Too Long with No Writing

Oh, my, I didn't intend to take such a long break from the blog. My apologies to my loyal readers. I assure you, Greg has not allowed me to spend that time reading good books and eating chocolate. Rather, he has had a series of hats for me to wear.....Namely, I was first a floor-sander, and then a floor-varnisher. It meant some pretty intense hours of work over several days, but the end results are very much worth it. I haven't seen a floor that glows like that birch does. Most of the boards are from blowdown wood that the Hull family sawed for us in 1999. There wasn't quite enough to do both rooms, so Greg had the Hulls saw up some extra boards from birch trees harvested near Two Harbors. It is interesting to see the color variation and patterning in the wood from the two different areas. It is a subtle difference, but nonetheless there.

I have a photo ready to post of the cabin before the varnish was put on the floor. This week, we are headed to the finish line, as our first guests arrive on Saturday for the improved Cedar Point. The kitchen cabinets are now built and in the cabin, and tomorrow Greg will tile the countertops. I can start the final cleaning process by wiping down the remaining sawdust powder and washing the windows. I am anxious to move the furniture back in, and to see the new arrangement in the kitchen. Though it is going to be an extremely busy week, it is also exciting.

While I've been hanging out in Cedar Point, summer has gone in to high gear. The forest is looking lush and thick. It is amazing how the coat of green that covers the young poplar saplings really fills in the gaps wrought by our blowdown. It looks like a forest again. The flowers are back, and I never tire of seeing (or smelling!) them. On my way home from town today, I saw masses of daisies and yellow hawkweed, patches of wild roses, and lupines galore. We think that we are the only place on the trail that can't get lupines to grow. We've tried, but not much luck yet. In the meantime, we keep on enjoying the long stretches of them along the Gunflint Trail. In the past, I have dyed wool with lupine flowers. The dyebath is supposed to yield a green, and if you overdye with indigo, you get teal. We didn't quite make it to that color, but as soon as I am able to grow my own patch, I will try again.

Last week, we went for a Wednesday night boat ride with our guests Russ, Mary Lou, and Jordan. They have a twenty-foot john boat that was perfect for cruising on a beautiful evening. We went to Little Rock Falls, and were lucky enough to see some pink moccasin flowers still in bloom. These are close relatives to the showy Lady Slipper, but are a deeper pink and not as frilly. I have been on this trail in previous years and seen these flowers, so it seems to be an excellent spot for viewing them. But it is only for a short while in the early part of summer. The water was running hard through the falls, and the water trail to Sag, up the Pine and Granite Rivers, looked most inviting. We didn't see any canoe parties passing through, due to the hour of the day, but I imagine that it is getting busier. It is a favorite canoe route of many folks.
We have had reports of moose sightings on the trail, including at least one new baby. I haven't heard about many bears, but I'm sure they are out there. On a trip home from town last week, Robert and I saw three turtles on the road. This is the time of the year that they cross, to find an ideal spot for laying their eggs. Greg recalls seeing a large gas delivery truck stopped on the road ahead of him several years ago. He stopped,too, as the driver was out of the truck in the middle of the trail. Turns out he was using a broom to encourage a turtle across the road, so that she wouldn't get hit by a car. Now that is certainly a deed well done.
Addie has left us, and is now in Eagle, Alaska, with Grandma Sharlene and Grandpa Jim. She is working as a tour guide for the historical society, until mid-July. As she sends us notes, I will include some reports here. She flew in to Fairbanks, where she spent the first weekend of June. During that time, it was chilly, and it even snowed. After the eighty degree days of Memorial weekend, that was a bit hard to take. It has warmed up some now, and hopefully she won't see anymore of the white stuff until fall.