My family runs a float plane service, outposts and a lodge. This is more than a business; it is a life style.
Every year, every season, every day brings something new. I try to blog about life our way.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April 2014

Craig and Roseanne arrived home in Red Lake yesterday.  Craig says there is less snow here than last year and when I look back he is right.  So it seems we are on track for a late breakup but our season should open on time.  

Viking Island Lodge on April 18, 2014
Frank Paishk's Cabin on April 20, 2014

Here what I had to say on April 20, 2013:

Hugh and I skidooed up to Viking Island yesterday. To the south and west of us, a snow storm has roads closed and everyone digging out today. We missed all that. The sun is out and the wind is blowing here. A lot of snow has disappeared just by direct evaporation and it is easy for me to walk between cabins.
BUT the ice is shore to shore with snow on top , so I expect break-up to be LATE
I am out here cleaning and making lists. I will be ready when the ice does go.

From the Tower Cabin Deck, April 20, 2013
Freighting to Viking Island on April 20, 2013

But then there was April 12, 2012  (the earliest break up on record)

Hugh just got back from flying out west.  Telescope, Optic, Domain and Douglas are free of ice.  Howey Bay is about 50 % full of ice.  Walleye season is open until April 14, so Hugh had an important mission......walleye for supper.  (first time ever to fish walleye before the season closes by boat or plane)
Viking Island on April 12, 2012
We are flying!  April 12, 2012

Each Year is Different

New Challenges, New Adventures, New Experiences
We are so lucky to live and work here
And share this place with guests who appreciate the wilderness and all it has to offer.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Perfect weather for skidoos.

For the past week, Hugh has been freighting material down Red Lake and over to Viking Island by snow machine.  He has the perfect machine for the job, a wide track Skandic.  He added runners to an old boat and it slides through the portages with ease.

At West Narrows sits Frank Paishk's cabin.  Perhaps you
can hear John Paishk's drum from years past or
feel the spirits roaming here.
In front of the West End Museum, sits a Polaris solidly
stuck in the ice.  Shall we bet on when it sinks
or will the owner rescue it


Bill stops for a coffee break with Hugh half way down
Red Lake.  Nice Day.  Great Location.
Trout Bay is the first place to open up around here. 
Usually you can find eagles, geese, ducks and otter
enjoying the open water.
The portage to Douglas Lake is in perfect shape.
We are lucky to get these conditions.
The dock parts have arrived!
Let's get that dock put together!
Freighting is done.  It's starting to rain.  Time to head home.
Wouldn't you know it.  Hugh's machine breaks down
on Trout Bay.   Call Arthur.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

And We went for a Rip

That soft ride over a blanket of fluffy snow is gone, replaced  yesterday by a rougher ride over frozen slush and ruts.  Luckily today, 3 inches of new snow softened it all up.  Just a great day for a rip down Red Lake.  I just love this time of year.  The bush around us is waking up and the season is almost here.
Bad Bill and Joanne came for the ride.
Gwyneth, Wade and Rhian are the planners.
Good to see a bit of open water in this
world of ice and snow.
Someone got stuck in front of the Museum
back in January and here the machine still sits,
frozen in as solid as can be.  Hugh says, this is
evidence that canoers should not resort to
mechanical means.  Who's machine?
And here you see Bad Billy working on teaching Rhian bad habits.
She WAS impressed.

Skidoos, deer and more snow. Let's go for a rip!

We are up early to take roofing and dock parts down the lake, BUT conditions aren't the best. Pretty out, though. Derrio, my little deer who survived this long winter alone in the bush beside our house, is waiting for Hugh to bring more corn and goat feed.
Skidoos, trucks, deer and more snow
This is the view from my office window
Hugh, where are you?  More corn, please.


Too nice out for this office.
Gwyneth, let's warm up the sleds and go for a rip!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Off to Viking Island to check it out

Pictures can tell this story.

I got to camp, just, crawled to the cabin and waited
for Wade to get me unstuck
Everyone helps with wood.  Somehow there wasn't much
wood in the cabin.  I may ask Ken Kasner about that.
I spied the eagle across the lake working on a carcass. 
It really looked like this wolf just laid his head on his paws
and gave up.  It was a rough winter!
Lines are in.  Hoping for walleye for supper!!
Rhian exploring the bush on shoeshoes.
She's hard to keep up with.

