Crazy Dangerous Fun

If all of the other kids are jumping off of a bridge would you do it too? I guess when you’re a teenager who likes adrenaline the answer is “Yes.”  I had never heard of anyone getting injured or killed at this particular site so it must be safe enough, right? “The kids around here jump this all of the time, and I’ve already jumped two times before, it’s fine, just videotape me.”  These days nothing really happens unless there is a record of it so there I stood videotaping my son.  I should have left the recording on longer because the next thing he said was, “Mom, you gonna go now?”

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Some More S’mores Recipes

I like the basic S’mores with my marshmallows toasted not burned. When I get crazy I try using one of those chocolate covered graham cracker cookies but nothing tastes better to me than the basic S’mores.

There are tons of recipes for S’mores and if you’re looking to spice up your S’mores life then Outside Magazine has nine options for you. One of them even uses beer, I think I might have to try that one.

Beer S’mores

Because beer makes everything better. This recipe is courtesy of Anette Righi DeFendi, head chocolatier at Kohler Original Recipe Chocolates. It relies on beer-chocolate frosting for its boozy taste. Make the frosting ahead of time and stuff it in your pack for your next camping trip.


  • 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar (The amount will depend on the chocolate you use. Start with 3/4 cup and add as necessary.)
  • 1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup salted butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup stout beer
  • 2 to 3 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature (Use 55% cocoa or higher, otherwise what are we even doing here?)
  • Graham crackers
  • Toasted marshmallows


  1. Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa together into a small bowl.
  2. Cream butter and stout beer together until incorporated. They won’t fully emulsify, but that’s okay, says Righi DeFendi.
  3. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa mix. Beat on medium to high speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the melted chocolate and beat until smooth and creamy.
  5. Adjust flavor and texture by adding more beer or powdered sugar. It should be schmearable—not too runny but not super thick.
  6. Spread on graham crackers, add toasted marshmallows, and enjoy with a frosty bottle of stout.


Posted in skills

Hungry Like the Wolves

Another tragedy suffered on the Gunflint Trail last week when a cabin owner lost their beloved pet to wolves. His cabin is right on the Trail near Seagull Outfitters where there is still plenty of activity going on.  He got up at 6am to let his dog outside and when he stepped back outside on his deck to check on her he saw movement up on the Trail. It was a pair of wolves and one of them held his dog’s limp body in its mouth.  The wolves saw him and took off across the road and into the woods taking his dog with them.

It’s so sad to hear stories like this. I have always let my pets run around outside and you just don’t think it could happen to you. Especially right on the Gunflint Trail where there is vehicle activity. The bottom line is the wolves are hungry and they will go for an easy meal when they have the opportunity.

There isn’t enough food to sustain the population of wolves that exists on the Gunflint Trail right now.  With the moose population down, the deer population practically non-existent the wolves are having to hunt a larger territory, more often and settle for smaller meals. We’ll all be vigilant with our pets for awhile as this is fresh in our minds but then we’ll get less cautious until tragedy strikes again.

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Posted in Gunflint Trail

Banadad Trail Meeting & Clearing

Have you ever skiied the Banadad Trail on the Gunflint Trail? If not then it surely belongs on your bucket list if you are a fan of wilderness and cross-country skiing.

Banadad on the Gunflint Trail

Banadad Ski Trail

The trail travels through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and is absolutely beautiful. If you’ve thought about helping clear a trail then here’s an opportunity to be helpful.

Banadad Trail Association Annual Meeting and Trail Clearing Day

Banadad Ski Trail Annual Volunteer Trail Clearing
 Last year a major Snow/rain storm hit the Banadad in mid December totally blocking the trail with snow weighted down brush and downed trees. While the Association spent hundreds of hours working to open the trail before the ski season began, we were only able to clear about one-third of the trail.
This year we must not only clear this past summer’s accumulated brush and down trees but much of which remains from last December’s storm. We really need help. Please join us in getting all the Banadad open for skiing this year- Saturday, October 22. Meet at 8:30 at Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B

Cross-country skiing on the Banadad

Banadad on the Gunflint Trail

The annual meeting of the Banadad Trail Association (BTA) will be Friday, October 21, 2016 at the Schaap Community Center on the Gunflint Trail. (Next to the Fire Department, close to the Lima Grade intersection). The meeting will be at 5:30 and will follow with a Potluck Dinner; all are welcome.

