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WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast
38 minutes | Oct 13, 2021
Episode 51 WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast
The Angleworm Trail does not leap to the forefront of most conversations when people talk about the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. That being the case, it’s an easily accessible path and portage located off the Echo Trail near Ely. Podcast hosts Matthew Baxley and Joe Friedrichs set off to travel a section of the Angleworm Trail in October 2021. They were joined by a special guest on the adventure, a unique individual who was featured on a previous episode of the podcast. Though the experience was rooted in the joys of fall travel in the BWCA, Joe was also researching a book he is working on about people who have died or gone missing in the Boundary Waters. When it comes to the special guest, hammock camping is another theme of the episode... (hint, hint)
58 minutes | Sep 30, 2021
Episode 50 WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast
Fifty episodes! A milestone episode for the WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast. Hosts Matthew Baxley and Joe Friedrichs reflect on some of their favorite interviews and moments from the first 50 episodes of the original Boundary Waters podcast. Also included in the commemorative episode is new audio, including a never-before heard story told by the late Quetico Park Interior Ranger Janice Matichuk. With 50 episodes tallied, many stories shared, a national award collected and countless adventures recalled in audio format, Baxley and Friedrichs say the WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast is just getting started. To that, we lift a paddle for 50 more episodes.
23 minutes | Sep 11, 2021
Episode 49 WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast
It's been a season to remember in the Boundary Waters. The entire BWCA was closed for two weeks heading into Labor Day weekend. There's been a campfire ban in effect since early July. Smoke, drought and heat were themes the entire summer. In this episode of the podcast, hosts Matthew Baxley and Joe Friedrichs drop the news thread and go fishing. The podcast duo ventured into the BWCA in mid-August, just days ahead of the wilderness closure. What they found was simplicity. And walleye.
12 minutes | Sep 3, 2021
Wilderness Rangers Share Stories from BWCA Evacuation
It’s been a season like no other in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. On Aug. 21, Superior National Forest officials enacted a temporary but full closure of the BWCA. The order, issued in response to fire danger, came at the height of the paddling season. The BWCA will reopen Saturday, Sept. 4, with some closures remaining in place. News of the closure was delivered to paddlers by teams of wilderness rangers who spent days sweeping the BWCA by canoe. Working in a coordinated effort across the wilderness, several dozen rangers were able to clear the area in just a few days. WTIP’s Barbara Jean Meyers speaks with two wilderness rangers, Megan McClanahan and Chad LeFevere, along with Superior National Forest Recreation and Wilderness Specialist Cathy Quinn, about the challenges involved in covering an area to remove canoe campers that is more than 1 million acres in size, includes more than 2,000 campsites and 1,200 miles of canoe routes.
20 minutes | Sep 2, 2021
Superior National Forest Wildfire Update and BWCA Reopening
News of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness reopening in time for most of Labor Day weekend traveled quickly throughout the paddling community and among local businesses impacted by the change from the Gunflint Trail to Ely. Most of the BWCA will reopen Saturday, Sept. 4. On this wildfire update on the WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast, we hear from Tofte District Ranger Ellen Bogardus-Szymaniak about the closure and upcoming reopening of the BWCA. Hosts Matthew Baxley and Joe Friedrichs also share an update on the situation. A section of the wilderness will remain closed for at least another week as multiple wildfires continue to burn in an area south of the Gunflint Trail. Click here to view a map of the closure area. The area that remains closed is, generally speaking, west of Poplar Lake to the end of the Gunflint Trail, including Seagull and Saganaga lakes. The closure extends south and moves west from Sawbill Lake, including the popular ‘Lady Chain of Lakes’ west of Sawbill. The Sawbill entry point will reopen on Saturday. A campfire ban remains in effect for the entire BWCA at this time. The entire wilderness area was closed to all access on Aug. 21 due to active wildfires and a prolonged drought. Listen to the full interview with the Tofte District Ranger here: https://soundcloud.com/wtip-community-radio/tofte-ranger-on-bwca-reopening
24 minutes | Aug 29, 2021
Episode 48 WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast
As drought and active wildfires impact the most visited wilderness area in the nation, the U.S. Forest Service announced Aug. 21 that overnight permits to enter the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness will not be issued at this time and all backcountry access is prohibited until further notice. Day trips to the BWCA are not allowed under the closure. News of the closure spread quickly throughout the paddling community. Among the last to hear of the closure, however, were canoe campers who were on a trip to the BWCA when the closure was announced. Closures to the BWCA impacted WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast host Matthew Baxley and podcast contributor Lindsey Gau not just once, but twice on the weekend the closure was announced. They share their story in this episode of the podcast.
