Mining Near the BWCA

A recent email from Mining Truth had the following to say about the proposed mine. I’d like to know the truth.

For years, PolyMet has claimed their proposed sulfide mine could never pollute the Boundary Waters. But the U.S. Geological Survey, tribal scientists, independent experts, and a story in the Ely Timberjay have called PolyMet’s rosy predictions into question.

PolyMet’s plan is built on computer models that predict where polluted seepage would travel. However, computer models are only as reliable as the data going in – and the data used was not accurate.

PolyMet’s models use bad data and as a result make false assumptions. The model showed a computer simulation that actually makes water flow uphill, away from the Boundary Waters. These models also understate destruction of wetlands and polluted water flowing into the St. Louis River.

Ask Governor Dayton to require that independent scientists verify pollution predictions in the PolyMet plan.

To make matters worse, the computer models were run by Barr Engineering, a contractor paid by PolyMet. This conflict of interest could be forgiven if someone was checking their work – but they are not. No government agency working on this new mine has run the computer models used in the PolyMet study. This is clearly and legally unacceptable.

Governor Dayton says his decision on PolyMet is the “most momentous” decision he will make as Governor. But he can’t make that decision on behalf of Minnesotans without science that accurately predicts where PolyMet’s pollution would go.

Ask Governor Dayton to get accurate, independent data before making a decision that could contaminate Minnesota’s water for hundreds of years.

Sincerely,

Paul Austin            
Conservation Minnesota

 Paul Danicic    
Friends of the Boundary
Waters Wilderness

Scott Strand        
Minnesota Center for
Environmental Advocacy

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Posted in environment

Summer Weather Again

If you’re looking for a place to enjoy the last days of summer then come on up to Voyageur. The forecast calls for temperatures into the 80′s again this week. The water is refreshingly cold, the fish are biting, bugs are basically non-existent and as always it’s a great place to relax and get-away from it all.

Get away from it all in the BWCA

Family time in the Boundary Waters

Posted in News

Dwindling Days

The days of summer are dwindling. Daylight hours are dwindling. Our summer crew is dwindling.  These are dwindling days.

A big THANK YOU to our entire Voyageur Crew 2015 for a fantastic summer.  Best of luck in all you do and may you frequently choose the path that leads you back to Voyageur.

Boundary Waters Crew

Voyageur Canoe Outfitters Crew

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Posted in News

Father Son Canadian Kayak Trip

There aren’t too many things more memorable than a father son trip. This duo made memories while on a wilderness kayak trip into Northern Light Lake in Canada.  It’s just one portage out of Saganaga Lake and the perfect destination for kayaking.  Great fishing, beautiful scenery, and pictographs were just a few of the highlights of their trip with Voyageur Canoe Outfitters.  Thanks for sharing the photos with us!

Gunflint Trail

Kayak Trip to Northern Light Lake

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Posted in paddling adventures

Northern Lights- Just Another Reason to Visit the Gunflint Trail

In spite of an almost full moon the northern lights put on a show for those lucky sky watchers last night. Our Voyageur Crew was outside enjoying a campfire when the show began.

Bursts of intense color lit up the sky and danced among the stars. Oh how lucky we are to live in a place with a dark sky.

If you want a chance to see the dance of the aurora borealis then you are in luck. We have a cabin open and waiting for you and because it’s already Thursday, it’s half-off the normal price. Call today, rent a cabin for the weekend and we’ll see you tomorrow!

Aurora Borealis Minnesota

Northern Lights

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Posted in BWCA

72 Degrees and Sunny

Today we welcomed back the sunshine. It had been absent the past few days and we were missing it. It was a beautiful blue sky day that has a way of making everything feel right.

Everything except for the water temperature that is. The rain and cooler temperatures have made the water cool off a bit. Instead of the balmy 72 degree surface temperature it’s more like 62 degrees. It’s still warm enough for swimming but the chill stays with you a little while longer after you leave the water. I like to swim in the river but I must admit I’m not a big fan of cold water. I hope for sunshine and warm temperatures to keep the water temperature in the 60′s for as long as possible.

I also just hope for sunshine and warm temperatures in general. I’m not ready to wear sweatshirts and long pants yet. My daughter on the other hand embraces the cooler temperatures as was evident at a football scrimmage the other day.

Neither of us checked the weather before we left home. I chose to wear a tank top with shorts and a pair of sandals. She wore a sweatshirt, long pants and her mukluks. We were quite the pair and quite the opposite.  The temperature was in the 60′s so we were both pretty comfortable sitting in the sunshine each wearing the clothing we hoped the weather would reflect.

Posted in News

Sharing is Nice, But Not When it’s My Campsite

If you are out in the Boundary Waters and can’t find a campsite then please don’t ask me if you can camp at my site with me. I’m sorry but I really don’t want to share. If I tell you, “No thank you, I prefer not.” then you had better start paddling away unless you’ve got a really good reason why you must stay at my site.

There are exceptions to this I am sure, I just can’t think of any right now. Maybe if you are lost or it’s storming out or a forest fire went through your campsite it would be ok, but then again, maybe not.

