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Apr-May 2012 VOL 9, ISSUE 2 For Folks Who Love the North

WHITEWATER Rollercoasters

+ Teach a Kid + Tenkara + Species Guide

Vote Now ! READER’S CHOICE Adventure Awards

Gunflint Trail Youth Camps

FREE

Northern Wilds is also available by subscription. See page 3 for details.


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NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012


NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

from the editors

FEATURES

City Girl Gone Wild 10

Casting Into Spring

A girly-girl goes North.

Off to Camp! 11

Gunflint youth camps serve up wilderness.

The Niagara of the North 12

Thunder Bay’s Kakebeka Falls

Special Fishing Section 16

Tenkara, Tips and more

Whitewater Rollercoasters 18 Paddlers are brave...or crazy.

Spring Cleaning for Watercraft 22

In spring, the sight of open water is welcomed by just about everyone in the Northern Wilds. After months of frozen fun, it’s great to make a splash, whether you are paddling a creek, opening up the cabin or stepping in a puddle along a hiking trail. Open water also means fishing. Nowhere else can match what the Northern Wilds has to offer anglers in the spring. From steelhead and brook trout in creeks to walleyes and northern pike in lakes, high quality angling opportunities are endless.

DEPARTMENTS North Notes 5 Calendar & Events 7 Miss Guided 13 Canadian Trails 17 Through My Lens 20 The Accidental Gardener 24 Product Reviews 25 Northern Sky 25 Strange Tales 26 Campfire Stories 27

Of course, not everyone who ventures near water is carrying a fishing rod. Cliff Langley, for instance, carries a paddle. What he does when he gets near water with a kayak may strike you as plumb crazy, but it makes for incredible pictures. Eve Wallinga always heads for the nearest waterfall, which happens to be Kakabecka Falls by Thunder Bay. Michael Furtman brings a camera.

About our cover: A brook trout brings a smile to a young angler. | JAMES SMEDLEY

We are pleased to introduce you to Dyke Williams, a writer with a long history in the canoe country, who tells us about the many youth camps along the Gunflint Trail. Ely’s Iron Mike Hillman spins a tale about Old Harry Homer, “who reached the point in life he didn’t care what color the stoplight was.” Elle Andra-Warner gives us the lowdown on Thunder Bay’s pastry delicacy, the Persian. Joan Farman explains how plants get along— or not—in your garden. We must also tell you this is the last issue where Shelby Gonzalez will be on the masthead as managing editor, because she’s becoming marketing manager for the Cook County Visitor’s Bureau in Grand Marais. We’re happy to say she plans to continue contributing Northern Wilds. She’s a valued member of the great team that makes Northern Wilds possible. —Shawn Perich and Amber Pratt

Got Photos? We’d love to see shots of you and your family out and June/July Advertising Deadline: May 9, 2012 about in the Northern Wilds. Send to editor@northernwilds.com.

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game fish species.

In this issue, we celebrate fishing. Shelby Gonzalez takes us along on an adventure as she learns about an ancient form of Japanese fly fishing called tenkara. Canadian angling wizard Gord Ellis shares some of his fishing plans for this season. We also offer some tips for teaching kids to fish and a basic guide to popular

How not to puke a powerhead.

Copyright 2011 All rights reserved Advertising rates and publishing schedules are available.

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PUBLISHERS Shawn Perich & Amber Pratt EDITORS Shawn Perich, Editor Shelby Gonzalez, Managing Editor editor@northernwilds.com shelby@northernwilds.com OFFICE Bev Wolke GRAPHIC DESIGN Breanna Super billing@northernwildsmedia.com breanna@northernwilds.com

SUBSCRIBE TODAY! SUBSCRIB

ADVERTISING Amber Pratt, Advertising Manager, apratt@northernwilds.com Jessie Kurtz, Sales Rep., jessie@northernwilds.com CONTRIBUTORS Elle Andra-Warner, Lee Boyt, Gord Ellis, Joan Farnam, Michael Furtman, Mike Hillman, Cliff Langley, Deane Morrison, Amber Pratt, James Smedley, Gary and Eve Wallinga, Dick VanEtten Williams.

Copyright 2011 by Northern Wilds Media, Inc. Published six times per year. Subscription rate is $15 per year or $28 for 2 years. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part requires written permission from the publisher.

Northern Wilds Media, Inc P.O. Box 26 Grand Marais, MN 55604 (218) 387-9475 (phone / fax)

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NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

Welcome Wildlife to your Woods.

Good For You. Good For Our Forests.® Your family values their traditions. We can show you how to manage your forest property to improve wildlife habitat and sustain your traditions. The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) Program can help you better manage your forest property with this free publication: Sustainable Forestry—A Landowner’s Manual www.mns.org/manual.htm

Contact us at 218-722-5013 for your free copy, or write to: MN SFI Implementation Committee 903 Medical Arts Building 324 West Superior Street Duluth, MN 55802 The SFI® Program promotes forest stewardship integrating reforestation, nurturing, and harvesting trees for useful products with conservation of soil, air, and water resources, sh and wildlife habitat, and forest aesthetics.


NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

Seven More Days with the Giant If you’ve entered Canada’s ultimate outdoor adventure contest–Win Seven Days With The Giant—but not been lucky enough to win, never fear. The contest returns this year. This summer, one lucky winner and three friends will enjoy an all-expense paid weeklong adventure exploring Thunder Bay and the North Shore region, including Dorion and Nipigon. Winners will create their own custom adventure with help from the experts of Lake

Superior Visits. Starting with paid return airfare from anywhere in North America, a digital camera package, camping gear, and a beautiful Thunder Bay print, they may enjoy Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Fort William Historical Park, sailing and angling on Lake Superior, mountain biking, hiking, and culinary and cultural experiences. The package is over $15,000. Enter at www.visitthunderbay.com through May 31.

In the Boundary Waters, a bathing moose casts a baleful glance at the camera. | PAUL SUNDBERG

Sky Survey Finds

Big Lakes by Bicycle

PHOTO COURTESY OF ADVENTURE MN FILMS

Minnesota’s moose population continues to decline, drop-

People have kayaked, canoed ping from an estimate of 4,900 in 2011 to 4,230 in 2012, and walked around the Great Lakes, according to the DNR’s annual aerial survey. but nobody has ever biked around them. Zach The DNR will be evaluating the data and conChase and Kris McNeal intend to be the first. The two 20 sulting with tribal biologists before making a something Minnesotans will decision on a 2012 hunting season. A copy of See www.bigwaterbike.com “hit the saddle”—high-definithe survey report is available online. tion cameras in tow—on May 1, beMinnesota’s moose population was estiginning a three-month, 5,300mated at 8,840 in 2006 and has trended mile journey.

Adventure Flick Starring…You? Four adventurers, four short films, one state. Which adventurers? You decide. That’s the idea behind “Among the Wild,” a film project by Adventure MN Productions, LLC. Between now and April 30, you can nominate an outdoor athlete to be featured in one of the four films. The twist is that the sport needs to be “uniquely Minnesotan,” either due

Fewer Moose

to its location, history of the sport or gear development. Winners will be announced in May. Notes the official release, “Yes, you can even nominate yourself. We won’t tell." The company is also holding “extreme photo” and “extreme video” contests. Information at www.amongthewild.com.

downward since then. The causes of moose mortality are not well understood. Of 150 adult moose radio-collared since 2002 in Minnesota, 119 have subsequently died, most from unknown causes thought to be diseases or parasites. Ten died as a result of highway vehicle accidents. Two were killed by trains. Only 11 deaths were clearly the result of wolf predation. A new, two-year study begins in 2013 that will concentrate on identifying disease and parasites that might be responsible for high moose mortality.

