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Little Lake, Big Fish

This is what you get when you have a little lake in NE Minnesota and a kid who likes to fish.  This is John Pconka,  friend of Ben and Andrew Westphal who joined the brothers and their dad, Jeff on a week-long adventure at Northwind Lodge.

John caught this beauty off on dock at Northwind Lodge.

He didn’t have a landing net so he grabbed  this big, honkin’ northern with his hand over the edge of the dock and lifted him out of the water.

Big Northern from off the dock at Northwind Lodge Summer 2020
Probably about 40″ long!

I would say a little bit of luck with a majority of skill would be at play here with John.  Heck, I don’t believe that would have ended well for me.  Pretty impressive for a 17 YO kid from the Chicago area!

This fish was released quickly back into Jasper to continue to maraud and laugh at fishermen who wish they had this chance.  Well done, John!

I have to chuckle.  For my entire life in the resort business right here, I’ve heard countless people who won’t consider a “smaller” lake for fishing because  they believe incorrectly that “there are only big fish in big lakes”.    Time and again, they’ve been proven wrong.

Remember, this fish was caught “off of a boat dock”.

So, how come you aren’t coming to Northwind Lodge to cast off the docks?  If you don’t fish, we also do painting classes.  You can also sit at the beach, paddle a kayak, take out a canoe, paddle a paddle board, peddle a paddle boat, or just read a book – all with social distancing, no crowds, out in the woods.  No masks required for playing outside.  218-365-5489 to see what is currently open in cabins.

Cabin #5 View

Cabin #5 Special

A perfect time to come up to Northwind Lodge and enjoy the beauty and still social distance! That can be your view when you are sitting at the table over breakfast, lunch and dinner.

We’re a Mom & Pop resort, not a gargantuan center on a highly populated lake. We have no public access to Jasper Lake.  We are surrounded by the BWCA.  Bring your canoe.  Go take a day trip.  Hang out on Jasper.  Grill a steak on the Weber.   Live the simple life in the woods.   Come look at art or take an art lesson. Enjoy the soothing sounds of jasper creek, the loons calling, the birds singing or just relax for a moment.

Please practice social distancing when in the presence of  people outside of your group.  (yes – we know, we don’t like it either but it’s ridiculously easy here).

Aug 19th through 29th

 Cabin 5 Weekly Rate $1049.00 Special Price $899.00  Free motor included a value of $175.00

Nightly Rate $169.00 special Price $119 a night (3 night minimum) for 2 people


Give us a call.  It’ll most likely be me answering.  If I’m not in, please leave a

message.  We’ll call back.  218-365-5489

The Hansen Family – 5 days of Social Distancing, Northwind Lodge Style

Take a look at these beautiful photos!  This is the Hansen family who spent 5 days and 4 nights here at Northwind Lodge.  I’m exhausted just looking at how much they managed to pack into 5 days!  They fished hard, paddled a lot, hiked, ate fish, played with the dog, got up early, and so on.  Mom and daughter even took a 2 hour painting lesson and successfully produced two works of art which also serve as cool trip mementos.

This is THE WAY to socially distance.  I had so much fun with their photos, I will be joining them for their stay the next time they come up.   They don’t have a choice in the matter.

“Where’s Joe?”

“He’s staying with the Hansen family for the week.  There is no cell reception so, you’ll have to just wait ’til he gets back.”

“But, he’s just over in Cabin #8.  It’s like 400 feet from here.”

“He’s on a great vacation.  Leave him alone!”

(My dreams…..sigh….)

It’s the Year of Animals at Northwind Lodge – 2020 – Ely, MN

Watching the TV last night and Annette started to sputter while pointing at our cat who was looking out the patio door window.  A good-sized bobcat came in to take a look as his relative.  Our grey cat didn’t appreciate his presence and arched her back while laying her ears down, growling slightly.  He, on the other hand, looked curious for a very few seconds and then turned to leave.  I managed to fumble my phone on to access the camera and shot two quick pics.  Then, he decided to turn around and come back one more time just to make sure the grey house cat behind the glass was for real.  I shot two more pics and tried to turn on video.  Of course, there is no such thing as “quickly turning on” anything with electronics – like a switch – so while the phone indicated a video was being taken for two seconds, I ended up with a slightly blury video of my foot, then the ceiling, and then the wall.  The bob cat turned, showed us his bob tail and faded into the brush like he was never even there.

At this point, I’m guessing we have served as many nights of boring entertainment for bobcats, wolves, pine martens, bears, and others while sitting in the downstairs living room.  You can’t see them and seldom hear them.  But, they are there always watching.   What else have they go to do?
Bobcat - Northwind Lodge - Ely MN
So, Summer 2020 is the year of the animals.  We’ve had bears of all sizes  wandering through the property, wolf tracks in the mud let by fresh rain, deer tracks (but not many with wolf tracks around) and assorted beavers, muskrats, eagles, loons, the occasional swan family, squirrels and chipmunks.

