I’m sitting in town and listening to the start of a thunderstorm. Andy says that it is also raining a smidgeon at Tuscarora. Wahoo! It just started—it would be nice if it lasted all night. Not sure what the forecast is, but at least it isn’t a scary windy fiery night.

They let me go back and forth to Tuscarora even with the road block because Andy is supporting the fire fighters—who come and go, and use the bunkhouses and showers. Today it actually felt great to scrub down the shower house. It is a weird sort of”business as usual.”

On this windy day we worried about our Poplar Lake neighbors, but it appeared that the fire fighting teams made some amazing progress laying fire hose lines south of the Gunflint Trail in the swath to Rush Lake. Around 5pm we passed by some ground fires on the Trail near mid-trail.
(For accurate logistical details). http://www.blogger.com/www.inciweb.org

I’m anxious for people to drive up the Gunflint Trail, and see how beautiful it still is. All kinds of mixed feelings roll around as we grieve what has been lost and see the displaced people, attempt to keep in contact with those who want reassurance that their summer vacation plans will turn out….we chose to live on the edge of the wilderness; it has been our privilege. And we understood that fire might be part of the deal.

Bottom lines: The Ham Lake fire still isn’t over. It has devastated special places. But when we drive over the hill towards Gunflint Lake, we still see the beautiful view to Magnetic Lake—the deep blue sky, the gorgeous waters, a landscape that will soon be sprouting green—it feels cleansing and hopeful.

Gunflint Lodge, Hestons Lodge, Gunflint Pines, Loon Lake Lodge, and the homes along the south shore of Gunflint Lake are fine.

The hottest burning spots (I’m told the flames were 80-100 feet high) were at the north end of the Granite River—Sag Falls, near the east end of Saganaga. The fire spotted north to Horseshoe Island (I hope those beautiful campsites are still intact), and the Canadians began to evacuate some of the nearby Saganaga Islands.

Shelby and Daniel stay in town. They’re great sports: it’s exciting to be around their friends and around family members. But when the action of the day is over, it can be hard to settle in. They miss Andy, they miss home, their beds, their belongings . They each have said; “I just want things to be normal again. When will things be normal?”

Wrapped up in this event must be a good life lesson for all of us trying to control things.
The moments of our days are good. We get to experience grace and generosity of the people around us first hand. We can either focus on the smoke that we smell, or the rain that is falling.

It is going to be OK.

3 Responses

  1. Matt says:

    Wow, this has been terrible to hear about I cant imagine living through it. All that beautiful land..but that is nature, it will be back. I check this BLOG twice a day to hear the latest news and appreciate the well detailed posts.
    We are coming up June 10-17th to Tuscarora and continue to look forward to the trip, hoping the recent events will not hinder the trip (around 5 weeks away). If all is ok, we still plan to come. People cant let this keep them away. You need our business to help pay for the expenses as well as an emotional lift. Keep us updated, we are thinking about you daily.
    -Heritage Middle School Teachers
    (Matt Hahn)

  2. Anna says:

    I cannot even believe the grace and aplomb with which you’re moving through all this. Helping the kids through their ongoing daily lives,and the crisis, and dealing with your own worries and extra-complicated logistics, AND taking pictures and keeping a blog! Wow. (My family lost our house in a flood 10 years ago and, just wanting things to be “normal” again, we were not nearly one-tenth as amazing as it sounds you all have been.)
    Like the Heritage Middle School teachers, there’s a bunch of us checking the news several times a day. Besides visiting Tuscarora as much as we can, is there anything we TL and BWCAW lovers can do? Do you think we could put out some flames if a couple thousand of us started spitting at the fire?

  3. Anna says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.