Friday, January 20, 2012

Aurora Borealis

This afternoon we received the following e-mail from The Geophsical Institute at the University of Alaska: "The solar events occurred on Jan. 18/19, 2012. The first two were small and of short duration. The last one was a coronal mass ejection associated with a long-duration solar flare from the northeast quadrant of the Sun. The location is such that the event is not facing Earth directly, but the intensity, duration and development are such that it will lead to increased auroral activity on this weekend.
The shock and the effects should reach Earth as early as 6 am GMT the 21st. This is approximately 10 hours from the time of this message." I quickly checked with the National Weather Service for a cloud forecast and found; "Tonight, mostly clear, with a low around -20. Wind Chill values between -25 and -30." Guess I will stay up till midnight to look for the Northern Lights. But at -20, I won't be looking for very long!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Yesterday was glorious here on the Gunflint Trail. We made a trip into town and were amazed at the number of vehicles we met coming up the Trail. The South Brule parking lot was full and vehicles and snowmobile trailers were parked along the roadway.

At first we thought that people were parking at the Brule River area and snowmobiling into the vegetable lakes (onion, bean, carrot, celery, etc.) for the winter trout opener. Then we observed that all of the parking areas between Poplar Lake and Grand Marais that were near a snowmobile trail were full of vehicles and trailers. We finally decided that having snow was the main reason for all of the snowmobile traffic.

We have had a mild winter. The cold portion of the winter is behind us and we are now moving into the period when we get heavier snowfalls. We came home with a truck full of groceries, ordered a refill for our propane tank and settled in to watch a playoff game with a renewed appreciation for our life here on the Gunflint Trail. If the weekend invasion leaves this evening maybe we can go to Trail Center for the rib night special.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A unique Boundary Waters fishing season opened with the start of the New Year. For a few hardy fishermen willing to hike, snowshoe or ski into the BWCAW the winter Late Trout season is open! This gives anglers an opportunity to experience the solitude of a secluded wilderness lake while enjoying a day surrounded by nothing by silence and a light winter's snow.

Many of the better Boundary Waters lakes for fishing Lake Trout are just a portage away from civilization. However, getting there is only part the adventure that comes from fishing these lakes. What makes ice fishing for Lake Trout so special is knowing that there is a really good chance of catching a big one.

The Lake Trout and Stream Trout season for lakes outside the BWCA runs from January 14th through March 31st. Some of the advantages of fishing these lakes include: they are very accessible, you can use power augers and on those really cold days there is a warm retreat nearby -- either a vehicle or a cozy cabin.

Ice fishing is an outdoor activity that is enjoyed by many who live in the Northland. When the fishing seasons for Walleye and Northern Pike are closed we still have a month before the Lake Trout season closes. You might want to give it a try!