Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Boundary Waters Expo

A Great Gunflint Trail Event for the whole Family

CC = GTVFD Community Center      PA = Waterfront Picnic Area

Saturday June 11th – Expo Hours 9am – 6pm and Sunday June 12 Expo Hours 10am -4pm

Seagull Lake Public Landing- Gunflint 

CC = GTVFD Community Center      PA = Waterfront Picnic Area

Saturday June 11th – Expo Hours 9am – 6pm

Lodging available at Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B and Lake Cabin- 800-322-8327

  9am –Saturday- Expo Opens!

Text Box: 9:30 am
The Long Solo Trip |
Bears Paulsen
At the age of twenty-four Bear was laid off from his first full-time job. Instead of feeling disappointed, he went canoeing. He left from the Little Indian Sioux River and wandered
through Ontario and into Manitoba before returning to the BWCA four-and-a-half months later. His journey led him to places that he
had previously visited with his father on fishing trips in Ontario. He also explored both Woodland Caribou and Atikaki Provincial Parks.
Birding in the Boundary Waters | Sue Plankis
For five years Sue has led extraordinary canoe camping birding seminars in the Boundary Waters. This will be an early morning walking field trip in search of the many breeding species of birds native to the Boundary Waters. Her keen ear, uncanny spotting ability and knowledge of bird habitats will lift a curtain for participants to the bird world of the Boundary Waters. If possible, participants should bring binoculars. Limited to 12 adults.

Text Box: 11:30 am

Save the Boundary Waters | Ingrid Lyons
The Save the Boundary Waters Campaign northeast regional organizer Ingrid Lyons will give a talk on the Campaign, covering basics like what the Twin Metals project is and how it threatens the BWCA as well as wilderness edge communities such as Grand Marais. She will go into the science and economics of the issue, as well as let folks know how they can help in this effort.


Packing and Portaging |
Cliff Jacobson
Learn how to easily waterproof your gear and pack efficiently for a Boundary Waters canoe trip. Probe the pros and cons of various packs and wanigans (dry boxes) and learn how each is best utilized on a canoe trip. Adventurous participants may try double-packing a heavy load with a tumpline. We’ll check out packs, procedures, portage yokes, canoe tumplines and canoe lift-and-carry procedures.
Cliff will also be providing personal canoe instruction during the entire event.

Text Box: 12:00 pm

Canadian Style Paddling Demonstration | Sue Plankis
Sue will perform and on-the-water demonstration of style canoeing. Canadian Style and American Freestyle canoeing are forms of paddling that, though a variety of paddle strokes, create astonishing canoe dances on the water.

Text Box: 1:15 pm
Tips from 1,000 Trips | 
Rob Kesselring
Canoe camping tips and secrets gleaned from decades of wilderness travels in The Boundary Waters, Quetico, the arctic and the desert Southwest. Planning, packing, canoe choice, paddling techniques, gear, safety, navigation, dehydrating meat, cook kits, campsite selection, weather, bears, essential knots, cooking, and group dynamics,
An entertaining, information-packed session from one of the most experienced canoe guides in North America.

Text Box: 2:45 pm
The Rediscover North America Expedition |
Adam Trigg
 How do you even begin to think about canoeing from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean?  Well, this massive canoe trip had its origins on the Hudson Bay in 2012, when Winchell Delano and three others finished a 2600-mile canoe expedition across Canada’s Northern Territories.  At that moment, the feeling of accomplishment seemed outweighed by something else.  He wasn’t sure what.  But, by the time that he returned to work in November of 2012, it was pretty clear.  The journey wasn’t over yet – it was just on hold.  Something bigger was brewing.  On a flight from Salt Lake City to Minneapolis, Winchell and Adam Trigg started to talk about future canoe trips across Canada.  Adam joked aloud: “We could just start in the Gulf and paddle up the Mississippi …” They both laughed, but at the same time loved the idea, because it seemed to perfectly juxtapose nature and culture, the wilds of Canada and the more densely populated United States.  The result?  Six guys paddled 245 days through twelve states, three provinces and two territories by way of sixteen rivers to cover a total of 5,230 miles across the US and Canada.  The best part?  The people we met and kindness we were shown.

Build your own BWCA Canoe | St. Croix Canoes
Have you ever wanted to build a cedar-strip canoe? Don’t know how to get started? Worried that it’s too hard? Visit with the guys from St. Croix Canoes. We will share tips, tricks, and some lessons learned. See the various methods described in the well-known “how-to” books on canoe building. You can see some of the tools and techniques to give you the confidence to build it yourself.

When Mishaps Happen: Wilderness First Aid Tips & Techniques |
Paul and Kelly Dahl
What happens when your long anticipated wilderness trip goes wrong with an injury or illness? In this presentation, we will explore some of the common mishaps that occur out on the trail and how to approach such issues in the wilderness setting. Simple tips that can either help prevent or decrease the chance of making a medical issue worse will be covered. We will also discuss wilderness first aid kit items and demonstrate essential first aid techniques.

