Boy, when the sun decides to show up in Ely, everything changes. When the calendar turned the page on April this year it felt like we might be done with the cold. So far that’s a true statement. Last night we didn’t dip below 50 degrees and later this afternoon we should top out around 78. The sun is shining and we are busy like bees in a growing hive.
Last Saturday, Drew, our Outfitting Manager, packed up and took off into the wilderness, Entry Point #32, South Kawishiwi River to be exact, on the first canoe trip of the season. He found a pile of snow at the back of the campsite and some black ice to crash through with the rock guarded Viper paddle by Bending Branches along the way, but all of that is long since gone. Here’s some pics of his weekend canoe trip adventure:
So, that’s how our week began. As you can see the water is plenty high and the ice (now) is out on the local lakes, big and small, deep and wide. It is time for fishing opener this coming weekend when, following decades of family and fun tradition, anglers and canoe campers decent upon Ely in hopes of Walleye fillets in the hot skillet for a fantastic shore lunch.
Now instead of snow early in the morning, this is what we wake up to. It gives a whole new meaning to living (in a van) down by the river. Life is indeed, good.
Saturday is fishing opener and you’ll find our Retail Store fully stocked for anything you need to begin a successful 2023 Boundary Waters and Superior National Forest Fishing Opener trip.
Our Outlet Store is opening tomorrow, May 12th, for the season. It is stocked and reading to go for your 40% off Shopping Sprees. Quality clothing in a variety of closeout colors, styles and sample lines grace the racks. Every year, we buy stock specifically for this location with the sole idea of giving our loyal customers in Ely and all of our visitors a chance to save good money on good clothing and footwear. Each year we also have a great selection of slightly used gear that we put on sale from the previous outfitting rental season. It has experienced a season in the Boundary Waters and it is clean, broken in a little and ready to serve you faithfully for years and years to come. At a reduced and discounted rate, of course.
Yesterday we began a Mother’s Day 20% off Women’s Clothing Sale in our retail store. That sale will run through Sunday, May 14th, 2023. If you find yourself in Ely, be sure to stop in and take advantage of new clothing and new Outlet clothing. You could complete your Summer wardrobe in one shot and look great doing it!
While you are here, you don’t really need to be reminded to climb the stairs to our famous Bookstore, but here are some great reasons to do so.
Don’t they say a blog is a terrible thing to waste?
Well, someone did, somewhere. It’s true. We enjoy engaging with our customers, those who visit Ely and those who visit here virtually and don’t get to make the trip. We want to show you our commitment to the Brick and Mortar side of our business. It is huge, this now five decade continuing journey to preserve the wilderness and provide folks good, quality and lightweight gear for canoe camping. Since 1979 we’ve been here for you and we promise to continue that commitment in person and on the internet.
See ya around the bend, or perhaps, right here in Ely.
In closing, here’s a few lines from the Boundary Waters inspired by the photo by Steve Piragis above.
Later in the year, lily pads lift up
flying like hundreds of green flags
at the canoe Olympics.
We balance on water
cold with the memory of winter.
We propel ourselves
through towards adventure.
Each stroke its own adventure.
It feels good again
to stretch these shoulder muscles
and feel the small of our back
To feel the stress
slip out of us like water through
an old aluminum colander
that we throw in the bottom of our pack for pasta
and straining lake ice
during the year’s first early trip.
Each dent, remembered route
and moment by the evening campfire
shores us up.
We reflect on the fact that with each year
we are one with the packs on our back,
another worn but reliable piece of gear.
More familiar with the outdoors,
more in tune with the loonsong and wolfhowl and frogpeeping
melody slipping in and out of the shadows
of the first or second thunderstorm of the Spring.
Flashes of nostalgic childhood music.
©Timothy James Stouffer #elystreetpoet 5/11/2023
All Rights Reserved Ely, MN