Alan's Message - Wilderness North

Celebrating 30 Years of Wilderness North  –          

Alan’s Message

Alan CheesemanA new year, a new season, and what a great season it’s shaping up to be! With several new developments I’m confident that this year’s wilderness adventure will be one to remember.

For those of you traveling from the Chicago area, United Airlines now offers direct flights from Chicago into Thunder Bay Ontario. I was just on the website and the posted rate is $457 return, with all taxes in. It’s only a one hour and forty minute flight. That’s a far cry from the usual all day trek through Minneapolis, not to mention the 15 hour drive. We will take care of things once you arrive in Thunder Bay. Book early and be sure to mention your flight plans to Krista and Meryl or if you would like assistance, please don’t hesitate to ask. To further take the stress out of planning your next wilderness adventure you will notice that many of our packages include one night’s accommodation prior to your departure at all our major departure points (Thunder Bay, Armstrong, and Nakina). We will take care of the hotel / motel bookings and this information will be included on your confirmation reports.

Speaking of new developments, I am starting to plan a few wheel /ski flights, one is to Zigzag, in late February. We are updating the kitchen area and doing some painting and other maintenance tasks. I expect we will find lots of slush this year on the lake and that can make it a bit tricky for taking off. You will notice in Graham’s weather report below we are experiencing some unusually warm weather. The ice on the lakes up north is not as thick as it usually is. Here in Thunder Bay there is still green grass visible with only a few small snow banks around the edges. Farther north, a foot of snow fell last night, which adds considerable weight to the top of the ice that has formed on lakes and results in a layer of water creeping up between the snow and ice creating slush. When slush is “really bad” a ski plane will sink a foot or two through the top layer of snow to the ice surface once it slows down. You can imagine this is a bad situation when it comes time to leave, especially when the cold night air freezes the water around your wheel skis, similar to a well anchored popsicle stick. Thankfully, we have a few seasoned bush pilots on staff that know the tricks to avoid these sticky situations. Many years ago I was involved one winter in “freeing” a Cessna 185 from slush. After chopping all of the ice around the landing gear we cut an enormous amount trees and froze them into the top layer of snow in front the plane so it could build some speed. It is one of those experiences you never forget and forever try to avoid being involved in again 🙂 If you have any input on things we could do to improve Zigzag, I would love to hear from you.

Mckenzie Guest House, Wilderness NorthMckenzie Cabins, ArmstrongMany of you may not be aware, but McKenzie Lake cabins received some major upgrades this past season. I am confident you won’t find a nicer place to spend the night prior to departing for your wilderness vacation. Here are a couple of pictures; we will share many more with the launching of our new website in a couple of weeks. Be sure to book your trip early, the cabins hold groups from 6 to 10 but … there is only two of them!

In our last newsletter I mentioned Tyler Lancaster was returning, and here he is this week with his first posting of the 2013 season. As some of you know Tyler brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the angling world. His expertise will go a long way in helping us to continually offer the best adventure possible to our Wilderness North guests. Other posts this week feature another great recipe from KC, a Newfie word to unravel, and a great clip from the Fly-fishing Film Festival. Enjoy!

As always, it’s great to hear from you!
Alan Cheeseman

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