More reports from Gunflint Lake

It was another interesting day on Gunflint Lake. As I mentioned yesterday, we have been pretty fortunate to be smoke-free for the most part. This morning, I was wrong. An inversion caused the smoke to hang close to the earth, and it traveled quite a distance. When I got up, I couldn't see Canada. Usually that only happens in the winter time, when it is snowing quite hard. It is different than looking at fog, too, which has more of a translucent quality to it. This was just opaque white. We heard that it traveled as far south as Tofte, and by late in the day, a friend called from Two Harbors to say that they smelled it there, too. For us, it was mostly cleared out by ten, with just a lingering bit through the rest of the day. This evening, the winds blew gently from the south, and so most of it has passed into Canada, at least for a little while.

The fire has grown, and is now in the vicinity of about 16,000 acres. So far, it still is burning entirely within the BWCA. The weather today was a bit kinder to the fire fighters, in that the wind was decreased considerably from some of our previous days. The rest of the week, however, may not be so good, as the winds are predicted to be increasing in speed and switching around. We are keeping an eye on things on a day by day basis while hoping for the best.
The sky continues to fascinate us, with the mix of clouds, smoke and sun. Tonight, the sun was a big red cherry as it began its descent behind the curtain of smoke. It splashed a slice of red on the water, and a loon swam through it while we were watching. I looked up and saw a heron flying overhead---a rare treat for me, as I almost never see them on Gunflint Lake. Robert remarked that it looked tired, and we wondered how far it had traveled.
Our friend Sue up at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters has some excellent photos and descriptions of the fire happenings from her side of things on her blog, . She is definitely a lot closer to the fire than we are, and I appreciate being able to read her perspective on things. Stop in at her blog if you get a chance.
Thank you to everyone that has called or emailed to check up on us and how things are going. It is so helpful to us to know that you all are thinking of us and sending good wishes our way! We really do appreciate it.
On a personal note, Addie and Sharlene landed in Duluth this evening, and will be on their way up the Trail tomorrow. Our neighbor Marcia remarked to me the other day that she certainly hopes that the time didn't go as fast for Addie as it did for us down here! It is true....the six weeks really seemed to travel by quickly. Addie said that she had been very busy, with work, service projects and fun. It was a really good experience for her, and I will try to get her to sit at the computer long enough to share a bit of it with you.