Sunday, April 29, 2007

Ice on Small to Mid Size Lakes on the Gunflint is Out

It is official now the ice on mid size lake along the trail is now out- Poplar Lake was ice free on Thursday April 26. Swamper, Iron Road and the other smaller lakes ice was out earlier in the week. According to Shari Baker at Gunflint Pines Resort, the ice on Gunflint Lake should be out by days end or tomorrow.

Editors Note: In an earlier post I stated that it appeared that this year's ice out on Poplar might be the earliest in my memory. I was total wrong in 2005 and 06 the ice went out in Poplar on April 18th. And I believe there has been a couple of years prior to the last two years when the ice went out before this years date. Sorry about my error; short term memory loss I guess.

However this certainly does not diminish the fact that over the past twenty or so years it appears the average annual ice out date is much earlier. Global warming! Climate Change! Somethings going on with our climate. I agree with the vast majority of the world's scientific community that this change is man made and that we all need to start addressing this issue now.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Poplar Creeks Barbara Young Elected VP to State B&B Association

New Ulm was the host city to this year's Minnesota Bed and Breakfasts Association's annual meeting - held April 22 -April 25. According to Suzanne Tweten, President of the Association, "the city treated us royally, the city was a great venue and what entertainment! The welcoming address by New Ulm Mayor Joel Albrecht was the first time we have ever been greeted by a town mayor at any of our conferences. The hospitality New Ulm showed us was truly outstanding."

This year's conference was attended by 84 bed and breakfasts hosts and venders representing 42 bed and breakfasts from throughout Minnesota. The industry venders came from throughout the country. Among the new initiates announced at the conference was a planned collaborative birding program with the Minnesota Office of Tourism. Conference attendees also agreed to continue their partnerships with other associations and groups including Renewing the Countryside through their Green Routes program and the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota.

New Officers elected were:
Vice President (president elect), Barbara Young- Poplar Creek Guesthouse
Treasurer, Gary Sonnenberg - Auf Deutsch Strasse
Secretary, Deb Middelstadt- Heritage House Bed and BreakfastRegional Representatives Elected to the Board were:
Arrowhead: Alan Fink -Mathew S. Burrows
Mary Grover - Solglimt on the Water
Heartland: Florian Ledermann - Cedar Rose Inn
Jill Ward-Pillar Inn
Metro: Debbie Wallace -Ticknor Hill
Lindsey Lein -Bluff Creek
Southern: Zig Gudrais- Candlelight Inn
Shannon McKeeth- Bingham Hall

Suzanne Tweten from Log House & Homestead on Spirit Lake, will continue as president, fulfilling her term of office until April of 2009.

Click-on New Ulm Journal, to see their article on the conference. "Hospitality abounds at Bed and Breakfast conference."

Friday, April 20, 2007

Lake Ice and Snow in the Woods

Editors Note- In case you were wondering why nothing has been post for the past several days I have been in California visiting my son and attending a national cross country ski conference for the past two weeks. While I have returned to the Gunflint for a few days I now am leaving for a Sustainable Tourism Conference in Minneapolis and a State B&B conference in New Ulm and will return to the Gunflint on April 28.

While there was plenty of snow in the California mountains and the skiing was nice, it is certainly great to return to the Nordic heartland- the Gunflint Trail. The snow on the Gunflint is mostly gone although still quite a bit along the Banadad Ski Trail. The ice on some of the smaller lakes is close to going out. Little Ollie and Poplar Lakes are still ice covered but they will most likely go out with in a week or so. If they do go out then this year's ice out will be the earliest in my memory. It hard to understand why anyone would question whether we are experiencing "global warming."

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Forest Servcie Consider ATVs Routes for the Gunflint District

Gunflint and Tofte Ranger District have issue their initial report on the use of ATV's in the two Districts. What is currently being considered for AVT use for the Gunflint Trail area is series of loop trails starting near Devils Track Lake going into the Greenwood Lake area and along the southern sections of the Lima Grade from Twin Lakes to the North Brule Road. Also under consideration is a series of short dead-end trails to reach a few lakes and other forest resources along the Gunflint Trail i.e., Mayhew and Bedew Lakes. A printed copy of the report can be picked-up at the Gunflint Ranger District Forest Service Office's in Grand Marais. Comments on this proposal should be sent to the on or before April 27, 2007.

The Gunflint Trail Association and the Gunflint Scenic Byways Committee have both stated their opposition to opening up the Gunflint Trail and other country road for ATV usage. Both organization have also expressed their opposition to promoting the Gunflint Trail as an "ATV tourist destination"

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Banadad Ski Trail Closes for Season

March 31, 2007- While there still is snow remaining on much of the Banadad Ski Trail, there are to many bare spots to ski. The last skier through the entire 29 km. trail was on March 23. Three skiers skied the east end of the Trail on March 25. On March 24 four dog sled teams mushed the Trail's west end as part of the Mush for a Cure- a Cancer Fund Raising Drive.

This past season the Banadad has an estimated 930 skier days of which 518 skier days were attributable to guests of Boundary Country Trekking, 410 skier days were by day skiers of which 30% were "locals" - from Cook Country. A skier day is based on one skier skiing one day. These totals came from the USFS Day Pass filled out by those using the Banadad from November 15 through March 31 plus an estimate of the number of skiers not filling out the Day Permit.

The Banadad Ski Trail is maintained and groomed by Boundary Country Trekking.
From now until next winter the Banadad is open as a BWCA hiking/walking trail. Have fun and see you next winter!