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  • October 2011
    from www.CustomCabins.com
    14663 Vosburgh Rd. Ely, Minnesota 55731
    email: info@customcabins.com


    Happy October. The season is over, and we have closed our doors until next spring, but still life goes in our area of Minnesota's North woods.

    All of the leaves have fallen except for the tamaracks. These are strange trees because they are the only type of "pine" tree that loses its needles. Of all of the trees in the forest, they are the last to drop its "leaves", and, in the spring, unfortunately, the last to acquire them. They have a very short season to show off their beauty.

    October is the start of grouse season. These birds are sometimes referred to as partridges and are good to eat. Like most wild animals, they do not have much fat, but can be prepared in a number of delicious ways. Most birds have some degree of intelligence, but grouse are not members of this group. It seems as though these birds are attracted to cars and have a tendency to run toward them. However, there are many other animals that admire this trait in the grouse because the dead grouse provide a lot of easy meals. Willy and AJ went grouse hunting one day and came back with these treasures. They also managed to find a snow shoe hare which also is good in a stew.

    In order to vary our diet from bird and rabbit, we said good bye to the rest of the fish in the freezer, and had our last fish fry for the season. It was sad to think "fresh fish" season was over, but we can look forward to next spring. Anticipation is part of the joy of seasonal foods.

    As you know we had a very large forest fire here in August, September, and part of October. It was referred to as the Pagami Fire and started about four miles south of the Fernberg Trail-our only road from here to town. Anyway, the Forest Service offered a canoe trip into various parts of the burned areas. Willy and AJ took the trip and took pictures during their day journey.

    About 20 people, dressed in fire retardant clothing and under the guidance of Forest Service personnel, launched their canoes at Lake one (at the end of the Fernberg Trail-about five miles east of here) and traveled south into part of the burned area. They surveyed the damage along the banks of the various lakes.

    They noted that because of the very intense heat of the fire and the varied ground structure that parts had burned severely, but some of the grassy parts seemed totally unscathed. Various animals had already begun to return to their "homes".

    Some of the parts that had been burned had already begun to regenerate because of humus. Humus is a part of the soil that has been generated because of the decomposition of both animal and plant life. It is apparently more difficult to burn than regular soil, and hence regenerates more quickly. This is good for the rehabilitation of the forest.

    We knew the water levels were low because of the lack of rain, and we definitely could see this with the low amount of water that was running over the dam at Prairie Portage.


    After a lot of communication, the Forest Service has decided to delay the implementation of the "go live" permit system. This system would mean that you would not be submitting applications to the lottery, but instead (if the permit is available) you would actually be getting the permit you apply for on the spot. The Forest Service seems to think that people are "hoarding" permits, hence denying others of getting them. They have indicated that people are not cancelling their extra permits. They think that by using the "go live" process, you would get the seven permits (per person) you may need for the week, and would quit applying leaving more permits for others.

    Now, here is the important part! Permits requesting the Moose Lake entry point (which is what most of you use F- Chain and G-Basswood) will still be under the lottery process, however, the dates for submitting applications to the lottery have been changed and will now be from December 19 through January 19th. The lottery drawing will be January 20th. Then the "go live" lottery will be January 25th beginning at 9AM central time for all entry points. This means that if you did not get all of the permits you need, you could go to the "go live" system and try to get the rest of permits you may need. The Forest Service is asking that if you have more permits than you can use that you cancel them before the general lottery "go live" date.

    A couple of good things about the changes will be that permits will only cost $6.00 per permit instead of the previous $12.00. The other good thing will be that any extra permits can be cancelled during the intended week's use and will be put back into the system during the week of intended use. They will then be "recycled" within a 24 hour period so perhaps others may be able to claim them. No, you will not get your money back for having returned the extra permits you may have received, but we hope that those of you who apply for your own permits will comply with their wishes. Please feel free to call us if you have questions.

    So since, in reality, it is nearly December, we hope you are beginning to think about your vacation schedule and will contact for reservations. In addition, for those of you who have reservations, we would appreciate it if you were to send us your deposit.

    Custom Cabin Rentals
    14663 Vosburgh Rd.
    Ely, Minnesota 55731
    218-365-6947 or 1-800-235-6947