People often ask what winter is like in Ely. Short answer: It’s cold. Long answer: It is absolutely beautiful. The lakes are frozen, the snow piles high and when the sun shines on a cold day, there is hardly anything like it.
Winter: A Land at Rest
After the hustle and bustle of a typical summer the lake looks to be at rest. It’s almost like it is recharging, getting ready to be active again when the ice thaws and the first boats hit the lake. There is snowmobile traffic on Bear Island Lake and some ice anglers are always visible. There are also a handful of cross country skiers and ATV’s but there is a sense of calm that pervades.
There are still animals and birds around. Every once in awhile a wolf, or more than one will run across the lake in broad daylight. More often only the tracks are left behind, to be found when out exploring. Pileated Woodpeckers, and chickadees can often be seen or heard, with a variety of other birds coming for a visit as well.
Visitors often comment about how quiet it is in the summer at Timber Wolf Lodge. It’s true. It’s one of the things we love to share most with our guests. But, the silence of a frozen lake, deep in the winter, is truly something to behold. It’s impossible to describe, but author Florence Page Jaques gets close.
“It is a stillness you can rest your whole weight against. This stillness so profound you are sure it will hold and last.”
People who experience a quiet lake in winter for the first time almost always comment on the silence. In today’s world where we are constantly bombarded with visual and audio stimulus, the silence can be a little unnerving at first. Then, after a little adjustment, it is incredibly comforting.
It’s a Dry Cold
When we ask people from Arizona how they can handle the summers there, they almost always say, “It’s a dry heat.” Well, it’s the same here in the winter. Seriously. The lack of humidity in the air means that people can be out in colder temperatures and still be comfortable. We’d be lying if we said that we wouldn’t rather be in front of a fire with a cup of coffee than outside at -20, but the cold temperatures are manageable.
We are also kept warm by the memories of last summer and looking forward to 2018. Warm weather, open water and sharing this place we love with guests from around the world.