July 6, 2009

White Iron Lake Paddle

Today we visit our new friends Don and Chris on White Iron Lake, just southeast of Ely. They have just completed their new garage (with apartment upstairs!) and horse stable at the lower end of a beautiful twelve acre plot situated near the end of a long, isolated bay.

Their setup is just about picture perfect, homesite looking over the bay, nice boardwalk across a deep green marshy area, and almost complete separation from the main body of the lake. It's early evening here, with the sun's golden hue shining across placid waters of the bay. As I help Kim launch and look out across the narrow waters, I know this will be a nice relaxing couple of hours.

Chris is last to launch in here Wenonah Prism, a favored solo boat here in the Boundary Waters.

I'm in the front of our big Clipper tandem, a perfect spot to enjoy the scenery and take a few pix.

Once on the waters, Don and Chris glide across the ripply surface as we ease slowly along to visit their favorite spots along the opposite shore.
A mile or so down, we spot a lone deer swimming across ahead of us. "Paddle faster Kim, let's get close for a picture!" doesn't seem to produce much extra energy,

Kim just laughs as I watch the large doe disappear into the thick cover.

Farther along we reach the mouth of the Kawishiwi River, noticing a series of glistening rapids a few hundred yards ahead. As we turn to float back on the gentle current, Chris waits patiently in the narrow opening back into the lake.

I marvel at the pristine beauty of this part of the country, and wonder why it's taken me the better part of a lifetime to discover it's beauty.
We spend another hour or so returning, and top off a wonderful eve with a sparkling glass of Shiraz, a warm fire and interesting new friends!

ELY! - Steve's Cabin

We leave Duluth early with anticipation as we head north to Ely, a special town nestled on the edge of the Boundry Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota. The mornings rich, warm sunlight combined with nature's awesome display of wildflowers along the way made the drive a delight. Every roadside, every field brushed in colors of spring! (yes it's spring up here!)

Kim's favorite is the lupines and I enjoy the fiery colors of the Indian Paintbrush....

A couple hours drive and we arrive at our good Louisiana friend's cabin situated within the town of Ely on Miners Lake. As we exit the Dodge and walk into the "back yard", our first view of the Lake, down the hillside confirms that the flowers abound here as well as on the highways and byways.

Steve and his family have done a wonderful job creating a charming place to enjoy our stay here in Ely. From the old canoe within the entry to the greeting of the wood stove, one feels welcome upon entering the massive stacked logs, handcrafted by "Stevo" Jr.

No detail was spared in using the big white pines to dress and frame every doorway. A quick glance at the staircase shows that an enjoyable winter was spent here just months ago.

The upstairs bunk room continues with a rustic theme, and boasts a fabulous apex through which one has a nice view of the lake.

Our favorite spot is the back deck, we spent many an hour out here just enjoying the view, warm sunshine and an interesting book or two. The property was buzzing with bees and chirping with birds, so Kim took advantage of the nice viewing area almost every morning.

And, for those who would prefer a more rustic experience, Steve moved "Old Log" over from Wolf Lake. I'm not sure of it's age, but from the looks of the fir and finish on the original logs, I'd say it's well over fifty years!