Yup there's supper, just in time
Wade is cooking up that feed that
we've been hankering for all winter!
Hugh and I are enjoying fresh walleye
Rhian and I are taking out the fish guts
and hoping the eagle will drop by.

Yup He didn't take long to get here.
Evening is here, the sun is going down on a long day.
Time for a game of cribbage.
Heading home
Hugh, Me (Enid), Wade and Rhian
Gwyneth is taking the picture

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Winter Storm 2014 in Dryden

We didn't get all this snow in Red Lake, but the wind was howling.
Today the sun is out and it looks like spring may come eventually.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April 1st in Red Lake

and this is no joke!

from our local radio station, comes these reports:

Photo Winter Storm Hammers Area

By CKDR News - April 1st, 2014 - 5:27am
A winter storm warning remains in effect in Dryden, Sioux Lookout and Ignace.
The storm has forced several closures.
 As for travel...police are still not recommending it.
Highway 17 between the Manitoba boundary and Ignace is now open after being closed overnight.
Highway 17 between Ignace and Thunder Bay remains closed.
Highway 502 from Dryden to Fort Frances is closed.
Roads in the Thunder Bay area are dealing with freezing rain.
In Dryden, several motorists got stuck on both the underpass and overpass, forcing periodic closures.

Yes...Forest Fire Season Starts Tuesday

By CKDR News - March 31st, 2014 - 8:56am
PhotoBelieve it or not forest fire season officially starts this week.
Information Officer Debbie MacLean with the Ministry of Natural Resources says it will likely be some time before see any fire activity in the northwest due to the snow and ice.
MacLean says the MNR will prepare for the season as normal, noting activity picked up quickly after a slow start back in 2012.
MacLean says once the season begins on Tuesday, it's illegal to burn grass or brush during the day.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Time for Ice Fishing and Fresh Walleye

The weather is warming up even though it keeps snowing.  The fish are biting and it's time to come out of hibernation.  Fresh walleye are going to taste delicious tonight!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Hey, Let's go for a rip

600 Miles in 2 1/2 days! Got to see lots of new scenery...
great trails, great weather
 and a great group all made for an awesome trip!
Kim and I blazing trail...beautiful day, fresh snow...
doesn't get any better!
Gwyneth and Daughter Rhian
out for a rip
215 miles today...we made it and we're still smiling!
This has been a long cold winter compared to recent past seasons, but my daughter, Gwyneth, still needs to be outside on weekends.  She and her friends rode many miles, travelling by sled to Ear Falls, Dryden, Atikokan and Kenora.  With the right clothes, helmet and sled, winters up here are great.

A trip to Dryden on March 22, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

Sport Shows in 2014

Hugh pretending to work at the St. Charles All Canada Show

Our Sport Show Schedule for 2014

Chicago, St. Charles:
The All Canada Show at Pheasant Run Resort Mega Center, January 9 -12

Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo at the Schaumburg Convention Center, (Booth 822) January 23 - 26

Boat, Sport and Travel Show at the State Fair Grounds (Booth 163), February 14-23

Journal Sentinel Sports Show at the State Fair Expedition Center (Booth 505), March 6 - 10

Minneapolis Show at the Convention Center (Booth 1306), March 21 - 24

Marketing Strategy

We are a small business and figuring out how to market is interesting in this constantly changing world.  Sport Shows have always been part of Viking Outpost marketing.  We just feel that our long standing guests like to see us during the winter.  They bring their deposits and send over their friends.  Also we think that some potential guests would like to meet us after checking us out on the internet.  Many camps are cancelling their Show contracts but we will continue as long as the shows are there.  I figure we should use the fact that Hugh and Craig grew up in Red Lake and in this business.  They know what they are talking about.  They love to fish and spend time in the bush themselves.
I continue to work on the website, post on Facebook, You Tube, and my blog.  As I do this, I think that I am providing interesting material for our long time guests and giving them something they can pass onto friends and family. 
Word of mouth continues to be the most successful marketing tool ever. Some things remain the same over time. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Gwyneth, Enid, Harriet and Rhian go Snowshoeing

Objective:  Tire this 5 year old out.

Get our gear on

Take the pictures

It may be cold, but we still need some fresh air.  The snow is perfect for snowshoeing.  Rhian enjoys the outing and the exercise is great for my new metal knee.  So off we go.....

Get moving

Yup, she's bushed

Check the bush for animal tracks