11 minutes | Aug 28, 2021
WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast Wildfire Update From The Gunflint Trail
WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast hosts Matthew Baxley and Joe Friedrichs traveled up the Gunflint Trail Aug. 27 to get a firsthand feel for how things were going on the edge of the wilderness. The BWCA remains closed at this time, now a full week into the closure of the most visited wilderness area in the nation. Canoe racks sat full at local outfitters. Restaurants along the Trail were quiet. Most of the vehicles the podcast duo passed on the Trail were trucks carrying firefighters. It was not a typical Friday afternoon and evening in late August on the Gunflint Trail. Joe and Matthew stopped on the shores of Poplar Lake to record this wildfire update.
9 minutes | Aug 27, 2021
WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast - Impact Of Closure From Gunflint Trail To Ely
It's been about a week since the Superior National Forest closed the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. WTIP's Barbara Jean Meyers traveled around canoe country catching up with area outfitters and paddlers about what the closure has been like. She shares this special update on the podcast.
13 minutes | Aug 26, 2021
WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast Update on BWCA Closure and Wildfires
Superior National Forest officials confirmed with the WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast they have extended the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness closure through at least Friday, Sept. 3. Tofte District Ranger Ellen Bogardus-Szymaniak confirmed the closure extension. The choice to keep the BWCA closed for at least another week was widely expected. “We considered the weather, historically dry conditions, fire behavior and the resources that we have and decided to go for another week,” she said. “Nothing has changed since the day we put it on.” Wildfires continue to burn both inside and outside the BWCA wilderness line as of Aug. 25. Canadian wildfires burning inside Quetico Provincial Park continue to burn and could jump the BWCA unless conditions change, according to the Forest Service. Podcast hosts Joe Friedrichs and Matthew Baxley recorded this update as smoke and ash from Canadian wildfires fell near Grand Marais Wednesday night.
17 minutes | Aug 23, 2021
WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast - BWCA Closure and Wildfire Updates
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness closed to all public access August 21 as wildfires in and around the region continued to burn. The WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast team will be reporting on the wildfires and the complete BWCA closure in a series of updates in the days, weeks and potentially months ahead. In this first installment of the wildfire updates and BWCA closure, hosts Matthew Baxley and Joe Friedrichs discuss the current situation in the Boundary Waters.
14 minutes | Aug 16, 2021
Pagami Creek Fire - 10 Years Later: A WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast Featured Episode
Ten years ago this month, the Pagami Creek Fire burned 93,000 acres in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. A lightning strike approximately 13 miles east of Ely ignited the Pagami Creek Fire. First detected on August 18, 2011, the fire smoldered in a bog for several days before it erupted on a monumental scale. In this special episode of the WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast, we hear the story of Greg and Julie Welch. The Michigan couple were camped in the BWCA when the Pagami Creek fire found them. This is their story.
39 minutes | Aug 13, 2021
Episode 47: Boys in the BWCA part 2, with the girls
A continuation of the story started in episode 46, we hear the completion of two trips where two fathers take the oldest son into the wilderness for the very first time. To enhance the story, a three generation trio of ladies share their ongoing legacy of wilderness travel along with some tips to keep the kids happy and safe.