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NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

Don't Worry, Be Hoppy

The call of the mink frog (Rana septentrionalis) sounds like someone knocking politely yet persistently on a wooden door. | WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/SEPTENTRIONALIS

You probably won’t hear Kermit crooning “The Rainbow Connection,” but you never know until you try. The DNR is looking for volunteers to participate in its ongoing Minnesota Frog and Toad Calling Survey. The survey is part of the nationwide North American Amphibian Monitoring Program. Participants will conduct nighttime “listening surveys” and record their observations on three evenings per year between April and July. These 10-stop routes are run after dark, in good weather, to capture seasonal variation in calling frog species. “Many frog and toad species are indicators of habitat quality and provide valuable in-

Forests Growing Faster in the North Forest land has expanded in northern states during the past century despite environmental threats and a 130-percent population jump, according to a new report from the Northern Forest Futures Project (produced by U.S. Forest Service scientists). Total U.S. forest land remained essentially unchanged during that time. Benefits from forests include forestry jobs, carbon emissions collection, and forestry jobs. About 441,000 people in the North work in the forestry, logging, wood products, and pulp and paper industries, accounting for about 40 percent of all U.S. jobs in these sectors. According to the report, forest coverage in the United States has increased by 28 percent across the region that includes Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

formation on the condition of Minnesota’s wetlands,” explained Rich Baker of the DNR Nongame Wildlife Program. New volunteers receive a kit that includes a CD of calls by Minnesota’s frog and toad species, a poster of Minnesota’s frogs and toads, and a map of a predefined route in an area of their choice. Route availability and past survey results are on the DNR website, as are directions on how to run the route. A vehicle is required to travel between stops. Those interested should choose a route and then contact Heidi Cyr at (651) 2595107 or heidi.cyr@state.mn.us.

TRAVEL TIP:

Border Crossing

To make your land border crossing from Canada into Minnesota (or vice versa) as speedy as possible, make sure you have at least one form of acceptable ID, such as:

• •

BORDER CROSSING

• • • • • •

Passport Birth certificate plus state-issued identification card Passport card NEXUS Trusted Traveler Card Native American Tribal Photo Identification Card Indian and Native Affairs Canada (INAC) Card

Full list and more information: www.travel.state.gov or www.cbsa.gc.ca.


NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

Gear Up for Outdoors Tent Sale & Outdoor Extravaganza

Superior Spring Trail Races

APRIL 2729

LUTSEN

THUNDER BAY

WWW.SUPERIORTRAILRACE.COM

WWW.GEARUP.COM

Over the river and through the woods to the finish line you’ll go on this scenic, lung-busting trail race event, which starts and ends at Caribou Highlands Lodge. You have two race distance options: 25 km (15.5 miles) and 50 km (30.1 miles). Suited for veteran trail runners and road warriors seeking a wild new challenge.

The Central Canada Baseball Diamond in Thunder Bay will look like a Boy Scout Jamboree at the Gear Up for Outdoors Tent Sale & Outdoor Extravaganza. Over 100 tents will be set up for inside-and-out inspection. You’ll be able to check out a remarkable range of tent options, including family camping tents, screen tents, hammocks, and ultra-lightweight tents. Manufacturer’s representatives from companies like Marmot and The North Face will be on hand to answer questions and help you find the tent that best suits your needs.

Midwest Mountaineering Outdoor Adventure Expo APRIL 2729 MINNEAPOLIS WWW.OUTDOORADVENTUREEXPO.COM

This 3-day expo presented by Midwest Mountaineering may reignite your enthusiasm for the great outdoors. Dozens of speakers—among them Shelby Gonzalez, managing editor of Northern Wilds—will share stories, ideas and practical information on close-to-home and far-off adventures like canoeing in Scotland, hiking the Himalayas, and canoecamping in the BWCAW. Two adventure film festivals will take place, one focusing on a range of adrenaline sports, the other on paddling. Other expo attractions include a canoe and kayak demo and auction, dozens of exhibitors, and a massive sale at the Midwest Mountaineering store. Admission is free with the exception of the film showings.

MAY 19

HUGO WWW.MNOUTDOORYOUTHEXPO.COM

Walking through this expo is an adventure in itself. The all-outdoor family event sprawls out over 65 acres of wooded trails and open fields. Designed for kids, teens and families, the expo features dozens of activities, most of them free, including laser shooting, dog handling and training, birds of prey demos, rock climbing, geocaching, mock pheasant hunting, and canoeing and kayaking. Entry fee is $5 per adult, no charge for kids under 16. Parking and and most activities are free. Children under 14 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Friday 2-9 Saturday 9-6:30 Sunday 10-5 Plus on water canoe and kayak demo Thursday, April 26 3-7pm and “Pre-Expo Sale” Thursday 5-9

85 Exhibitors EVERYTHING ON SALE!

at Midwest Mountaineering, U of M Campus and Big-Top Tents

Featuring: Friday

Beer and Gear

Social and Raffle 4-9pm

Birds on the brain? Check out this two-day festival based out of Canyon Country, some 80 km east of Thunder Bay, in an area where residents have placed second in the province for recorded checklists in the Great Backyard Bird Count. You’ll start with a bus shuttle to Hurkett Cove, on the shores of Lake Superior’s Black Bay. The spot was noted as a top Ontario birding site in the book “Birds of Ontario.” You’ll also visit Ouimet Canyon, home to many arboreal species.

CANYON COUNTRY BIRDING FESTIVAL

Dorion, Ontario May 26 & 27, 2012 Registration forms available at Lake Superior Trading Post, Grand Marais

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APRIL 27-29

DORION, ONTARIO • WWW.DORIONBIRDFEST.CA

DORION’S

MAY 1920

Presentations

OutdoorAdventureExpo.com

Dorion’s Canyon Country Birding Festival MAY 2627

Minnesota Outdoor Youth Expo

100 FREE

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For reservations call: 1-800-543-1384 or visit: www.grandportage.com Owned and operated by the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Radical Reels Film Festival, Reel Paddling Film Festival Canoe and Kayak Auction, Canoe and Kayak Demo

309 Cedar Ave. So. Mpls. 612-339-3433

7

Experience Fun and Excitement!


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NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

Wild Events Calendar C

av e lip & S

We are often asked about upcoming shindigs throughout the Northern Wilds region. Below are the dates for some of the more popular 2012 festivals and events so you can begin making plans to attend them and reserve your accomodations. See you this summer! MAY 3  6

Gunflint Green Up Gunflint Lodge on the Gunflint Trail

MAY 4 6

Ely Outdoor Expo Ely www.elyoutdoorexpo.com

MAY 6

Ham Run Half-Marathon & Ham Run 5k Grand Marais hamrunhalfmarathon.com

MAY 27

Thunder Bay Kite Festival Chippewa Park, Thunder Bay www.thunderbay.ca

JUNE 1  3

Boreal Birding & Northern Landscapes Festival Grand Marais info@northhouse.org

JUNE 9

Grand Marais Classic Car Show Downtown Grand Marais www.grandmaraismn.com

JUNE 16

JULY 6  8

Thunder Bay Blues Festival Thunder Bay www.tbayblues.ca

JULY 14

6th Annual Bayfront Reggae & World Music Fest Duluth www.bayfrontreggae.com

JULY 14  15

AUGUST 24  25

Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival Duluth www.lakesuperiordragons.com

AUGUST 25 TENT.

Sawtooth Bike Challenge Grand Marais www.sawtoothchallenge.org

JULY 27

JULY 27  29

SEPTEMBER 13  16

Mountain Stage and Unplugged IX: The Northern Harvest Grand Marais www.northhouse.org

SEPTEMBER 21 22

Duluth Oktoberfest Duluth www.oktoberfestduluth.com

SEPTEMBER 23 34

JUNE 23

Lutsen 99er Bike Race Lutsen www.lutsen99er.com

JULY 29  31

Silver – Beaver Bay Days Beaver Bay www.silverbay.com

Bay Street Film Festival Thunder Bay www.baystreetfilmfestival.ca

JUNE 22  24

AUGUST 2  5

Moose Madness Grand Marais www.grandmarais.com

JULY 4

Bayfront Jam Festival Duluth www.bayfrontjam.com

Grand Marais Celebrates the 4th of July 6 p.m. Parade Fireworks over the Harbor at dusk www.grandmarais.com

JULY 5

Two Harbors Heritage Days Historic Waterfront of Two Harbors www.twoharborschamber.com

AUGUST 1011

“Heart of the Woods Quilters” Quilt Show Ely · www.ely.org

AUGUST 24  31 TENT.

