Boundary Waters Expo on the Gunflint Trail

Do you have plans for next weekend? Come visit us at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters and plan to spend some time at the Boundary Waters Expo!

BWCA expo

Boundary Waters Expo | June 17-18, 2017

Join us at the third annual Boundary Waters Expo, to be held June 17-18th, 2017 at the Seagull Lake public landing on the Gunflint Trail. This is a family-friendly, hands-on event with fun for everyone. Come enjoy the place that National Geographic has named one of the world’s “50 Places of a Lifetime.” Your Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness adventure starts here! Schedule of Events

The Boundary Waters Expo will feature:

    • Speakers
    • Activities
    • Hands-on demonstrations
    • Breathtaking scenery
    • Campfire storytelling and discussions led by Cliff Jacobson and others.
    • And more! .

The Boundary Waters Expo will occur Saturday, June 17 from 9am-6pm and Sunday, June 18 from 10am-3pm

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Boundary Waters Search Party

What I’m about to tell you is not a joke and it’s all second hand information. If it tastes like a fish and smells like a fish then it is probably fish, at least fishy in this case.

Saturday evening a request was made to help locate a man who had gone missing on nearby Grandpa Lake. Grandpa is just one portage off of Seagull Lake and the man was camping with 5 other men assumed to be in their late 20’s or 30’s. This wasn’t their first time in the BWCA according to one member of the group, it was their 8th trip into the wilderness.

This is their story…

“We were fishing and we let “John” (let’s just call him John, it’s not his actual name), out onto shore to go and take a crap. We waited and waited and after about 20 minutes when he didn’t come back we started yelling for him. We went to shore, started looking around but couldn’t find him anywhere.”

First of all, where they were fishing was super close to the campsite. I don’t know too many people who would rather land their canoe on a rocky shoreline to squat in the woods over going back to their campsite to use the latrine. But that’s their story.

After searching on their own for 4-6 hours two of the men portaged out of Grandpa Lake and started paddling back on Seagull Lake. Here they encountered a USFS person who then used his radio to call the Sheriff’s Department to dispatch Cook County Search and Rescue. I don’t know the exact time but sometime after 9pm.

Don’t ask me who governs what for Search and Rescue. Once upon a time all search and rescue was done through the Sheriff’s office, then we had our own branch on the Gunflint Trail known as Northern Lights Search and Rescue, then it switched again and I thought everyone was part of Cook County Search and Rescue again.

In any event, I don’t think anyone from town responded but members of the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department responded.  They boated to the portage, portaged canoes in and searched the shoreline and shore until after midnight.  The search was called off and volunteers were asked to meet at 9am the next morning.

I’m not sure why 9am was chosen since it starts to get light at 4am these days and our sunrise is around 5:15am.

The next morning, upon hearing about the lost man I assumed foul play. How can someone get lost going into the woods to go to the bathroom with 5 people in canoes waiting for him? It didn’t add up. I immediately thought back to the most recent story of the couple who got rescued by a Black Hawk Helicopter near Ely. I thought the group either killed the man or they wanted to try to get a ride from a Black Hawk.

I have spent numerous nights on Grandpa Lake as it is in our backyard. After 20 plus years of paddling and exploring in this area I have a bit of knowledge.  I suggested someone go back to Gulf Lake and Romance Lake which are small lakes in between our place and Grandpa and Roy Lake.  The man was basically land-locked between these lakes with just a little over a square mile of land.

They did send a boat onto Sag to have people portage into Roy Lake to check out that area. They also searched on Grandpa Lake again and sent up a Beaver aircraft to search as well.  Sometime after noon the float plane spotted some splashing in the water of Romance Lake. It was the man, standing on a rock in the water, splashing to get their attention.  They landed on Romance and picked up the man who had no shirt on but was wearing shorts and flip flops and had a flask of Fireball alcohol with him.

He said at one point he could hear his friends calling for him but then could no longer hear them. He said he spent the night hunkered down covered in moss to prevent bites. He said he had found Roy Lake and Romance Lake but wanted to keep walking around searching for Grandpa Lake. Most likely, upon hearing the plane he decided to get to an open area so he could be spotted.

