Friday, August 31, 2007

Fleeting summer

Change is in the air…these end-of-August days are absolutely golden. They’re bittersweet, and I want to hold on to them. Most of the staff members have returned to school. Andy says the place is full of ghosts this time of year------those of us left at the crew cabin table linger a little bit longer with our tea and cheesecake...

Those who plan their autumn canoe trips know the secret of the woods in the fall---fewer people and bugs…happy people, big winners! They’re on to the possibiltiy of golden canoe trips into October.

The resident pack of wolves are moving in close and we see them often. I’m honored, but wish they were a little more alarmed by our presence here---I saw one of the pups the other day. I stopped while the lanky healthy guy trotted around my car, his mother trotted around after him. Neither one changed posture when I rolled down my window, hoping my scent would startle them even though the car didn’t. As tough as Denali appears, she will bristle and bark when we pass by an area they must have just glided through---but she trots back to me—I must be the alpha female in our pack of two.

The kids are excited to return to school as they savor their last moments of freedom. As much as I love fall, I hate to see everybody go. There is a relaxed busy-ness to our days as we start to wrap up—I feel excitement mixed with an ache for the people of summer---unsettling feelings wake me up early. At dawn the other morning I was hustling over to the office to catch up---when the calm lake called me out for a brief paddle. I wish I could bottle up these stunning days and offer them to everyone I know

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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Happy Campers

Jack Randall's group trekked from Austin Texas to complete a BWCA adventure last week.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Fire Restrictions

We're sorry to report, due to lack of rain in July, full fire restrictions are in effect. According to the USFS, you cannot have a campfire at any time. Our weather has been beautiful, sunny, in the 70's. Great for everything up here---the bug cycles are finishing--everybody is happy. We'd be even happier with some gentle evening showers for about a week.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Dragon Boat Races

Last Saturday the Grand Marais Harbor park filled up with teams and spectators in a rainbow of different tshirts---our (Hungry Jack Outfitter sponsored) team wore lime green. All proceeds went to local causes---the Hospital, North House Folk School, WTIP Radio. This was my first time on a Dragon Boat Team—didn’t really think it could hurt so much to pull that boat across the harbor—so I was pleasantly surprised. Lisa set the heartbeat on the drum up front, Dave hollered commands as he steered the boat, the rest of us pulled in unison. Truly a rush of synergy. (Note, most of the photos are of the kids races--I had the honor of riding without being allowed to paddle--there is no time for photos when I'm supposed to be reaching and pulling!).
For me the day was joyfully over-stimulated. Keeping track of the races, the kids, unexpected faces popping out of the crowd---left me wanting more time with each. My summers feel like they have the same sense of busy happy hectic ness. People come and go, I want more time , and always there is somewhere else I need to be. I watch my children leaping off the dock—I plan to get down there, turn around and they’re riding away on bicycles. The guests---many becoming dear friends, are gone in a flash… I’m living a slideshow existence of photo moments.
When I have time to reflect---to pull out the snapshots of my days---it’s late September.. A friend sent me a poignant “take time to smell the flowers” poem. So true, but not on the 2nd of August. We do have balance here, just not a daily balance. There are some days in the winter when the woods are empty. The trick is always to savor the moments as they come, savor the busy hectic ness, savor the dark quietness. Both have their season.

Weather: has been warm, clear, windy, dry. Beginning August 3rd, there is a fire ban in the woods.