Text Box: 4:15 pm
Lonnie Dupre
In 2001, Dupre and his teammate John Hoelscher of Australia became the first to circumnavigate Greenland.  They traveled the 6,500 miles of rugged island coastline by dog team and kayak.
Lonnie’s multi-media, 50 minute presentation will be about the 3000 plus mile kayak portion of that trip.  There will be Q&A afterword.

Moose in the BWCA | US Forest Service
Our moose are one of northern Minnesota’s claims to fame.  A Forest Service naturalist will help you learn more about moose life and biology, as well as the concerns about their future in the state in this family oriented presentation.

6pm – Day 1 of the Expo Closes

Text Box: 6:00 pm
Campfire: Storytelling with Q&A | Cliff Jacobson & Friends
This will be an interactive discussion about defining Wilderness: what it means to people that love and visit it, and what it means according to legal definitions.  We'll talk about individual interpretations, the language of the Wilderness Act, and how that translates into US Forest Service management of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and the experience available to visitors to the area.

Sunday, June 12th – Expo Hours 10am – 4pm

Text Box: 10:30 am
Bear Proofing Your Camp | Cliff Jacobson
Text Box: 12:00 pm
Learn how to protect yourself and your food from bothersome Boundary
Waters bears–“treeing food packs” doesn’t always work! Know how to properly use pepper spray to discourage a bear. Understand the behavioral differences between wild, man-wise and habituated bears. What should you do when you meet a bear on the trail? What precautions can you take to prevent bears (and small animals) from getting your
If you’ve read Cliff’s views on bears in his books, you know he challenges accepted beliefs. Now, research by Stephen Herrero and James Gary Shelton suggest he’s right on track!

Text Box: 10:30 am
Fire Ecology | US Forest Service
Our boreal forest is a fire dependent ecosystem, but that doesn’t mean that all fires are good, or that all fires are bad.  Learn about how fire relates to the ecology of our area, how views of fire have evolved through the years, and some firefighting techniques.

Text Box: 4:00 pm
Shrimp Boil & Bake Sale with samples of Rusty Crawfish

Photography in Canoe Country | Radiant Spirit Gallery
Join Gary Fiedler and Dawn LaPointe of Radiant Spirit Gallery for a photo hike near the expo grounds. They’ll share tips for using and protecting camera gear while wilderness tripping, and will lead an informal instructional photo shoot. All cameras and levels of experience are welcome, so bring a camera and instruction manual (if available), and enjoy photographing inspirations in nature.

Dead Fish Polo | Bear Paulsen
What the heck is Dead Fish Polo? Come to this on the water demo and find out. Join in if you dare, but be prepared to get wet.

Text Box: 1:00 pm
Bannock -- the bread of the backcountry |
Rob Kesselring
A hands-on outside demonstration of how to make bannock in the bush. Rob learned how to make bannock when he lived with the Dene first nation people of the far north. Participants will learn how to make it and will taste it. Learn why bannock is the difference between visiting the bush and living in the bush. Cliff Jacobson claims Rob’s bannock is simply the best.

Text Box: 2:30 pm
Paddling Wisdom |
Adam Trigg

You don’t take a 5,230 mile canoe trip without learning a few things.  Adam will give pointers on how to make your next canoe trip a success, no matter how long it is.

Schedule of Events
Boundary Waters Expo Hours:
Saturday, June 11 | 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 12 | 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Community Center
Waterfront Picnic Area
Saturday 6/11
9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
9:00 a.m.
Exhibitor Tents Open

9:30 a.m.
The Long Solo Trip | Bears Paulsen
Birding in the Boundary Waters | Sue Plankis
11:30 a.m.
Save the Boundary Waters | Ingrid Lyons
Packing and Portaging | Cliff Jacobson
12:00 p.m.

Canadian Style Paddling Demonstration | Sue Plankis
1:15 p.m.
Travel Like a Wilderness Guide - Tips from 1,000 Trips | Rob Kesselring
Build your own BWCA Canoe | St. Croix Canoes
2:45 p.m.
The Rediscover North America Expedition | Adam Trigg
When Mishaps Happen: Wilderness First Aid Tips & Techniques | Paul and Kelly Dahl
4:15 p.m.
Lonnie Dupre
Moose in the BWCA | USFS
3:30  – 5:30 p.m.
Beer Tasting with Voyageur Brewing Company
6:00 p.m.
Booths Close for Day 1
6:00 p.m.
Campfire Storytelling with Q&A | Cliff Jacobson
Sunday 6/12
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
10:00 a.m.
Expo Tents Open

10:30 a.m.
Bear Proofing your Camp | Cliff Jacobson
Photography in Canoe Country | Radiant Spirit Gallery
12:00 p.m.

