Wildersmith July 2

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And we’re off…into the second half of 2010. June slipped away just as quickly here in the wilderness as it does in the bustling…semi-civilized…urban clutches.
 
Atmospheric conditions in the upper Trail remained rather tranquil over the past seven days. Temps were moderately cool and spotty showers drenched some areas… while others barely dampened rain gauge bottoms.
 
Beauty along the byway intensified as drifts of daisies pushed their way into the furrows of golden blooms. And…although fall is a ways off…the fluorescence of orange hawkweed reminds one of autumn shades to come.
 
As of the full strawberry moon of this past weekend…I’m observing that the hummingbirds have returned. With new parenthood under way, they are attacking the sweet juice station with increased frequency…so once again…the airways are busy at Wildersmith International.
 
The saga of cabin-infiltrating squirrels on the south shore of Gunflint Lake continues. Latest report is that attempts are underway to live trap the frisky critters. When corralled they will be hauled away to some distant locale and released. Makes me wonder if they might become pests for another resident, or will they beat the releasers back home?
 
A fine turnout came to another North Shore Health Care Foundation barbeque last Sunday evening. The annual feed at Gunflint Lodge packed the house to overflowing as 70 foundation supporters dined on the usual smoked ribs, chicken and salmon along with all the trimmin’s. The diners were serenaded by the sweet music of Loon Lake’s Gerald Thilmany. Proceeds from the event go to the organization’s growing endowment fund. Thanks to all who attended.
 
The June meeting for the Gunflint Trail Historical Society was held on the grounds of the Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center last Monday. A large gathering of Society members were given a sneak preview of the new facility. Along with the tours of the exhibits and trails, members were also treated to a fine shore lunch. A crisp north wind reminded folks about the pleasure of being lakeside in border country. What a splendid day! 
 
The coming weekend is loaded with county Independence Day celebrations, none of which is any bigger than the long-awaited public opening of Chik-Wauk as an end of the Trail destination.
 
Located on Moose Pond Drive (Cook County #81) near the end of the Trail…area folks and visitors can make a day of it by coming early…hiking the new trail system (10 a.m.)…bringing a picnic lunch to have on the grounds (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)…attending the grand opening program (at 1 p.m.)…being in on door prize drawings…watching as the winner is drawn for the famous Chik-Wauk quilt…being a part of the ribbon cutting ceremony…touring the new museum facility and getting in on some afternoon refreshments. It should be a great day!
 
Those planning to attend should be aware of signs along the Trail with directions for parking and shuttle service to the site. Parking on the immediate Chik-Wauk grounds is limited and restricted. Check the website…www.chikwauk.com…the Chik-Wauk Blog…or stay tuned to WTIP for more journey details…car pooling is recommended even to the special parking lots throughout the end of the Trail area.
 
Following the opening day festivities…the facility will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through October 17 (MEA weekend). There is an admission fee. Gunflint Trail Historical Society members and families are admitted free (GTHS memberships can be renewed/purchased at the site).
 
Then after all the daytime activities up at the end of the Trail…there is still time to hit the many fireworks celebrations. Remember the forest is still dry and vulnerable in many places…so have a safe and sane Fourth of July.
 
Keep on hangin’ on…and savor this special time along the Gunflint!

Airdate: July 2, 2010


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