Voyageur Quote: "Go to the winter woods; listen there, look, watch, and the "dead months" will give you a subtler secret than any you have yet found in the forest."  Fiona Macleod

 

Lake Superior's Winter Splendor

 

 

 

Fun in the Cold 

 

  

Weather Report

     We have just enough snow on the ground to be able to enjoy all of our winter activities on the Gunflint Trail.  The lakes are perfect for snowmobiling, the cross-country ski trails are beautifully groomed and the amount of snow in the woods warrants the use of snowshoes.  The ice is plenty thick for "safe" travels but we'd really love a good dumping of snow so we can whiten things up and make a fresh snow person. 

     January started out much warmer than in years past but it didn't stay that way for long. Temperatures dropped around the middle of the month, warmed back up for a day or two, then dropped down again and have pretty much stayed there ever since.

     I don't think the local Groundhog dared to come out of his den on the Gunflint Trail this year.  This has been the coldest and driest February I can remember.  We've had some very cold nights with the average low temperature a negative 18.76 degrees.  The coldest night was on the 4th of February when it was 33 degrees below zero.  The daytime temperatures haven't been much warmer with the average high for February negative 2.87 degrees.  Combine these cold actual temperatures with wind chills in the negative forty degree range and we're very thankful for shelter.  We received a dusting of snow on February 1st, but since then not a flake has fallen.

     The forecast calls for warmer temperatures and possible snow flurries this week.  We're hoping the weather forecasters are right but even if they aren't we'll be out enjoying our winter wonderland on the Gunflint Trail.

  

 

 

 

 

Timber Wolves

 

 

 

 

    Cross-Country Trails

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Wildlife Report:  Timber Wolf Recovery-  The first words spoken by your baby, your pre-schooler singing with Barney, and maybe a couple of other sounds are sweeter than listening to a pack of wolves howl, but not many.  It is an awe-inspiring sound to hear the song of a chorus of wolves as it dances across a wilderness lake.  The opportunity to hear a wolf in the canoe country or to see one in the wild is getting better and better.

     The population of the timber wolf in our neck of the woods is doing good, so good in fact they have now been removed from the Endangered and Threatened Species List.    The timber wolf has been protected in the United States since 1974 when they were listed as Endangered in all of the lower 48 states except for Minnesota where they were listed as Threatened.  Wolves thrived throughout Minnesota until the mid-1800s when a bounty for wolves was established.  This bounty ended in 1965 when almost all wolves had been eliminated from the lower 48 states except for in Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

     The Government wanted to help timber wolves make a come back so a wolf recovery plan was set in motion.  They set a goal of having a wolf population of 1400 by the year 2000 and this goal was met by 1989.  The number of wolves in the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment is now close to 4000 with 3000 of those residing in Minnesota.(The Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment is an area that includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio).

 

     The Timber Wolf is an amazing creature and we look forward to seeing more of them in the years to come.

 

   

 

       The Boundary Waters Blog

 

 

 

 

Pink Paddles

Purchase a Pink Paddle today and help find a cure for breast cancer tomorrow.   

 

 

 

  

 

 What's New? 

Black and Pink Magic- There is still time to adopt a sled dog for this year's Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.  Due to the lack of good snow cover along the North Shore the 25th running of the marathon was postponed until the 25th of February. Check out the Black Magic Kennel website to find out how to adopt your very own sled dog.

     We are also partnering with Black Magic Kennels this March 24-25th to sponsor the first Mush for a Cure weekend.  We're inviting mushers to raise money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation while doing what they love best, mushing.  If you know of any mushers or would like to be a part of this special event then give us a call, we'd love to see you on the Trail. 1-888-CANOEIT

The Boundary Waters Blog How cold is it on the Gunflint Trail?  Is everyone happy about the delisting of the timber wolf?  Find these and other interesting stories on the Boundary Waters Blog.

Voyageur Tales Newsletter- Our annual print newsletter is at the printer and ready to be mailed out.  Make sure you receive your copy by sending us an e-mail with your current mailing address. vco@canoeit.com

Gunflint Trail Winter Tracks-  Head to the Gunflint Trail this March 1-4th and join in some winter fun.  There will be snowshoeing, snowmobiling, seminars, cross-country skiing, a fishing contest and much more.  Come and make your own tracks on the Gunflint Trail.

 

 

    

Bell Canoe

 

 

 

 

Product Review:  Bell Canoes- As an outfitter we have the opportunity to paddle many different brands and styles of canoes.  Sometimes when you get into a canoe it feels like putting on a favorite sweatshirt; it feels comfortable and fits perfectly.  To some people this is how paddling a Bell Canoe feels; it just feels right. 

     Bell Canoe builds canoes for everyone and every type of paddling.  They are a very stable canoe that handles well in waves.  Mike and Abby used one on their trip to the Quetico Park last summer and really liked it. The canoe tracked well in spite of several variables against it; including uneven weight distribution with Mike(adult) and Abby(child), a difference in stern and bow paddling strengths, and the chop of Cache Bay.  The Bell Canoe was stable and relatively easy to control even in big water.

     If you are looking to purchase a new canoe and are interested in buying a Bell, then be sure to check out our Voyageur Trading Post.  We have a great deal on three brand new Bells and would love to see you at Voyageur in your new Bell this summer.

 

Voyageur Canoe Outfitters

"Where the Trail Ends Your Voyage Begins"
Mike and Sue Prom
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Skill: Menu Planning-  One of my favorite things about camping is making Smores.  I can't say I really like marshmallows, or I love chocolate, or even that I like graham crackers, but together, when prepared over an open campfire, it is one of the most delicious items I have ever eaten. Smores are something we never leave home without when we go camping.

     Mike generally does the menu planning and packing for our canoe camping trips.  He takes pride in offering the best food because he knows what a highlight mealtime is while out camping.  The type of food he brings depends upon the type of trip we are planning.  If we will be traveling each day then we will have a quick breakfast like a granola bar or oatmeal.  The lunch we pack would also be no-cook and would consist of cheese, crackers, summer sausage and granola bars.  The evening meal would be quick and easy to prepare like a freeze dried entree, vegetable and dessert.

     When we plan a base camp trip the menu he plans includes more "real" food that takes some time to prepare.  Mike loves to cook bacon over a fire and then fry eggs in the grease.  Batter dipped french toast with hash browns is always delicious too.  Making a pizza or brownies in a dutch oven or outback oven is an art and science that he has perfected.  If he has the time then he loves to spend time cooking over a fire.

     The next time you are planning a canoe camping trip be sure to spend some time thinking about your menu. You can check out our Voyageur Menu online to get some great ideas.  Pack foods that are consistent with your travel plans, keep portions in mind and don't forget the Smore's.

 

 

Going Fishing

 

 Fishing:  Fishing Opener-   Mike will spend time ice fishing this week since Trout fishing opens in Canada on the 15th of February.  It's been a little cold to venture out too far but guests have had luck fishing on Saganaga and other nearby trout lakes. With temperatures rising into the double digits we're hoping the fish will be active and hungry for opener.

 

 

 

 

 Thank you for reading our newsletter.  We hope you enjoy it and tell others about it. 

  Mike, Sue and the Voyageur Crew