Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Gunflint Greenup, 2010
by Kiporby

Trip Type: Hiking
Entry Date: 05/04/2010
Entry & Exit Point: Other
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
Lauren and I participated in the Gunflint Greenup this year. It has been an annual event since the Ham Lake fire in 2007 as an effort to assist the regeneration of the forest. This year the mission was to release the trees that had been planted in the previous years. And since we were already headed up there and we needed to "get away" we decided to spend the entire week up on the trail and play outfitter at Seagull Canoe Outfitters during the day and have some fun after completing our "chores".
It was great having the opportunity to work as an "outfitter" even it was only for a week. I got to work outside with the boys while Lauren "worked" inside with the girls. I did a variety of projects including: repairs to the tow boats, readying the portage yokes for the brand new canoes (Wenonah and Souris Rivers), running errands to town, checking the water filters and Sven Saws, and inventorying the canoes. Those "El Tigre" Quetico 17's are pretty sweet looking and it was hard not to dream about jumping into one and paddle off.... Lauren had a great time inside setting up the store with the girls. Every afternoon it was the same battle of "I don't want to leave". It was great to see her fit in so well and having a great time. The sounds of laughter coming from inside store made me smile all week! :)

In the evenings we relaxed at the cabin, grilled out, hiked and even took a couple paddles onto Seagull Lake. It was very cold in the evenings, so that dashed my hopes of camping out for a night. There is a great campsite on the western side of Hook Island on Seagull that is great for building sand castles as you can see! The weather was all over the place. Calm sunny days, rained all night once, hailed in the afternoon once and even snowed a few times.

The Greenup event started for us with a hike on the new Centennial Trail Friday afternoon. The 3.3 mile hike was very interesting and beautiful. Several of the "pits" are still out there and evidence of the old rail line can be seen in places. There are some great views along the way. I highly recommend this hike!

Saturday was the actual tree releasing day. We had a spot near the new Chik-Wauk museum near the Saganaga Boat Landing. An old resort building was remodeled as a historical museum and should open July 4. The actual releasing involved clearing all the brush within a 5 to 6 foot diameter around all of small trees. Some of the terrain was rather rough, but all in all it was a great experience. We were in a group of about 20 other people including a couple staff members from Seagull. We had box lunches in the woods with the group and a nice closing dinner in the evening in a big tent near Gunflint Lodge.

It was a great week!