32 minutes | Aug 2, 2021
Episode 46: Part 1 - Adventures of Fathers and Sons
There comes a time when a father decides to take his son into the Boundary Waters for the first time. It could be anyone, really. A mother, aunt, uncle or family friend all face the same challenges. The goal is to make it safe and to make it fun. This episode is a two-part series that follows two different trips with the same goal: taking a child into the wilderness. We hear from one father and son as they progress through their planning process and discuss the expectations of what is ahead. We also join another pair on a day-to-day report of the journey even as an aspiring young traveler records his tumble into the lake. The wilderness always follows through on delivering a life changing experience for both pupil and teacher.
12 minutes | Jul 23, 2021
Short Track: Bears In The BWCA Summer 2021
Recent encounters between black bears and visitors to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness has the U.S. Forest Service considering a food storage order on certain lakes. If implemented, the order would aim to reduce the likelihood of negative encounters between BWCA visitors and bears, according to Superior National Forest spokesperson Joanna Gilkeson. The Forest Service enacted a food storage order for a collection of lakes at the end of the Gunflint Trail in 2020 due to bear activity. The WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast was informed in recent weeks of multiple incidents involving canoe campers and bears in the BWCA. During one incident from July 15 on Duncan Lake in the Middle Gunflint Trail area, four bears aggressively pursued a hanging food pack at a campsite. According to reports, the bears, a sow, yearling and two cubs, would not flee even when whistles were blown and pots and pans were banged together. Additional reports of bear encounters surfaced days later on nearby Rose Lake. Podcast host Joe Friedrichs spoke with Chris Vincent from St. Francis, Minn., about his experience with several bears on Rose Lake from July 17. This short track shares Chris’s story.
59 minutes | Jul 14, 2021
Episode 45 WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast
In wilderness settings, there are connections people can make to the land, regardless of their age, race or gender, by walking in the footsteps of those who have come before them. With this in mind, a group of Minnesota paddlers set out in the fall of 2020 to travel across the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to retrace the steps of a wilderness pioneer named Arthur Carhart. Their journey took them across abandoned portages, streams plugged by beaver dams and through remote territory inside the nation’s most visited wilderness area. Carhart made his journey to the Boundary Waters in 1921. Though a century has passed since his expedition, there were generations of people who lived in this landscape that is now defined as a ‘wilderness area.’ The Indigenous communities were here long before white voyageurs and government officials put their canoes on this countless collection of lakes, streams and pathways through the Boundary Waters. In this episode of the WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast, hosts Matthew Baxley and Joe Friedrichs revisit the notion of ‘what defines wilderness?’ In another follow up to recent podcast coverage, Minnesotan Alex Falconer shares an update with podcast contributor Lindsey Gau about his epic trail run from May 2021. Alex ran the entire Border Route Trail and the Kekekabic Trail in about two days, a distance of nearly 110 miles. Alex did this run of epic proportions to raise awareness for the Boundary Waters and to protect clean water. Photo for this episode provided by Mark Morgen. Thanks to KFAI Radio and the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund for making this episode possible.
54 minutes | Jul 1, 2021
Episode 44 WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast
Join the WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast team for a one-time special from Isle Royale National Park on the biggest boundary waters lake of them all: Lake Superior. Hosts Matthew Baxley and Joe Friedrichs traveled to Isle Royale in June 2021 to share stories from the remote island archipelago. They talked with park staff about wildlife research being conducted on the island, chatted with visiting hikers, paddled a canoe through a winding harbor and saw 18 moose over the course of five days. The stories of their adventures, and those of their fellow travelers and park staff, are all shared in this special episode of the podcast.
