Pond Curling

So, how do we pass our time when not guiding dogsledding trips? Pond curling, of course! Well, that’s how we spent this afternoon after the dogsledding trips ended. The guides and everybody got together on our own home-made curling ice on the lake behind the lodge. Thanks to all the folks who took the time…

Ever Wash These Things?

Joel, a dogsledding participant, held an armload of stinky dog harnesses and looked over at me this morning: “Ever wash these things?” In fact, the dog harnesses do occasionally get washed. This video shows the Wintergreen industrial dog harness washing machine – aka, a cement mixer with rocks, water, and detergent. Paul has an ultimately…

Canadian Border Dogsled Camping Route

I just returned from a 7 day dogsled camping trip from Gunflint Lake east along the Canadian border, through the BWCA. We ventured out with two groups of students from Lakehead Univ. in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Most of our Wintergreen dogsledding trips are not comprised completely of college age people. Thus, this felt like a…

Snow Sculptures

Artists recently completed another display of incredible snow sculptures in Whiteside Park in Ely. The Snow Sculpting Symposium is part of the Ely Winter Festival. This snow sculpture is “They Called the Wind Mariah,” by Sherry Rovig, Nick Lee, and Dianne Goodwin. Three days of warm weather and drizzle after the carving means that photos…

North Pole Shakedown

I just returned from a North Pole Shakedown. Adventurous people who want to ski and dogsled to the geographic North Pole journey to Ely for Shakedown dogsled camping trips. Participants learn dogsledding, winter camping, and skiing skills needed to successfully reach the Pole. This is their opportunity to determine if they have what it takes…

Sourdough Pancakes with Historical Flavor

Thanks to some generous Elyites, I now have an Alaskan sourdough pancake starter with a hundred year history. But, how do the pancakes taste? I felt somewhat nervous after seeing the science experiment-type bubbles in the batter the first morning. However, the dogsledders loved them. It’s a good sign when the dogsled participants are demanding…

Social Event of the Winter

Everyone knows the social event of the Ely winter is the annual Mukluk Ball! Kate and I donned our mukluks last night and joined some friends to tear up the dance floor. Hundreds of people danced to the tunes of the Lamont Cranston band. If you ever wanted to be a part of small town…

No Ordinary Pancake

The sourdough starter story continues. After graduating from Ely High School, David attended MIT, graduating with a degree in engineering. His long-time friend, Sig Olson, Jr., insisted David and his wife visit him in Alaska. [Sig Jr.’s father is my favorite author and probably the person most responsible for creating the BWCA.] So, during the…