Dead Fish Polo | Bear Paulsen
1:00 p.m.
Fire Ecology | USFS
Bannock - the bread of the backcountry | Rob Kesselring
2:30 p.m.

Paddling Wisdom | Adam Trigg
4:00 p.m.
2nd Annual Boundary Waters Expo Ends – See you next year!
4:00 p.m.
Shrimp Boil Fundraiser for the Gunflint Historical Society @ Chik-Wauk Museum & Nature Center

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Poplar Creek Courier 
 Newsletter of

Country Trekking

 June 2016


 Early summer along the Gunflint Trail
The mid –Gunflint area, where Poplar Creek B&B is located, has taken on a beautiful early summer look. Within a couple of weeks, the White Birch has gone from just a few little leaves to fully leafed-out. (photo below on left)  Meanwhile the Aspen are lagging a little behind with young smaller leaves, but they a coming along. The Conifer trees, which grow each year through
"candling” (photo of red pine on right) where new growth is added at the end of the branch, are just beginning. Eventually the White and Red Pine’s candling will reach six or more inches. The spruce candling is not quite as far along. Adding to the new “greening” in the neighborhood is the blossoming of the cherries and elderberry. 
 The Gunflint Trail’s Family Run Resort - Sixty Years and Counting
There are Four resorts along the Trail that have been owned and operated by the same family for a least seventy years - Trout Lake, Nor’Wester, Gunflint and Hestons.
Trout Lake Lodge- In the spring of 1946, Bud and Charlet Kratoska moved from Chicago to Trout Lake with their 2 young daughters, a 32 volt light plant, the batteries and all their worldly belongings.  After a lot of trial and error, Bud got electricity to the cabins.  There was wood to cut for heat. In the winter, ice blocks were cut from the lake for summer cabin ice boxes. Cabins were built by hand tools. The boat house/work shop was converted to living quarters. A party line connection was eventually added with “Ma-Bell.”

Bud was the secretary of the Gunflint Trail Association and organized the Tip of the Arrowhead to promote Cook County. Char would answer info requests,  type and mimeograph a list and send it to all the businesses in the county.  For years they represented the Tip of the Arrowhead at Sport Shows.

Bud worked with others to get REA in the county and in 1956 real electricity at Trout Lake and the Gunflint Trail was installed.  That prompted a drilled well and cabin remodeling to add water for kitchens, bathrooms and septic tanks. Bud asked Char what she wanted for their wedding anniversary.  She said “Now that all the cabins have plumbing I would like a bathroom.”  The ice boxes were replaced with refrigerators, the wood stoves by propane heaters and life became more comfortable.

The family  grew up and moved away but always came back to Trout Lake for vacations and to help when it was needed.

After Bud’s sudden passing in 1986 at 72, their daughter, Nancy Waver came home to care for Charlet and the resort.  The children came home as they were able and it took a crew to make life good for Charlet, who passed at home at the age of 92.

In the spring of 2007 the lodge burned down.  The rebuilding has kept everyone busy.  There aren’t many of the original guests returning but many of their children and grandchildren come to visit.  Trout Lake has tried to keep the intimate family experience of time in the woods as their gift to guests.  It is the goal of all the family to keep Trout Lake Resort- a memorable place “where time slows down.   Edited copy original written by Nancy Waver

Nor’Wester Lodge- Next up the Gunflint and thirty-three miles from Grand Marais is Nor’Wester Lodge. Carl & Alis Brandt came to the Gunflint Trail in 1931 to start a sawmill. They soon realized that visitors to the area needed a place to stay. So Carl began building cabins while Alis washed laundry, and cooked meals for the many fishermen. They named their resort “Balsam Grove,” a name which would stay with the resort through the next 35 years or so.
Built with native spruce and pine logs the lodge still stands today (an addition was later added). Several original diamond willow furniture pieces Carl made are found in the lodge along with furs from many of his trapping and hunting trips. (Photo on left is Brandt boys loading Ice for summer; photo on right the original lodge.)
In 1966, Carl and Alis´, son Carl, and his wife Luana, took over the resort, and in 1968 they changed the name to Nor´Wester Lodge & Outfitters.  Go to Nor’Wester history for a more complete version.

Gunflint Lodge and Northwoods Outfitters was originally started in 1925 by Doris Blankenburg and her son, Russell. In 1927 the lodge was purchased by the Spunner family along with their daughter Justine (later Justine Kerfoot). After the purchase the lodge was enlarged and additional cabins built. (Photo of Justine below)


Photo of Justine by Howard Sivertson
In 1933 Bill Kerfoot, son of the president of Hamline University, arrived on the Gunflint Trail. He was eager for any job at any rate of pay. Justine took him on for room and board. According to a friend at the time, she decided he was "good with the guests." In September, 1934, Bill and Justine were married. Together they continued to expand the lodge.