Plein Air Outdoor Painting Competition Grand Marais www.grandmaraisartcolony.org

Moose Lake Historical Area Society Antique Appraisals

Hugo’s Flea Market

Moose Lake Depot Annex 1 p.m.  218-485-4159

APRIL 57 Sweetwater Shakedown Music Festival

Papa Charlie’s at Lutsen Mountains 9 p.m.-1 a.m.  www.lutsen.com

APR 1115 Arrowhead Home & Builders Show

9 a.m.  218-848-2220

10th Annual Dulcimer Day First United Methodist (Coppertop Church), Duluth 9 a.m.-5:15 p.m. www.WendyUpNorth.com

MAY 6, SUNDAY Ham Run Half-Marathon, 5k Fun Run and Little Runts Run Gunflint Trail hamrunhalfmarathon.com

MAY 19, SATURDAY

Grandma’s Marathon Duluth www.grandmasmarathon.com

AUGUST 4

MAY 5, SATURDAY

MN Fishing Opener

Duluth Airshow Duluth www.duluthairshow.com

Fisherman’s Picnic Grand Marais www.gmlions.com

APRIL 3, TUESDAY

Whiteside Park www.elyoutdoorexpo.com

APR 13, FRIDAY

North Shore Dragon Boat Festival Grand Marais Harbor www.northshoredragonboat.com

Wooden Boat Show & Summer Solstice Festival Grand Marais www.northhouse.org

Ely Outdoor Expo

The Sports Dome, Thunder Bay www.cle.on.ca

Friday the 13th Tour

Radio Waves Music Festival Grand Marais www.wtip.org

Annual Blueberry Festival Ely · www.ely.org

Spring Home & Garden Show

SEPTEMBER 8  9

JULY 1617

Ely Heritage Day Soudan www.mndnr.gov/soudan

MAY 46

DECC, Duluth  (952) 431-9630 www.shamrockprod.com

Fall Harvest Moon Festival Ely · www.ely.org

JULY 21

MARCH 30  APRIL 1

SEPTEMBER 7

Grand Marais Arts Festival Grand Marais www.grandmaraisartcolony.org Salmon Classic Fishing Tournament Silver Bay Marina www.silverbay.com

For more event listings, log on to: www.NorthernWilds.com

SEPT. 29  OCT. 2

OCTOBER 19  21

NOVEMBER 3  4

Bluegrass Masters Weekend Lutsen www.northshoremusicassociation.com

NOVEMBER 16

Bentleyville ‘Tour of Lights’ Opens Duluth www.bentleyvilleusa.org

NOVEMBER 16  18

Winters Gathering Grand Marais www.northhouse.org

8 p.m.  Fairlawn Mansion, Superior www.superiorpublicmuseums.org

Grease

Production of Lake Superior Community Theatre Kelley School auditorium in Silver Bay Performances on Apr. 13-15 & 20-21 218-353-7509  www.lsct.us

APR. 19, THURSDAY 10th Annual Taste of the North Gourmet Foods & Silent Auction Two Harbors  6:30 p.m. North Shore Horizons 218-834-5924

APR. 21, SATURDAY 23rd Annual Fitger’s 5K

Duluth 9 a.m.  218-727-0947 www.GrandmasMarathon.com

APR. 2729 Gear Up for Outdoors Tent Sale & Outdoor Extravaganza Thunder Bay 800-304-4275  www.gear-up.com

Midwest Mountaineering Adventure Expo

Minneapolis www.outdooradventureexpo.com

APR. 28, SATURDAY skyBLUE quartet and the ORANGE girl

4-H Lob Cabin (Community Center) Grand Marais 7:30-10:30 p.m.  218-387-2358

MAY 12, SATURDAY

Spring Superior Trail Race

25 & 5-K Races  Superior Hiking Trail www.superiortrailrace.com

MAY 1920 Minnesota Youth Outdoor Expo Hugo www.mnyouthoutdoorexpo.com

MAY 26, SATURDAY John Pine Heritage Site opens

Reconstruction of original Finnish Settlement Finland, MN  www.finlandmnus.com

MAY 2627 Canyon Country Birding Festival Dorion www.dorionbirdfest.ca

MAY 27, SUNDAY Life of a Voyageur

Gooseberry Falls State Park 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Mystery Nature Cart

Gooseberry Falls State Park 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

MAY 28, MONDAY Log Cabin Concerts with Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe’s Log Cabin Grand Marais 7 p.m.  218-387-2919


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NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

The author helps haul a canoe across a rock outcrop.

City Girl Gone Wild By Shelby Gonzalez It’s not that I hated nature, exactly—I had wanted to save the whales and the rainforest as much as any other sensitive 10-year-old girl—it was just that I preferred to appreciate the great outdoors from a distance. Specifically, from the climate-controlled, bug-free comfort of the great indoors. Which explains my mother’s reaction when I approached her, on a whim, about going on a canoe trip through YMCA Camp Menogyn.

Mud, bug bites and still a big smile.

“Three weeks in the Boundary Waters? You couldn’t last three days.”

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It was a fair statement. (I was 16 years old and had been camping exactly once, when I was a toddler. When forced to be outside, I whined about everything from the sun to the ants to the way the grass tickled and dirtied my feet.) But I heard it as a thrown gauntlet. My passing interest became determination. The following summer, I spent over a month as a work camper at Menogyn base camp and 16 days paddling, portaging, sweating, crying, laughing and growing in the Boundary Waters.

The next summer, I went on a Menogyn Nor’Wester, a 31-day canoe trip in the Wabakimi Wilderness in northern Ontario. I learned who I was when we had to portage miles through a humid, reeking swamp. When I was so tired I couldn’t possibly paddle another stroke—but had to. When northern lights split the ink-black sky. From there I fell in love with other outdoor pursuits, started writing about them, and eventually committed to a career in outdoor communications. My entire life shifted because of my experiences at YMCA Camp Menogyn.


NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

11

OďŹ&#x20AC; to Camp! Gunflint camps serve up wilderness skills with a side of personal growth By Dyke VanEtten Williams I believe that nobody should be allowed to get a job, buy a car or get married until they have been on at least one 4-week canoe trip. You only know who you really are when itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s raining and somebody needs to gather ďŹ rewood. Extended time in the wilderness can be the best possible education in how to be a human being. While such trips or similar circumstancesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;growing up on a farm is a good alternativeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;were once commonplace, they are not at all

MINK LAKE CAMP Six large log cabins and a rustic lodge with gas lights and stone fireplace provide a homey base campâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the only buildings on the lake. On the grounds for residential groups are a high-ropes course, canoeing equipment, sauna, and space for relaxation and contemplation with limited distractions. Mink Lake Camp is affiliated with Trout Lake Camps, sponsored by 250 Baptist churches in Minnesota and Iowa. CONTACT: John Wicklund, Director jpwicklund@comcast.net

ADVENTUROUS CHRISTIANS For over 40 years, Adventurous Christians (â&#x20AC;&#x153;A.C.â&#x20AC;?) has been a small, rustic, year-round wilderness ministry. In the summer, AC offers guided canoe trips of various lengths and challenges. In the

the norm today. Wilderness camps provide an irreplaceable experience for young peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;both campers and staff. The GunďŹ&#x201A; int Trail has been home to a richness of camps over the years, and almost all are still there. Here are ďŹ ve GunďŹ&#x201A; int Trail camps serving young people today, described from south to north. Contact them directly for more information, conversation or a visit. A YMCA Camp Menogyn guide and a youthful camper pause their paddles on Caribou Lake. | YMCA CAMP MENOGYN

other seasons they host wilderness retreats for church groups, leadership and women. They also offer â&#x20AC;&#x153;Adventurous Canines,â&#x20AC;? a winter camping experience featuring sled dogs. Sponsored by the Covenant Church. CONTACT: Mike and Nicole Nelson (218) 388-2286 ac@adventurouschristians.org www.adventurouschristians.org