I told you it was fishy. It doesn’t make any sense to me. Almost everyone knows if you get lost you are supposed to stay put, especially when there is a party of 5 people who are expecting you to return momentarily.

Was it a game of Hide and Seek gone bad?

Did they want a Black Hawk helicopter ride?

Were they all high and drunk?

Was this guy a couple of eggs short of a dozen?

I don’t know the real story but if anyone knows more to the story I sure would appreciate hearing it.

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My Favorite Song

It’s the one Spring Peepers sing!

Posted in wildlife

Take a Kid Fishing at Voyageur

It’s Take a Kid Fishing Weekend and we’d love to see you at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters.

MN DNR Take a Kid Fishing Weekend is June 9-11

During Take a Kid Fishing Weekend Friday, June 9, to Sunday, June 11, anglers in Minnesota can fish without licenses if they take children ages 15 or younger fishing, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

“We encourage adults to get out on the water and introduce a new generation to the fun of fishing,” said Jeff Ledermann, angler recruitment, retention and education supervisor. “Teaching a kid to fish can be as easy as rounding up some basic equipment and casting a line, and we have lots of helpful information on the DNR website for learning about fishing.”

In Minnesota, children ages 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 an adult license.

Minnesota has a strong fishing tradition, but the overall percentage of people who fish is declining mainly due to a smaller percentage of anglers in their 20s, 30s and early 40s.

“Millennials and young adults are interested in the outdoors, and fishing can be a great way to further that interest,” Ledermann said. “Fishing is a way to relax and unwind that doesn’t have to break the bank. It takes you to some incredibly scenic spots on Minnesota’s lakes and rivers where you can get away from the everyday noise.”

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

Minnesota state parks are a great place to spend Take a Kid Fishing Weekend. 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 doesn’t require a trout stamp.

Posted in fishing

Smallest Full Moon

Here’s some information about this month’s full moon from Bruce McClure on

June 9, 2017 brings the farthest full moon – and hence the smallest full moon – of the year. We’ve heard it called the micro-moon or mini-moon. That bright starlike object near tonight’s moon isn’t a true star; it’s the planet Saturn.

This June full moon occurs less than one day after reaching lunar apogee, the moon’s farthest point in its monthly orbit. The near alignment of full moon and lunar apogee team up to give us the farthest and smallest full moon of the year.

One fortnight (or approximately two weeks) before this June 9 micro-moon, it was the closest new moon of the year on May 25, 2017. On that date, the new moon paired up quite closely with perigee, the moon’s nearest point in its monthly orbit. And thus we had the closest new moon – and closest supermoon – of 2017.

The year’s farthest full moon on June 9 lies some 30,000 miles (50,000 km) farther from Earth than did the year’s closest new moon on May 25.

View larger. | At right, the August 29, 2015 supermoon. At left, the March 5, 2015 micro-moon – smallest full moon of that year. Photos by Peter Lowenstein in Mutare, Zimbabwe.

The micro-moon or mini-moon often returns about one month and 18 days later with each passing year, meaning that, in 2018, the year’s smallest full moon will come on July 27.

In 2019, the year’s smallest full moon will fall on September 14; and in 2020, the smallest full moon will occur on October 31. The micro-moon or mini-moon frequently recurs in periods of 14 lunar months (14 returns to full moon), a period of about one year and 48 days.

The crest of the moon’s full phase on June 9, 2017 comes at precisely 13:10 Universal Time.

Although the full moon occurs at the same instant all around the world, our clocks read differently in various time zones. In the United States, the moon turns exactly full on June 9, at 9:10 a.m. EDT, 8:10 a.m. CDT, at 7:10 a.m. MDT and 6:10 a.m. PST.

Image via the US Naval Observatory. Day and night sides of Earth at the instant of the June 2017 full moon (2017 June 9 at 13:10 Universal Time). The shadow line at left depicts sunrise June 9 and the shadow line at right represents sunset June 9.

So in the Americas, the full moon happens during the daylight hours on June 9, when the sun is above our horizon and the moon is below it.

No matter where you live worldwide, look for the moon to appear plenty full on the night of June 9. As with any moon at the vicinity of full moon, it’ll light up the nighttime from early evening until dawn.