Campsites in the BWCA or the Superior National Forest really aren’t meant for sharing. As far as I know there’s no rule stating you have to share your campsite. In fact, you can camp pretty much anywhere in the SNF and it doesn’t need to be at a campsite.

Campsites are nice. They usually have a flat spot for your tent, a fire grate, a latrine and good access to the water. There are hiking trails in the BWCA and some of the tent sites are located on water where canoeists might end up camping. This is unfortunate when it happens and someone hiking has planned on camping there.

Boundary Waters maps made by Fisher Maps distinguish between a hiking campsite and a regular campsite. The hiking campsites are marked on the map with a triangle while the paddling campsites have a circle/dot.  If your group is paddling and takes a hiking campsite and a hiker comes along then it’s time for you to pack up if the hiker wants that site. It’s much easier to paddle across the lake than it is to hike another 3-5 miles and it was your mistake camping there in the first place.

What if another hiker comes along and wants to share your campsite? Some people might want to share but please refer to the title of my post. And if the person doesn’t want to share then please be on your way.  I wouldn’t be comfortable with someone else at my campsite.  It would ruin my time in the wilderness and I think it’s somewhat creepy. It’s an invasion of privacy and it would be uncomfortable sharing a latrine with someone else or even swimming with them around.  I would worry at night and I wouldn’t sleep good.

Some of you might have stories about a time when you shared a campsite or got asked to share your campsite. I’d like to hear about your experience and your opinion about sharing a campsite since you obviously know mine if you’re still reading this post:) Thanks for sharing, pun intended.

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Posted in BWCA

Cook County Minnesota Far From Ugly

A recent “study” of the most beautiful and the ugliest counties places Cook County Minnesota at 310 out of 3111. It places Ventura County in California at #1 and Red Lake County of Minnesota dead last. A Minnesota County that is uglier than every other county in the USA? I don’t think so.

According to the USDA beautiful counties are ones that have mild winters so that explains why most of the midwest is considered ugly by their standards. “The index combines “six measures of climate, topography and water area that reflect environmental qualities most people prefer(mild, sunny winters, temperate summers, low humidity, topographic variation and access to a body of water).

I wonder where green space or recreation fit into the equation? Or population density or ugly concrete jungles?  It’s difficult to be too angry because the criterion is ludicrous.  Obviously they don’t think a place with a cold winter can be beautiful.

The good news is with studies like this people should stay away from so-called ugly counties and leave it for the rest of the people to enjoy.  Beautiful to me is more about finding places to recreate in the great outdoors, catch fish, hike trails, paddle a canoe and enjoy solitude.  Sounds like the BWCA and Cook County Minnesota. It might not be beautiful to everyone but it certainly is to me.

 

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Posted in BWCA

Kind Words From Guests

This is why we love what we do at Voyageur.

We just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone we came into contact with at Voyageurs and especially Jay, thank you Jay.  Neither of us have used outfitters before and had no idea what to expect. We arrived late after business hours, it was dark and we weren’t sure what we were doing, earlier in the day however we placed a call to check in and told them we would be late.

When we arrived, our bunkhouse had a placard with our name on it that said welcome, when we stepped inside it was very clean, and the staff had placed our sleeping bags inside for us. All we had to do after our long journey to Voyageurs was to slide inside of our bags and fall asleep.

In the morning we a wonderful breakfast before checking in at the counter, then Jay took us to processing where he explained AND asked questions to ensure that we knew what the plan was, what to expect of our time and the equipment they provided us. He was gracious and informative in giving us detailed information on different campsites throughout the area, and he was spot on.

We got to the dock where our equipment and canoe was waiting for us and hopped in and paddled away. We couldn’t have enjoyed our trip any more than we did; breathtaking, incredible, moving and surreal are only a few words we can think of to describe our experience in the boundary waters and with Voyageurs.

Upon our arrival back at Voyageurs at the unfortunate end of our trip our car was waiting at the dock for us, we gathered our things and said goodbye and thank you and were on our way home only too soon.

Thank you so very much for a really unbelievable experience, we couldn’t have asked for anything more and Voyageurs has secured a special place in our memories.

BWCA canoe trip

Happy Campers with Voyageur Canoe Outfitters

island sunset

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really happy campers

snuggling at sunlight

Tracy Charpentier and Shira Granotethis is the life

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Posted in BWCA

Fall Colors in August

A drive on the Gunflint Trail looks more like a September day than an August day. The leaves are already changing thanks to a long dry spell.  Yellow leaves, rust colored ferns, deep crimson blueberry bushes and a few reds mix in with the predominantly green landscape.

Fall is coming and today was the first game of the season for the Cook County Vikings in Grand Marais. Mike is an assistant coach and as a freshman in a small school Josh is on Varsity. It was warm and sunny today and the first time in my history I have ever been sunburned watching football. We are more accustomed to snow flurries during football games up here.

The water in the lakes are beginning to cool off. I’m not ready to quit swimming this soon so I may have to get my wetsuit out sooner rather than later.

The forecast calls for warm temperatures this coming week and that is fine with me. I’ll hang onto summer as long as I can.

Posted in News

Follow @bwcabloglady on twitter.


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