Monday, June 28, 2010

Two Thumbs Up--to the Northridge Middle Schoolers

If you're from Middlebury checking up on your kids --we welcomed them in good spirits about 9pm last night.

They completed orientations last night--and headed out in calm waters and sunshine this morning.

All is well--it looks as though it is going to be a great week.

The only snag....Jamison lost his sunglasses. He visited the lost and found this morning. No worries--but it looks as though he's going to need those this week!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What kind of guy takes his group on the Grand Portage?

Maybe the same kind of guy that drops out of college to join the circus? That would be our friend John Lorenzen. (After the circus part came the law school part---but I like the circus story infinitely better). Here are three Lorenzen men paddling the path of the Voyageurs....sort of. John did throw in a few detours ... the kind of guy who decides he's going to start in Loon Lake and portage to Mayhew...and then Partridge---it was a conglomeration of permits and unique portaging opportunities.

John's guys came to conquer the Grand Portage last year, but they were not successful. It's not that the Grand Portage that skunked them, it was actually the anticipation of this 8.5 mile trek. Isn't that the way life works sometimes? At any rate, I believe it was more important for John to have consensus in the group than to conquer their original goal.But--
THIS year, everyone on the trip had a unified mission. And last Thursday they did it---all 8.5 miles from Fort Charlotte to Lake Superior!

They had many tales--of moose in the Pigeon River, of beautiful bluffs, of weather, of challenges.

What is a life without stories to tell?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

One More Father's DayTribute

Dr Mark Wheeler was diagnosed with ALS in May…and former staff member Becca sent a note about her dad last night.

……I was on a remote mountain in Montana during this and tried to get home as fast as one could given the circumstances. At 9am this morning I was flying over the Mission Mountains thinking about him which is about the time he took his last breath. He died peacefully which we are all very thankful for. And he was wearing his favorite Tuscarora tshirt.

We’re grateful to Mark for raising such a strong and competent daughter. As we grieve for the entire Wheeler family, we’re taking an extra moment to savor our lives and our surroundings…and the people we love.

Our hearts go out to you Becca and your family today….we’re all sending our wishes for comfort and visions of still waters. We love you.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Thanks Dad

Happy Father's Day to the dads out there---a few of us wanted to pass on tributes to our dads.

My Dad brought me to the Boundary Waters for the first time 7 summers ago. I was 15 and very excited for my first trip. We went in at EP 16 down the Moose River to Lac La Croix. I fell in love with these woods and waters. On one of the nights we spent on Lac La Croix, my Dad, Mom, brothers and I all laid out on a huge island of rock, listened to the loons callings, and watched the green sheen of the Northern Lights dance above us. Thank you Daddy for introducing me to the BWCA! I love you! (He also made me my bread making reflector oven and my Little Red Canoe!) -Lindsay

I began coming to the Boundary Waters and Tuscarora before I even remember. Pictures and stories fill in those memories for me, for example, the photo of my brother, sister and I. In this photo my cheek is swollen and puffy and has made my smile lopsided. I have been told that I had tripped and caught a tent stake right in my cheek, just like a fish being hooked.

One story that I DO remember is when my family and I were on a trip and we were fishing below some rapids. A fish had just sawed of my dad’s line and suddenly I had a fish. It was a really big one and putting up a mean fight. Through my dad’s coaching and our family friend F.X.’s superior netting skill, I managed to land a 20 pound northern. This fish was huge! I wasn’t the tallest ninth grader around, and the length of the fish almost came up to my shoulder. That is one of my fondest fishing memories and most likely the most exciting. Still today, I like to brag about my big catch.

My dad has taught me quite a bit on our trips to the Boundary Waters. He has taught me how to fish, how to read a map, how to pack for a canoe trip, and many other things, but more importantly he has taught me how to be responsible and smart while being in the wilderness. I probably haven’t realized all the things my dad has taught me yet, but hopefully one day I will. Thanks Dad, I really appreciate it. Kelley
Happy Father’s Day to the best fishing partner I’ve ever had! -Maggie

My father showed me nature and guided my path to becoming hard working, loving individual. Dad, thanks for believing in me and teaching me to do what I love as long as it makes me happy. My life has been filled with love and happiness since the day I was born and I own that to you and mom. Can’t wait to see you! Happy Fathers day! p.s. your gift is my fishing license…so we can go out when you come! Love you! Cassandra

Happy Father’s Day

"Walrus!!" Dad, I'm glad I get to give you a reason to return to the land of "espressso" and the wonderful Northwoods! See you in a couple of weeks!