In the early 1960s, several things changed—Bruce Kerfoot, Justine and Bill’s son returned from the Army and came aboard as the next generation of the family to lead the business at Gunflint. Bruce married Sue in 1968. During the first years of their marriage, Justine ran the canoe outfitters -Northwoods Outfitters. That lasted only a couple of years before Bruce bought her out. Although Justine always retained a very active interest in the business, the next generation was now truly in place. Once again an ambitious young couple was running Gunflint.

Just a note on Gunflint Lodge- for the past year’s Gunflint Lodge  has been up for sale and it appears that the lodge is going to change hands and lodge’s tradition of being operated by a member of the Kerfoot family will be lost. Click on Gunflint Lodge and Outfitters history for a complete version

Heston Lodge and Country Store - the Lodge was established in 1943 by Myrl Heston. He had come from Chicago to visit the area.  At the time, he wrote to his cousin, stationed in the South Pacific. “Virl,” he said, “I bought a Paradise.”  Myrl and Peggy, his wife, moved to this paradise, and together operated Heston’s until 1971, when Myrl passed away.

Peggy continued running the lodge until 1984. Summers were filled with family, when daughters and grandchildren would come home and help with all of the jobs required of a lodging business.  In the winter, Peggy was often on her own, and kept just two cabins open.  It was a large task for her, but Peggy was never one to shy away from all of the hard work. When she “retired”, she moved to Grand Marais and worked in various jobs. She answered phones and greeted visitors at the tourism information booth.  In her mid-eighties, she took a position with the Johnson Heritage Post Art Gallery, and for many years, welcomed people to see the exhibits.  Many people remember her from that post, as well as seeing her walking all over Grand Marais. Peggy passed away in 2007, at the age of 94.   (photo to the rights is Peggy Heston)

In 1979, Peggy’s daughter Sharlene, and her husband Chuck Gecas, moved permanently to the Trail.  They ran the resort until 1989.  Sharlene is still active in the business, and lives near the lodge.  She spends some time in Alaska, but Gunflint Lake will always be her home.  Greg Gecas, Sharlene and Chuck’s son, and his wife Barb Gecas, was the next and current generation to take over operation of the lodge. Click on Heston’s history for a complete version.
 New Resorts and Canoe Outfitters on the Trail
Loon Lake Lodge  formerly owned by Tom and Terry Caldwell was purchased by Derek and Andrea Hofeldt from Iowa and recently from Alaska.  Derek and Andrea plan to carry on the tradition of Loon Lake Lodge including the great dining room.

Tuscarora Canoe Outfitters was purchased by Gunflint residents, Ada Igoe and Andrew McDonnell. Prior to the purchase of Tuscarora, Ada was the Director of Chik-Wauk Museum. Andy grew up on the Gunflint where his parents owned Hungry Jack Outfitters and later he worked for years at Bearskin Lodge.

Rockwood lodge has been sold to Carl Madsen and Stephanie Lightner.  They hail from the Twin Cities. One of their first projects was to order new mattress and box springs to replace the ones that had been in the cabins. They also are converting Mike and Lin’s former home at the west end of lodge’s property into a rental cabin and are moving into the staff quarters. Carl and Stephanie will be spending their winters at the lodge. During the summer they will be joined by Stephanie’s sister and brother law – Carol and Mike Siem.

Best of luck to all four new Gunflint Trail lodge owners.

Last Winter Storm Debris
This spring, after the snow melted along the sides of the Gunflint Trail from the South Brule River to Loon Lake, the ditches were littered with down trees and brush as a result of last December's ice storm. Even the phone line along the Trail, in many places, was covered with down trees including several places where the lines were laying on the ground. Thanks to the Cook County Highway Department’s crews most of this litter has been cleaned up. For the most part all that remains along the Trail from the storm are some bent over brush that hopefully “mother nature” will straighten this summer.
 Meanwhile resorts and property owners have been cleaning up the bottles, cans and other trash that have accumulated over this past winter along the Trail. And sometime early this summer the County’s Firewise Program will be picking up additional brush stacked by resort and homeowners along their driveways and roadsides.
In Closing – Barbara Young, Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B Writes-
Sitting in the office working on reservations and what do I hear--At least 3 flocks of geese flew over the B&B. What a thrill. It is pitch black outside. Love this time of year when birds and animals do their thing. A  moose cow and two newborn calves at a nearby neighbor’s house was seen, but a yearling bear cub was near so the moose moved on. They sometimes swim to nearby islands, one of which my sister in law lives on so maybe my sister in law will see them. It is getting late. Time for popcorn!
I talked to my brother-in-law the next morning. He was on Moss Lake fishing trout when he came across another moose and one very small calf. He also said he has seen moose with calves on there Poplar Lake island and more moose swimming in the lake