“There is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather,” according to a 19th century writer. Listening to the news reports from around the country over the past week, it’s hard to accept much of the weather news as “good.” Serious floods all over the Midwest; deadly tornados in Iowa and Minnesota; wildfires out west; cows being blown through the air in North Dakota (would have liked to see that one, actually). On the east coast, they’ve been enduring sweltering temperatures nearing 100 degrees. Our daughter has been building theater sets in an unairconditioned shop in Auburn, NY, in 90+ degree temperatures; the heat is almost unbearable. Weather is the news right now.
I’m visiting the Twin Cities for a couple days, slowly packing up a lifetime’s accumulation of memories from our house. Everywhere I go people ask me about the floods in Grand Marais and whether Bearskin is in bad shape. The pictures in the news when Grand Marais flooded last week were riveting — logs floating down the road, rocks tumbling down hillsides, Highway 61 flooded. But it is a remarkable testimonial to the MnDOT, Cook County and City of Grand Marais crews that clean-up and repairs of the major damage were accomplished quite quickly. Continuing rain hasn’t made that job any easier, but the area is actually in good shape — at least when you compare it to everywhere else in the news.
Bearskin’s main problem from all this weather activity is the high water level. East Bearskin Lake is in a 4 mile long basin so after a great deal of rain all the rainfall over a large area eventually pours into this lake. The lake level is way up, almost to the flooding levels of last fall. A few of our docks are underwater and the lake paths are all sloppy. We’re whining about what the weather has done to Bearskin, but compared to the many weather tragedies in the news right now a few flooded docks and paths seem like very minor problems. If you are coming up in the next week or two, bring along rubber boots or footwear that can get wet. With luck, you’ll see the water slip back to more normal levels while you are here.
The silver lining to this: the fishing has been phenomenal. The guests who came to fish don’t really notice that the paths are wet because they spend all their waking hours in a boat, pulling up their limits of walleyes. And unlike last year, we aren’t spending much time worrying that the forest will burn down — you probably couldn’t set this woods afire with a blow torch right now. Apparently this run of funky weather has at least a few positive results!