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News & Information

News and information, interviews, weather, upcoming events, music, school news, and many special features. North Shore Morning includes our popular trivia question - Pop Quiz! The North Shore Morning program is the place to connect with the people, culture and events of our region!


What's On:
Lindsey & Regina Yoder

Bike for Freedom - Lindsey Yoder

WTIP volunteer, Mark Abrahamson talks with Lindsey Yoder and her mother, Regina as they prepare to complete the Bike for Freedom ride at the Canadian border near Grand Portage, MN.
Lindsey; her brother, Kyle; her sister, Krista; and cousin, Jackson; rode bicycles from the Mexican border to raise awareness of human trafficking and funds for Hope for Justice.
More information about Lindsey's journey can be found on Facebook - Bike for Freedom, Mexico to Canada.



Lady and the Scamp - Part 5

Travels with Sarah
From Grand Marais to Ontario, Canada

Sarah-the-dog and I drove all day with the 13-foot fiberglass trailer on tow, and only managed to travel half-an-inch of the Trans-Canada Highway on the big map. We made it from Nipigon to Marathon. Progress was slow partly due to the 90 kph speed limit  -- 56 mph -- which I decided to follow since it’s easier on the gas when towing the Scamp, and gas costs more here. 
Marathon is the sort of “I could live here” picturesque town,  but after I shopped in the grocery store I changed my mind about that. I couldn’t see myself making friends with the low-key couples staring at the drab rows of food. I left feeling depressed. Another potential home off the list. Where was my home? Which continent? Where did I belong? Sarah was home to me but aged fifteen, she didn’t have a lot of time left. I watched her constantly, trying to second guess how happy she was about still being alive. Deciding when to euthanize a beloved dog is agonizing. Sarah’s vet had spoken of “the rule of thumb” and “quality of life” guidelines before we left on this trip. Sarah no longer enjoyed walks, she was deaf and carried a large benign cyst on her chest. On the other hand, she enjoyed her food, and sniffing smells as she pottered around. Anti-arthritis pills seemed to help with her agility, and she seemed to like traveling on her bed on the front seat.  And her bladder and bowels were functioning well. Dogs are such stoic beings, sometimes it’s hard to tell if they are suffering. Always a quiet girl when she wasn’t on a walk, skipping ahead, her tail a-wagging, she slept much of the time now she was old. I stroked her silky curls as we drove to the next campground. We would share charcoal grilled steak for supper.
In the morning we set off from our campsite in Pukaskwa National Park (fantastic place; five stars for nature and beauty, where I climbed flat slabs of rocks and ate wild blueberries high above the lake hoping I wouldn’t fall and die out there as Sarah was shut in the car). Later back on the highway, I picked up a couple of Goth hitchhikers. We drove for an hour or two listening to  Fleet Foxes and Trampled by Turtles, and the girl, Mary, said I was “totally rad”. I was prepared to take them all the way to Toronto, but suddenly at a gas station outside Wawa, we joined a line of stopped cars. 
Turned out there was a paint truck on fire on the highway and traffic was stopped on both sides, so there was nothing to do but sit on the dusty ground in the sun while Dave and Mary took it in turns to play their banjolino and sing. They’d been busking their way from Vancouver. I wandered around chatting to fellow strandees, which was the only way to find out what was going on as there was no Internet service. The owner of the gas station said I could camp there if I wanted as the last road blockage had been for ten hours. So five hours later, although the road had newly reopened, I pulled the Scamp into what I thought would be a quiet corner of the lot about a football field away from the gas station. Mary came to tell me they were heading off and confided that she wanted to break up with Dave. “Are you OK?” I asked. “You can leave him now and travel on with me” but she assured me she was safe and would leave him when they arrived back home in Toronto. And so my Goths set off.
Sarah was tired and I was tired and I had no desire to join the nose-to-tail traffic. We went to bed. Then the rain began. First, a gentle pattering of random drops on the Scamp’s roof, followed by an insistent drumming which made patterns over our heads. This was home, I thought, lying safe and warm in bed with rain pounding on the roof. It reminded me of the sound of monsoon rain crashing onto the corrugated tin roof of my childhood home in Africa. I curled up with Sarah and fell asleep to the rain’s music. 
The rain fell all night and container trucks arrived all night and hummed and snorted around us and the dawn light revealed that we were surrounded by a sea of semis who had kindly left us just enough space to sneak out.
So it rained from then on.  I drove by the burned-out hulk of the paint truck that had caused all the trouble but missed the photo-op as the traffic cop impatiently waved me on.
A few hours later my phone rang: “This is a courtesy call from CVS pharmacy” and I thought, wow! I have phone service! Maybe I am close to the American border. So I called my best girlfriend in Minneapolis and we managed to chat for a few minutes before my phone went dead again. Home can be a good friend on the other end of a phone. 
Heigh ho, the wind and the rain/A foolish thing is but a toy/And the rain it raineth every day.
Feste’s song from William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night: sung by countertenor Alfred Deller
Feste's Song[]
When that I was but a little tiny boy,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
A foolish thing was but a toy,
For the rain, it raineth every day.



Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Pain

WTIP volunteer, Brian Neil talks with facilitator, Lynn Arnold about the new "Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Pain" workshop being offered by the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic.



Sawtooth Mountain Elementary - School News May 15, 2018

Sawtooth Mountain Elementary - School News with Ty, Lucas and Charlie.
May 15, 2018


Cloudy sky

North Woods Naturalist: Clouds

With all the crazy weather we’ve had this year, cloud watching has been good for seeking weather clues. WTIP’s Jay Andersen talks with North Woods Naturalist Chel Anderson about clouds.


NSky May Sky.jpg

Northern Sky: May 12 - 25

Northern Sky -  by Deane Morrison - May 12-25 2018
For a week starting Saturday, May 12, we have morning and evening skies that are free or nearly free of moonlight, and that makes for good starwatching. The moon becomes new in the early morning of the 15th, then starts its next march eastward across the evening sky. As it goes, it gets bigger and brighter and sets later, so we have less and less time to see celestial objects without the moon washing everything out.
On evenings around new moon, look for Leo, the lion, high in the southwest. Its most prominent feature is a backward question mark of stars, known as the Sickle. The dot of the question mark is Regulus, the brightest star in Leo. Regulus is also the sharp point of a stellar triangle; the other two stars are brilliant Arcturus, which is high in the south at nightfall, and Spica, which is below Arcturus. Arcturus is the anchor for the kite-shaped constellation Bootes, the herdsman, and Spica is the only bright star in Virgo. These days Spica and Arcturus are also part of another triangle, with Jupiter. Jupiter is a beacon in the east, near the peak of its brightness. Also, just to the southwest of Spica you’ll find a four-sided figure. This is Corvus, the crow—another of those constellations that aren’t very prominent but can be fun to find.
On Wednesday, the 16th, look for a very young crescent moon down by the horizon below Venus—that brilliant light in the west. The next night, the 17th, the waxing moon will have moved to about the same level as Venus. On the 18th, a fatter crescent appears below Pollux, the brighter of the Gemini twins. The other twin, Castor, is to the right of Pollux. On Monday the 21st, a first-quarter moon will be practically sitting on top of Regulus. And the evening of the 25th, a bigger, brighter moon appears above Spica.
If you have a lawn chair, you may want to grab it and look for Ursa Major, the great bear. It’s really high after nightfall these days, close to the overhead position, hence the advisability of observing from a reclining position. You may also need a star chart to make out the whole constellation. The Big Dipper is the bear’s hindquarters and tail, and the arc of the tail—which is also the handle of the dipper—leads you to Arcturus. Just remember “arc to Arcturus.” At the bend of the handle is a famous double star. Binoculars will bring them out nicely. The stars are Mizar, the brighter one, and Alcor, its fainter companion. These two have also been dubbed the horse and rider.
Also, I enjoy looking for three tight pairs of stars that represent the paws and one hind foot of the great bear—although not all star maps indicate that. The three pairs of stars form a diagonal line below the bowl of the Big Dipper and they have been named the Three Leaps of the Gazelle. They’re also not prominent, but they’re one—or three—more things that can be fun to find.
In astronomy news, NASA just launched its InSight mission to Mars. InSight is designed to find out, as NASA puts it, “what makes Mars tick.” The lander will plant a seismometer on Mars. It’ll study Mars quakes, and the mission will also track how heat in the interior of the planet gets dispersed, and how Mars wobbles. It may even be able to detect liquid water or plumes of active volcanoes below the Martian surface. All this data will shed light on the formation of other rocky planets, including Earth and the moon. Landing is scheduled for November 26th.




