Ely's Social Media Ban had a lot of people talking yesterday. Check out what these news media reports.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Ely Area received another couple of inches of snow overnight. We are at about 10+ inches of snow on the ground. There is a 30% chance of more snow tonight. Don’t miss out on the Fun Run Snowmobile Ride this Saturday, January 26 in the Ely Area. The temperatures are expected to be mild, trails are groomed, chances for great prizes and great fun! It’s not too late....you can sign up on the day of the event at any one of the checkpoints. Come on out and support trail grooming!
Warmer temperatures this past week have taken out some of the snow we received over the Thanksgiving Holiday. The Ely Area has about 0-2 inches of snow on the ground at this time.
MN State Snowmobile Trails officially open on December 1. A recent law change: A snowmobile that is registered after July 1, 2012 and received 06/30/2015 expiration does not need the snowmobile state trail sticker to operate on state or grant-in-aid trails. The snowmobile registration fee was increased to cover the trail sticker cost. An individual who possesses an unexpired MN snowmobile registration that was issued before July 1, 2012 must continue to display a valid snowmobile trail sticker until the snowmobile is renewed. A snowmobile that is not registered in the state of MN must purchase a trail sticker.
By Krista Hutchins
Our family had the pleasure of spending our Fourth of July vacation in Ely. As life-long residents of Minnesota, we had never been to this small Northern Minnesota town and were looking for a new area to explore with our 3 boys. We decided to stay at the Grand Ely Lodge where we were able to canoe, kayak, fish, play lawn games and relax. Directly across from the Lodge was Miner's Lake with a 4 mile trail around it. This was a perfect length for our family to ride bike around. On the morning of Independence Day, we took a Van Air floatplane ride given by Captain Bud. We loaded our crew right from our dock at the lodge and reveled in the scenic beauty of the Boundary Waters. Later that afternoon we watched the parade and in the evening took in the fireworks over Miner's Lake. One day we visited Lucky, Honey, and Ted at the North American Bear Center. It was fun to watch them on the outdoor viewing deck eating grapes and apples.
Our boys enjoy geocaching, so one afternoon we went to Bear Head Lake State Park to explore. As hiking is also a favorite of ours, we hiked the relatively short Kawishiwi Falls trail to view the waterfall. Of course, it's rare to have a vacation without at least one rainy day, but we were able to stay active by browsing some of the shops in Ely. Then we enjoyed lattes and hot chocolate at the Front Porch Coffee and Tea Company before visiting the Dorothy Molter Museum. Although we spent 5 days in Ely, I think we could have spent 5 more. There is more to see and do. In addition, one of my favorite things to do was relaxing! Every day I had the opportunity to sit in a lawn chair and read a book or just enjoy the beautiful views this area has to offer. As Captain Bud told our family when we departed our floatplane ride..."Each day is a gift and we decide how to open it up".
By Ross F. Collins
This is a great introduction to the classic Boundary Waters experience! Not so hard, but not so easy either!
By Dave Busch
Well, the first day of fishing has come and gone. The outboard ran well enough that we can now venture to Newton and Pipestone lakes. This means leaving early, portaging twice, and leaving enough time to do it all over again on the return trip that evening. Hope the weather holds!!
In my earlier writings, I mentioned Paul and Edna Summers. They owned and operated Pipestone Outfitting located in Winton, now Packsack. Paul and Edna had built a resort on the portage around the Pipestone falls, but when the decision was made to return the wilderness to just that, the wilderness, Paul and Edna were able to move three of the cabins into Winton. The remainder of their original “resort” was razed the winter after my dad, my sister, dad’s friend Carl, and I got to spend a few nights as guests in the old main house. I can remember sharing my bed with a couple mice that had set up housekeeping in the cabin. I recall that dad took my sister and I back off the portage trail to see just how Paul and Edna had laid foundations for their cabins. I recall watching chipmunks scurry about, loons crying at night, and the sound of an awakening moose in the morning. These are still memories you can build on, too. Canoe trips with supplies from local outfitters are the way of today. Try it…you’ll like it!
