Upper Gunflint weather has been on the pleasant side during our first August stanza. In fact, whatever normal might be, it has been right on point. It’s been so nice we have come through the infamous “dog days” of the month unscathed by miserable heat and humidity.
Those dealing in weather lore say depending one’s latitudinal location, the “dog days” of summer will end on August 11. Let's hope their foretelling holds until the beginning of real autumnal cooling.
By the way, I recently read some month eight data by a Steve Gottschalk. Mr. G is a self-taught weather observer and student of climatic folklore. He states, “August sheds one hour and fifteen minutes of daylight between the first and last days.” Guess I would never have thought to count the minutes lost in our cyclical count-down. This in mind, is it any wonder daylight seems to dwindle so quickly this time of year. Where have all the minutes gone, gone to nighttime every one.”
Just when agencies monitoring wildfire conditions in the area finally acknowledged publicly we were in a bad drought circumstance, “Mother Nature” baled the territory out late this past Saturday afternoon with a gully-washing downpour. Much thunder and lightning accompanied the spotty storm along with hail in some locales. In the end, residents out this way measured from one-half to as much as two inches, thus tempering wildfire potential for the short term.
As the storm was winding down near sunset, a final surge somewhere in the territory knocked out electric service along the Mile O Pine. The few folks in our neighborhood sat in the dark for slightly over two and one-quarter hours.
Kudos are extended to sheriff's office dispatch and those great line technicians from Arrowhead Electric Coop for their quick attention to our dilemma. Their timely action is especially noted knowing AEC service people had to come from headquarters in Lutsen, which is an hour and one-half drive, and then locate, for repair of the interruption problem.
Once again we are grateful for their commitment to us. And by the way, there was enough concern we received a phone call from the sheriff's office shortly after power was restored to confirm our being up and running. Thanks to all!
As mentioned last week, month eight is that of the Ojibwe, full “blueberry moon,” or it can also be tabbed the “sturgeon moon” by other Native Americans. Not only is August known for this “blueberry lunar” occurrence, it is further recognized as the month of “tall weeds.” This label is more than confirmed along our Mile O Pine and most likely other back country roads. Some wild grass species seem “high as an elephant's eye.”
After a busy week on the Gunflint activity calendar, another event pops up to catch our attention. The good folks down at Clearwater Lodge and Outfitters are proudly celebrating their centennial year of outfitting business along the Trail, yes, one hundred years!
Festivities are open to the public. Things will commence around the Lodge tomorrow night (Saturday). A BBQ/cook-out is planned for all attendees beginning at 5:00 pm, and musical entertainment from the “North Shore Community Swing Band” will follow beginning around 7:00 extending until 9:00.
The happening looks to be a real “eatin’, singin’ and dancin’ hoedown” at this historic Gunflint attraction. Everyone come and share anniversary kudos with Clearwater on this milestone occasion.
Fast forward a few weeks to the Labor Day Holiday and mark your calendar for the yearly pie & ice cream social up on the Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center grounds. Sponsored by the Gunflint Trail Historical Society, sweet treat serving will happen from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm on Sunday September 6.
Volunteers to provide pies are always needed. Area residents willing to offer up a pastry delight can give Sally Valentini a call at 388-0900, and thanks in advance.
The Museum gift shop will also be holding its annual driveway/sidewalk sale during the same hours so bring Christmas gift lists and beat the mall madness of “black Friday,” at this magical “end of the Trail” place!
This is a beautiful time of the year for a trek to Trail's end. Plan to reunite with friends and neighbors, eat, shop and check out construction progress on the new Nature Center building.
This is Fred Smith, on the Trail, at Wildersmith. Beauty and adventure is yours to capture along the Gunflint!