 

The fish have also been biting REALLY well in the last two weeks with big bass, northerns and sunnies really pounding on some days.  Top it off with rather spectacular, temperate, weather and we are great place to visit to get away from the insanity on the outside.  Hang out at the beach, take an art lesson, come see the art in the Fernberg Gallery, maybe go to town.  Being hunkered down in the woods on a pretty lake has been resonating particularly well with our guests this summer.  Plus the smell of barbecue wafting by in the evening makes one drool.  We feel sorry for guests who need to return home after their stay.  You can see on their faces that they feel the same.    There’s always next season.

Give us a call.  See what cabins might be open.  Find out what you’ve been missing!
218-365-5489

Bobcats Are Us at Northwind Lodge

I’ve always figured that they are silently watching us forever now. They never make themselves known. They never slip up to be discovered, especially in the summer with all the leaves and shadows hiding their subtle camoflage. Well, they do slip up once every 50+ years or so.

Until now, I have never ever seen a bobcat in the summer. Never. This is a case of curiosity blowing the cover of a summer bobcat. Annette and I were watching the TV, when Annette started sputtering in a language that was neither English nor German.

I looked at her wondering what the issue was. She was pointing at our grey cat who was looking out the patio door. On the other side of the glass, there was a good-sized, healthy bobcat looking in. Our grey cat was now arching her back and laying her ears back and flat. I struggled with my phone doing the super fast wrist-twist-turn-on maneuver for exactly this type of use. Yeah- it failed miserably and I was relegated to finding/pushing icons on my phone. Fortunately, the large beige cat was enamoured with our smaller grey cat and not watching me dumbly waving my phone in the air. Then he turned to leave but curiosity got the best of him. He turned around and a re-approached yet again, allowing me to get two more shots, one zoomed in, too.

Then, in the seven-second window for all this to happen, he turned around and stealthily faded into the brush like a ghost.

We are both convinced that said bobcat is sitting right outside the window all the time. He’s watching and waiting for us to slip up by letting to cat out. Never going to happen and I’m sure this is not the last we will see of him.

This is life in the real northwoods of Minnesota. All year long, during the various seasons, we see bears, wolves, deer, etc. I’ve never seen a summer bobcat before, however. This was fun!

The fish are biting and people are taking art lessons, kayaking, canoeing, and hiking. This is social distancing in wilderness. Give us a call for updated cabin availability and see what you’ve been missing. Our lodge guests have been having a great time this summer! 218-365-5489

C’mon up and getaway from the scary outside world! Assorted bears and a now proof of a bobcat, are wandering around outside. I also feel immensely safer here than I would in many metro areas, today. We know what to expect from our wild animals here.

August Cabin Super Deals

A perfect time to come up to Northwind Lodge and enjoy the beauty and still social distance!

We’re a Mom & Pop resort, not a gargantuan center on a highly populated lake. We have no public access to Jasper Lake.  We are surrounded by the BWCA.  Bring your canoe.  Go take a day trip.  Hang out on Jasper.  Grill a steak on the Weber.   Live the simple life in the woods.   Come look at art or take an art lesson. Enjoy the soothing sounds of jasper creek, the loons calling, the birds singing or just relax for a moment.

Please practice social distancing when in the presence of  people outside of your group.  (yes – we know, we don’t like it either but it’s ridiculously easy here).


Updated 8/15/2020

Aug 15th through 29th

 Cabin 5 Weekly Rate $1049.00 Special Price $899.00  Free motor included a value of $175.00

Nightly Rate $169.00 special Price $129 a night (3 night minimum) for 2 people


Aug 8th through 15th and 20th- 29th

 Treetop Haus Weekly Rate $819.00 Special Price $699.00 Free motor included a value of $175.00  

Nightly Rate $169.00 special Price $129 a night (3 night minimum) for 2 people


Aug 22nd – 26th

 Cabin 6 Nightly Rate $169.00 special Price $129 a night (3 night minimum) for  first 4 people and $10.00 night up to 6 people


Give us a call.  It’ll most likely be me answering.  If I’m not in, please leave a

message.  We’ll call back.  218-365-5489

Art Classes and Fishing! Social Distancing at Northwind Lodge

I don’t believe there are many resorts in Minnesota whereupon the guests can learn how to paint AND go fishing.  Northwind Lodge is one of the few places that this is possible.  Hats off to jobs well done by Jim and Terri Rhoads of Iowa!  Jim last touched an artist’s paint brush in 3rd grade.   It’s been a while and yet his artwork today would say otherwise.  Terri has a bit more experience and her painting is lively and appealing.  Frames are going to kick both paintings to another level.   Both Jim and wife Terri had a great time as did I.  Art lessons are ALWAYS fun for me as well.   Painting, telling stories, and concentrating REALLY hard make learning to paint a lot of fun!  Two to three hours feels like an hour.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Jim and Terri took up painting when they return home.  It’s a great activity any time of the year.

When not in class, they are on the water, baking pizza on the Weber outside of the cabin, going on hikes,  and of course, catching fish.  This is the greatest way to socially distance out of all the options available.

Paintings by Jim and Terri Rhoads Northern pike on Jasper Lake Jim Rhoads holding a largemouth on Jasper Lake This is a NOT a bluegill

Socially distancing at Northwind Lodge – This is the way to do it.

Thanks to Lauren Johnson and family for these cool candid pics of a week at Northwind Lodge.  I’m guessing they had a great week.