Summer is here!




Ok ok. So it's not really summer yet. Who cares?!?

I took the family down today for the Fredenberg Fire Department annual pancake feed. I've been there once before a few years ago - it's a nice way to see folks in the township and have some decent food, all while supporting the local VFD.

Then on my drive in to work today I passed a couple of people out jogging, two folks mowing their lawn, and probably about 30 people fishing at the Fish Lake bridge.

The smell of fresh cut grass clippings was a nice way to remember summer. I'm sure shortly I'll be dreading the smell, but for now it was nice. Seeing all of the cars lined up on the Fish Lake bridge was a nice reminder to me of the lake (and how I often take it for granted).

I'm hoping the weather will remain nice for a few more days - I'll be fishing in the BWCAW the next few days. With the campfire restrictions due to the Ham Lake fire on the Gunflint Trail it would be sure nice to have some good weather for a couple of days. The region could sure use the rain, but it's tough to dry out without a fire. Hopefully it will be nice through Tuesday evening and then the heavens will open.

Wish me luck fishing for the big one! :)



Charlie Brown: Lucy (aka Cache: F)




I had intended to post this early this morning and get the cache approved in the late afternoon. That didn't happen as I totally spaced it until now (which I had a feeling I may do). SO, here's the cache information. I'll submit it to gc.com for approval there in the morning (hopefully I remember).

N 46° 54.367 W 092° 08.732

This cache was placed to celebrate the birth of our second daughter who was born in December of 2006. She made the 2 1/2 mile round trip with us. You will need to park at the parking coordinates listed below (N 46° 55.413 W 092° 08.744). There is enough room to park about two vehicles off the road. Be aware that 4-wheelers can and do go around the gate on the east side - don't block them in or out. The land is St. Louis County forest management land.

You're looking for an ammo can.

A link to the cache page for if/when it's approved: GC12HQ5. Please post a comment here if you find the cache before it's approved at gc.com.



Skirt Lifters




Those of you that really know me know of my fondness for skirt lifters.

I got an email today from an Oklahoma cacher that gets around some for work.

"I was loading up the car and heading out to the job site and noticed two guys lifting a skirt. After we got our testing done we swung back to the hotel investigate what the two guys were doing. As expected, there was a skirt lifter cache in the hotel parking lot."

The two cachers he saw that morning were Minnesota and RJ.

What a bummer that his only cache for that trip in the state was a skirt lifter at the hotel.



Ham Lake Fire




I'm sure you've all heard about the large fire near the end of the Gunflint Trail NW of Grand Marais. The fire, which is named the Ham Lake fire based on where it started, is burning uncontrollably (or nearly so). I've been trying to follow it as closely as I can - it burning through an incredibly beautiful area.

The fire was apparently started by an unattended campfire over the past weekend and has grown to the north and west since then. I've included a Google Map below of the location of Ham Lake, although the Star Tribune has some great graphics that detail the location and growth of the fire as well as a nice photo gallery detailing the fight.

They also announced today that a "type I incident management team” that is tasked to handle the nation’s most complex fires will be taking over today. This is apparently one of the largest fires in the area's recent history. As of about noon today it's burned more than 22,000 acres (34 square miles) and 45 major buildings.



BWCAW Burning Ban




I learned tonight that there is now a burning ban in effect for much of the BWCAW that is prohibiting campfires. This isn't a surprise at all, especially with the current Ham Lake fire on the end of the Gunflint happening...

I've only been in the BWCAW one other year when there was a total ban - I believe that was the year after the blow down occurred. That trip, if I recall correctly, wasn't exactly a dry trip so the campfire was really missed. Hopefully it will remain dry and warm this weekend (for the sake of our trip, not the fire potential).



Canal Park




The girls and I escaped from home to Canal Park this afternoon. We ended up parking behind the Park Inn in the public lot, walked the Lakewalk from there to Canal Park (and saw the American Mariner come in to port). We watched the bridge go up again for a small Coast Guard boat that was heading out into the lake to practice some maneuvers (I'm guessing here as there was a Coast Guard helicopter that was following it all the way). We then headed across the bridge (I've lived here all my life and I don't think I've ever walked across the bridge), then up the south pier to the end. From there we hiked over to DQ, had a Blizzard, and back to the truck. Sounds short enough, but with a 2-year old pushing a stroller it took us about 2 hours. It was a very nice day to be out walking by the big lake though..

I took a number of photos with the crappy camera but I had a smudge on the lens so none of them are in focus. :(



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