Loons at Northwind Lodge Ely MN

New! Northwind Lodge Activities

Resort sponsored activities are planned for

Tuesday through Thursday each week.

Painting Classes

Painting Class 2

During select weeks at Northwind Lodge, join us for our weekly activities.  To see when they begin, please visit our activities calendar (Click Here)

The Activities Low Down

Painting Classes
Get your creative juices going by taking a painting class during your stay.  Classes are scheduled for Tuesday evenings.  Also, depending on schedule availability, classes can be held at other times and for private groups.  We paint rocks and Christmas ornaments in the two-hour sessions.   Other longer classes and programming is available at different price rates as well.  For more information about our regular art programming options, please visit intothebrush.org our non-profit art education organization.

Campfire

Wednesday Campfire
It’s S’mores time, come to the fire ring by Jasper Creek Falls to enjoy an evening  sitting around the campfire.  Bring your s’more components.  Wiener sticks – the whittled kind – are provided.

Potluck Dinner

NEW – Thursday Potluck
New for 2020!  Potluck Dinner on Thursday evening!  Get to know some of the guests at the lodge and join us for dinner!   Bring a dish, bring dessert, bring yourself.  Dress is casual, conversation entertaining, dining is outside.

What a fun way to get together to greet and eat!  Joe will be cooking as well.  Who knows?  It may be gastronomical adventure!  That’s why “luck” is part of the word used to describe it!

Click here to check out our Activity Calendar

 

Call 1-800-280-1078 or Message Us in Facebook (Click Here):  Northwind Lodge 

 

Featured

Winter Wilderness Art Retreats

Winter is breathtaking in the Ely, MN area! It is less crowded and you have the freedom to move about as you like and at your own pace! Come up and stay just 5 miles south of the border for a Wilderness Art Retreat at Northwind Lodge! It’s a great way to explore your creative side either by yourself or with small group of friends or family. It is Art Classes and Vacation all wrapped into one unique experience at Northwind Lodge.

ely mn moose

Our forests are covered in white and our frozen lakes are your invitation to explore your creative side in art. Listen to the quiet. Howl for wolves at night. Then, let the thrill of wilderness living be your guide during Into The Brush art session! After classes, round out your vacation by doing outdoor activities like cross-country skiing, ice fishing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, visiting the Fernberg Gallery (on premises), going to town (watch for wolves) or just relaxing. The entire experience is fun and and something you probably don’t do all the time at home. Plus, we are only about 4.5 hours from the Twin Cities (for perspective)!

The retreats are held all winter Northwind Lodge located 15 miles northeast of Ely, MN, 2267 Fernberg Rd.   The 2-Day Program includes: 8 hours of instruction, all painting supplies, after-class independent painting time if desired.  Meals not included.  Class participants may want to bring snacks but can also return to their apartment very easily. Basic kitchen facilities provided in the apartment.

Apartment Housekeeping Unit – Comfortable, housekeeping, apartment-style unit with private driveway and entrance.  Sleeps up to 4 in two bedrooms. One double bed in one bedroom, One double and one twin bed in the second bedroom. Located about 150 feet from the art studio building.  This unit comes with satellite TV, gas range, refrigerator, microwave, basic cooking and eating utensils, bathroom with shower, toilet and lavatory.  Bedding is provided.   Please bring your own towels.   Many of our guests request this rental year after year.

 

This 4 day/3 night Art Wilderness Art Retreat is only: $499.00* for up to the first 2 people*

*and $100.00 extra per person up 4 people

*Plus MN sales tax (6.875%) and local lodging tax (3%)

Call now for availability. Dec 13th 2019

1-218-265-5489 or 1-800-280-1078

Retreat Instructor
Joe Baltich will be your instructor. He is an accomplished, commissioned artist proficient in acrylics. For a quick sampling of his works of the past 3 years, please visit instagram.com/joebaltich. For more details and other art programming for summer, please visit intothebrush.org.

