See our websites at ElyOutfittingCompany.com and BoundaryWatersGuideService.com.
We are a Boundary Waters canoe trip outfitter, Quetico outfitter, and guide service in Ely, Minnesota. This Boundary Waters blog shares photos, stories, humor, skills, and naturalist insights from guiding in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).
Most entries are from our founder and head guide, Jason Zabokrtsky. He is the Boundary Waters Blogger.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Today we are packing out dogsledding camping gear for Project Polar Bear. Guide Dave Freeman, the director of Wilderness Classroom, is shown above making a repair to the brushbow of a big camping sled we are taking north.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
This year most of our guides are going north to dogsled around Hudson Bay. We call it Project Polar Bear. You can learn all about it with real time online multimedia updates thanks to Dave Freeman, Amy Voytilla, and the Wilderness Classroom.
Dave and Amy run the educational nonprofit called Wilderness Classroom. They are providing an online multimedia educational adventure on their website, and are sharing their resources to update Boundary Waters Blogger. You can find more on Project Polar Bear and educational info, audio, video, and lots of photos at the Wilderness Classroom website: http://www.wildernessclassroom.com/polarbear/index.html. The site is designed for primary school students to learn through this adventure, so tell your favorite teachers about this opportunity.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I'm in the woods with a group of seven twenty-seven-year-old bachelors celebrating their buddy Cory's bachelor adventure. Cory's getting married in July. That's Cory flexing, next to his best man, Josh.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
We are traveling by truck (and dog trailer) and train to Churchill, Manitoba, the first of April. Once there, we will be dogsledding and camping in what the locals have dubbed the "Polar Bear Capitol of the World." The area is one of the world's largest polar bear denning sites.
Dave Freeman and Amy Voytilla are Wintergreen guides and run an educational nonprofit called the Wilderness Classroom. Dave and Amy are on the trip, and schoolchildren from around the country will be following us online through the Wilderness Classroom website. Dave and Amy also came up with the name, "Project Polar Bear."
We are hoping to keep Boundary Waters Blogger updated via satellite link during the trip, so be sure to follow us the first two weeks of April.
I took the above photo of polar bear tracks on the Arctic Ocean in April 2006.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Skijoring is when a person is on skis and tethered to a harnessed dog that pulls them. Sit-skijoring is when a person is on a "sit-ski" - the blue device above. Curt is using his strong upper body balance and the outrigger skis with his arms to steady himself side to side.
Moon is happily pulling him across the lake.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Curt, one of our dogsledders this week, doesn't have full use of his legs. The bicycle seat innovation allowed him to drive the dog team with his dad, Rich.
Monday, March 16, 2009
The adult Inuit dogs don't like the heat because of their thick insulating coats. Today's temps hit an unseasonably warm 60 degrees. These temps are even too warm for the puppies. They did their best to stay out of the sun, and slept in the shade of the entry most of today.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
This week I'm guiding a Continuing Medical Education Dogsled Trip with a group of doctors (including Paul, above). The trip includes some of the doctors' family members. Even after today's warm weather, we are lucky that our dogsled trails still have a good snowpack.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Pond curling, of course! Well, that's how we spent this afternoon after the dogsledding trips ended. The guides and everybody got together on our own home-made curling ice on the lake behind the lodge. Thanks to all the folks who took the time to shovel and flood the competition surface.
Part of the fun was creating team names. My team name: Special Brown Wax. It's a bit of an inside joke about skiing through dog poop.
Our competition equipment probably is not up to Intl. Curling Assoc. standards. Our "curling stones" are dog bowls filled with water and frozen with a homemade handle inserted. The brooms are, uh, shop brooms.
Ah, the fun.
Sue Schurke snapped this picture of me sliding the "stone" and Guide Amy Voytilla using the broom.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Joel, a dogsledding participant, held an armload of stinky dog harnesses and looked over at me this morning: "Ever wash these things?"
In fact, the dog harnesses do occasionally get washed. This video shows the Wintergreen industrial dog harness washing machine - aka, a cement mixer with rocks, water, and detergent. Paul has an ultimately creative mind and I came across this cleaning setup behind the lodge recently.