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Wildersmith March 18

Musher at Much for a Cure (by Stephan Hoglund)
Musher at Much for a Cure (by Stephan Hoglund)

FinalCut_Wildersmith_20110318.mp34.07 MB

After an upper Trail weekend of barking and angling, peaceful celestial events take center stage for residents and visitors. His luminance, the “crust on the snow moon,” will be displayed in fullness come tomorrow (Saturday), and the day after finds a celebration of the vernal equinox as the calendar will declare it’s spring.

Some will say that the nonsensical setting of clocks ahead has taken the limelight away from the formal date book assertion of the new season. However, we must all keep in mind that none of our human toiling has more to do with the coming season of buds and babies than does Mother Nature. When all is said and done, it is she who is in charge of all. We’ll just have to wait until she decides it’s really springtime!

Meanwhile winter has sputtered a bit in the border country, with some single digits and then a bit of oozing during the past seven. Snow even covered the area last Friday night and Saturday, creating a magnificent setting for the big “Pink” weekend.

The setting on Saturday couldn’t have been choreographed any better, as flakes fell over the throng of sled dogs, mushers, handlers and well-wishers for the fifth annual Mush for a Cure. The atmosphere harkened back to days gone by when the best mode of transportation on a snowy day was by man on a sled, with a team of dogs in the lead.

Saturday’s event was ablaze with the symbolic pink of breast cancer research against a white backdrop. Forty plus team entries, including approximately 400 barking dogs prancing to get going, was a sight to see. Everything from pink attired mushers, to dogs with swatches of pink hairspray, to pink canine booties and fringed doggie leggings, set the tone for nothing but excitement.

Then as the starter’s gun went off, unbelievable energy was set in motion as the thrill to run was answered for those great four-legged athletes. And although chaotic in several instances, they were off, soon settling into single file, on the way to their mid-Trail finish. What a fun experience for all!

This may have been the best ever dog-sledding event in the upper Trail territory.
Most important of all the things going on, the money raised through musher pledges and the bald, brave and beautiful contest amounted to slightly over $30,000. This would bring the five-year fund raising total to just over $100,000.

This is quite a feat from the humble beginnings of this wonderful Cook County/Gunflint Community endeavor where just three teams did the first Mush for a Cure. Kudos to organizers Sue, Mary, and all who played a role in making it happen. Special acknowledgement is extended to all the mushers and to everyone who graciously pledged their resources.

Saturdays’ snow ended, and Sunday dawned with sunny skies and little wind as the annual trout fishing derby got under way at the west end of Gunflint Lake. The weather was marvelous for the mini-city of anglers on the Gunflint Lodge waterfront, and everyone was having a good time jigging for the big one.

By noon, catches were already on display in the registration area. The largest catch by that time was a dandy 7 ½- pound lake trout. There was probably a good more mounted by the 1 p.m. deadline.

Congratulations and thanks to the Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club for another well-organized angling event, and to all the fisher people that took part. The ice fishing was great, whether the catching was or not.

Keep on hangin’ on, and savor Nature’s wonderful wilderness offerings.

Airdate: March 19, 2011