Love you, Kate

Here I am clinging to this cliff 5 feet from the top. There you are 70 feet below holding the other end of my lifeline clipped into my harness. “Dad, I don’t think I can do this. Dad, my arms are sore. Dad I’m falling” But you coach me. You encourage me to keep going; push me to the top. Thank you Dad, for being the anchor of my life, the knot that catches me when I fall. I love you. Shelby

My dad will always find time to do something with me. Even during the busiest time of the summer. He’ll throw a frisbee, or paddle me around as I learn to fly fish. Thanks for making the memories. Daniel.

When I was a kid sometimes distracted, preoccupied- I remember one of my brothers asked why I was staring into the air. I was flustered; maybe something was wrong with me? My dad said “She’s thinking important thoughts.” Once in college my grandpa asked me what use that math class would ever be to me I paused, I didn't...really know.. My dad answered “So she can get wherever she wants to go.”

My dad’s vision of me has long become my default image of myself. And now I see him building the same images for my children. That's an amazing gift. Thanks Dad. --Sue

My dad is a great man. He was born in a different time and has lived many experiences. The world has changed a lot during his lifetime. He served his family and his country and worked hard to understand and serve his brothers and sisters. He is very generous and has always been there for us; whether in his time, skills, gifts and lots of patience. He is a good teacher and taught me hard work, determination and doing the right thing. I love my dad. He is a great man. As this father’s day approaches, I am proud to be his son. -Andy

How to start a Father’s Day dedication, Gunflint Trail style….

Without my dad, I would not be here. Hmmm. That’s a little obvious, isn’t it? Okay, trying again…

Dad, despite the distance that has separated us for most of my adult life, your presence is in my consciousness has never diminished. From first excursions into the wilderness, to later lessons on keeping one’s head above water in the wilderness of decisions when you have lost your map and yoru compass and your shoes are wet and you are alone and all you want to do is give up and sit down on a rock and cry…yours is a reason I have always been able to trust. And it has helped me learn how to trust my own. Thank you. With love, Zach.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lady Slippers

by staffer Jen

Sue gave me the job of researching our state flower, the Pink Lady Slipper, to go along the with cluster that can now be found on the trail out at BA point on Round Lake, as well as other various locations in Superior National Forest. The little botanist in me started to come out as I began to research what was so special about the Lady slipper. As I look over my notes, I find a strong appreciation and pride for this flower. It is only found in pine forests/deciduous woods and it will not survive if transplanted. It cannot be uprooted and moved to someone backyard (for reasons I will discuss below), which for some reason is nice to know that humans have to leave some things in nature just be as they are.

Here are some facts I found out about this wonderful treasure we have:

· Known as Stemless Lady Slipper/Moccasin Flower/Pink Lady Slipper

· Cypripedium acaule is the scientific name

· Member of the orchid family

· Blooms in late spring/summer

· Lives up to 20+ years

· Found in central and east Canada and north central and NE United States

· Once used as a medicinal plant as a remedy for nervousness, tooth pain & muscle pain

· Fungal mycelium found in soil in forested areas is required for growth, which is why the survival rate is unsuccessful when the flower is transplanted from its home.

· Bees pollinate it by becoming trapped in the pouch, the pink puffy thing, which when they exit the pouch they pass by the stigma that leaves the bee covered with a load of fresh pollen as they exit the pouch.

So, that is what I found out about our unique state flower. I would like to thank the Forest Service and the Medicinal Plant Working Group as my two sources for this information. Hope to see you around on your next hike.

Sue's note: Find out more about the Lady slipper at 3pm on June 24th at The Amazing Orchids of Northern Minnesota ranger talk at our neighborhood Chik Wauk Museum on the Gunflint Trail, or at 7pm in Grand Marais at the Municipal Campground. All part of the Boundary Waters Family Seminars offered every Thursday this summer.