Winter and the 4th of July

Some people say there are two seasons up here: Winter and the 4th of July. That’s not quite true. But, once Independence Day rolls around, it is time to think seriously about keeping warm when the snow flies. Today Kate and I split wood. This photo is her with a rented log splitter. It felt…

Patriotic Portagers in the Ely Parade

Small town Independence Day parades across the country reflect the communities that host them. Ely is no different. In the “canoe capitol” of the world at the edge of the BWCA, there must be canoes. Today the Girl Scout Canoe Base guides portaged canoes in our parade. They even demonstrated, in formation, how to do…

Lac La Croix Pictographs

One of my favorite BWCA pictograph sites is on Lac la Croix. The mystery surrounding the origin and meaning of these Indian paintings has interested me for some time. A friend who grew up in the Chippewa village on Lac la Croix once told me that the Chippewa do not know the origin or meaning…

Coffee and Bacon

Bacon and a cup (or 3) of Gene Hicks coffee makes the Boundary Waters an even better place. If you want to add some Ely flavor to your BWCA mornings, then bring along Gene Hicks gourmet coffee. The Good Morning blend shown above is my favorite coffee in the world. We pack it with all…

Smallmouth Bass Spawning Bed

The smallmouth bass are on their beds now. The male smallmouth bass have recently created visible beds in shallow waters along the shores of BWCA lakes and rivers. The male bass makes the bed by fanning the sand and gravel away from an area near a rocky shoreline. If a female bass is impressed, then…