James Bay. CONTACT: Maureen Martin, Program Director. (218) 388-4497 (summer), (763) 230-9310 (winter) maureen.martin@ymcatwincities.org www.campmenogyn.org

WILDERNESS CANOE BASE

YMCA CAMP MENOGYN Located on West Bearskin Lake on the edge of the BWCAW, YMCA Camp Menogyn (min-o-jin, from the Ojibwe â&#x20AC;&#x153;to grow fullyâ&#x20AC;?) is a wilderness adventure program primarily for teens. For 90 years, Menogyn has sent large numbers of small groups out on traditional canoeing, backpacking and rock-climbing trips in Minnesota and across North America to places like the Rockies and

Member FDIC

Wilderness Canoe Base specializes in guided canoe trips for middle and high school youth and intergenerational groups. Service work projects, team-building activities and â&#x20AC;&#x153;on baseâ&#x20AC;? outdoor activities are available through Island Camp. Wilderness Canoe Base hosts family camps and year-round retreats like Taize worship, womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s retreats and yoga weekends. Sponsored by Lake Wapogasset Lutheran Bible Camp, Inc. CONTACT: Emma Harness, Wilderness Site

Director. (218) 388-2241 wcboffice@campwapo.org campwapo@campwapo.org

CAMP BIRCHWOOD Camp Birchwood gives boys ages 7 to 17 valuable outdoor and interpersonal skills through outdoor adventure trips and traditional in-camp activities. On the Seagull River since 1969, this private camp (known for a time as Gunflint Wilderness Camp) has had campers from all over the world listening to the call of the loons, watching northern lights and breathing the fresh, clean air. CONTACT: Dan and Melissa (800) 451-5270. info@birchwoodforboys.com www.birchwoodforboys.com

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NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

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If you love waterfalls (and who doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t?), Kakabeka Falls is deďŹ nitely worth a day trip. You will hear the bellow of Kakabekaâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Ojibwe for â&#x20AC;&#x153;thundering water on sheer cliffsâ&#x20AC;?â&#x20AC;&#x201D; as soon as you open the car door. This majestic cascade is the second highest waterfall in Ontario and is sometimes referred to as â&#x20AC;&#x153;the Niagara of the North.â&#x20AC;? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an impressive 131 feet tall. Niagara is only 39 feet taller.

Kakabeka actually comprises two waterfalls that dive either side of a huge shale wedge to which birch ated near the bre c o and bushes cling. L a th t akin Together, they s l g Kak span 213 feet. The abeka Fal water volume ďŹ&#x201A;uctuates greatly with the season. The dam upstream also Souvenirs tWindsockstMoccasins diverts varying Canada & Thunder Bay T-Shirts, Sweatshirts & Fleece JacketstWeather Vanes amounts for hyKakabeka Falls Jackets, T-shirts and Polos Local Arts & CraftstGiftst0VUCBDL8FTUFSO8FBStCanadian Artwork & Books droelectric power. On weekends, Country, Seasonal and Garden FlagstAmethyst however, the river is unleashed, douglobalflags@tbaytel.net bling its surge. 4781 Hwy 11-17 W, Kakabeka Falls, ONT www.globalflagsandbanners.ca 807-577-2435 The morning we

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visited, a rainbow waxed and waned in the buffeting breath of the left falls, while white birch and aspen leaves quivered in the updraft from the pounding water. On the left side, the river pours over sharp and shattered layers of shale, making for wild water as it bounces off the fractures. The more voluminous right ďŹ&#x201A;ow plunges over a cleaner edge, hitting multiple steps on its way down. The view downriver from the overlooks is awe-inspiring as well, with the sparkling waters of the Kaministiquia River below and pines as far as you can see. The striped canyon walls through which the river runs feature gray, black, and brown tones. Candy Mountain and Knot Hill serve as backdrop to this unforgettable tableau. Be sure to read the legend of the brave Ojibwe princess, Green Mantle, in the interpretive materials available in the park. Listen for the angry cries of the spectral Sioux warriors who plunged to their deaths in the cacophonous cascade. See Green Mantlesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; spirit, manifested as a rainbow, lingering in the mist. The Wallingas are authors of Waterfalls of the North Shore available from www.northernwilds.com


NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

13

Love at First Bite I knew three things about y shing:

1. You wear rubber pants. 2. You use a long rod. 3. You disguise the hook with what appears to be a wad of belly-button lint.

by Shelby G o

Continue reading on next page.

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14

NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

H

aving read â&#x20AC;&#x153;The River Whyâ&#x20AC;? and knowing some ďŹ&#x201A;y-ďŹ shing fanatics, I suspected there was more to it than that. So, last September, I traveled to Grand Marais and ventured out with a guide to try tenkara. Tenkara is a traditional Japanese ďŹ&#x201A;y-ďŹ shing technique in which you use a reel-less telescoping rod and extra-light line. It is tailored to streams and any situation in which portability is important, such as wilderness excursions.

Miss Guided

BY SHELBY GONZALEZ

My guide, Scott Sorensen of Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply, explained that tenkara was developed by commercial ďŹ shermen in the mountains of Japan. They used bamboo and horsehair and simple ďŹ&#x201A; ies to snag trout. We were outďŹ tted with carbon-ďŹ ber rods made by Tenkara USA. The rods range in length from 11 to 14 feet. They are available online or at select retail outlets. It was a prototypical early-fall day, sunny and cool. We stopped at Buckâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hardware Hank for a ďŹ shing license (I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have one). Then we bumped along back roads to one of the many North Shore rivers that ďŹ&#x201A;ows into Lake Superior. I was feeling skeptical. I like goal-oriented activities like rock climbing and hiking. Would I really enjoy standing around waiting for a ďŹ sh to fall for my lint trick? We toted our gear along a section of the Superior Hiking Trail. The rods were easy to carry. Each one packs down

While a traditional tenkara grip requires placing the index ďŹ nger on top of the handle, the author is demonstrating an alternative method typically referred to as â&#x20AC;&#x153;greenhorn grip.â&#x20AC;? | SCOTT SORENSEN

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NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

Want to Try Tenkara?

Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply in Grand Marais is one of five tenkara retail outlets in the U.S. and the only one located in the Midwest. They carry a full selection of tenkara rods and offer guided tenkara fishing trips. For information, call (218) 387-3136. into its 20-inch handle and weighs about 3 ounces. Soon we reached the river. Cedars drooped from the banks. A crumbling cliff fringed with greenery stretched skyward. Our destination was a series of cascades, the water sliding over basalt undulations that looked like a sea serpent’s back. Sorensen showed how to unpack a tenkara rod. I copied him, sliding the sections through my fingers one at a time. Sections can be replaced if broken. Next, he attached the lines to the rods. He tied on a neon-pink dry fly—a clown shoe caddis made by Umpqua—and rubbed it with floatant. I liked the pink fly because it was easy to see. Tenkara USA recommends a line approximately the same length as your rod, including tippet of 5 pounds breaking strength or less. Two kinds of line are available: traditional and level. In tenkara, Sorensen said, there is less emphasis on the fly itself and more emphasis on the presentation of the fly. This made me picture a fly and a sprig of parsley arranged on a tiny platter. The light, fi xed-length line gives you more control over the fly’s behavior. Sorensen demonstrated casting, maneuvering the fly in the current, and striking the fly on the surface of the water so it looked almost alive. Now I understood how the fish get fooled. Later, he showed me a bowstring cast, good for reaching tight spaces. He dropped to one knee, pulled the line back taut, and fl icked it sideways under some overhanging cedars. My turn. I held the rod with my pointer finger extended in the traditional tenkara

grip, raised my elbow to a 90-degree angle, and cast. The line snarled. I muttered a few words. After repeated attempts and more coaching, I started to get the hang of casting, meaning I could actually get the fly in the water rather than landing it on a rock or in a tree. I aimed for a spot behind a rock where we could see half a dozen trout.