Great Expectations School News - May 11, 2018

Great Expectations School News with Aria and Mary June.
May 12 - 25, 2018.



Superior National Forest Update - May 11, 2018

National Forest Update – May 10, 2018.
Hi.  I’m Joe Mundell, timber sale administrator, on the Gunflint Ranger District of the Superior National Forest, with this week’s National Forest Update.  This is the Friday May 11th, edition, and there is a lot going on out there.

Spring is creeping northwards, slowly but surely.  Down in the Twin Cities, trees are fully leafed-out now, but up here, buds are just starting to swell.  Tamaracks are showing a pretty good dusting of green on them, pussy willows are blooming, and grass is greening up.  Frogs are calling from every small puddle, and birds are singing in the morning.  There are lots of sparrows right now moving through, including some that you don’t see except in the spring.  Hummingbirds traditionally show up on Mother’s Day, we’ll have to see if they are on time this year. 

Mother’s Day also means that it is almost fishing opener.  You can drop a line for walleye starting on May 12, if you can find open water.  Lakes are actually opening pretty fast considering how deeply frozen they were just a few weeks ago.  Many of the smaller lakes are open, but the larger border lakes are still fairly well frozen.  Because of the late break up of ice, we haven’t been able to get all the docks in at our boat landings yet.  They should be in within the next two weeks, but in the meantime, prepare to launch your boat with no dock if you are planning a fishing trip.  There are a few spots in the area where fishing will still not be allowed.  These areas are where fish are pushed to very high concentrations due to the ice.  Check the DNR website for locations of these temporary restrictions.
We are a bit later than many years in being able to turn on our water systems at fee campgrounds.  Until they are turned on, we won’t be collecting fees at campgrounds for camping.  If you are camping, be ready for either possibility – have water with you in case there’s none available yet, and bring money with in case the fee season has started.

If your camping brings you into the Boundary Waters, the issued permit season has begun.  Overnight visitors need to have a permit issued at a Forest Service office or at a cooperator’s business.  Because of ice, our wilderness ranger crews haven’t been out in the woods yet, so canoeists may run into portages where winter deadfalls have blocked the trail.  If you do run into situations like that, take note of where and when and let us know so we can plan to take care of it. 

There isn’t very much truck traffic on the roads this week as the road conditions remain poor.  There may be logging activity near Sawbill Landing and off the Greenwood and Firebox Roads, but we only anticipate hauling on the DM&IR Grade, also known as FS380.   

Fire danger can change rapidly in the spring.  Our April Showers in May have brought relief for a while, but the sun will soon dry everything out again.  We’ve had some ‘red flag’ days already, and be on the lookout for more to come.  The conditions did eventually let us conduct our wildlife opening burns, but we’d rather not have to deal with any wildfires.

Enjoy the spring weather, and good luck to everyone who is heading down to the water with a pole in hand!

Until next week, this has been Joe Mundell with the National Forest Update.



