Thursday, July 9, 2009

Long Weekend in Ely

The week before the July 4 holiday Wilma and I took a 4-day weekend to the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota (OK, it's a little crazy driving 746 miles for two night in a cabin, but I'd do it again). Had an offer we couldn't pass up to visit friends who were up there for a longer stay. I've been up there a couple times for canoe trips but Wilma hasn't yet. Good chance to show her what this beautiful country is like. Ely (pronounced e-lee, for anyone who cares) has just over 5200 people and is a tourism town today. In recent times it was big in steel, and it's in transition. The transition hasn't been easy. They call themselves the "end of the road" because of their closeness to Canada, separated by a wilderness of lakes, streams and forest. Big things are canoeing/fishing in summer and snowmobile/dogsleds/cross country skiing in winter.

It's a neat town. The outdoor supply stores are serious and it looks like they are all individually owned (no chains). Outfitters. Wide assortment of stores. Great restaurants. Their radio channel, FM 94.5, WELY, is public radio that plays an eclectic selection of music(?), has local commercials(?), and sets a mood for the place. It has an Internet stream at, along with the other radio station at (blues, jazz and eclectic). Both cover local issues and you get a real feel for the town. I listen some at work on my PC.

As a coffee addict I love their Front Porch Coffee. The weather is much cooler than Kansas. Lakes are clear and plentiful. A canoe on your car roof is considered normal. Company was great. What more is there?


Sandy said...

Wow Wow, what a fun set of spreads, I read every word and felt like I was there - sounds like a fabulous weekend and the pages, sketches are Perfect to account it all!!!! Simply Perfect! thanks for sharing!

mo said...

john, i used to live in michigan's UP. ironwood actually, and my dad used to have to go to duluth for business. it's just beautiful up there, isn't it? clean, fresh air, pristine water, taller than tall pine trees. what's not so great are the winters. we used to have many many feet of snow from october thru april. thanks but no thanks, lol. if i want to revisit it, i'll just check your journal pages ;)

purplepaint said...

I love the spread you did! Northern Minnesota sounds nice and cool! We were just in NW Kansas last weekend and it was hot and humid! I'm such a wimp when it comes to humidity as we rarely have it here... Marva

Don McNulty said...

Now this is a real journal, good stuff