Wilderness Wedding

We celebrated in a big way at Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge this weekend. Sunday was the marriage of two wilderness guides, Dave Freeman and Amy Voytilla. The couple planned an unusual wedding. Guests rode dogsleds, skied, or hiked to the wedding site – a campsite on the shores of White Iron Lake near Ely, MN. The…

Details

Canadian Lynx Tracks

We came across these tracks on Pipestone Bay of Basswood Lake recently. My first thought was of a massively oversized rabbit. They’re obviously too large to be a Snowshoe Hare, but they have a similar repeating pattern. I had a hunch on the tracks’ true origin, and checked with Tom Rusch at the DNR to…

Details

Perceptive dogsledders preempt peeing dog

Bill and Ann on a dogsled trip this week figured out the dog Lewis (shown here). Lewis wanted to pee at the top of every hill.  His top-of-hill leg-lifting meant their dogsled stopped shy of the crest and they had to push it to get it over the top. Then they got an idea.  As…

Details

Snow Sculptures in Ely at the Winter Festival

The Ely Winter Festival wrapped up this past weekend, just as I wrapped up a dogsled trip. I made it to see the snow sculptures in Whiteside Park in the afternoon. Come late January every year, large blocks of snow get set up in the park, which professionals and amateurs then sculpt into unique, creative…

Details

Sled-joring

Kids come up with the darndest of ideas! I’ve been guiding a parent-child trip, and we spent this afternoon playing on the lake by the lodge with a few dogs. Everybody tried skiing, and even those who were total beginners stayed upright much of the time. The skiing was a quick introduction to the next…

Details

North Pole Shakedown

Every winter, adventurous sorts come to the woods outside of Ely to prepare for attempts to reach the North Pole by dogsled or ski. It is an opportunity for these people to see how their cold weather systems perform and learn skills for dogsledding and cold weather travel and camping. We call these North Pole…

Details

Painting with light in a Layne Kennedy photo workshop

Layne Kennedy is at Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge this week leading a dogsledding photo workshop. I’m one of the dogsled guides on the trip. It is a joy to work with Layne and absorb his contagious enthusiasm. Layne is a professional magazine and nature photographer. At the beginning of the photo workshop week, participants draw “assignments”…

Details

Wet snow is weighing down branches and small trees

The recent wet snow has wreaked havoc with area trails. Though the snow-covered trees make a winter-wonderland scene from the highways, drooping trees and branches have seriously restricted travel on winter dogsled and ski routes through the woods in the boundary waters. Most of our dogsledding trails are outside the BWCAW, and therefore we’ve been…

Details

Video of Birth of Lily the Black Bear’s Cub near Ely, MN

This video shows the actual birth of Lily the Black Bear’s cub near Ely, MN, around noon today. You will see the cub’s paw reach out from behind Lily’s leg and hear the cub’s sounds as it cries out for the first time. I just spoke again with Dr. Rogers and he says that Lily…

Details