Column 23 Published in the March 29 issue of the Warroad Pioneer
Waking to a silent snowfall still feels magical, even after months of winter and years of winters. The gray windless dawn on this particular Angle morning revealed every individual branch and blade again attired in wet and heavy snow. Pristine in their new white finery, trees both miniscule and majestic were paused in a forced but graceful curtsy to Mother Nature’s royal whims.
It’s these still, quiet mornings that remain with me through the extra work of mud season, the wet beginnings of bug season and into the bustling summer fishing season. This early, there are no bird calls and the falling snow mutes all other noise, though there is very little of that to speak of this time of year at The Angle.
We are in our pre-spring lull.
Only a few brave working souls are traveling on the ice still, and we may see out-and-about the hearty fisher folk who know both the secrets of the lake’s spring bounty and the dangers of the currents and ice that warms and cools repeatedly.
Like the black bear stretching in her musty winter’s den, we are feeling the twinges of season change. The itch to tidy-up, pack away, and purge the excess that winter inevitably collects tends to overtake the need to cozy up and keep warm, even though The Angle is still under a lot of snow. Resorts, after a bit of deep-breathing, amble into spring cleaning mode. Lull-time construction projects get underway. Ideas that spent the winter months in gestation are being born with a strength gotten of winters’ survival. We are the whitetail deer, sloughing off the hollow-haired coat and under fur to ready ourselves for what comes next.
The Angle is growing.
Our small all-volunteer fire department recently purchased new vacuum equipment for our one water tanker-truck and will be purchasing additional floating “donut” water pumps for better distribution around the islands. Maintenance of the on-island pumps is soon to be taken over by the NW Angle Landowners Association, which will help ensure more regular upkeep. We’ve added another AED (Automated External Defibrillator) for the west end of the Angle to be housed at the church, and purchased new batteries for the existing AEDs. That brings us to four known AED’s at The Angle; including one at Angle Inn on Oak Island, Jerry’s Bar & Restaurant and St. Luke’s Church on the mainland, and Lake Trails Base Camp has their own that is available should anyone in that area need it. We’re also in the discussion stage to pursue a federal-level capital improvement grant for a new fire department garage and equipment maintenance fund.
The Angle one-room school house is on the docket of the Education Finance Committee down in St. Paul. It’s possible that the school district will receive a monetary grant for a small expansion to give these youngsters a safer place for more active indoor learning. Community uses of the expansion are also being explored. The upcoming referendum (please vote YES on May 17) will also positively affect our little school. Follow the goings-on of these amazing students, teacher Linda LaMie, and Teacher’s Aid Samantha Shoen on Facebook at Angle Inlet School.
The Girl Scouts have arrived! Sara Magoon and Bre Gjovik founded Troop #20814 The NW Angle Shooting Stars. There are five Brownie-age girls at The Angle and 100% of them signed up and have been participating in weekly meetings where they learn and create.
New Angle Airport plans are still underway and though construction may still be a ways out, it IS happening. The area will benefit not only from better access to emergency medical services but also economically with the creation of a new route of entry, not to mention construction and maintenance services in the future.
The Edge Riders snowmobile club will be making decisions soon about a new equipment garage and meeting center. The location has been unofficially secured and club members hope to get plans finalized in the coming off-season.
A new campground on the banks of Pine Creek will be opening (while still under construction) this coming season, which is good news for all the RV owners currently on an estimated 5-year wait list at other Angle campgrounds. Land owners Ward and Crystal Knight, who also own Dahlias and Dirt, The Angle’s greenhouse, have dedicated much of their spring to working on their new property.
Angle Outpost owners Lisa and Jason Goulet were hard at work dredging the channel to their harbor, as is necessary every few years. They also report they’ll be doing some shoreline work this coming spring and summer.
Jerry’s Bar and Restaurant is undergoing exciting renovations. Brian and Jenny McKeever have tackled many projects in their three years of ownership to update the landmark building. Stop by in a few weeks to see an entirely new floor, new bar and renovated bathrooms.
The “Northerly Park” plans, which would create the northern-most park in the 48 contiguous states, will go back before the Greater Minnesota Parks and Trails Commission in April in hopes of receiving regional designation and subsequent Regional Parks and Trails Legacy funding request. Joe Laurin and I continue to be the main points of contact on this project.
Long-time Angle business D&S, which offers boat and vehicle service and storage, may be changing hands soon. Details were not quite ready for public consumption at press time, but I have it on good authority that all parties are working diligently to make the sale happen.
It’s business as usual for the other resorts and businesses around The Angle. Sage’s Angle West, Prothero’s Post, Anglewood Builders, Young’s Bay Resort, Angle Inn Lodge, Sportsman’s Oak Island, Flag Island Resort, Sunset Lodge, Island Passenger Service, NW Angle Island Freight Service, J&M General Store, and NWA Services, Inc., all report the typical spring cleaning and maintenance projects that help make The Angle go round.
It amounts to growth and change in order to help keep The Angle the same Angle that we all know and love. Happy Spring, everyone!