Winter has turned the Gunflint Trail into a wonderland with our last snowfall. The trees are all heavily laden with snow which just adds to the beauty of it all. For the last week there has been a full moon with clear skies at night. During the day there has been sunshine and blue skies. All of it has sent people out to ski, snowshoe and walk almost any time day or night. Luana Brandt at Nor'Wester Lodge says that everyone wants to walk around just to soak in the beauty of what is out there right now.
Of course, all the snow on the trees makes for a huge job clearing the trails for cross country skiing. Barbara Young at Poplar Creek Guesthouse and Bed and Breakfast told me that Ted was out with a group working on the Banadad Ski Trail. After working for ten hours, they had only cleared 4 miles of the trail. While her other trails are open she estimates that it will be early next week before the Banadad is fully cleared. Bob McCloughan at Bearskin Lodge echoed the fact that his crew has also been working hard to clear trails after the storm. As a result the cross country ski trails on the Gunflint Trail are in excellent condition.
The many fishermen in the area are also having a good time. Sue Ahrendt at Tuscarora Lodge has been watching fisherman ski and snowshoe into Tuscarora Lake where the fishing has been hot. Her husband, Andy, was in last weekend. They landed 8 nice lake trout, returning those extras to the lake for another fisherman to catch. There is no slush on Tuscarora which makes it easy to get around as long as you don't consider the 5-mile trek into the lake. Interestingly, the Ahrendts have also seen several parties going in for some winter camping.
Barb Gecas at Heston's Lodge says that there has been good fishing at the Palisades on Gunflint Lake. Shari Baker from Gunflint Pines also reports that her guests have been having good luck on lake trout. Luana Brandt says that guests have been catching trout all over the mid-Trail lakes.
Those of us on the Gunflint Trail are very proud of Ted Young from Poplar Creek Guesthouse. This last week Ted received the Volunteer of the Year award by the Minnesota Bed and Breakfast Association. It is an award he truly deserves for all his hours of volunteer work.
Teresa Baumann from Golden Eagle Lodge had an interesting story to tell. As you may know the John Beargrease Sled Dog Race passed through the Gunflint Trail these past couple of days. Teresa and her husband, Dan, worked at one of the places where the race crosses the main trail. At about 11:00 p.m. the leader and his team ran by them. Teresa said it was a magical moment of moonlight and quiet as the dogs glided by. All of a sudden they are there and then gone just as quickly