Painting Cool Art – in the Woods near Ely

From what I can see, there are not too many resorts in NE Minnesota who have a resident artist on staff who teaches painting lessons.  I’m not trying to toot my own horn here so much as point out what really makes Northwind Lodge a different northwoods experience than all the rest.  We are the only resort where our guests get to go fishing, paddling, and play outside in real wilderness with the option to  visit an art gallery and take art lessons – all just steps from one’s cabin.   Heck, you can even commission  a painting to be done, here.   That’s definitely not “in the ordinary” among “ma & pa” resorts.

So, think about this:  Your family comes up and avoids the crowds.

Go fishing.  Take a kayak out.  Sit outside the cabin and listen to the birds.  Take an art lesson with only your family members.  Barbecue.  Sit by a fire at the beach in the evening. (RULE:  Last one who leaves is responsible for putting it out dead with water – we don’t need a forest fire).  Go back to your cabin.   Avoid petting any bear in the dark.  Sleep like a log.  Ignore the outside-world insanity.  Take advantage of our variable internet connection and ignore the internet.   It’s win-win.

Most recent art lessons at Northwind Lodge.

 

 

Call to reserve your cabin at Northwind Lodge, 15 miles NE of Ely, MN.  We’re 5 miles south of the border and surrounded by the Boundary Waters park on three sides.  We’re easy to get to and enjoy.

218-365-5489

For painting-specific programming we offer, visit our education site:  intothebrush.org

Jasper Lake Near Ely MN - cabin rentals near Ely, MN

May & Memorial Weekend Special – NEW! Personal Shoppers!

We all need a break from Covid-19.    While we all struggle with getting back to normal, we do have an advantage out here in the woods.  Unlike every metro, or big commercial operation, we are not an overdeveloped facility with large numbers of people moving around, big meeting rooms, etc.   Social distancing is very easy.  If you don’t have mask on when you leave your cabin, nobody’s going to shame you if you even see anybody.  That’s the nature of living in the woods when the closest cabin is 100 feet away through the woods.

Jasper Creek in early May with Cabin 3 in the background
Jasper Creek in early May with Cabin 3 in the background – at Northwind Lodge

Our guests arrive to relax and enjoy themselves here at  Northwind Lodge, a traditional, “ma & pa”  Minnesota resort.  I was once told by a MN state official that small resorts are a dying breed and our relevance was fading as to our importance in tourism.  I wish I could find that dude now.  I wonder how his big convention centers on over-populated lakes with a spas, restaurants, and golf courses are doing right now?   Sorry,  but after that insult to our type of lodging experience for many years by people who were supposed to be helping, I feel the need to rub this new truth into his face just a bit.  Don’t worry, I’m working through it….

New for 2020 – Personal Shoppers!  

If you feel you don’t want to go shopping, we can do that for you.  Put together a list, work with us over the phone or email, and for a cost 10% of  your bill at the grocery store, we’ll get your groceries for you.    (If your total bill is $200, your Personal Shopper cost is $20)  We have good groceries in Ely with two stores available.  We’ll put them in your cabin fridge for you.  If you need an item that you forgot from your main grocery list,  (if you can wait a bit) we’ll take a run to town for you at our earliest convenience if we don’t have the item here.  Hey, gas is cheap and we want you to have a good time.  Just know that this is Ely and we may not have hydroponically-grown arugula and radicchio.  You might have to settle for romaine.   Once you get here, you can be on your own, enjoying your exotic salad and listening to the loons.  They have been here for about two weeks at this writing. Yes, they are noisy right now as you would expect to hear from a jaded dweller of the north woods who is writing this blog post.  Every day at Northwind Lodge is like watching a Tarzan movie, whereupon deep in the jungles of Africa, a hired loon from northeastern Minnesota is calling hauntingly in the background just before the drums begin their chant of danger.   Cue the loon!  (That loon looks silly with all that bling and those blue sunglasses he wears inside all the time…and, what’s with that five pound wristwatch, anyway!?  Actors….SMH…)

Jasper Lake at Northwind Lodge, May 2020
Note the clarity of the water here in NE Minnesota.

So, let’s get back to normal together.

We know times are tough on many fronts for all of us.  We are feeling it all too well.   But Northwind Lodge is here for you to provide an escape that won’t break your bank account while giving you some respite from the new, untamed, wilderness out there.  We’ve been doing this since 1944 officially and actually a bit earlier than that.  That’s 76 years, now!  How many places do you know have been around for 76 years and run by the same family in the same spot on the same lake?  Apparently, we are NOT fading away.

Beginning May 11th through May 26th – Rate special!

Cabins for 2 people at only $89.95 a night.   Three (3) night minimum stay requirement, and $10.00 per night for each extra per person.     Personal Shopper fee is 10% of your grocery list bill.  Of course, should you have a question about any of this, give us a call or message us in Facebook under our “Northwind Lodge” page

Our intention is to help get back us all back to normal so you can buy your own beans & weenies – not that we mind one bit.   We’d love to have you come stay.  Our only request is that you minimize your human contact on the way here and, of course,  please stay home if you are ill.  If you have a mask and want to wear it, please do.   Please bring your own bath towels, personal effects and fishing gear.  We do have some tackle here for sale.  Motors are available for rent on request.  Kayaks and beach canoes are free to use.  Have a fire by the beach or waterfall but give everybody some space.  It’s pretty much common sense for the times.  Campfire conversation from 6 feet away is optional and doesn’t spread anything but maybe some humor and good cheer.

