Fulton was started by three couples, one of which is from Grand Marais, Minnesota.

While pouring beer we have the opportunity to talk about our brewery opening in Grand Marais. The progress of the construction at  Voyageur Brewing Company is incredible.  It’s so exciting to see how much gets done in such a short time.  Next year before you come up the Gunflint Trail for your canoe trip you’ll have to stop in at the Brewery for a Nalgene or stainless steel growler filled with a delicious beer.

Unplugged in Grand Marais with Voyageur Brewing Company

Voyageur Brewing Company

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Winter in September

While the other day we experienced summer in September today we had winter. Rumors circulated about the sighting of snow falling around the mid-trail region but we didn’t see any flakes at Voyageur. It was chilly with a high temperature of just 43 degrees and very windy. The main wind speed was between 9-13 miles per hour and gusts were in the 20 mile per hour range all day long. We also received over a half of an inch of rain so all in all it wasn’t a great day to be paddling in the Boundary Waters.  The sun did appear just before it was ready to set tonight and Tony’s brother Justin snapped some beautiful photos of it before it disappeared.

The rest of the week looks like it will be nicer with sunshine and less wind. Tonight the first fire of the season is roaring in my fireplace and Rugby couldn’t be happier.

 

Boundary Waters Sunset

Saganaga Lake Sunset

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photo 3[1]

photo 4[2]

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Posted in BWCA

Heading South or North

A sure sign of fall is when the flocks of geese fly over the Boundary Waters with bills pointed south. Today there were a couple of very large flocks of geese all heading south. Their timing coincides with the departure of the Quetico Park Ranger.

The difference between the geese and Janice the Cache Bay Ranger is she heads north when the weather gets cold.  What does that mean for people wanting to visit the Quetico Park?  People are welcome to visit the Quetico when the Ranger is no longer there but camping fees are purchased on a self-service basis.

Permits to enter the Quetico Park are no longer needed after the Ranger Station closes but overnight camping fees must still be paid.  Payment is by cash only that is deposited into a collection container.  Checks aren’t allowed because by the time payment is retrieved the date is old and the bank won’t accept them.

The good news is the price of the overnight camping fee goes down a little bit.  The rate is $16.50 per adult per night and youth is $6.50 per night and the rates are at par. If you have questions then you can call the Quetico Park directly at 807-597-5019.

Safe travels to all those migrating south or north.

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Enjoying a Sunset on Saganaga

We spent a couple of nights on Saganaga over Labor Day Weekend and Rugby enjoyed a lovely sunset.

Rugby Enjoying a Sunset

BWCA Sunset

Enjoying a Sag Sunset

Boundary Waters Sunset

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Summer in September

A high temperature of 76 degrees today on the Gunflint Trail made it feel like summer. We hardly had any days that warm all summer long. It doesn’t look like we’ll have that warm of a day again for at least a week as temperatures are supposed to cool off after Tuesday and drop into the 40′s.

The leaves are starting to change on the Gunflint Trail and with the days getting shorter and shorter they will only get better.  Fall is a favorite time of the year for folks to paddle in the Boundary Waters. Frequent wildlife sightings, lack of bugs and very few people make it a wonderful time to canoe camp.

We hope you can come paddle with us this September and if you’re lucky then you might just get a summer day in September too.

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Voyageur Brewing Company Progress

Every time I travel into Grand Marais I am pleasantly surprised at the progress being made at Voyageur Brewing Company. Mike has been in town more often than I have recently so he has been able to watch the construction project more closely than I have. It still seems to be going quickly to him too.

One thing is for sure. The brewery in Grand Marais has an awesome view. People eating and drinking inside have two big glass windows to gaze at Lake Superior through. In the warmer months folks will be able to enjoy the view from the roof top.

Until there is fresh brewed beer to enjoy you’ll just have to enjoy these photos in the meantime.

Brewery on Lake Superior

Grand Marais brewery

Grand Marais Brewery

Brewing craft beer in Grand Marais

Posted in News

A Walk in the Woods

Grouse hunting begins next weekend and it’s about the only time of the year I can get my son to go hiking with me. We have seen lots of grouse this year on the Gunflint Trail and it looks like more of the young ones have survived through the summer than usual. In the spring there’s a long line of chicks behind the momma grouse and normally by fall there’s just two or three left.  This year there are families with five or six chicks still hanging out.  We’ll see how many of them make it through the hunting season.

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                              Sept. 4, 2014

Enjoy fall, hunt grouse this year; season opens Sept. 13

Picture yourself walking on a trail through stands of young aspen trees with blazing yellow leaves overhead. The fall air is crisp. Shotgun in hand, you’re enjoying a hike while hunting grouse – Minnesota’s most popular game bird.

Something akin to this scene will soon be reality for the nearly 100,000 grouse hunters in Minnesota. The season for ruffed and spruce grouse runs from Saturday, Sept. 13, until Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015; and for sharp-tailed grouse from Sept. 13 to Sunday, Nov. 30.

“Grouse hunting in Minnesota is some of the best in the nation,” said Ted Dick, forest game bird coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Minnesota has 17 million acres of forest land, much of it public, and an extensive system of nonmotorized hunter walking trails open to grouse hunters. This fall is a great time to get out there and hunt grouse.”

Spring drumming counts were up 34 percent compared to 2013, possibly signaling the start of an upswing in the 10-year grouse cycle that since 2009 has been in the declining phase. However, brood rearing success may have been affected by a cold, wet spring.

“When grouse hunting season starts we will get a better idea how successful grouse were at rearing broods,” Dick said. “So far, we’re hearing optimistic reports.”

Unlike some types of hunting, grouse hunting requires little investment. Hunters need only a blaze-orange hat or vest, a shotgun, a sturdy pair of boots, a valid small-game license and a willingness to walk.

“In a 2011 survey, many hunters indicated that bagging a limit of birds was far less important than getting out in nature and spending time with family and friends,” Dick said. “Yet, grouse make great table fare. They fly fast, making them a challenge to hunt. Despite the challenge, because of their high numbers in this state and grouse hunters’ ability to hunt with friends, family and dogs, they can make for a good introduction to upland bird hunting.”

Grouse tend to be drawn to young forests where trees are less than a few inches in diameter, and they often are found on the edges of younger woods or the edges of trails where they can feed on clover and broad-leafed plants.

There are 528 wildlife management areas in the ruffed grouse range that cover nearly 1 million acres, 43 designated ruffed grouse management areas and 600 miles of hunter walking trails. Search for hunter walking trails online at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/hwt. State forests, two national forests and county forest lands also offer many additional acres of public land for grouse hunting. Find public land on which to hunt by using the DNR’s Recreation Compass at www.mndnr.gov/maps/compass.html.

Grouse hunters usually use 12- or 20-gauge shotguns and No. 7-1/2 target or field loads. The daily limit for ruffed and spruce grouse is five combined, with a possession limit of 10. The daily limit for sharp-tailed grouse is three, with a possession limit of six. For more information on grouse hunting, see www.mndnr.gov/hunting/grouse.

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