Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race

Our daughter Joanna ran her first race of the season in our backyard here in Grand Marais, MN.  Actually, it took us about an hour to get up the Gunflint Trail where the race started at Trail Center.  It is nice to be so close to a race.  After the first leg, she was out in front and at the end she even lengthened her lead on the 2nd place finisher.  The weather was cool, the trails were hard and fast and her team ran like the wind.  Below is her rendition of the race.

Thank you Nace Hagemann for the great photos of all the teams at the 2020 Gunflint Mail Run yesterday!!! My team won the 64 mile race with the amazing Schouweiler team hot on our tail!!!! We like to take turns winning these last few years it seems lol ;) What a super fun race this is with amazing hospitality at Trail Center Lodge and this year the trail and weather were absolutely perfect! Fastest trail we have ever run at this race and the dogs just flew! It was a blast for both humans and canines, happy tails at the fi…

The Two Stooges

Joanna and I have had some pretty funny experiences while fishing together for the past 12 years in Canada.  She calls us the Two Stooges.  I have to say it has provided us both lots of fun and laughter.

Here are two recent adventures that had us in stitches.

Our first adventure was when our friend Chris came up for a few days to pick berries and fish.  We decided to go to Heathwalt Lake for the day.  After fishing around a favorite point and not coming up with many fish, I decided to head across the lake to a spot Joanna and I had done quite well at in the spring.  One thing I forgot to factor into the equation is that in the spring there are no weeds up yet.  Now there are weeds everywhere in the shallow areas making it more difficult to fish through them.

Starting out in this new area I snagged a good sized pike which I kept.  Chris and I were trolling on the same side of the boat and Joanna on the other side.  At our last spot Chris and I had somehow gotten our lines terribly tang…


Here's a fishing story for you.  My brother Rick comes up every year to stay with us at camp for at least a week as he loves to fish, especially for Smallmouth Bass.  His favorite fishing spot is at the end of the sandbar on our lake, Indian Lake.  He will go there like clockwork every evening to cast for smallies or northern pike.  The fish that hit the hardest are the ones he prefers to catch.

One evening he and his buddy that came with him from GA were out fishing at the end of the sandbar when Joanna and I came out in another boat to fish there as well.  We were closer to the stake marking the end of the sandbar which helps fishermen know when they can safely turn to head up the lake without hitting the sandbar.

I usually wait for the sun to get close to sinking over the horizon before I try to catch Walleye there because they bite better when it is darker.  So, in the meantime I thought I'd try a few casts with a special stickbait that Rick had given me the year before. …

The Lost Pole

Five year old Joey came with his parents to stay at Agimac River Outfitters just a few weeks ago.  He's a very cute, active blonde haired boy who likes to go out fishing with the family but can soon get tired of sitting in the boat.  One day out on the lake he decided he had waited long enough for a fish to bite and put down his short kiddie pole turning his attention to other things.  However, his line was still in the water. 

All of a sudden a fish grabbed his bait and took off running pulling his pole right out of the boat and into the water.   Everyone was caught off guard.  The adults in the boat began trolling in the area hoping to snag Joey's pole and retrieve it for him.  After about a half hour someone in the group caught his pole and reeled it in with the fish still attached on the end of his line.  Unfortunately the fish was too small to keep, but at least Joey got to see the fish he caught and still had a pole to fish again. 

I thought it was such a unique story, I…

Summer Finally Came

We finally got summer about two days ago when the temperatures rose to the low 80's.  People were still wearing long underwear and large parkas with hoods to spend a day out on the lake with the cold north wind that kept the air and water lower than normal. 

John was still stoking the fire in our outside wood furnace to keep us warm at night and smoke was rising from the chimneys in our cabins indicating that our guests too were trying to stay warm at night. 

But two days ago we donned our shorts and tee shirts and began to relax into some milder temperatures.  Even the fish starting biting better.  Their mouths must have been too cold to open and receive bait in the early weeks.  Although one cabin boasted catches of at least eight Walleye over 30 inches long taken on Indian Lake or the connecting lakes.  That's amazing. 

So here are a few of the catches from our first three weeks at camp.

Miracle Dog

A very unfortunate situation came to our attention last Tuesday night.  Joanna sold one of our dogs called Tris to another family and made arrangements to deliver the dog to them at the beginning of the Beargrease race.  Tris happens to be a bit on the shy side, but while she stayed in their truck during the race, she seemed to be warming up to the new owners quite well. 

The 120 mile mid distance race finished on Monday morning and after the award ceremony Monday afternoon, the new owners headed to Tofte to spend the night.  Tofte is about 40 miles from where we live in Grand Marais, MN.  That night Ryan was taking Tris out of her dog box with the rest of the dogs to empty out for the night and she wiggled away from him and ran off.  He and his wife chased her down the main Hwy, but couldn't catch her.  Later they found her by some cottages at the lake's edge and tried to coax her over to them with some food.  She was heading toward them when someone slammed a door nearby wh…

2019 Beargrease 120 Dog Sled Race

Joanna and the dogs did a super job Sunday and took third place in the Beargrease 120 dog sled race. This was the first time I stayed home, sitting on pins and needles wondering how things were going, while John went with her to help with the dogs and drive the truck and trailer to the two checkpoints. The eleven years we lived in Canada, John had to stay at camp to watch the generators and plow snow, but now that we live in Grand Marais, MN for the winters, he can go with Joanna to her races. He spends a lot of time training with Joanna all fall and early winter and now gets to enjoy first hand the fruit of their labor at the races. Our son Jonathan called me Sunday evening saying Joanna had called him after the first leg of the race during the rest time so he could call me and ask me a question and he could relay the answer back to her. ( I had given them my cell phone to use during the race) I excitedly asked him how she was doing. He told me she might be in third place at that ti…