We moved to one of the deeper pools and switched to a wet fly. The river was low enough that we didn’t need waders. Finally I felt a tug. I had just enough fishing experience to set the hook instinctively. My first rainbow trout. We snapped photos and let it go. Next I caught a native brook trout. I looked at it more closely than I’ve ever looked at a fish before, noting the champagne hues, the orange spots. “What a beautiful fish,” I gushed. In all, I caught four rainbow trout and two brook trout. They were closer to bitesize than trophy-size, but it was thrilling just the same. In fact, when I snagged the second brook trout, I got so excited I almost fell in the river. What happened was, the trout thrashed off the hook. I fumbled it like a wet bar of soap. The trout landed on the sloped rock and flopped madly toward freedom. I lunged for it, but it plopped in the water and vanished in a silvery fl ash. I lost my balance and had to scramble for a handhold to avoid falling in after it. Fortunately for my ego, Sorensen missed the vaudeville act. When he said it was time to call it a day, I didn’t want to leave.

Teach a Kid to Fish Fishing is a fun and formative activity for kids. If their first fishing experiences are focused on fun and comfort, most kids enjoy fishing. Here’s a few tips to start them out right. • Start on shore. Children have short attention spans. Expect their first fishing trips to be short as well. Take them someplace where you can reel up and quit fishing when they lose interest. • Pick a nice day. Fishing is more fun if you are warm and comfortable.

Life Vests

No luck. The fish were undoubtedly observing my efforts and snickering like a pack of teenage girls. “Nice try, human. Ooh! You almost fooled me. NOT.”

By Shawn Perich

• Kids can start fishing when they are old enough to hold a fishing rod, though they need help with casting and baiting the hook. • Nothing boosts enthusiasm like success. Take kids fishing where they will catch fish—size doesn’t matter. Small yellow perch and smallmouth bass are abundant and make a great quarry for children.

• Bring snacks, drinks and small toys along to keep kids occuppied when the fish aren’t biting.

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16

NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

Favorite Fish of the Northern Wilds

1

SMALLMOUTH BASS

Abundant in many lakes, smallmouth bass are arguably the easiest fish to catch during the summer months. Look for their distinct, round spawning beds along shorelines in June. Throughout the summer, expect to find smallmouths in areas with a rocky bottom and near fallen trees. Cast for them using small crankbaits or jigs. On calm mornings and evenings, try small surface baits.

2

WALLEYE

The walleye resides in most lakes and large river systems and is unexcelled tablefare. When the season opens in May, look for them near gravel-bottom spawning areas. Throughout the summer, they feed near points, rocky bars and current edges. Evening fishing is often the best, because walleyes are active low light periods. Jig near the bottom with leeches, nightcrawlers or minnows. Troll with crankbaits or baited spinner rigs.

3

NORTHERN PIKE

Often caught incidentally by anglers pursuing other species, northern pike are fierce battlers. Look for these predators at the mouths of coves and bays or along the deep edge of a weedline. A wide range of lures will catch pike, including spoons and spinner baits. A sucker minnow fished beneath a bobber works, too. Use a pliers to remove hooks, because pike have sharp teeth.

4

LAKE TROUT

Denizens of deep, pristine lakes, lake trout are mostly caught in spring and early summer when they are in shallow water. As water temperature warms, they retreat to the cold depths. Look for springtime lakers along rocky shorelines and especially near reefs and submerged humps. Troll with spinner rigs baited with minnows, spoons or crankbaits. Casting and jigging near reefs can be very effective.

5

BROOK TROUT

A native of the north, the brook trout is emblemic of wild places. Common in coldwater streams, where they are generally one foot or less in length. They grow larger in small, cold lakes where they are stocked or occur naturally. Cast for them using small spinners, crankbaits or spoons. In creeks, bait a small hook with a worm and just enough weight to allow it to drift naturally in the current.

1 2 3 4 5

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NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

o D l

l i W What I Did on My Summer Vacation

17

into Lake Superior, so the big water is close by. It’s been a while since I’ve camped at Sleeping Giant; I think a return trip is in order. Another old favourite is located near Ignace, Ontario. Sandbar Lake Provincial Park is one of the hidden gems of the Northwest. It features a beautiful beach, good swimming and an amazingly quiet campground. I have fond memories of camping there when my kids were small.

Gord Ellis Sr with a big lake trout from Lake Nipigon. G Ellis photo

As July gives way to August, I start thinking about blueberry picking. Last season’s berry crop was amazing, at least north and east of Thunder Bay, and I’m hoping 2012 will be just as good. Areas north of Nipigon were really good last year, as were the cutovers near Upsala and Raith. Make a road trip out of it. Berry-picking is fun and there is no tastier summer treat in the world.

Man cannot live on fishing alone, but he’s going to try anyway Summer is sneaking up fast, and that is a good thing. There are very few places I’d rather be in June, July and August than Northwestern Ontario. The weather’s great, the days are long and there is an incredible amount of cool stuff to see and do.

brook trout, laker and steelhead fishing.

I’m a keen angler, so fishing trips are always at the forefront of my summer planning. The past couple of years, I’ve BY GORD ELLIS been rediscovering the big, beautiful lake on our doorstep. Superior is never far from mind when you live on its shore, but I’ll admit to not always giving it the attention it deserves. That changed last year. I’ll be hitting the lake hard again in 2012.

Canadian Trails

SC

LE

Yet man cannot live on fishing alone. At least not this man. A bit of camping or hiking must be in the mix somewhere. Northwestern Ontario has a tremendous number of awesome parks, and picking a favourite is impossible. A very accessible destination that provides a lot of varied opportunities is Sleeping Giant Provincial Park on the Sibley

ND A S

T A LE S

SP

O S RT

Then there is huge Black Bay, a unique warm-water fishery with bass, pike and perch. It’s one of the most productive bys in the big lake, yet receives little fishing pressure. A bit further east is beautiful Nipigon Bay. This bay has some simply amazing trout water. From the towns of Nipigon and Red Rock you can access tremendous coaster

A

One favourite trip is just minutes from my home in Thunder Bay. I put the boat in right at the waterfront and can be trolling for chinook and lakers within minutes. It’s very low-impact.

Yes, Superior is going to my focus. But that’s not to say the inland waters won’t get some attention. Lake Nipigon may be my favourite place to fish in the whole world, with its giant lakers, record-book brookies, and monster pike. The mighty Nipigon River is a close second, fl aunting one of the most diverse fisheries in Ontario.

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Peninsula. Located just 40 minutes east of Thunder Bay, this park has it all. You can swim, canoe and fish in Marie Louise Lake, hike any number of trails, or just watch the wildlife that is everywhere. The park is located on a peninsula that sticks way out

So there’s a taste of what I’m hoping to do this summer. Maybe we’ll cross paths.

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NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

By Cliff Langley

North Shore creeks are cold, steep and fast. Paddlers are brave...or crazy.

We stood at the edge of the falls

known to the paddling community as Almost Always (because it is almost always portaged) on the Lester River. It was a near-vertical 25-foot drop. Water from the cool mist of the falls collected on our helmets, droplets forming on the brims. We both knew the line: Paddle off the river-right flake, taking a left stoke, then tuck forward as you land on a fast, powerful flume of water that feeds a crushing wave. Joel shouted over the river roar. “You do the honors.”

