Monday, July 27, 2009

Mack Lake Fly In

Hey Guys & Gals,

Quick post to let y'all know that, due to low water levels on Greenwood Creek, you can fly into Mack Lake on Quetico's east side (for the time being)...

Here's an excerpt from a notice from Quetico today....

Due to current low water levels in Greenwood Creek access into Mack Lake is being made difficult, therefore we have opened up the option for groups to fly directly into Mack Lake.

In accessing Mack Lake by aircraft we will only permit landing in the eastern bay of Mack Lake (near the border). We also ask anyone flying into the lake to access it by flying outside of the park boundary on route to Mack in order to reduce complaints about aircraft noise by those seeking a wilderness experience in the park.

If levels of rainfall during the remainder of summer make Greenwood Creek passable then we will expect everyone to paddle in this way once again.

We had two groups last year do a fly in to this area...the first had to fly to Clay, just outside the park...the next group however benefited from this same scenario last year & flew to Mack cutting much paddling time off their route. Nice little bonus...

BTW - we still are taking fly in / paddle our groups for those trips....I will be putting a trip price together that will likely be a week long, complete outfitting, including the fly in & a pick up at the take out point....We will outline a great route for this, through some awseome country....slightly longer jaunts will be able to check out the Chain Falls area early in the route.

Anyway - gotta get going....refinishing canoes & getting ready for our annual canoeing rush in early August. Talk to y'all soon!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Heart of The Continent Partnership

Hey everyone,

A quick post to let you all know about a great organization that we recently had the pleasure of learning about.

Heart of the Continent is a group of people & organizations from both sides of the Canada / US border that are working together to find ways to benefit the lakes, forests, wildlife & communities / people of this vast area.

Specifically speaking, this "vast area" is the largest public greenspace in North America covering 5.5 million acres and including Quetico Provincial Park, The Superior National Forest, Voyageur National Park & the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness.

These folks are very pure in motive - they're "non - political" which I really liked, and in my dealings with them they are a class act.

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Quetico & The Superior National Forest there is a rotating group of 9 people that are canoeing pretty much a circle around the area in a 24' voyageur canoe. They hit Atikokan for Canada Day on July 1, they're supposed to be in International Falls today for the US celebrations (btw - Happy Independence Day to all our US friends!), heading down through Crane Lake, over to Grand Marais, Grand Portage & then finishing at Fort William near Thunder Bay for the Rendezvous & Dragon Boat Festival (on July 17 & 18).

On July 2nd, we welcomed them at our camp for breakfast as they paddled through. It was great meeting them and a great learning experience. The contingent that we met had a vast array of experience, from scientific knowledge to historical expertise, and of course a love of the land that presented itself in many anecdotes. They were passionate, creative, good spirited, humourous and energetic.

To bring awareness to one of the issues facing the area, the bottom of the 24' voyageaur canoe was painted with many of the invasive aquatic species that jeopardize our ecosystem.

The group that we welcomed included:

Rich Kelley, Chair of Heart of the Continent Partnership and Trustee of
the Quetico Foundation from St. Paul, MN

John Rafferty, Member of Parliament - Thunder Bay/Rainy River, resident
of Fort Frances,

Pamela Cain-Hawley, Curator of Fort Frances Museum

Spencer Scott, 2nd year student at Lakehead University,

Brian McLaren, professor, Lakehead University - Forestry, Thunder Bay

Darryl Bathel, retired, Department of Natural Resources - Fisheries -
Duluth, MN

John Radosevich-Craig, Superior National Forest Volunteer and group chef

Liz Roat, U.S. Forest Service, Superior National Forest, Duluth, MN

Robin Reilly - Superintendant of Quetico Provincial Park, Atikokan

If you'd like more info on this very worthwhile organization their website is:

Anyway, here's a couple of pics from their visit....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Quick Update

Hey Everyone - Happy Canada Day & an early Happy Independence Day for all our American friends.

Well, June's over...seemed to go quick....I just wanted to let you know of a couple of things...

The weather has been very crappy the last 5 days or so - incessant winds, temperatures that peaked in the 50's (farenheit), and rain, rain & more rain. I felt bad for canoeists heading out in these condidtions......

Anyway, looks like the weather's going to improve in the next day or so....the bush I've been in is wet, but had seemed to recover from the spring run off before this batch of precipitation happened. In other words, it's handling this rain just fine.

Waters high, but not as high as I thought it would be.

Ticks are pretty bad...actually they seem worse in the last few days, but still not as bad as the last couple of years

The blackflies have been terrible...should be on the decline soon (hopefully!).

Mosquitoes have started......with all this rain, look for some nasty skeeter conditions....pack your repellant!

Anyway, we have two groups coming in today - one old & 1 new .....the interesting thing about both these groups is that they're heading to non traditional areas for us (ie they're not heading to Atikokan / Quetico / White Otter)...We're really looking forward to this & will give more details once they get back.

Things are getting busier....early August is really busy (as it always is).....running out of kevlars that week - still have aluminum. Check in with us though even if you need a kevlar....there may be cancelletions, and it's only a few days at this point that we're maxxed.

Just a quick FYI - we have posted a 10% discount on canoe rentals (& cabins & fishing packages), for September. September can be a terrific month to canoe / fish etc. The "regulars" that come then love it. We're usually slower after early September, so we thought we'd try this promotion to help "kick start" some interest in fall trips. Kinda our own "stimulus package"!

Anyway - gotta to y'all soon!