The deposit required is $300 or the cabin total, which ever is less at the time of the reservation.  Sorry, but we cannot refund deposits for any reason.  Please be able to commit to the time you have reserved.  Thank you for understanding.

Call now 218-365-5489 to book your respite at Northwind Lodge. (you may need to leave a message – we’re running around outside, in and out.  We’ll call you back.)

Jasper Lake from Northiwnd Lodge
Deep blue water, no people.

 

There’s Bear in Them Woods

It’s a beautiful evening so I decided to walk down to the lake to check on several big balsams that need come out via chainsaw, Bobcat, cables, chains and other manly things. Delilah and Cookie were in tow and then leading with Cookie panting from the exertion caused by running down hill and Delilah zooming up and down the trail in her usual light brown streak-like form.
 
I get to the beach, notice someone out on the lake with pontoon boat along with the absolute calm of the water.  But for the waves of the pontoon boat in the middle, the lake would have been without the slightest of wrinkles.
 
I looked at the trees and tried to see from where I could cable them up and pull them down causing the least amount of damage.  There are still a lot of leaves on the brush so it’s harder to see where a big fuzzy 50 foot balsam is going to get hung up, but I decided to continue checking.
 
I moved up to the first foot bridge across Jasper Creek and was wondering how much effort it would take to rebuilt parts of it in the event I had a hard landing upon it with an errant balsam in a veritable sea of ash trees.   Delilah was with me now, on the bridge looking down at the water as it was making its way to the lake.   I looked down at Dee and into the water as well.   Then while she was still looking down, I looked up at Cabin 3, just 50 feet away.   …and, there he was.
 
Looking at me looking at him was about a 350+ lb. beautiful, healthy, pitch-black bear.   He was standing motionless and he was HUGE.  One of those big, jiggly-kind of bears that you want to pet and have him follow you around in Hollywood to impress the city-folk and scare away enemies.  But alas, he was just a big, fluffy, bird-feeder-destroying, nosy, lookin’-for-a-snack-before-bedtime bear.  
 
Delilah was still looking down, so I said quietly, “Dee! Come here!”  He was watching us intently.   She looked at me and cocked her pretty little head with her laser beam eyes,  as I repeated to come hither and do so now.  She responded by doing everything but what I wanted which was to let me grab her so she doesn’t see that humongous bear eyeballing us both and take off after him because this dude was not afraid of me.  He had no intention of backing down for the human on the bridge with the little brown rabbit.  Delilah is still looking at me warily and stepping back for every step I take forward, because she knows that the slightest urgency in my voice will mean something big is about to happen and she was destined to partake in the adventure no matter what.   There was no way she was going to slow down the inevitable even though she wasn’t sure what the inevitable was other than  it was bugging me.   And then of course,  onto the wooden boards of the bridge, appeared Cookie…the big, tough Pekingese.
 
Barrel chested, skinny butted, breathing-challenged Cookie steps past me, stops next to Dee and goes “Ruff!” in the direction of  the black pile of muscle, blubber and fur standing with no fear whatsoever only 50 feet in front of her.  Delilah turned, saw black,  and it was “Game ON!”
 
With fur upright from her butt to the back of her head, Delilah ran full throttle at the big black target like birdshot to a clay pigeon.    I started yelling “NO NO NO NO NO NO!” and the bear wasn’t super impressed in the slightest by the ferocious Dachse/Pomeranian hybrid getting bigger by the nanosecond with some other blonde rabbit lumbering behind “ruffing” in between bear-attacking breaths.  Heck, he looked like he was thinking “once you get past the bark, they probably taste pretty good!”.
 
When I saw the bear waiting and not really moving as much as I would like him to move with my 9 and a half pound hors d’oeuvre in a dog suit, and a wide-chested blond block of figurative cheese wheezing into second place, I had no choice but to sprint right directly at the bear, arms waving and screaming my bloody head off while telling the dogs to stop.  Well, Delilah, being of a particularly proud and feisty mutt caliber, got within four feet of the bear at the moment I began my charge, and then within two feet of the bear as I rapidly closed the gap.   When the bear who was watching me decided that the big screaming guy was more than he wanted to mess with on this beautiful, comfortable evening, he finally turned to run.   And, when the bear turned to run, Delilah smelled all the total power and control in the air that she was certain was completely due to her, and became louder and more ferocious as she now lapped at the pads of the bear’s back heals while ignoring me completely.
 
The bear ran faster than all of us and easily pulled out ahead.   Up the foot path we went, cresting the small hill to Cabin 7 and there he was waiting for us.   I was stumbling up the hill trying to get around Cookie (she’s slow on hills) without stepping on her while Delilah got right up to the bear again as did I after finally leaping over the blond wheezing Pekingese.   Fortunately for us both, the bear turned once more and ran down a path that leads to the woods and bay area of Jasper Lake.   He’s now running full tilt and so are the dogs. Cooking got her second wind and is almost keeping up with Delilah but her speed was mainly due to gravity going down a steep hill (think rolling wheel of cheese).   The bear stops yet again in high grass broadside,  sizing up those two yappy mutts,  but then decides to go.   Both dogs stare into the fall-time grass as if held back by an invisible fence, and the bear slipped into the silence of the evening.
 
I finally got both of them back up the hill and heading in the direction of the store.  Delilah was prancing like a proud little reindeer who lead everybody through the night to deliver the Christmas presents.   In dog terms, this day ended absolutely nothing short of awesome.
 
And what did we learn from tonight?  Nothing….other than when Delilah attacks hard, bears sit up and take notice…at least that’s what she now thinks.  And, Cookie?  She’s sacked out in her dog bed.   Meh….