Wednesday, March 28, 2012


With the warmer weather comes new carpets, new paint and new mattresses.
The biggest challenge is to find carpets w/o formaldehyde! Try it sometime. We seach high and low for easy care carpet without the odor. No VOC paint is easy enough as there are now more regulations on how much VOCs can be available and there are great paints without. I highly recommend Behr paint from Home Depot. No odor, no headache and best of all, beautiful finish, coverage and colors.
We are redoing our 2 bedroom Kitchen Suites right now and opting for a soft brown. We also have added sound barriers to the floor to aid in keeping the folks downstairs from hearing activity above them.
My spring bulbs that I planted last fall are peeking out of the ground right now and I am so very excited to get my flower beds growing, along with adding large pots of flowers. I have put a shout out to friends for "donations" of hostas to start my Hosta garden. Sharing plants with friends is like sharing hugs every day. As I work in the beds, I always think of the person who gifted a particular plant. I also like to reciprocate in kind to share the "love"

Our solar panels are cranking the hot water. Even on overcast days we still recover some heat. It has been a godsend to send that hot water through our radiators, infloor heat and through the tap. Some days, I had to resort to using all hot water to do laundry. What gift from the sun.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


What a wonderful way to start the New Year. Sasha and Andre skiing with their dad as the snow falls. We want to thank all of our guests for chosing the Adventure Inn as their "home away from home" when they visit Ely. We hope to see all of you again.

Yes, Ely has snow and sad to say one of the few place in Minnesota able to say that. What crazy weather we have. Winter is so mild this year. We have about 6-10 inches of snow, depending where you measure and it is a beautiful sight. Soft, powdery white and glistening. Grateful for having what we do. We can ski, snow shoe and hike in the forest folowing tracks of wolves, deer and other animals. Our ice is thick and strong and very little slush for wonderfully long BWCA treks with our ski's. Back country skiing at its best. If you love the BWCA in the summer, come and see it in the wintertime. Quiet, air so clean and crisp, and the night light pollution here! And you might get lucky with the Boreal lights.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Pagami Creek Fire

Ely has had another busy season with guests visiting our wilderness and the interpretive centers for both the Wolf and Black bear. Another hot summer and one that lacked in rain after the first part of August. The grass turned brown and the leaves were curling on the trees, A small fire smouldered in the BWCA from a lightening strike from our last rain fall. Forest Service did a controlled burn to protect any cabins that were to the north. Then we had our own Ely version of September 11th. A hot dry wind blew in with gusts of over 40 miles/hour. the fire became monster and in some parts of the forest, vaporized the life it consumed. No one died nor any homes destroyed, but the town of Ely, became the head quarters for over 800 staff to deal with. We have all been busy to accommodate our new guests with beds, food and respite. Now a new forest will regenerate and the moose have new territory to graze. Next year at this time, the new shoots of birch will be growing and incredible displays of wild flowers that have been waiting for the opportunity to show off their blooms. so do not be put off by the fire when you plan your trip but come and see how fast a forest starts anew.               

                                                                                  Photos compliments of Bill Irish

Friday, August 19, 2011

Summer is sizzlin'

It is mid August and so hard to believe we are on the downward slope of summer. Our new building has been a hit and we are so pleased with how easy it is to keep cool and we have used very little propane to heat our water. In fact, these sunny days have made so much hot water that we have had to wash our bedding in hot water.
We have reduced our water and electrical usage while we have increased our occupancy rate. The risk we took in building seems to be paying off, in large account to all of you... our wonderful Adventure Inn guests! Many thanks for your patronage and support.
We are now featuring some of our local art in our hallways. Ely is blessed with so much talent and we are honored to have a sampling grace our walls. Please feel free to look and even take something home.
We now plan on renovating as we can afford to, the back building. We would like to make changes to make the back building more energy efficient as well. Winter projects for Mark for many winters to come.
Summer in Ely has been hot. Timely rains but not quite enough as the lakes and rivers are low. Fishing has been good this summer and even I, have been able to bring walleyes to the boat and put up some good fighting with a northern or 2. Our farmers market is a hit and growing larger and Tuesday night life has been a great success as well.
Now that we are on the downward slope of summer, I look forward to another great season in Ely. Fall.
cooler temps, no bugs, mists on the lake, birds in migratory patterns. Please do consider visitng Ely in the Fall.

Monday, June 20, 2011

We are In our new INN!

I cannot believe it is the summer solstice and we are in our new building. I have been remiss on blogging but the energy and time was sucked up in the move. We made it just in time for our busy season. The rooms are quiet, peaceful, and so far we are getting rave reviews.  The solar (when the sun shines) heats the water as high as 175! It is amazing to see how hot and how fast the water becomes. One can understand why in eons past, the first humans worshipped the sun as their god.
Our tables and some of our beds are made from recycled white pine from the Old Globe grain elevator that was built in the 1880's. The old growth white pine was harvested from our area so in a sense, the wood has returned to its "roots". A creative and passionate fellow, Seth has designed and built our furniture. Please check out his website and designs. He is passionate about using all reclaimed lumber in his designs.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Recycling an old building

It is time to remove the last old building that was part of the Adventure Inn and also a part of Ely's history. This old building was built on the site of Ely's old mink farm. In fact, there was a spring that flowed past the Inn. We discovered that when we dug the footings for the new building and struck water.
So we say good by to memories. some of our guests have fond memories and stories of what it was like before the Adventure Inn. 4 Star stories that brought tears of laughter.. and yes, we had complaints as well. It is an old, tired, cobbled building that has done its time and now needs to be laid to rest.
So, we are Freecycling the building. We have advertised to come and take windows, doors, usable toilets and furniture, sinks too. The siding is going and we have sticky notes placed on items that people are wanting to take. The Ely fire department will also use the building for a practice in search and rescue by filling the rooms with smoke.
 When the building is gone, we will be paving over and making better parking for our guests. So progress moves forward and change is coming to the Adventure Inn. We hope it is a change for the better and we hope that as we progress our carbon footprint is a small one.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Solar comes to the Adventure Inn in Ely


Late march, still temps below zero at night...will spring ever come. But.... the tilt of the earth has given more power to the sun and we are soon to capture some of the power for the Adventure Inn. We have gotten 10 of our panels up and 10 more will be up in a few days. It has been a learning process as at first the panels were hoisted up by man power. Grunt!! Then a crane came to the rescue and then the panels went up much easier.
The glass on the panels is similar to windshield glass on a car. 50mph winds and golf ball hail
should bounce off the panels without a crack. I hope I never have to find out.

We have 3 large hot water tanks that will store the hot water from the sun. We can use the hot water to provide showers to our guests, do our laundry and in the winter, the excess will run through the wirsbo piping in our cement slab. During our busy summers, there will be no excess as guests and laundry will use it all up.
Inside, the dry wall is being finished, tiling is beginning and mudding and taping of the drywall is
also in process. June is around the corner.