Posted by: David Carlson | June 1, 2018

June 2018 Update

Time to update several posts five or more years old already.
I said that Verizon was our internet service provider. Now Lake Connections provides all kinds of service via buried fiber optics. But some Lake County neighbors never connected, because of mismanaged and poorly scheduled installation crews. We happened to catch the crew on the shoulder of Highway 61 near our driveway. At first they hung cable from tree branches and existing powerlines. Later they buried the cable, and storms no longer interrupt service.

On the weather and climate front, Lake Superior  had extreme changes in the past twelve months. We installed a hurricane shutter on our boathouse in October 2017, because the lake level was nearly three feet higher than the average since the mid-1980’s. Less than two weeks later a strong northeast gale on the lake sent 15-20 foot waves parallel to our shore, but the storm surge was more than six feet deep washing across the volcanic bedrock in front of our boathouse. Within fifteen minutes, while we stood next to a corner of the boathouse, we were knee-deep in cold water. The twelve-foot wide deck lifted off three heavy concrete moorings, turned 90 degrees to the south, and luckily lodged tight against the bedrock. Next day, I found two of the concrete moorings washed 100 feet along our beach. Not likely can we get equipment to the shore to retrieve them. The question this June 2018, with the lake level two feet lower, but still above average, should we install the deck again? We have the deck frame intact, and the composite planks to reattach.

Meteorological summer begins today, June 1, 2018. Spring was colder and much drier than average. Wildfires were a threat until last Wednesday. Nearly two inches of rain fell this week, and much heavier amounts have caused serious flooding in the wilderness 25 or more miles north.

Are regional experiences of colder, drier climate a denial of global warming or climate change? No. The Arctic Ocean from Canada to Norway was as much as thirty degrees above normal all winter and spring. Arctic high pressure persisted across the Canada-U.S, border, with a very long cold front kept us cold and dry. The storm track persisted about sixty miles south of Lake Superior, and several more west-to east storm tracks crossed two-thirds of the U.S. Extremes of flooding with nearby wildfires were common. Ice storms and tornadoes plagued the Southeast U.S. Coastal California fires and flood were in the daily news.
Even in Ft. Myers, FL, where we spent the month of April, the disaster recovery from Hurricane Irma, which roared up I-75 in early September dried out the Everglades and rearranged the drainage through thousands of acres of wetlands. Daily wildfires blew black soot that covered our van parked under the carport, and caused reperatory ailments for hundreds of people. Cape Coral across the Caloosahachee River from us had piles of hurricane debris, damaged roof tops covered with tarps, and wells gone dry along the canals. Tropical storm and hurricane season started this past week.

Posted by: David Carlson | August 1, 2013

July 2013 Weather Summary for Little Marais, MN

Average max temperature was 70 degrees, min 50.  That’s cool.  We had five day when the max temperature was greater than 80 degrees, peak 87.   This past week was as cool as October, with several days in the 50’s all day.  Total precip 5.3 inches.  Most of that fell in three heavy thunderstorms.  We just missed an extremely heavy rainfall, when 6 inches fell at Cascade Lodge in one day, washed out a culvert and closed Highway 61 for awhile. 

The worst storm occurred on Saturday evening July 6, when frequent cloud-to-ground, cloud-to-water lightning struck Zion Lutheran Church in Finland, MN, exploded the kitchen, a total loss.  Almost simultaneous, lightning struck water in front of our boathouse, no damage, but so close the sound was a loud zap, not a boom.  We heard the boom from Finland seven miles away. 

We happened to be driving through a similar storm last Thursday, after viewing the Tall Ships parade into the Duluth Harbor.  On the Highway 61 Expressway near Knife River, about 15 miles northeast of Duluth, you could see the simultaneous cloud-to-ground lightning strikes spread across a five mile span.  One close strike in the hills above us had a ball of fire at the ground.  No reports of damage.

Below is a photo of the Norwegian Sorlandet (meaning southland) entering the Duluth Ship Canal.


Posted by: David Carlson | June 16, 2013

Norwegian Heritage Tour June 2013

Three of us from Little Marais decided to tour Norway together.  My wife Denise and I began planning a tour on our own in January 2013, making our own customized version of a Norway in a Nutshell tour.  Do a Google search on Norway tours and you will find plenty of packages.  Our neighbor Art (Stub) Fenstad suggested Juven Tours and Travel of Fargo, ND.  Denise called to ask for help with airline reservations.  Owner Carrol Juven had a tour planned already for the dates we wanted. It was an easy choice to go with experience, and avoid the stress of language, train schedules, and wondering whether we had picked good hotels.

Not only does the plan cover the places we chose, but Carrol has led nearly 50,000 people to Norway over more than 40 years.  He knows the places around Hamar where my ancestors owned farmsteads.  One of the churches I wanted to visit is a historic site, and our tour bus will stop there.  Likewise, the tour will spend two nights in Trondheim, where the Fenstad farmsteads already are marked on the map 17 miles across the Trondheim Fiord. We will visit 22 fjords.

The first leg of the tour has us staying at the Holiday Inn Express in Bloomington, MN, near the Mall of America.  Given the severe thunderstorms that have plagued the whole route from the North Shore of Lake Superior to the Twin Cities for weeks, we wanted to be here a day ahead of our flight. Sure enough, a severe storm caused wind damage in Duluth and the Twin Cities this afternoon.  Most of the tour group is coming from Minot and Fargo, North Dakota, and only Delta Airlines provides through service to Oslo, via Amsterdam.  We will join the group at the MSP airport.

I brought my notebook pc, an iPod, and iPad, and a Canon digital camera.  I will select a few photos to post on Facebook albums, and draft as many daily blog posts as time permits.

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