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 winter Americana, you should make plans to attend the Mukluk Ball next year.

Don’t know what mukluks are? Steger mukluks are made right here in Ely. All you ever wanted to know is at their website: http://www.mukluks.com/. The Arctic Mukluks are my daily winter footwear.

Polar explorer Will Steger made a guest appearance and the proceeds went to Steger’s Global Warming 101 initiative, and the Ely Winter Festival.

No luck convincing the 8 guests I’ve been guiding this week to join us dancing (wore ’em out dogsledding, possibly!). But they enjoyed another part of the Winter Festival: the snow sculptures. More on the snow sculptures later.

Tomorrow I start a North Pole shakedown trip. People who are interested in going to the North Pole by ski or dogsled arrive for a preparatory winter camping trip.