Wildersmith on the Gunflint

Fred Smith

Contributor(s): 
Fred Smith
Fred Smith, a native Iowan re-located to the wilderness of border country at the end of the century, has been writing of happenings in the upper Gunflint territory for going on eight years, first with the local paper, and since December 2008 for WTIP North Shore Community Radio. Fred feels life in the woods is extraordinary, and finds reporting on it to both a reading and listening audience a pleasurable challenge. Since retirement as a high school athletic administrator from Ankeny High School, Ankeny Iowa in 1999, the pace of Fred's life has become less hectic but nevertheless, remains busy in new ways with many volunteer activities along the Trail. Listen at your convenience by subscribing to a podcast.


Arts, cultural and history features on WTIP are made possible in part by funding from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Check out other programs and features funded in part with support from the Heritage Fund.

 

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Forest Blue...George Washington Pines

Wildersmith Feb. 17

The upper Trail got a refresher snow on Valentine’s Day, and it couldn’t have come at a more romantic time.  The north woods ambiance was at its best with both love in the air and


Lots of doggie events in the Gunflint Trail neighborhood this time of year

Wildersmith Feb. 10

The blasé approach of Old Man Winter continues at this end of the Trail. Although seasonally cold, the other character of the season remains abysmal.


 
Snowshoeing, a favorite north woods pastime.

Wildersmith Feb. 3

Welcome February, the month of hearts and chocolates, and a “full snow” moon.


A fresh blanket of snow covers the region

Wildersmith Jan. 27

We reentered winter, as a storm came grinding in from the southwest. With January almost gone, the upper Trail region finally got an addition to its oft smudged old white blanket. 


 
Ice fishing shacks dot the landscape

Wildersmith Jan. 20

The month of the “full wolf” moon has turned fickle as it relates to weather conditions.


A wolf near Tucker Lake photographed by Fred's wife, Fran.

Wildersmith Jan. 13

Life along the upper Trail remains seasonal in one aspect and puny in another. The past week found the region again hunkered down amidst its usual sub-zero character.


 
Lake ice

Wildersmith On The Gunflint Jan. 6

As the northland is a week into another loop around old Sol,”a belated happy New Year wish comes to one and all from the Wildersmith two.


Northwood’s Christmas Service and sleigh ride at Okontoe held last Saturday night

Wildersmith On The Gunflint Dec. 22, 2009

Days of anticipation, cinnamon, chocolate and joy are finally here ….Pre-Christmas congregating has been going on for days and days since Thanksgiving and now is the time for the excitement to get serious as the Christian welcoming is again renewed.


 
Jack Frost works his magic at Wildersmith

Wildersmith On The Gunflint Dec. 17, 2009

T’was the week before Christmas, and all through the forest, Winter has finally settled before us! 

Since the first of December, it’s as if someone just flipped a switch, and the fall season was gone. With a warmer-than-usual November spoiling us, the last lap of 2009 grabbed a hold and folks out this way have been shocked back to reality.


Misty Sunrise on Magnetic Rock Trail by Melissa Anderson

Wildersmith On The Gunflint Dec. 9, 2009

The wilderness rendition of holiday decorating has taken on a more serious note since last we met on the radio. A white blanket of snow has been spread through the upper Trail. Several light doses have layered up to five or six inches in most places, flocking a zillion pines to look like a seasonal Gunflint greeting card.