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…

Building a Quinzee Snow Shelter

The dogsled camping group this week is game for just about anything. I really like their eagerness to try new things. Today the whole group joined in to build a traditional snow shelter called a quinzee. The above photo shows our finished product. A quinzee is made by hollowing out a pile of settled snow.…

Dog food?

My first dogsled camping trip of the season launched this week. It is four days and three nights on trail. This morning around the campfire Jen (a guest from Minneapolis) peaks into the breakfast pot and says: “Hhmm. That looks delicious. Uh, this may sound awful, but when I first saw thatI thought it was…

Boundary Waters Bus

Before restrictions on motors in the BWCAW, land-based motorized vehicles made their way into some remote places. For example, this old International Harvester bus transported passengers across the Four Mile Portage between Fall Lake and Hoist Bay on Basswood Lake. The passengers would be either starting a canoe trip or going to one of the…