43 minutes | Jun 16, 2021
Episode 43 WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast
It’s back to hammocks on this episode of the WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast. Well, sort of… The featured guest on this episode of the podcast is YouTube sensation and hammock camping extraordinaire Sean 'Shug' Emery. Shug lives in Minnesota and frequents the North Shore and BWCA to enjoy time hiking, exploring and hanging in his hammock. In a previous stage of his life, Shug was a circus performer and clown. He’s well known at the Minnesota State Fair and has entertained across the state at various venues, including the Grand Marais Public Library. Shug has a following of more than 100,000 subscribers who engage with his discussions about hammock camping. That being the case, while speaking with host Joe Friedrichs on this episode of the podcast, the topic of hammock camping did not surface one time. Instead, they talked about equity, diversity in the wilderness, advocacy and other topics that have nothing to do with hammock camping whatsoever. During the discussion, both the host and the guest let their guards down and got… real.
33 minutes | May 26, 2021
Episode 42 WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast
The combined distance of the Border Route Trail and the Kekekabic Trail in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is approximately 110 miles. In late May 2021, Minnesotan Alex Falconer ran the entire distance. In two days. Basically nonstop. Alex did this run of epic proportions to raise awareness for the Boundary Waters and to protect clean water. Joining Alex for a portion of the run and for an interview on the podcast is Clare Gallagher, an American ultrarunner and environmental advocate who lives in Boulder, Colorado. Also featured on the podcast is another runner who participated in the event, Peyton Thomas. Peyton, who is from the East Coast, participated in multiple sections of the run with Alex. Podcast contributor Lindsey Gau paddled out to record interviews near Clearwater Lake in the BWCA and shares a full report in this episode.
72 minutes | May 12, 2021
Episode 41 WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast
The WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast team spent the final days of April and start of May 2021 in Ely. Hosts Matthew Baxley and Joe Friedrichs were selected for an 'artist residency' by the Listening Point Foundation. This is property owned by Sigurd Olson that is now managed and owned by an organization in Ely known as the Listening Point Foundation. Olson was an author and a dedicated advocate for wilderness, including the Boundary Waters, but many areas across the country as well. The podcast duo recorded and produced this episode at Listening Point. The theme of the episode is 'a rite of passage' and includes interviews with paddlers sharing their love of the Boundary Waters with their children, friends and the next generation of canoeists, and where Baxley and Friedrichs fit within that concept of people who share stories about the wilderness. Up first we hear the story of Myron Klesner. Myron was introduced to Quetico Provincial Park in 1977 during a class trip. It was the first of 30 years of trips taken from Quincy Jr. High (Illinois) to Canoe Canada Outfitters and into Quetico. Myron continues to visit canoe country and he has now gone with his two boys, the history teacher who started the school trips and others who have experienced Quetico over the years. In part two of this episode, Cook County resident Hazel Oberholtzer talks about ‘her soul place,’ the Boundary Waters. Hazel frequents the BWCA and talks about her own rite of passage to wilderness travel, from camps to family trips to now paddling with her friends through canoe country. Hazel talks about the value of gaining self-awareness on trips to the Boundary Waters, learning from her mentors about strength and leadership both inside and outside of the wilderness. The episode is shared through the lens of Listening Point and the work of Sigurd Olson to protect the Boundary Waters region, with the full understanding that the torch needs to be carried from generation to generation to protect these treasured waters.
18 minutes | Apr 26, 2021
Short Track: Early Season BWCA Paddling 2021, Rivers & Lakes
Many of the lakes in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness became ice free during the third full week of April 2021. To investigate the early ice-out situation, the WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast team ventured into the wilderness on a cold but sunny Sunday morning. The plan was to enter the BWCA in the mid-Gunflint Trail area, navigating snowy portages and ice free lakes before floating out of the wilderness on the upper reaches of the Brule River. The headwaters of the river are on Horseshoe Lake, a well-known BWCA destination south of Poplar Lake. It was not an easy trip, including the fact hosts Matthew Baxley and Joe Friedrichs had to repair their damaged Royalex canoe with peanut butter and mud. Follow Matthew and Joe on this short track of the WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast.
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