The Banadad annual volunteer Trail Clearing Event will be Saturday, October 22, 2016 beginning at 9 a.m.; Meet at Boundary Country Trekking/Poplar Creek B&B at 8:30 a.m. for tools and instructions.

The purpose of the BTA is to maintain and enhance the Banadad Ski Trails, preserve the history of the forest and the trail and promote appreciation and care of the BWCA wilderness. The BTA is a volunteer organization open to all who share these goals.

Questions contact:
Andy Jenks,
Banadad Trail Association or call 218-388-4487

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100 Years of National Parks

cotopaxi_national_parks_x2_v04 copyWe’re a month late in celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service. The actual date was on August 25, 2016 but it’s a year long celebration, “of stewardship of America’s national parks and engaging communities through recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs.”

I haven’t been to a National Park for awhile but I almost went to Michigan’s Isle Royale this summer. I always knew a person has to plan ahead for a trip out there and that’s why I was surprised when I phoned the lodge this summer and they had a vacancy when I wanted to go.  I was super excited until I called the boating companies that leave from Grand Portage.  There was room on the boat to go out to the island but not for the return trip on the day when I needed to be back. I wonder if many people find themselves “stranded” on the island without room on the boats to return? I wouldn’t mind being stranded on that island.

Here’s a couple of National Park infographics from Cotopaxi.  Check out their company, they are “a new outdoor company that funds sustainable poverty alleviation, moves people to do good, and inspires adventure through innovative outdoor products and experiences. Our unique business model enables our grantmaking in developing countries and represents a commitment to sustainable product design and charitable giving.”

National Parks

National Parks


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Oktoberfest at Voyageur Brewing Company

If PosterOktoberfest copythe fall colors aren’t enough to entice you to come for a visit then how about an Oktoberfest Celebration at Voyageur Brewing Company? Grab your friends, put on your best German Duds and come up for some Oktoberfest Fun. The weekend will be filled with German music, food, games and of course our beer all weekend long.  We have lodging available at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters and we’d love to have you stay with us.

Voyageur Brewing Company in partnership with the Cook County Community Fund Presents Oktoberfest, September 29-October 2nd.

 The times listed are approximate and may be adjusted throughout the day.

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Thursday, September 29th

4:30pm          Tapping of Oktoberfest Beer

5:30pm          Pretzel Toss(teams of 2)

6:30pm          Weiner Toss(teams of 2)

7:30pm          Stein Hold(individual)

8:30pm          Blind Beer Competition(individual)

Friday, September 30th

5:30pm          Pretzel Toss(teams of 2)

7:00pm          Weiner Toss(teams of 2)

8:00pm          Stein Hold(individual)

Saturday, October 1st

12:30pm        Stein Hold(individual) & Relay(teams of 2)

1:30pm          Chicken Dance Off

2:30pm          Pretzel Toss

3:30pm          Weiner Toss

4:30pm          Best Dressed Dog outdoor patio

5:30pm          Weiner Eating Contest

6:30pm          Stein Hold(individual) & Relay(teams of 2)

7:30pm          Chicken Dance Off

8:00pm          Hammerschlagen

Sunday, October 2nd

 12:30pm        Stein Hold(individual) & Relay(teams of 2)

1:30pm          Chicken Dance Off

2:30pm          Pretzel Toss

3:30pm          Weiner Toss

4:30pm          Hammerschlagen


Music Schedule-

Thursday       6-9pm              Richie Yurkovich Polkarioty

Friday             12pm-4pm    Richie Yurkovich Polkarioty

Friday-            4-7:00 pm      Timmy Haus

Saturday-       4-7:00 pm      Music by Billy Johnson

Saturday-       7-10:00pm    Music by Harbor Side Hook-Up


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Posted in voyageur brewery

Former Seagull Outfitters Owner Passes

Roger Hahn and his wife Debbie owned Seagull Outfitters when Mike and I first moved to the Gunflint Trail in 1993.  When I first saw him I thought he was dressed for town or going somewhere special. I soon realized he always dressed impeccably, with a preference toward polo shirts and nice dress shorts.  I have no clue how he managed to keep neat and clean as a canoe outfitter but somehow he always looked good. He was a kind and friendly man whose life ended too soon. May he rest in peace.