For more on our Fernberg Gallery, visit: Fernberggallery.com

 

S.O.U.L Award 2017

Into The Brush Receives Community Award for S.O.U.L – 2017

Into The Brush is the honored to be recognized as the local winner of Minnesota’s Touchstone Energy Community Award  by Lake country Power for its work with Stones Of Uplifting Light (SOUL) in providing emotional support for those who become unexpectedly terminally ill.   SOUL operations in April of 2017 as a new program designed to share art on stone with people who are suddenly in the final stages of their life by working with an intermediary (family member, friend, acquaintance, etc) to find out some details about the afflicted individual and a more joyous time in that person’s past.   Joe Baltich, lead SOUL artist,  then paints that moment on stone and sends the art to the individual.  No fees are charged for SOUL stones.  Donations to Into The Brush are accepted but not required.  SOUL recipients are generally not acquainted with SOUL artists and there is no contact between either party.  SOUL founder and artist, Joe Baltich wanted SOUL to represent the kindness of strangers through sharing art.  Although feedback has been non-existent (neither expected, encouraged, nor required)  from SOUL recipients, Into The Brush has been gratified to hear through a few intermediaries that the various recipients were very moved by the gesture-in-stone-art and their families also very appreciative of the lasting mementos.   A small, positive effect in a most difficult time is the goal all Into The Brush with SOUL.   If you know somebody who is having a rough time and faced with harsh realities, Into The Brush encourages you to contact them at intothebrush@gmail.com

Touchstone Energy Community Award
Into The Brush thanks Lake Country Power for their recognition of the SOUL program and is pleased to be a part of the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives!

Minnesota Getaway Vacations – Look where you can hide for a week!

When you want to bug out of Dodge for a week, why not come hide among the trees and along a pretty northwoods lake just five miles south of the border?  Northwind Lodge is a Minnesota Family Resort and perfect for YOUR family!  Housekeeping cabins tucked away at this simple resort make this the perfect, easy-access, resort away from the crowds.  You need to come here and decompress!

Watch this short video with our Cabin Layout.  Note that I forgot Cabin 6 in the layout – dang it, anyway!  It is just below the Into The Brush Studio on your screen with a car parked next to it.

Hometown Focus Article – Into The Brush

Into the Brush: Combining art and adventure in the wilderness
By Jody Anderson
HTF Columnist

 Joe Baltich and his painted canoe. Photo by Jody Anderson.
Joe Baltich and his painted canoe. Photo by Jody Anderson.
ELY – Just five miles from Canada, and 15 miles northeast of Ely on the Fernberg Trail, stands Red Rock Wilderness Store and Northwind Lodge, formerly known as Jasper Lake Resort. It is a place that holds generations of memories like pitch-black nights with shimmering stars while gathered around a campfire, the dancing lights of the Aurora Borealis, and midnight wolf operas. The resort, now managed by Joe Baltich, Jr., has been in the Baltich family for three generations. Surrounded by the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), and deep in the northwoods boreal forest, the resort offers something unique from others in the area. It is liking walking into the past with its rustic charm, while still offering today’s modern amenities such as wireless service. It just might be possible that Northwind Lodge is the oldest family-run business in the area. The resort, which is over 70 years old, dates back to 1944.

The Red Rock Wilderness store, which doubles today as Joe’s art studio, has the largest selection of fishing tackle in the area. Some of the locals callRed Rock the “Cabela’s of the North.” Today Joe’s store also has his artwork for sale – wine glasses, mugs and canvases displaying beautiful northwoods scenery. You could say that he has come full circle when it comes to his art. It was there at the resort on Jasper Lake, at the age of 13, that he discovered he was not only an outdoors enthusiast, but also an artist. The resort has seen and weathered a lot of changes over the years. Change within the resort industry is common, and calls for innovativeness at times. The resort was once known for skiing, and had its own Nordic ski trails. It was on one of those snow-covered trails that Joe met his wife Annette. Skiing under a canopy of pines however, is now a part of the resort’s past. But innovativeness and creativity is what Joe is all about, and it is his passion for painting that is the inspiration behind his most recent resort venture.


This past week I made the drive to Red Rock to see “The Painted Canoe of Ely,” Joe’s latest masterpiece. It is a symbol of both art and adventure in the wilderness. Joe spent over 400 hours last winter painting on the unique aluminum canvas! His original plan was to paint the animals of the BWCAW but instead, at someone’s suggestion, he painted the history of our region. He chose to depict the wilderness area in the 100 years prior to its federal wilderness designation in 1978 on one side, and the wilderness area how it exists today on the other. The canoe is a Grumman canoe which is symbolic in itself. Grumman originally was a leading producer of military aircraft. If you look close, Joe included a painting of a Grumman Hellcat F6F fighter aircraft used in 1943-1944 during the war. After World War II wound down in 1944, the company began to produce Grumman canoes which replaced wooden canoes that were mostly being used at that time. The Grumman canoes, being lighter and stronger, made portaging and canoeing in the wilderness easier. Grumman canoes are a significant part of our BWCAW history.

