Author: Rachel

Souris River is Here!

2015.05.07 012You asked, and we listened!  Tuscarora is pleased to announce that we have added four brand new Souris River Quetico 17 canoes to our rental fleet.  We are excited to be able to offer  another quality option for our guests to paddle.  Based in Atikokan, Ontario,  Souris River Canoes have been making fine canoes for over 30 years.  The popularity of Souris River canoes has been growing and we have heard many of you ask for them by name.  We are already impressed with the quality of construction, paddling performance, and overall style of the canoes. The new boats are set to head off on new adventures and so shiny they reflect the trees and sun from this land of shining blue waters!

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Round Lake is open!

Round Lake is open!  Yesterday the lake shook loose the last of it’s ice.  Our first guest of the season, Paul, went out for a short trip on Monday.  On his way over to Missing Link Lake he had to paddle the perimeter of the lake, working his way slowly around the ice in the middle.  This morning he paddled out free and clear across the middle!  Paul reports that Missing Link is open as well.  He scouted the portaged into Tuscarora and reports that the first bay is ice free and the from what he could see of the rest of the lake, the ice is dark and ready to go soon.  It’s safe to assume that the small and medium lakes in the area are ice free and ready for a paddle!


Round Lake this morning


Paul heading off around the ice on Monday

Not yet…

Yes we still have ice.  After the previous week of warm temperatures and sunshine, last week was cloudy and cold.  Actually this area of the Trail received 4 inches of new snow on the 21st.  So the ice melting has been less than stellar.  Round Lake’s ice has pulled well away from the shore, enough for a certain pup to dabble her paws and grab a drink.  Paddling season is coming soon, just not quite yet  Keep watching for updates.  We will let you know when we are ice free!

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Spring 2015

It is finally spring-like enough around here to motivate me to write an update!  After a false spring in mid March I lost a little hope when the cold weather and snow showers returned.  This weekend however felt good enough for me to peel the window plastic off, dust off the screens and open the windows wide!

In just a few days with sunshine, 60’s, wind, and rain, the drive ways and road have almost completely cleared off.  Thanks to the diligent Cook County guys, the culverts are flowing freely and the road has not washed away at all this spring (yay!).

2015.04.13 007The beaver pond by the road is so close to loosing all it’s ice.  Those are ravens up above in the shot.  They have been making all sorts of crazy sounds as they work on their nests and pair up for the spring nestling season.  Other birds have been out chirping and buzzing about like the pine siskins and juncos.  I woke this morning to the sounds of robins singing in the yard.  Hard not to smile with that kind of alarm clock.

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The Cross River is gurgling along happily in the sunshine as well.  Just two days difference in these two pictures below shows what can happen in the spring.  The ice is almost all gone between the rapids close to the road and the first portage towards Ham Lake.  Won’t be long until that chunk breaks free and we can paddle over there.

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Lucy and I have been sneaking out of the office to go for long muddy romps in the sunshine.  The Magnetic Rock hiking trail is very muddy with frost heaves rutting the trail and snow and ice piles in the shady spots.  Sure feels great to stretch the legs and Lucy enjoys getting as muddy as possible.  The Centennial Hiking trail is still holding on to a crust of ice in the shade as well but is always good for a spring adventure

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Round Lake is looking pretty springy as well.  The ice is pulling away from the shore and has popped up enough to allow the standing melt water on top to drain down.  The ice is looking darker and darker each day.  Won’t be long before paddling season begins if the weather holds!

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Keep watching the blog for updates on the ice conditions.  I will post what I know as we approach May.  Keep sending warm thoughts our way!

A Winter First

Be warned, some of you may find what follows a little gross.  My friends do…


As I was out checking on the cabins this morning I noticed a lot of little hoof prints all over.  On the decks, right next to the cabin doors, up and down the drives, off into the woods, and over across the lake.  I kept following all the tracks around in their odd little patterns trying to figure out what the deer were doing here.  I feared for our little sapling Jack pines, Stan and Marge, but seemed to be ok nestled in the snow.

Usually Tuscarora does not have any deer visitors in the winter.  It’s tough living up here in the deep snow with out a lot of browse.  Most deer migrate down to Lake Superior and hang out on the shore or go further south where the snow does not get so deep.  Some heards tough it out all winter when a resort feeds them, but they usually don’t stray very far from the feeders.

I decided to grab the mail and walk with Lucy out to the mail box.  It was a nice enough day and she was going a little stir crazy after all the cold weather we had been having.  Plus I had a mystery to solve.  Heading down the road my head was down watching all the tracks.  We even picked up the tracks of a little moose on the road.  There were a lot!  Going every which way.  What went on last night?

Not paying attention as I was, I didn’t notice the little red car coming up the road towards us.  I hollered for Lucy and the car slowed down and rolled down their window.  With an excited grin I was informed their was carrion up ahead!  I thanked them for the heads up and clicked Lucy onto a leash.  I didn’t need a pup with an upset stomach at 2 AM.

I assumed they had meant it would be on the Cross River just up head but nothing.  Lucy and I kept following the tracks in the snow still wondering.  Lucy is not one for leashed walks and I was more concerned about being pulled over into the snow than the tracks for a while.  Then we turned the corner by the Centennial Hiking Trail and there it was.

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My enthusiasm for what follows might be a bit…odd…but this was my first wolf kill.  I had been waiting for this for a while now.  From a distance it was just a big splattering of red in a black and white world.  Now the tracks were all a mess of creatures – deer, wolf, fox, martin, raven, scrub jay, people.  We got closer, Lucy tugging on the leash, me trying to keep her out of the worst.  The deer must have been there for at least a day as not much was left.  Tufts of fur were scattered every where.  The carcass was just a skull, spine and some ribs.  I could see where umm…”bits”…had been carried off to be umm…”enjoyed”…in peace.

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And the wing marks!  The ravens had been startled off by the car passing through but on the snow banks were these beautiful feather impressions from their take offs.  There must have been a whole flock here cleaning up the…ah…”leftovers.”

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It was hard to really take a good look at everything with Lucy choking herself on the leash so we went home.  I was going to go back out and take a closer look but when we got back, the county snow plow was rumbling up the drive.  Shoot.  It will be all swept into the snow bank now.  I wanted to see how the rest of it was going to go as all the little forest scavengers had their turn.

My friends tell me this is gross.  And sad.  But a wolf needs to eat, right?  And when the wolf is done, just think of all the other creatures that benefit.  Sure the deer is dead but winter is really a struggle for them anyways.  It’s not cruel or sinister.  It’s just a part of the natural order.

Check out our Winter Report for shorter and fluffier winter condition updates!