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

Featured

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.

America

Happy 4th of July from Northwind Lodge

America
US Flag – These colors won’t run…ever.

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful 4th!  Get out in the backyard and burn some good ol’ American hotdogs to celebrate!  Remember who you are and who we all are!  If you are in Ely, join the Patriotic March – line up by the school prior  1 PM.  It’s going to be hot, damn hot, and we don’t care.  I’m going to be there with bells on (or at least black jeans and a Fight For Mining Minnesota T-shirt).  Continue social distancing and wear your mask if that is not possible.  I’ll be handing out “IRON RANGE PROUD yard signs and will be wearing a blue stripe on my shirt to show my support for Law Enforcement Officers.  For those who don’t like the stripe, I dare you to come try to peel it off.  I’ll be carrying a roll of blue tape for anybody who wants to join the cause.  We need to take back our country.

Happy 4th, everybody!

Social Distancing Guidelines at Northwind Lodge – Ely Minnesota

Social Distancing Guidelines 

We’ve been social distancing for 76 years at Northwind Lodge on Jasper Lake by Ely, MN.  We just never had a fancy name for it other than “going out on the water” or “fishing”.  At Northwind Lodge, our guests “virtue signal” by disappearing in kayaks, boats and canoes.  We all feel safer when they are out on the water doing what people have been doing for the last 76 years here.    The closest human can be anywhere from 100 feet to a half mile away.  Some would conclude that some of our guests are less into virtue signaling & social distancing and more into being anti-social.  We all can appreciate that. It works well.  If you just want to wave and hit the water, that is your prerogative.

Whatever title you want to assign it, there is a lot of open space here at Northwind Lodge and our guests seem to really be enjoying it this summer and last summer, and the summer before that, etc.  We are very fortunate to have a lot of room for our guests to spread out and have a great vacation.  …and that’s not to imply we have guests who are anything less than wonderful people.  We have really great guests and they all get along.  It’s just times such as these (well, this IS the first) wherein having space and a beautiful wilderness resort makes sense to get out of the chaos of the world to hide for a very relaxing week.

Relaxation redefined: We’ve had a bear in the yard for the last 4 days.  People have shot videos of him.  He’s a big one and some people get twitchy around bears.  So far, everybody here has been OK.  Whacking garbage cans and making a little noise, then he’s gone into the night.  Typical bear….


The following photos are by one of our guests, Ashley Myhre.  She and family made a fun vacation great along with art lessons to boot.  Thanks, Ashley!

Jasper Lake evening - Northwind Lodge
Jasper Lake evening – Northwind Lodge

Jasper Lake morning - Northwind Lodge
Jasper Lake morning – Northwind Lodge

Sundown on Jasper Lake at Northwind Lodge, Ely MN
Sundown on Jasper Lake at Northwind Lodge, Ely MN

Heading home on Jasper Lake at Northwind Lodge, Ely MN
Heading home on Jasper Lake at Northwind Lodge, Ely MN

Out by the Rocks on Jasper Lake at Northwind Lodge, Ely, MN
Out by the Rocks on Jasper Lake at Northwind Lodge, Ely, MN

Through the narrows of Jasper Lake from Northwind Lodge
Through the narrows of Jasper Lake from Northwind Lodge

Jasper Lake evening - Northwind Lodge
Social distancing at its finest on Jasper Lake from Northwind Lodge, Ely , MN

Pointing west on beautiful Jasper Lake from Northwind Lodge, Ely MN
Pointing west on beautiful Jasper Lake from Northwind Lodge, Ely MN

3 kayaks from Northwind Lodge floating on Jasper Lake
Ignoring the rest of the world on Jasper Lake from Northwind Lodge

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

Water is Where it’s at! (and a bear …)

Northwind Lodge, since the day it was started back in 1939 has always been about the great outdoors and water.  Fishing, paddling, moving, etc., you can’t do it in a parking lot at Walmart – although they DO have the seagulls.

When you visit Northwind Lodge, especially in May/June, you can’t help but notice the constant chatter of birds.  Everybody’s singing.  I have to pay attention for them because I grew up here and have become a bit jaded.  Yup, there are a zillion out there right now.  After 59 years of being in the woods, you only notice the unusual sounds, sometimes.  I notice the crashing of garbage cans as a bear is tossing it around and the barking of Delilah as she smells a bear in the distance sitting/waiting at the edge of camp for darkness to fall.

Three days ago, one of our guests in Cabin 3 when for a walk to Ojibway Lake.  As he was returning down the road past the Fernberg Gallery, he thought he saw a bear ahead going to Cabin 3.  So, he walked down to his cabin and the bear was nowhere to be seen.  He moved to the front of the cabin and looked down the slope to the lakeshore – nothing there.  He decided to walk back to the path at the corner of his cabin and intersect Cabin 7’s path right at the corner of Cabin 3.  He walked straight south and a  300 lb. bear walked east from Cabin 7.  Don and the bear met at the corner of Cabin 3.

Needless to say, there was a bit of shock had by all for one “Whoa!!!” moment!  Don said he could have reached out and petted that bear between the ears without bending forward.   They almost ran into each other and clearly, neither Don nor the bear makes any noise when they walk – an admirable quality for a human, and normal for a bear.   Both Don and the very startled bear, reversed course quickly.  Don went into his cabin and the bear went into his woods.   The bear was all about social distancing.

Just a day before Don met the bear, the Smith family had a great time outside in what was really spectacular weather on Jasper Lake.  It’s always been about being outside at Northwind Lodge.  Our guests seldom come to look out the cabin windows.  They can do that at home.  This is what is done at Northwind Lodge when we aren’t trying to pet the bears.  (Don’t mess with the bears, ever.  They only look cuddly.  Not cuddly at all. Opposite of cuddly.  Better off hugging a cactus.  Let them pass freely -scream loudly – and only observe, always!)

Are you sick of being cooped up with Covid drama?  If you are well, come on up!  Get away from the craziness!

218-365-5489  Northwind Lodge – Jasper Lake, Ely, MN

Update! We Are Opening As Planned for Summer 2020

Minnesota has never closed resorts during the Covid Pandemic.  So, with the ice having just come off the lake yesterday, we are in process of getting Northwind Lodge up and running!  Spring is here and we want to go outside and socially distance with the loons, swans and fish!

Everybody needs a hideaway place in the woods for a respite from world events  that ail us.

You can come up, unwind,  and enjoy our spectacular nature in NE Minnesota where it is naturally devoid of  crowds.   Social distance in your cabin and out on the water.  We personally need to get back to the basics and are pretty sure you do, too.

We understand your concerns:  We will be sanitizing our clean cabins even more deeply than usual this summer.  For that reason, we are need to allow ourselves a bit more time in between guest turnovers.  Check in for 2020 will be 4 PM and check out will be 8 AM.    (this is going from our 3 PM /9AM usual check-in/out times)  We apologize for this change but are taking extra steps that require a bit more time in between cabin guests.  Thank your for understanding.

 

Personal Shopper Option – Available to All Cabin Guests

NEW for 2020 – for a small fee (10% of your grocery total bill) we will buy your groceries for you.  You need not go into town and we will instead.

Please remember to bring your personal effects, a bath towels and fishing gear for all cabin stays.