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  Voyageur Quote: "I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth."   

Author Unknown

 

 

 

 Winter Wonderland

 

 

   

Weather Report

The Gunflint Trail has been transformed into a winter wonderland.  There is tons of snow on the ground and it keeps coming.  Just this week we have added 6-8 more inches to the 3-4 feet of snow we already have.  The tree branches are coated with the fluffy white stuff and it makes everything look magical.  This amount of snow is perfect for winter recreation.  We've been out snowshoeing, sledding, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling numerous times and can't wait to wet our fishing lines this weekend.  The temperatures have varied between 20 degrees above zero all the way down to 35 degrees below zero.  The weekend forecast calls for lows in the negative 50's and highs up to 16 below, yes, that is the predicted high temperature for Saturday!  But it's a dry cold, so it really doesn't feel that cold, and the trees protect us from the wind, so it really isn't too bad, who am I trying to kid?  Actually, if you bundle up good then 30 below is a wonderful time to be outside.  The silence can be deafening except when the ice moans and cracks under the severe temperature, then it sounds like a shotgun blast.  Anyway you look at it winter is here and will be around for awhile so come on up and try it on for size. 

 

  

Great Gray Owl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wildlife

Great Gray Owl- We've been seeing alot more of these owls around the Gunflint Trail the past couple of years.  Bird experts say this is due to the fact their food source is being depleted to the north of us so we are experiencing what is called an irruption of Great Gray Owls.  An irruption is when a large population of birds finds a new area to hunt and live and this is what is happening here.  The Great Gray Owl is not a good flyer and it tends to stay close to the ground when flying.  They hunt by perching in a tree and waiting, listening and watching for squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, or other small rodents to scurry by, then they swoop down to catch their meal. They are dark gray in color with a white moustache below the bill and they have yellow eyes.  To learn more about this owl and hear one check out this informative website.

 

  

 Voyageur Canoe Outfitters

"Where the Trail Ends Your Voyage Begins"
Mike and Sue Prom
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Voyageur's Bunkhouse

 

 

 

  

 

 What's New?

Travels- We were away from the wonderful northwoods for awhile this fall.  As you maybe can tell from this newsletter's quote, we are happy to be home.  We planned a road trip around our Professional Paddlesport Association Convention that was held in December in Savannah, Georgia.  We were able to visit some great cities, and do some paddling too.  We enjoyed spending a couple of days on the Edisto River and a day of kayaking near Charleston,  South Carolina.  We learned alot at the conference and hope to implement some of the ideas in our outfitting business to even better serve our guests.

Permits- It is that time of the year again when we are starting to reserve wilderness travel permits.  The Boundary Waters Lottery System will close on the 15th of January.  There will still be plenty of travel permits available after this date and we can start phoning reservations in on the 1st of February. 

The Quetico Park has implemented a new fee for reserving permits.  They will now charge a reservation fee of $12.00 along with a $100.00 deposit that will be applied to overnight camping fees at the time of your trip.  They are hoping this increase in reservation fee will eliminate the many "no show" campers they have had in the past.  They have also increased their overnight camping fees to $18.00 Canadian per adult per night and $8.00 per youth per night.  We can reserve permits 5 months prior to the start date of the trip and we will still reserve your Quetico Permits for you but will need your credit card to use for the deposit.  Feel free to give us a call or e-mail us at anytime so we can reserve your spot in the wilderness today.

 

    

Snowshoe Group 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product Review

Snowshoes- A great way to explore the Boundary Waters in the winter is by way of the snowshoe.  The snowshoe allows you to access places rarely seen by others.  You can traverse across a wilderness lake, walk through the heavily forested woods, and make your own tracks through the wilderness. We had an excellent time snowshoeing to Bridal Veil Falls the other day.  It can be hard work but if you take turns breaking trail then it isn't too bad.  There are a variety of different snowshoes on the market today.  I prefer my large wooden ones for the deep, fluffy snow common around the BWCA.  Most traditional wooden snowshoes are made from ash with webbing of rawhide or neoprene.  The long tail of the snowshoe helps you balance in the deep snow.    The metal frame snowshoes are usually smaller, and made from aluminum.  These snowshoes are nice for trekking when there isn't too much snow.  The metal frame shoes are also good for climbing hills since their claws offer good traction.  To learn more about snowshoeing check out this website. 

 

We have openings in our lodge units for winter get-aways.  Be sure to give us a call or e-mail us to check on availabilty.  Join us for the Gunflint Trail Winter Tracks Festival this February 23-March 1st.  

 

 

 

 

 Skills

Frostbite- With the extremely cold temperatures of winter comes the dangers of frostbite.  Frostnip occurs when the 1st layer of skin freezes, if this goes unchecked then it will turn into frostbite.  The skin will turn white and feel solid to the touch.  If not handled properly then severe cases of frostbite can require amputation.   Our group that will be staying at Voyageur prior to their annual winter camping adventure this weekend will need to take extra special care to avoid frostbite.  When out in the cold be sure to stay hydrated with water; caffeine and alcohol slow the body's ability to re-warm itself.  Wear loose fitting clothes so blood flow is not restricted, especially to the hands and feet.  Wear a sunscreen, windblock, or face mask and bring along heat packets for quick warmth.  If pain or numbness begins then find shelter and get warmed up.

 

 

 Snowshoe Trout

 

 

Fishing Report  

Ice fishing inside of the Boundary Waters is now open.  This is when people trek into the wilderness to try their luck at Lake Trout or Brook Trout fishing.  On Saturday, January 15th Lake Trout fishing outside of the BWCA opens up including Saganaga Lake.  Ice fishermen will be out and about looking for Lake Trout around islands and points.  Most anglers will try their luck fishing with jigs and fatheads or with tip-ups and ciscoes.  Saganaga produces many Lake Trout in the 2-5 pound range and it is common to catch some big ones in the 15 pound or more range.  With the forecast of a high of only 17 below on Saturday we'll see how many brave souls will head out to try their luck for their first Lake Trout of the season.