Roger-Hahn-ObituaryRoger Allen Hahn was born March 17, 1955, in Shakopee, Minnesota to Eugene and Lorna Chapman-Hahn. He passed away at his home in Mountain Center, Ca. on August 10, 2016. Roger graduated High School in Shakopee,MN. and went on to earn a degree from University of Minnesota at Morris. After College he spent time doing counseling at youth camps in Mn. and WI. and later would own a canoe outfitting business at Seagull Lake on the Gunflint Trail. Roger moved to Southern California in 2002 where he met is wife and soulmate Annalisa. They quickly made their home on 2.5 arces flanked by the Santa Rosa and San Bernardino National Forrest. He was in his element surrounded by wildlife and numerous hiking and bike trails. He was embraced by Annalisa’s large family and spend many weekends showing his “New Nephew” Ross everything he could about the joys and pleasure of life, including camping, fishing, rollerblading and being a gentleman. He became and instant son and brother to Annalisa’s Parents Ruben and Irene and brother Lionel and sister Rubena. Roger and Annalisa opened a successful Antique Store and Website Called the Antique Hunter. This venture gave Roger great joy as it allowed him to fulfill one of his passion for picking and meeting people. He pursued his other passions of writing and photography and wrote for local paper as well as several on-online publications. He and Annalisa spent 13 wonderful years crossing off “bucket List” items such to Montana to fly fish as many rivers as possible. Roger is survived by his wife and soulmate Annalisa Hahn, brother Terry(Kathy) and 4 nephews and 10 great nieces and newphews: At the time of his passing Roger was pursuing his Ultimate bucket list item: writing a novel. Services and Interment for Roger will take place in Shakopee,MN. In The Care of McNeary Funeral Home 1220 3rd Avenue East Shakopee ,MN. 55379. Interment will be at Valley Cemetery in Shakopee.

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A Year in the Boundary Waters Ends

They’re Back! Dave and Amy Freeman completed their 365 days in the wilderness and have returned to the “real world.” Is it the real world?  They now question which is which. I can’t imagine coming back from 365 days in the Boundary Waters. I didn’t paddle out to greet them but I did give Amy a big welcome back hug.

Their festive return party took place at beautiful River Point on the Kawishiwi near Ely, Minnesota. People paddled out in canoes to greet them and welcomed them ashore as they completed their year long trip in the BWCA. What a year to remember for them.  Read More.

Boundary Waters

Freeman’s Return from Year in the BWCA


From Dave Freeman-

This morning we packed up camp for the last time and loaded the canoe. In a few hours we will exit the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and re-enter as some call it “the real world.” I would like to set the record straight on this concept. It is the other way around. We are re-entering a civilized world, a fast-paced world filled with cars, cell phones, air planes and indoor plumbing. But don’t for one second think that is what’s real. We are leaving the real world for a little while– the world where Mother Nature rules, where wolf packs roam freely, where wild rice grows, where mosquitos hatch, where loon chicks ride on their parents’ backs, where the sun rises and sets over the forest and lakes that are untrammeled– where no sign of this civilized world exists (except for latrines and fire grates). Your actions, support and steady resolve to protect the Boundary Waters have made us laugh and cry; we are humbled by the thousands of actions you have taken to help protect this very special place. We leave the Wilderness, after 367 days, confident that if we all continue speaking loudly for this quiet place our goal of permanently protecting the Boundary Waters from sulfide-ore copper mining will be achieved.

There is still a lot of work to do. Please keep the wilderness in your hearts, minds and voices no matter where your path takes you.
Learn more, sign the petition and take action today at (link in bio)! #wilderness #savetheBWCA #BoundaryWaters #BWCA #canoe #ourwild

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Posted in BWCA

Fond du Lac Band Holds Moose Hunt

The Minnesota DNR can object but they can’t do anything about the Fond du Lac Band hunting moose this year. They have special Treaty rights that allow them to do a number of things in their ceded territory. Moose numbers have plummeted but their hunt will go on.

Read More Here

Posted in Gunflint Trail

Quetico Shoeless Man Strikes Again

Remember the man they found wandering the Quetico Park last year without shoes on? This year he was seen in the Boundary Waters with a fawn. Apparently he planned to eat it but he was too full.  Then he decided to keep it as a pet but after it became weak he decided to just leave it.

Aaron King, 27 is homeless and lives in and around Ely, MN.  I’m guessing a stay in jail might be a nice treat for him.

See the full article.

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Posted in BWCA
  • Chilly nights have been giving way to some beautiful foggy mornings in the BWCA, the forcast calls for high 60's...

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