Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Getting Closer!

Round Lake from our beach this morning

To answer the question on everyone's mind, yes we still have ice on Round Lake.  However, spring is happening in fast forward all along the Gunflint so we are getting closer!  Last weekend was pretty chilly again.  Nights were below freezing and grey skies shed a wintery mix on us during the day.  It felt like we spring had stalled for a while there.

We opened our gates for the outfitting season on May 1st, technically speaking, even though it didn't feel like summer yet.  We have been juggling jobs based on what the weather is doing.  We are trying to get some raking in.  It is a little strange to be raking around the slow melting snow plow piles but at least we are outside.   We are doing some spring cleaning inside as well and getting the suburbans tuned up.  Summer staff is starting to arrive which gets everyone excited.  With more hands around, we started to pull out the Kevlar canoes from winter storage.  A sure sign of spring if ever there was one!

Taking the Kevlar canoes out of dining hall

Shuffling the canoes from the dining hall to the canoe yard

We drove up to the End of Trail campground to check things out on Sunday afternoon.  The creeks and ditches along the side of the road which were full and overflowing two weeks before have slowed down some to a more normal spring level.  The smaller beaver pond ice is starting to turn black and break up into chunks which is a good sign.  The rapids into Gull Lake were flowing fast and strong.  Seagull Lake and Saganaga Lake are still frozen but there are some good sized holes and fissures showing up.  It is definitely at the point where it is a little sketchy to be walking on it.

Gull Lake rapids

On Monday, the staff couldn't resist the urge to paddle on Cross River just down the drive way.  We put in along side the road right above the rapids and paddled towards the portage toward Ham Lake.  The portage was still covered in a layer of snow so we didn't get to far, but at least it was a paddle!  The Cross River dock is still surrounded by ice flows, but the waterfowl are enjoying the open parts.

Paddling on Cross River

Skirting the edges of the ice

Just making sure you can't paddle through the ice...

Cross River rapids by Round Lake Road

Yesterday we ran to Duluth to get some summer supplies.  All the small rivers were flowing fast and rock cuts along the road were covered in ephemeral water falls.  We couldn't resist a stop at Gooseberry State Park to take a look at the falls!  Along the way back we spotted 137 deer, 3 fox, 1 bobcat and a wolf all on the side of the road!  For those of you planning on traveling up Highway 61, please be careful!

Gooseberry State Park
This week has been warm, sunny and just beautiful!  We still can't tell you for certain when the ice will be out.  The larger lakes like Saganaga will take longer than Round Lake to clear.  We are still thinking we will have ice for fishing opener on May 11th.  The following week we have high hopes for however!  For those of you with early trips, keep checking in.  Don't worry, when the ice goes out, we will be posting on everything from the blog to Facebook.  We are just as impatient and excited as all of you!  Rachel

Round Lake this morning

Round Lake this morning

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