June 1, 2012
Back from vacation and ready for summer guests to arrive. Had a great time canoeing the Current River in Missouri and hiking in Arkansas, Alabama and the Florida panhandle Gulf Coast.
Well the ice left early, but seasonal temperatures returned soon making for a long Spring. When we left Ely on the first of April, the trees were already budding out. When we got home, a month later, very little had changed and the trees were still in the budding phase.
The dry winter and spring brought severe drought to the Ely area and along with it, a couple of small fires that threatened the city of Ely and our home, south of Ely. The “Ely Fire” was started by a downed powerline on the east edge of town and grew very fast , threateneing homes on the fringe of Ely. We were very lucky that a Sikorski Sky Crane hilicopter was sitting at the Ely airport. Without a fast response, this fire probably would have moved rapidly into town destroying some homes. People in Ely were on edge for a couple of hours, but were treated to a spectacular air show as the big hillicopters and water bombers dropped water and refilled on Shagawa lake. The fire bordering our property at home was caused by kerosene heater that was left on in a cabin after its occupants had left for the week. The fire only burned about 10 A , but there were a number of homes in the area that could have been in peril if the city, township and USFS firefighters hadn’t been quick to respond. The water bombers and hillicopters really make the difference in controlling these small fires before they get out of hand. We too, had great view of the aircraft dropping water on this fire. The water bomber seemed to barely clear the trees in our yard and gave us a small shower as the remaining water left the plane.
Well, the drought left quickly. We have had over 5 inches of rain in the past week! Wow, what a difference. it was SO dry and then a few days later roads are washing out. The lakes are back where they should be, Triangle is full. We haven’t seen normal water levels for a number of years. This is all good, but along with the good comes the mosquitoes. We really have been fortunate the last few years with very few mosquitoes or blackflies……….now it is back to reality.
We have already had a number of guests this Spring and are gearing up for another good Summer. Between guests we are doing our usual maintainence and some remodeling. We repaced another window in the Triangle cabin and one in the bunkhouse. There is now a new outhouse at Triangle, now we have a winter and a summer outhouse. This way each outhouse will get a rest and allow for the wastes to compost adequately. We have also started the solar project at Triangle. The panel, controller and batteries are in, now we have to do the wiring. It will be nice not to have to use the gas lights in the summer, they give off too much heat. We have also cleared the land for the new cabin and hope to get the footings in yet this summer.