In North America, we often call the June full moon the Strawberry Moon; and more generally in the Northern Hemisphere, the June full moon goes by the appellation of Rose Moon or Honey Moon. The terms supermoon or micro-moon aren’t names from folklore (like Strawberry Moon). Those names aren’t bound to a particular month or season.

They’re just a modern terms to describe the year’s largest and smallest (or brightest and faintest) moons.

Fourmilab’s lunar perigee and apogee calculator

Image credit: NASA. The moon's orbit is closer to being a circle than the diagram suggests. The moon is closest to Earth in its orbit at perigee and farthest away at apogee.

Image via NASA

Every month for the next seven lunar months, the full moon will come closer and closer to Earth until the full moon finally coincides with perigee (instead of apogee) on January 2, 2018, to present the closest and largest full moon (plus the closest and largest supermoon) of 2018. Then seven lunar months after the closest and largest full moon supermoon on January 2, 2018, it’ll be the smallest full moon micro-moon all over again on July 27, 2018.

But for now, enjoy the year’s smallest full moon near the planet Saturn on June 9, 2017!!

Bottom line: The micro-moon or mini-moon – smallest full moon of 2017 – comes on June 9. It lies about 30,000 miles (50,000 km) farther away from Earth than does the new moon supermoon of May 25, 2017.

Posted in News


Of course this beaver wouldn’t slap his tail on the water while I was filming but he did entertain me for quite some time.

Posted in wildlife

Hiking the Superior Hiking Trail

I was able to get out and stretch my legs this afternoon on the Superior Hiking Trail. There’s nothing like walking in the woods.  The smell of the forest and the sound of birds and babbling brooks have a way of mesmerizing me.  No matter how short or long it’s always a good idea to take a hike.

hiking the woods

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25 Years Ago Today

Mike and I were married! I always thought we’d take a vacation north to Alaska for our 25th Wedding Anniversary. Turns out Mike had the same thing in mind because we did indeed go north but only to Thunder Bay! Alaska will just have to wait… Here’s hoping for another 25 or 50 years of wedded bliss.

Posted in News

A Little Advice

I am by nature a very sarcastic person. Some people don’t realize when I’m being serious or sarcastic. Today I am being serious about a serious situation. By now most of you have heard about the couple who were “lost” in the BWCA.

According to articles, “The couple got disoriented because they missed a portage and continued on a path they thought would get them back to their car…We kept pushing thinking go a little farther, go a little farther until we got in so deep to the swamp we were stuck.”

Maybe I need to interview the couple or see the exact location where they were found. But in my mind the couple paddled up a creek, couldn’t go any farther so they stayed put in a swamp until they were rescued. Here’s my advice, if you reach a dead end when paddling up a creek then turn around and go back the way you came from.

Another article says, “We had good gear, we had good supplies, compass, maps, preparation, first aid. I’m a nurse, he is an Alaska army vet and an outdoors man, we were experienced,” Scaia said.”

I think there is something missing from their list and if they would have had it then they maybe wouldn’t have found themselves stuck in a swamp. What was the missing item? I don’t want to be mean so I’ll let you come to your own conclusion.

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Posted in BWCA

Good News for Hikers in the BWCA

Martin Kubik is determined to see the 27-mile long Powow Trail open for hiking. The trail travels through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and was damaged during the 2011 Pagami Creek Fire. The trail is near Isabella and while the USFS has attempted to clear it a couple of times the rapid growth and large number of blackened trees that continue to fall across the path are alot to keep up with. Last spring alone Kubik’s volunteers counted more than 5000 fallen trees over the trail.

Keeping a hiking trail open in the wilderness demands a great effort. Martin Kubik has arranged volunteer trips into the wilderness to clear the trail by hand. No power tools are allowed so the work is slow and difficult.  Crews this spring cleared the first 6 miles of the trail and  according to an article written by Dan Kraker for MPR, “Kubik hopes to recruit more volunteers to clear the remaining 21 miles of trail in time for the 40th anniversary of the passage of the wilderness act next summer.”

Here’s wishing him success and plenty of volunteers to get the trail cleared. I look forward to being able to hike it sometime soon.

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Posted in BWCA
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