Wildersmith on the Gunflint - May 11, 2018

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith   May 11, 2018 

Going into week two of month five, this time of the Ojibwe “budding flowers moon” is not yet a reality. However, at the rate things have been going for the past seven, there’ll be blooms by the time we reach the fullest of heavens “big cheese” near months’ end.                                                  

Days, since we last met on the radio, have been pleasant, comfortably warm and sunny with cool nights settling back into the thirties. In spite of this pleasing atmosphere, the territory continues struggling to muster significant rain. Light showers earlier in the week tempered the wildfire potential. Yet the danger is only a few hours of drying wind and sunshine away, still no burning ban.
With the fishing opener at hand, hard water has not given up on the bigger lakes out this way, but several smaller bodies are said to be beckoning anglers. So, wetting a line is not going to be the opening day bust we expected a few weeks ago. 
Most wetlands, swamps, and ponds along the Trail have become liquid again, attracting any number of waterfowl. Further, there are several reports of loons overhead, and I’m told the nesting pair at Chik-Wauk has returned to their seasonal home on Sag Bay. One more winged note, robins have returned to the area, but none have been observed in this neighborhood to date.                                                                                                                                                       

We at Wildersmith have been privy to a menagerie of up north critters over the past week. Observations include a moose, fox, snowshoe hares, a new pine marten and large wolf tracks along the Mile O Pine. While Trail neighbors have reported bear sightings, and a lynx.  
The moose, perhaps a two-year-old bull, interrupted an evening trip up the Trail by slogging along in front of our vehicle for quite a distance. It stopped several times and turned to look at us who were no doubt interrupting his meanderings too. Without a close encounter, “Murray the Moose” eventually went off into the forest.  
Meanwhile, those north woods bunnies are out and about after having not been seen for weeks. In the process of changing to summer attire, the only lagomorph memory of winter can be found in their bleached undercarriage and white socks.  
The fox mentioned has paid us a visit twice in the past few days. While I’ve heard of many folks with friendly foxes, this is a first at Wildersmith. This foxy guy shows up out of nowhere and might be a lost pet because it has no fear of us    two-legged creatures. It is quite persistent about wanting a hand-out and hangs around until we willingly oblige. Guess it has us hooked, and the pine martens now have to share their poultry treats.
While I have not observed any bears yet, the first reported observation came from some folks over on Washout Rd. Since that news came in, more of the ebony beasts have been poking around at various locations. And the lynx sighting came from somewhere up the Trail. 
My earlier mention of Chik-Wauk causes me to remind WTIP listener/readers the historical campus will be opening for the season two weeks from this one (on Memorial Day weekend). It looks to be a busy season with more of the Gunflint story, great natural history programming, and construction of two exciting facility additions. 
The timber frame Watercraft Exhibit Building (WEB) will be raised in a week or so and an Interpretive Cabin will go up as soon as the frost is out to allow for footings. The cabin will be located on one of the original resort cabin sites, while the WEB will be near the Back Bay just off the entrance lane. Actual exhibits in the two buildings, are dependent on funding resources becoming available but hope to be open for viewing the summer of 2019.  
Two of our Gunflint neighbors have recently been honored for their devotion to helping people. Gunflint Community congratulations are extended to John and Rose Schloot. The longtime residents and owners of Cross River Lodge (formerly Borderland Lodge) were recognized as 2018 winners of the Dolly Johnson Friend of Emergency Services Award.  
Commencing in 2003, the awards program recognizes people who are not on the front line in emergency situations. The honor for John and Rose is bestowed for their on-going and ever-present support of our local EMS and Search & Rescue volunteers in crucial behind the scenes roles during times of crisis. We on the Gunflint are so fortunate to have folks like the Schloot’s in our midst. Thanks to the both of them and many others always standing ready!   
On a final note, the Gunflint Green-up reunion held last Saturday was a lively and scrumptious success. The potluck provided so many delectable offerings, one attendee who shall remain anonymous, was observed with an assortment of five desserts on his plate. Big thanks to the Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway Committee organizers and all who attended.     
For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, on the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, with wilderness adventures yet to be seen.


Photo credit Kevin Langton

Superior Spring Trail Race - John Storkamp

WTIP volunteer, Mark Abrahamson talks with John Storkamp, race director for the 2018 Superior Spring Trail Race.