On the rollicking Devil Track River, Ryan Zimny plummets from the lip of a 40-foot waterfall referred to “The Admiral”—only the second time the falls had ever been run. | SETH WARREN


NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012 I took one last look at where I wanted to be from river level and scurried along the rocky banks back to my kayak. Joel stayed by the falls, throwbag in hand. I snapped on my spray skirt, splashed a bit of icy water onto my face, and slid into the current. Within a few paddle strokes I was at the brink of the falls. Charging right, I made it onto the river-right ďŹ&#x201A; ake and took a left stroke that set me on the ďŹ&#x201A;ume of fast water. With instinct grown from years of experience, I tucked forward just in time to greet the powerful wave at the base of the falls. The impact almost ďŹ&#x201A; ipped me backwards and the frigid water gave me an instant ice-cream headache. Joel nodded in approval. As I looked back at the falls, it was hard to imagine that just a week ago we were cross-country skiing. It was early April and the sudden blast of warm spring weather had blown the area creeks open. This was spring creeking: frigid water, cold air temps, and typically the highest water of the year. The season is fueled by snow melt and spring rains. Months had passed since most of us had been in our kayaks. And now it was ofďŹ cially time to dust off the paddling gear and throw ourselves to the mercy of the cold, steep creeks of the North Shore. Every few miles from Duluth into Canada, a creek spills into Lake Superior. The steepness of these creeks can rival those of the Rocky Mountains; these creeks drop anywhere from 150 to several hundred feet per mile. Each river has its own features and rapids that give it a unique character. For example, the Lester River is an urban dream with a variety of challenging rapids and easy access. The Split Rock River is like a theme park rollercoaster with its long, slidelike rapids. The Cascade River, arguably the most challenging creek in

Minnesota, holds serious, complex rapids like Hidden Falls and ends in grandiose fashion with a series of cascading falls. Intrepid paddlers can also venture into Ontario for wilderness runs like the Jackpine River.

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And just as diverse as the rivers themselves are the characters that paddle them. From teachers to corporate types to under-employed paddling bums, differences are set aside to reach a common goal: Paddle some creeks. Most donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go it alone. There are beneďŹ ts of The author runs 30-foot Ilgen Falls on the Baptism River. Voluntarily. | RYAN ZIMNY having a paddling crew. A crew alis hard on a kayak. Up here, you are lows for the opportunity to set safety considered fortunate to get three or at difďŹ cult rapids, dish out some en- four seasonsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; worth of paddling out of couragement, and beneďŹ t from cu- a boat. mulative river experience. So whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1982 or 2012, putSpeaking of experience, these creeks ting on a North Shore creek requires have been paddled since the mid- to skills, courage, and a close-knit group late 1970s by pioneers like the late Jim you can trust on the river. Lucky for Rada (who wrote a great guidebook me, on this occasion I had my river on the subject) and the legendary John buddy, Joel. And now it was Joelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Alt. Little has changed since the ear- turn to give Almost Always a go. ly days, other than the adaptation of I stood on the river-right bank, modern, whitewater-speciďŹ c gear and the transition from ďŹ berglass boats to throw-bag in hand, as Joel came ďŹ&#x201A;yplastic kayaks. Those of the ďŹ berglass ing off the lip of the falls. In a ďŹ&#x201A; ash he era have joked that they would spend shot through the crashing wave at the all week patching their boat so they bottom. The wave spit him into the air. He slammed the bow of his kayak could paddle on the weekend. down and caught the river-right eddy. Even with modern plastic boats, As he looked back up at the falls, a the igneous rock of the North Shore wide grin crossed his face.

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NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

Superior Sea Eagles To the Anishinabe people of the Lake Superior region— also known as Chippewa or Ojibwe—the bald eagle is among the most revered of all creatures. It is not difficult to see why bald eagles demand awe. As North BY MICHAEL FURTMAN America’s only sea eagle (there are eight sea eagle species worldwide), the bald eagle’s wing span can reach seven and a half feet and the bird can weigh 14 pounds. On our continent, only the California condor and the golden eagle are larger.

Through My Lens

Bald eagles are large diurnal raptors (birds of prey that hunt by day) whose primary foodstuff is fish, although they also eat a lot of carrion. The bald eagle’s scientific name is Haliaeetus leucocephalus, which means “sea eagle with a white head.” Ranging from Alaska to Florida, there are two subspecies of the bald eagle: southern and northern. Differing only in size—northern eagles are larger—the boundary between the two has been set at 40 degrees north latitude. Adult bald eagles of both sexes have brilliant white heads as well as white tails. Juvenile bald eagles are sometimes confused with golden eagles since they attain this adult plumage gradually. Dark brown in their fi rst year, by the third year streaks of white appear on their heads and tails. By their fourth summer, most birds develop their white head and tail and become sexually mature. The bald eagle’s vision exceeds ours fourfold. So important is their vision that most of the space in a bald eagle’s head is given to their eyes, which are almost as large as our own. Because their eyes face forward, bald eagles have binocular vision that provides precise depth of field. This allows eagles to snatch prey with talons while diving from the sky, talons that can clench shut just as we can close our hand. In the “bad old days” when the use of the insecticide DDT was common, eagles picked up this chemical through the food chain, causing fragile

egg shells that crushed during incubation. Once DDT was banned, the birds’ recovery began. Now the population of bald eagles in our region is strong and growing. Bald eagles can live 15 to 25 years in the wild, and typically mate for life. Nests are often reused year after year, with additions to the nests made annually. Nests are often four to six feet wide and may weigh up to 1,000 pounds. Although bald eagles may range over great distances, they usually return to nest within 125 miles of where they were raised. In Northern Wilds country, breeding bald eagles return to nest in March. They lay one to three eggs, which hatch after about 35 days. Recent studies show that approximately 70 percent of bald eagle young survive their fi rst year of life. The young eagles are flying within three months and are on their own about a month later.


NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

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locally for directions to Glen Avon Falls about three miles upstream along County Road 3.

Baptism River

Hike to 70-foot High Falls and Two Step Falls at Tettegouche State Park. Ask park staff for directions to Illgen Falls along State Highway 1.

Split Rock River Park in the Highway 61 parking lot and follow the Superior Hiking Trail to a series of waterfalls for a great spring hike.

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22

NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

Spring Cleaning for Watercraft By Lee Boyt

It’s finally time to take the boat out of storage. Before you hit the high seas, though, there are a few important details to handle.

Bath Time Covers, canvas, carpet, and upholstery need a thorough cleaning and adequate drying time to prevent microscopic creepycrawlies from taking up residence. Following the manufacturer’s recommendations, use mild cleansers and rinse generously with fresh water prior to air-drying.

Electric Slide

Scrub the boat inside and out with a strong, environmentally friendly cleanser. Pay particular attention to the bilge, livewells and baitwells, as these areas tend to attract nastysmelling organisms. Use a product specific for your boat’s type of windshield or windscreen to avoid damaging plastic components. After drying the boat with a A spring cleaning will help you have a trouble-free boating season. | PHOTOS COURTESY OF ALUMICRAFT chamois or soft towels, apply a marine-grade wax to the outside of engine to separate out a winter’s worth of stroke outboards, sterndrives), drain and the hull to keep your vessel looking sharp. fuel contaminants and water. After going refi ll the gearcase/lower unit lube, and Plus, it’ll be easier to wash the next time. through a couple of tanks of fuel, replace top off the hydraulic steering fluid. Grab Don’t wax the interior; we don’t want slip- all the fi lters again. Yes, it’s a hassle, and your grease gun, and shoot a dab of marine pery decks underfoot. costs a few extra bucks, but being proac- grease in every fitting on the outdrive, outtive could prevent fuel-related issues in the board and steering system. future. The price of fi lters is a lot less than Remove the propeller to carefully inpuking a powerhead due to crummy fuel. spect each blade for nicks, dings or other Replace every fuel fi lter on the boat and Change the engine oil and oil fi lter (four signs of impact, and have the prop repaired or replaced prior to using the boat. While the propeller is off, wipe all the old, gunky grease from the propeller shaft. Check to make sure that no fishing line is wrapped around the propshaft, because fishing line can cut through the propshaft seal, allow-

Have the batteries charged and loadtested, replace them if they’re not up to spec. Make sure the terminals are clean, and use stainless steel hex nuts instead of wing nuts for vibrationproof connections. Check out the main charging system as well as onboard chargers to ensure the batteries are receiving the nourishment they deserve. Individually energize each electrical device to make certain that the navigation lights, bilge pumps, recirculating pumps, and accessories are working as they should. It’s better to discover (and rectify) a problem now than on a dark, stormy night.

