Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Gunflint Lake Track
The day before yesterday and after a weekend of constant snow, Erik and I laid a dog sled track on Gunflint Lake.
Leaving on the snowmobile from the dog yard we checked out a possible route to take the dogs directly onto the lake from the dog yard versus trucking them less than a half a mile or running them down a plowed parking lot and across a plowed road, which is not safe. This route proved to have a dangerously steep downhill approach to a plowed road crossing so it was immediately thrown out as a viable means to the lake. During our route finding, we came across two deer that had bedded down near our Tipi site. Since the lodge had been feeding the deer until this year, the deer are quite tame and stayed in place until we were almost five feet from them.
Once on the lake to begin tracking we found numerous pockets of slush, which was expected after such a heavy snowfall. Our hope was that the slush on our track would freeze before our trial dog run before using the track with clients.
It was a foggy and overcast day but the sun did try to peek out through the trees on occasion.
While on the lake, in the distance, we saw a flurry of Raven activity indicating a possible wolf kill site so we headed that direction after completing out track. It was indeed a wolf kill. Later, we ran into an ice fisherman who had seen a wolf on the kill earlier in the day and he mentioned that he had seen the same wolf howling on the shore of the lake. There is a lot of wolf activity in the area. That same day, someone had seen a large gray wolf pass quickly through the parking lot just north of the dog yard.
The day remained overcast and foggy, which adds something mystical and magical to the experience. The little available sunlight reflected off the snow making for another glorious day on the trail.