By Lonnie Tim Cofell
We had a great trip going through Brante lake toVirgin lake and seeing the burn area. Going down the frost river portages over rocks that were 5 to Six feet high. Beautiful scenes that you don't see in the cities.
By Dave Busch
When I last wrote, I ended my story with arriving at Pipestone Outfitting in Winton. Remember, this was in the 60s. The new owners have changed the name to Packsack Log Cabins. I think the cabins look great and, although the basic structures have not changed, there have been some significant upgrades completed.
I can remember walking down the hill to see the dock, knowing that the next day would include some wonderful Fall Lake fishing. Power dam, here we come!!! With Paul’s help, my dad would get the motor from the shed. Dad left his Merc 20 with Paul, realizing that the Ely area was the only place he would use it. Paul would have a boat tied off in the water and he and dad would orchestrate the best way to get the motor on the transom…. without either of them falling in!! After the motor was in place, the first trip to Ely to buy some minnows was in order. Of course, a stop at Vertins for pecan rolls was always a “necessary” evil whenever we went to town. Groceries for the week were purchased at the then IGA (now the Northland Market). That meant flour, bread, milk, butter, cereal, etc. would be available the remainder of our week. We even talked mom and dad into potato chips or pretzels for our evening snacks!! Back to the resort and the minnows were dropped in the water with a half-slice of bread placed in the minnow bucket for their evening snack. Off to the cabin for some family-time, usually card games. Dad and Grandpa, when he came with us, would usually play cribbage never saying a word other than the count and the holes they were to peg. I eventually was allowed to sit in as a player…dad and grandpa took great pleasure in whooping me at cribbage. Off to bed, but I would have a hard time going to sleep…fishing tomorrow!!!
Our first day of fishing would be spent on Fall Lake at the power dam. This gave dad a chance to see how the outboard was running without venturing too far from civilization. We always had a great time fishing, but as Bob Cary used to say, the catching was another story. Dad was very patient with us kids, but took his fishing very seriously…and catching even more seriously. I would handle the net for dad and he, in turn, would handle the net for me. The girls were not avid fisherpersons and stayed with mom and Edna at the resort. I know they did some shopping in Ely ‘cause we always took more stuff home than we arrived with. Dad would clean the catch of the day, mom would place it in the deep fryer (which always made our vacation trek), and we would sit down to out first meal that included fresh walleye and northern…MMMMMMM!!! Our usual side dish was tomatoes, beans, or fresh veggies!!! Great meal and easy to finish everything on my plate! That evening we would talk of the one that got away (the size?) and what was on sale in town. It was much easier to sleep because I had spent a wonderful day in the fresh air of the wilderness. Well, so much for Part 2 of this writing. I hope to be back in the near future to share some more of my memories with you. Without a doubt, you and the family need to experience Ely, MN and start making your own memories. My only regret? I wish I had kept a journal of my trips to Winton and Ely because it would be much easier to write this story…and at 59, I have so many memories of Winton and Ely that I just cannot remember today. One memory leads to another.
My visits to the Ely area started in the 1960s when the whole family would pile in the “now unsafe” automobile and head for the vacation of all vacations!
My dad would spend a couple hours loading the vehicle, making sure that nothing would slide, move, or get squashed on the 600 mile trek to our destination. Dad took great pride in packing and I remember that everything that we were taking had to be at the rear of the vehicle so he could strategically place all items. After all, we would not want the fishing poles to be damaged during transit.
We all, my three sisters and Mom and Dad, would settle in for the 600 mile drive, knowing that we would stop to eat in Eau Claire because food and drink were not permitted in the car. Wonder how dad would be with eating in the car these days? Anyway, off we headed for our great adventure!! Stopping at the now-closed deer farm on the then 2-lane Route 53 from Eau Claire, we (the kids) would marvel at the deer eating out of our hands while Mom shopped for new moccasins in the gift shop. Dad just couldn’t get his head around spending hard-earned cash on slippers and deer food…but he knew we really enjoyed the stop and looked forward to it for many years.