Mechanically Speaking

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ing water into the gearcase. If you do fi nd fishing line around the shaft, it’s in your best interest to have a marine technician examine the seal and pressure-test the gearcase to see if the seal needs replacing.

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Give the engine a complete tune-up, including replacing the spark plugs, spark plug wires, belts—the full package. You’ll have the confidence of knowing the engine is at the top of its game, freeing your mind to focus on having fun.

Gear Up and Go After the chores are done, restock the boat with all your gear, including lines, safety equipment and life jackets.


NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

In the Next Issue...

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OFFICIAL BALLOT What do YOU think is the BEST...

(Spots in Cook County, Lake County, Ely and Northwestern Ontario only.) Park? Scenic Overlook? Hiking Trail?

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NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

Will Your Plants Get Along? Companion planting can repel pests, replenish soil and keep plants happy.

companion planting to help boost yields and provide natural insect protection.

This is the time of year when many people sit down with pen or pencil in hand and draw out exactly where theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll plant what in the garden this year.

Melinda Spinler, a master gardener who grows for a CSA in Cook County, said she doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do much companion planting these days because it is inefďŹ cient for commercial gardens, but she used to. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The biggest thing I like about companion gardening is the use of ďŹ&#x201A;owers and herbs, especially when it comes to insect damage,â&#x20AC;? she said.

If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re like meâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a little lazy and like to organize your garden intuitivelyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;you probably wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t draw out a plan, but youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be thinking about it.

the Accidental

Gardener

BY JOAN FARNAM

The ďŹ rst thing to do when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re planning your garden is to make sure you are rotating your crops. Rotating vegetables helps control pests and diseases, so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really important not to plant potatoes or tomatoes, for example, in the same spot every year. In fact, you should rotate vegetables in the same families, like onions, garlic and leeks, and make sure they go in a different spot. Some gardeners even say you shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t plant garlic in the same place for ďŹ ve years, although Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not that careful. You can also take advantage of nitrogenďŹ xing legumes, like peas and beans, and plant heavy feeders in the space the legumes grew in last year, giving them an extra boost. Thinking about this now makes it a lot easier to plant in May and June because you already have a pretty good idea of where everything goes. This is also why gardening journals are such a great idea: They chronicle years of your gardenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s history. This is also the time of year to think about whether youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to do some

Nasturtiums, mums and marigolds are great ďŹ&#x201A;owers to interplant with your vegetables because they can repel nematodes, aphids and cucumber beetles besides adding beauty to your garden, she said. She also recommends interplanting herbs like thyme and parsley with cabbage. They can repel the cabbage butterďŹ&#x201A;y. Another trick is to plant â&#x20AC;&#x153;catchâ&#x20AC;? or â&#x20AC;&#x153;trapâ&#x20AC;? crops to keep insects away from a particular vegetable. Spinler recommends planting a six-inch border of radishes around cole or brassica crops, for example. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The leaves exude the same oils as the brassicas do, and the ďŹ&#x201A;ea beetles eat those guys ďŹ rst before they get into the other crops.â&#x20AC;? Other â&#x20AC;&#x153;trapâ&#x20AC;? crops include eggplant to protect tomatoes and tomatillos to protect from the potato beetle. Companion planting is also a way to boost yields. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve included a list of companion plants you might consider this year. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll notice that the recommendations include vegetables that you should avoid planting

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close together as well as those which thrive in close proximity. Companion planting is all about experimentation, too, which is really fun for the small gardener. In my case, I stuck some onions in my red cabbage row one year. About halfway through the season, I no-

Garden Harmony Guide

VEGGIE Beans

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Carrot, cabbage, cucumber, celery, corn, cucumber, strawberries

Onion family, sunflowers, tomatoes, peppers

Beets Cabbage family (Brassicas) Carrots

Broccoli, lettuce, onion, sage

Bean (pole and runner)

Bush beans, celery, chamomile, mint, dill, rosemary, marigolds, nasturtiums

Oregano, strawberry, tomato

Bush beans, pole beans, lettuce, onion, parsley, pea, radish

Dill, parsnip

Corn

Beans, cucumber, melon, peas, pumpkin, potato, radish

Tomatoes

Cucumbers

Beans, peas, pea, radish, nasturtium, corn

Cauliflower, potato, basil

Eggplants

Beans, potato, spinach, peppers

Kohlrabi

Onions, beets, lettuce

Strawberries, tomatoes, pole beans

Lettuce

Carrots, radishes, strawberry, cucumber

Beans, beet, parsley

Onions Melons Peas

Carrot, onion family, beets, beets Peas, beans, asparagus Corn, radish

Potato

Beans, carrot, corn, radish, turnips, spinach, mint, potatoes

Onion family

Peppers Potatoes

Tomatoes, onions, herbs

Fennel, kohlrabi

Horseradish, beans, corn, cabbage, pea, eggplant

Cucumber, tomato, Jerusalem artichokes, squash, sunflower, raspberries

Squash

Corn, beans, nasturtium, onion, radish

Potato

Tomatoes

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Turnips Zucchini

Peas

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ticed that one of the cabbage plantsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; leaves was growing up instead of out, and when I looked closer, I noticed an onion growing where the cabbage leaf would naturally be. So I pulled the onion and the next morning, the cabbage leaf had settled back into its proper space. Lesson learned: Keep onions away from red cabbage.

Nasturtium, beans, radishes

Potatoes


NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

25

By Deane Morrison UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA STARWATCH

Q Knot Looking for a soft, reusable alternative to the plastic zip tie or wire twist tie? Try the rubber Q Knot. Intended for binding electronic cords, they work exceptionally well for outdoor tasks such as securing the sections of a fishing rod for travel. Designed to stay snug, they are easy to remove as well. Toss a few Q Knots into your tackle box, fishing vest, backpack or camper because you are sure to find other uses for them as well. Learn more at www.Ut-wire.com. —Shawn Perich

Long-Burn Matches Occasionally, someone has a good, simple idea. Long-Burn Matches are one of those ideas. We gave them a try for lighting the woodstove and enjoyed the extra reach of the long matchstick, as well as the significantly extended burning time. They also work great for lighting a grill or making a campfire in wet conditions. If you are tired of burning your fingers with traditional matches, check out Long-Burn Matches at www.ucogear.com. —Shawn Perich

Brooks Adrenaline GTX Living in the Northern Wilds means daily weather ranging from sunny to rainy to snowy (sometimes, all in one day.) To go running in all kinds of weather, I need multi-purpose shoes. Brook Adrenaline GTX running shoes have me covered. My feet not only stay dry through puddles or dewy grass, but also have great traction on hikes and snowy roads. Best of all, they’re breathable. $120 —Amber Pratt

April - May

Spring has sprung, and now we can look forward to two months of relatively warm, bug-free starwatching. As April Fools Day closes, the Pleiades star cluster comes out in the west just above brilliant Venus. Grab your binoculars and hope the waxing moon doesn’t interfere with this beautiful pairing. In April and, especially, May, Venus plummets toward the horizon as it starts to veer between Earth and the sun. With a small telescope or a good pair of binoculars, you can see its apparent diameter grow while its phase shrinks to a thin crescent. About 30 to 45 minutes after sunset on May 22, try spotting another thin crescent—a two-dayold moon—just to the planet’s lower left. Earth laps Saturn in the orbital race

on April 15, when the ringed planet rises in the east and stays up all night. Saturn’s current companion, the bright star Spica, in Virgo, rises just west of the planet. Shining to their upper left is Arcturus, the jewel of Bootes, the herdsman. Mars is also paired with a star: Regulus, the brightest in Leo, marking the lion’s heart. Mars, southeast of Regulus, pulls noticeably further from the star during May. Both planet-star combos are well up during prime evening hours. Saturn and Spica move from southeast to south while Mars and Regulus, the higher pair, drift from the southern to the western sky. While you’re admiring Leo, use binoculars and look west of

Regulus, about halfway to the Gemini twins, to find the subdued but lovely Beehive star cluster in Cancer. The Lyrid meteor shower peaks around midnight on April 22. Meteors will radiate from the east, between the constellations Lyra and Hercules. Full moons arrive on April 6 and May 5. May’s should be a beauty because it’ll rise at about 8:22 p.m., barely more than two hours before reaching perfect fullness. And at only about 221,800 miles away, it will also be the closest moon of the year.