At age 13, Joe’s first experience with art began when he experimented with his father’s wood burning kit. Tiring of the kit’s designs, he began to draw his own – deer, moose, and squirrels. Soon he was selling the wood plaques to resort guests in the store. One day one of the guests, who happened to be an art teacher, told him he needed to learn to paint. He couldn’t even imagine that. The woman left and came back two hours later with a rock she had just painted. It had a wilderness scene with a deer and a sunset. He thought it was one of the most beautiful things he had ever seen. She sent him to town for the basic painting supplies he would need. He painted his first rock that night at the dining table while his family gathered around him. He sold his third rock. The money he made from his artwork allowed him to purchase his first art studio –a small 8×10 shed from Sears. Headded stools, an easel, and a fluorescent light. The resort kids would gather in there each night and watch him paint. He would take orders from guests. He sold many blue herons on canvas. While attending UMD in college he was often commissioned by students to paint gifts for their parents. His dorm room walls were like an art gallery.

After college in 1983, he returned home feeling discouraged by the present job market. He returned to guiding at the resort, which he had been doing since he was 14. He also became involved in politics and served as Ely’s mayor and on the city council for a time. It was upon returning to resort life after college that Joe discovered his studio had been damaged by the elements. He attempted to fix it, but it was never quite the same. Joe lost his mojo. For 32 years Joe took a sabbatical from art. That is until he decided to paint an Adirondack chair last year forIncredible Ely’s fundraiser – Chair-ish Ely. And guess what? Joe the artist was back! Joe describes this past winter painting the canoe as “an adventure into art.” Painting the canoe, Joe said, was something he needed to do for a couple of reasons. He needed a demonstration piece for his new program “Into the Brush,” and he needed something cathartic. It was a slow winter for his business, and he needed something to keep him busy and that was good for his psyche. “Into the Brush” once just an idea, is now a reality.

There’s a lot of conversation these days about saving our local wilderness. Many are concerned about preserving it for future generations. They are worried about the environment. Others are concerned about what may appear to be a bigger threat. It seems that with each passing year, the number of people traveling to Ely to spend time in the wilderness is declining. A decline in tourism means a decline in local business. Joe has seen the decline. He believes there are various reasons for the drop in numbers. One is that we have a large aging population that either is no longer able to venture out due to health issues, or they feel they have “been there, done that.” Digital distractions have also impacted interest in both the young and the old. Today’s generation is also more concerned about safety, and feel uncomfortable about being unplugged from civilization for any length of time. With this in mind, Joe came up with a new idea to introduce people to the wilderness. His idea combines wilderness adventure and art through his new endeavor “Into the Brush.”

“Into the Brush” (www.intothebrush.org) is in the process of becoming an independent 501(c) (3) nonprofit. Through “Into the Brush,” Joe is offering a new and adventurous program at Northwind Lodge. The program offers an “art camp like experience” where guests can learn the basics of painting by adventuring in the wilderness, and then coming back and putting it on canvas, wood, stone, or glass. At “art camp” you can stay in one of the resort’s housekeeping cabins with friends or family. Each day you will spend two hours in the morning, and two hours in the evening learning how to paint. Inspiration will come from the 2-3 hours spent hiking or canoeing each day independently, or under Joe’s guidance. The program offers 4- or 7-day classes. The classes are designed for the beginner with no experience necessary. Joe also offers 2-hour micro classes on occasion to anyone, not just resort guests. Joe has a lot of plans for the future of “Into the Brush.” He envisions an art gallery someday, and even internships and visiting artists. He is also thinking about expanding his art program to include photography and other mediums.

Through his new venture, Joe hopes to introduce a whole new group of people to the wilderness. Perhaps even those who would have never imagined themselves adventuring in the heart of Minnesota’s northwoods. The truth is, people are increasingly seeking out adventure. Many, though, want something just a little bit different than what has been the tradition.

If you are looking for something to do this fall, I encourage you to take a drive up the Fernberg Trail and see the canoe for yourself. It is breathtaking. Joe will give you the history behind each of the scenes on the canoe because Joe isn’t just an artist, he’s also a storyteller, and what some call a wordsmith. Perhaps you will find that one of the scenes is related to your family history. For me it was the panel with the logging camp scene, because my grandfather ran a logging camp on the Echo Trail. Don’t forget to ask Joe about the panel that contains his own family’s history. What an adventure that was!

“The Painted Canoe of Ely” is the canoe that tells a story. It’s worth the drive, and the drive up the Fernberg is beautiful in the fall. Take the time to visit Kawishiwi Falls along the way, and stop at the Rookie Lake overlook also. If you are lucky, you just may spot a moose!

Jody Anderson lives in Embarrass, MN.