Many of you know that we had an unusual May this year—too hot, too dry, too fast. On May 5th, while there was still a little ice on the Cross River, frozen ground and no leaves on the trees, we had a windy 90 degree day. The Ham Lake Fire started a mile away, raced behind our yard, and left us shaking. We are thankful no one was hurt. We grieved for our neighbors and friends that lost property, for the acres that burned. Miraculously, the white pines and most of Tuscarora property were left untouched. In the midst of the evacuation time, the grace and generosity of the people around us were as remarkable as the tiny green shoots that were already popping.
As the fire cooled, we worried about Tuscarora. There was a fair amount of fiery news—would the guests still come? They (you!) did, and we are so very thankful. We continue to be amazed by the rapid recovery of the woods. The folks camping in the wilderness haven’t been disappointed—the fires of the last two years have not devastated the wilderness experience; not at all.
The summer buzzed by. We had some amazing rains in September and big snowfalls in December. The water levels were high when the lakes froze; Spring 2008 should be great for opening paddling!
The high points of our year continue to be our interactions with really cool people as the seasons pass —guests, staff, family, friends, neighbors— even the firefighters who lived here briefly on the front lines with Andy and changed our lives. As we reflect on 2007, we realize we are fortunate to have these experiences and memories of many different people that cross into our lives. We are so much richer because of these relationships.
We’re looking forward to some of the festivals happening on the Gunflint Trail this winter and spring! If you are looking for the next opportunity to visit the Gunflint Trail, check out the agendas for the Winter Tracks Festival (February 28- March 2, 2008) http://www.wintertracks.com/ and the Gunflint Green Up Tree Planting scheduled this spring (May 2-3, 2008) http://www.gunflint-trail.com/ggu/index.html .
Some thoughts on trip planning:
For Quetico Park in Canada we can reserve a backcountry permit for you exactly 5 months prior to your date of entry. Remote Border Crossing Permits are still acceptable border crossing documents when traveling into Canada. We can give you specific information about the area affected by fire. Whether you wish to experience wilderness forest fire ecology for yourself or steer around fire impacts, we will listen to you and build a custom canoe adventure which meets your expectations. Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss (1-800-544-3843) or you may review some route offerings online at our new trip route planning tool on our website http://www.tuscaroracanoe.com/canoe_trip_planning.htm
There is no better time to think about your 2008 canoe county adventure!
Happy New Year to you all! Thank you for supporting Tuscarora through 2007!
Andy, Sue, Shelby, Dan and the Staff