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26

NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

THE WORLD’S MOST

Mysterious Donut According to the residents of Thunder Bay, their city is the only place in the world that you can buy a proper Persian, a cinnamonflecked sweet baked bun slathered with pink icing. The fi rst Persians were baked here in the 1930s by Bennett’s BY ELLE ANDRAWARNER Bakery, which still makes and sells them 80 years later. The raised, ovoid, doughnutlike Persian is made from a yeast dough that is coiled with a light sprinkling of cinnamon and topped with a secret recipe of light pink icing made with raspberries or strawberries. (Bakeries won’t reveal which.)

Strange Tales

Thunder Bay natives love their Persians, either straight out of the baker’s box or “toasted” (grilled). Expats visiting their hometown leave with boxes of unadorned Persians and containers fi lled with icing. Why are they called Persians? Regional legend says they are named after General John Joseph “Black Jack” Pershing, but nobody is exactly sure why. General Pershing (1860-1948) was the commander of the American Expeditionary Force sent to Europe to fight in the First World War. In 1919 he was promoted to

General of Armies—the highest rank at the time—and was given the fi rst American Officer number, 0-1. During the First World War, the American troops were affectionately nicknamed “doughboys” and became known as “Pershing’s Doughboys.” After the war, General Pershing was popular and as a result, many things were named after him, from buildings and equipment to American doughnuts called “pershings.” Why doughnuts? The link may be back to 1917, when a 250-member contingent of The Salvation Army from Chicago was posted to France to serve with General Pershing. Met with indifference at fi rst, the Salvation Army “lassies” won an honoured place in history when at Montiers, after 36 days of rain and supplies almost gone, they mixed flour and sugar, rolled it with an empty bottle, and over a wood fire cooked up a batch of 150 doughnuts. The troops loved the doughnuts and soon the lassies were cooking thousands. They even risked their lives delivering coffee and doughnuts to troops in the trenches. The term “doughboy” for American soldiers goes back to the Mexican-American war in the 1840s when U.S. foot soldiers had their faces covered with flour-like dust while marching in the dry terrain of northern Mexico. At the time, it wasn’t a complimentary name. However, by the time of the First World War, it was an honoured term for the American troops who had gone overseas to fight inthe war. (The term disap-

Well, yes and no. Yes, because Thunder Bay created and is the only place to sell thousands of pink-iced Persians each week. No, because in states like Wisconsin and Minnesota, you can fi nd whiteor maple-iced Persians with toppings like crushed peanuts and coconut. But no pink-iced ones.

peared f r o m use after the Second World War.) So it would seem Pershing’s Doughboys and the doughnuts cooked by the Salvation Army are linked to America’s cinnamon-coiled pershing doughnut and the Canadian cinnamon-coiled variation, the Persian. Today pershings can be found throughout the United States in donut shops and bakeries. However, the world’s only place to buy Persians is in Thunder Bay’s bakeries and grocery stores. Or is it?

Although Canada has more donut shops per capita than any other place in the world, it is the Americans that annually celebrate the doughnut! Each year since 1938, there has been a National Doughnut Day in the U.S. on the first Friday in June. Created originally by the Salvation Army in Chicago in honour of the “lassies” who prepared and served doughnuts to American soldiers along the front line of battle in First World War, the national holiday is now a celebration of the doughnut. The pink-iced Persian is as big a part of Thunder Bay’s identity as its legendary Sleeping Giant. But if you ask someone from Thunder Bay if the Persian is a donut, they’ll look at you somewhat surprised and answer, “No, it is a Persian.”

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NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

Windy with a chance of

It was a mean-spirited March morning. I was walking north up Ely’s First Avenue into a stiff wind. The clouds spat corn-snow the size of BBs, bits of frozen grit that stung when they scored a direct hit. A young girl hurried past me as if she were being chased by the Ghost of Christmas Past.

Coffee moving north. The light was yellow, about to turn red. But Harry Homer was in his 90s, and had reached the point in life where he was beyond caring about what color the stop light was.

Campfire Stories

I yelled for him to stop, but the warning fell on deaf ears. The wind blew the alarm back at my face.

I crossed Chapman Street wondering if everyone had Just then, a black pick-up done the sensible thing and IRON MIKE HILLMAN truck pulled in behind the two joined the bears in hibernacars waiting on the uphill side tion, when I noticed someone ahead of me of the intersection. The driver slammed on the sidewalk. You could say the person into park. The door flew open and out was moving slow, or you could say the per- came Windy Homer. The truck door hung son was having a race with a parking meter open as Windy made his way down the and barely keeping even. hill toward his father with a bandy-legged The person’s feet were encased in rubber overshoes buckled halfway to the top. The uppermost buckles fl apped with a quiet metallic jingle. Heavy hunter-green stag pants were loosely tucked into the overshoes. A wool coat draped over the trunk of the body. Chopper mitts protected the hands. All this was crowned by a tall hat that sat like a great domed bishop’s miter, a foot from top to bottom. The only visible face was a wind-cherried nose and a pair of thick glasses.

Under all that shucking was Old Harry Homer. He had been around town for as long as I, or anyone else, could remember. He and his son Windy ran a logging business. Their mill was located just south of town on the road to Babbitt. Once I had asked my dad why the son was called Windy and not Harry Junior. “Just go over and say hello to him the next time you see him,” Dad replied. “Then you’ll know why they call him Windy.” I followed Dad’s advice and introduced myself. In a short time I understood. Windy really liked to talk. Old Harry was one of the last of our World War I vets and I always enjoyed speaking with him. I was getting set to strike up a conversation while we waited for the light when I realized he was still

stride.

When he got close, Windy hollered, “Dad, how many times have I told you that when you want to go for coffee, all you have to do is give me a call, and I’ll be happy to pick you up? I don’t want you walking around like this.” Old Harry stopped his shuffle and turned to his son. “Who the hell are you?” A look of shocked sadness crossed Windy’s face. “Dad,” he stammered, “don’t you recognize me? It’s me, your boy Windy.” Recognition lit the face of Old Harry. “Windy,” he said with a wave of his mittened hand, “I ain’t got time to talk now. I’m on my way to coffee.” Then he turned and headed north. Windy just stood, stunned. “Don’t be too hard on yourself, Windy,” I said. “Your dad is a tough old fellow who likes to do things by himself. Don’t worry about the rest of us. We’d wait until tomorrow for Old Harry to cross the street.” Windy looked at me. “I just worry that he’s going to fall one of these times,” he said with a helpless shrug. “Windy,” I said with a smile, “We ain’t got time to worry about that. Park the truck. We got to join Old Harry for a cup of coffee.” And we did.

27

Life On Ice, 25 Years of Arctic Exploration By Lonnie Dupre KEEN EDITIONS $22 An autobiographical account of the far north adventures off Grand Marais explorer Lonnie Dupre. Over the years, Dupree has led or participated in various expeditions north of the Arctic Circle, including a Russian/American trip over the Bering Strait, a multi-year circumnavigation of Greenland and trips to the North Pole. The book includes a selection of color photographs spanning nearly three decades in the Arctic.—Shawn Perich

Th Mindful Carnivore, The A Vegetarian’s Hunt for Sustenance By Tovar Cerulli B PEGASUS BOOKS $26.95 P A thought-provoking book by a former vegan who added meat to his diet via hunting. Extraordinarily wellresearched, the book looks closely at the concept of eating responsibly in an era when most Americans don’t know where their food originates. Vegetarians and carnivores alike will find this book a great read. —Shawn Perich

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NORTHERN WILDS April-May 2012

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Northern Wilds  
Northern Wilds  

April / May 2012