1985 Fall Lake--Beartrap River--Crooked Lake--Basswood Lake
We arrived at Ely early in the afternoon of August 12, 1985 and did our preliminary shopping in the rain. It is always good to get back and to see how little Ely changes in the years since the last visit. For us, in this case, it had been three years. We picked up the few things we still needed for the trip and I tentatively looked for the “perfect” souvenir.
There is a new restaurant called the “Chocolate Moose” where the old Ely Hotel used to be. It is a log building and looks very pleasant. They are advertising evening bar-be-ques on weekend nights. Sounds like fun! There is also a lovely gift shop across from Canadian Waters, which has nice things, but nice prices as well. Everything this year seems to have loons on it.
After checking all of the outfitters for bargains, purchasing our maps, picking up our permit at the Voyageur Center, and generally just absorbing the “Ely feeling”, we head back out to our friends’ place at Camp Lake.
It is good to see Ray and Sue again and we have a delightful dinner with them, talking of old times, discussing the possibility of a Camp Easton Alumni Club, and hearing about the bear situation. It seems that the blueberry crop wasn’t good this year and bears are a particular nuisance to canoe trippers. That isn’t very reassuring to me.
As we want to get an early start, we go to the guest cabin early. It is still looking like rain and rather cool. I love the guest cabin! It is a “real” log cabin that Ray and Sue made themselves out of logs on their property, and has a charming feeling that makes me want to stay longer and pretend to be an early settler in the wilderness. It occurs to me that the real pioneers would be thrilled to see what I consider “roughing it”—Sue even keeps her rubber raft in the cabin since the bear took a bite out of it!
We spend a comfortable night and awake refreshed and ready to begin our trip.