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!
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.
For painting-specific programming we offer, visit our education site: intothebrush.org
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
Calista Smith, age 7 and 1/2 with her nice largemouth that she caught right off the dock at Northwind Lodge. Holding up her catch is her dad Kevin who is here with her mom, Carrie over the Memorial weekend enjoying dark skies, very temperate weather, calm water and good fishing. Calista has now put several fish on the dock including more largemouth and several nice northerns. Mom, Dad, Grandma and her husband have been enjoying fresh, coldwater fish this weekend as well as art lessons with Joe up at the Fernberg Gallery.
Our first weekend with lodge guests went by beautifully. We had sunny blue days, temps in the high 60’s, low 70’s and everybody was hiding somewhere. Well, hiding is perhaps the incorrect word but one party was fishing from their kayaks on neighboring Triangle, another took their canoe on a day canoe trip from Lake One to Ojibway and another spent their days fishing on Jasper. Sounds like everybody caught fish, too. Usually, when the days are this beautiful, fish are less cooperative. Apparently, the fish are fed up with quarantine as well.
Two of our our groups stopped in to see my growing, but un-hung art collection. That’s always fun for me. Many paintings have stories and while socially distancing, I waved my arms, pointed and told a few. It’s a bohunk thing.
I spent a good part of the time painting and figuratively “guarding the fort”. It’s insanely quiet so I’ve been able to get a long way on a whimsical landscape I working on right now. It’s almost done. Then, it’s back to a larger commission for which I developed painter’s block. Going whimsical/abstract-ish, helps me break out of the creativity killing fog that sets in once in a while.
For those of you sick and tired of watching and waiting with this China plague, if you are healthy, you can come out and play in the woods. 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) Stay in a nice housekeeping cabin for ONLY $89.95 for the first 2 people and $10 each additional person. That’s for any cabin! (We try to fit it to your needs and size. Taxes not included. Total 9.875% Three night minimum rental required.) These rates apply THROUGH May 26. We still have openings and we’re a Mom & Pop resort, not a gargantuan center on a highly populated lake. We are surrounded by the BWCA. Bring your canoe. Go take a day trip. Hang out on Jasper. Roast a steak on the Weber. Live the simple life in the woods. Come look at art.
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
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.
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.
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
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
Here’s what I have to put up with every day when working at Northwind Lodge. I’m installing new front windows in Cabin 3, and this is what I am forced to look at every, single, day. Be thankful that you too, are NOT here having to endure this. You get to look at crowds, and cars, and buildings. All I get to look at is nothing. No noise, no distractions, no robberies, no murders, no great WIFI….just this lake and those pesky loons calling in the background. It’s tough to take.
If you would like to spend your time being miserable – ya poor lug – give us a call at 218-365-5489
We have art AND good fishing in the wilderness! Offering beautiful works of art by Joe Baltich and other local artists, Northwind Lodge is by far one of the most unique vacation experiences in northeast Minnesota!