I videotaped one of the two most exciting parts of a dog sledding excursion on my very recent trip up north. It's only a 1 minute video, but is HD so you may want to let it load before pressing play.
©2014 Lisa Bond Photography
Pretty impressive when you consider there are only 6 little dogs pulling two people and a sled up the hill. You too can enjoy this experience by booking a trip for your family at YMCA's Camp Menogyn over President's Day weekend or one of the other winter family weekends. There is a limit based on cabin capacity and there are a lot of repeat offenders in this group. So I hope you don't take my spot! I am hoping that we will be back next year. That will give me a chance to videotape the reverse of what you just saw - leaving the dog yard and going down the big hill to the lake. It is a thrilling ride.
On a side note, I recently came across a "Viner" by the name of Christian DelGrosso. His videos on "Parent Logic" are particularly hilarious. Here are some of my favorites. Note: You need to turn off the mute button in the video, it defaults to on.
You can find out more about him and see his other vines by clicking on the videos.
Thanks for stopping by!
If you decide to visit the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and the route takes you through Grand Marais and down the Gunflint Trail, it won't be long before you lose cell phone service. You might find yourself wondering where a phone call can be made if necessary. There are two phone booths on the Gunflint that I know of. One is at the very end of the trail.
The other phone is at the half way point, about 25 or so miles down the road, and conveniently located at the Trail Center bar and grill.
This phone is even cheaper, however the connection cuts in and out, but mostly out.
Another option is to head up to the top of a high bluff somewhere and see if you can pick up a Canadian tower signal.
I actually got a phone call while I was standing up there last fall and several texts from someone in Canada saying "Welcome to Canada". Roaming rates do apply! My teens were not so lucky. Encouraged by my story from the previous fall, they were willing to do a little cross country skiing and a hike just to see if their phones would work. I think they would portage for days if they thought there was internet service at the end of it! I'm certain they found it some sort of teenage torture being off the grid for almost 4 days. Their mother, on the other hand, loved every minute of it. Spending quality, unwired time with them was one of the best Valentine's presents a mom could ask for. It sure beat last year's Valentine's Day!
As always, thanks for stopping by and until next time, if you're from around here I hope you can get out there and enjoy all that delicious snow we have!
I thought about calling somebody for novelty since it was only 50 cents, but it would have been one of those dumb phone calls where it's like "yeah, guess where I am?" and then it gets awkward. You either don't know what to say after that, or worse, they start telling you some random story about whatever and you're like "ah, I gotta go cause I'm in the Boundary Waters, k?" as if they were bothering you, or "Hello? did you really think I wanted to talk cause my canoe's about to leave". Like when airplanes used to have phones and you'd call someone just to say you did it. So I didn't do it. But if there was an emergency, you'd be glad it was there.
Last January I was on a photography expedition and headed out one morning at about 5:30 a.m. to catch the sunrise. That's pretty early for winter, but there was a full moon and I knew I'd be able to catch it setting before the sun came up. I was fully outfitted with multiple layers, very little skin showing, and toe warmers to buy a little extra time before I had to come in and warm up. My biggest concern was being all alone on the lake and possibly getting sized up as a tasty bowl of Frosted Flakes breakfast cereal by a traveling wolf pack.
It was unbelievably still and peaceful out there. Not a sound was to be heard. I took my time getting across the lake, photographing the full moon when the composition looked good, and made it to the car about 45 minutes later. My next destination was 3/4 mile down the road with another hike from there. I could have walked the entire distance but since I was trying to beat the clock and reserve any warmth I had left in my body for the sunrise shoot, I wanted to get there without further delay.
Once the car was parked, I hiked up about 2 blocks of incline and maybe another block or so of flat terrain when I found a spot to work from. I was on the edge of a cliff and the temp was around 1 degree F. The wind would have felt nice on a hot day, but this morning it was gusting over 20 MPH and that made it feel like below zero temps.
I quickly learned the biggest obstacle I was facing was my own breath. I am no stranger to working in wintery conditions but this had never happened to me before. Despite having my face covered with a ski mask, my breath was freezing on the filter and all around the back of the camera. The real problem was the filter though. They are necessary to hold the sun back when it is that close to rising. Sunrise colors change by the second and even 5 minutes of waiting could be a deal breaker. I tried to wipe the filter off but to no avail. I had to take off my gloves and use the warmth of my fingers to melt the ice and that meant exposing my hands to the bitter cold.
It really wasn't working but there were some other filters I was able to try. That's about when I realized how much my toes were starting to hurt. The toe warmers seemed like they weren't doing anything. I knew I had to get back to the car and fast. When I got there, I took a self-portrait to show the frozen hair that had sneaked out of my cap and scarf. That's the same culprit that was creating havoc with my filters.
I sat in the running car hoping it would generate some heat so I could thaw out before had to face the hike back across the lake to camp. Even the car didn't want to warm up, so I finally headed back encouraged by the warmth the lodge would bring.
Now that I am about to embark on my next journey up there, I am a little wiser for the wear. My trusty old Sorel boots which I have worn since college won't be going with me on this trip. I have invested in a pair of Steger Mukluks. This pair. Some of the warmest ones they make.
I bought the extra wool and reflective foil liners for maximum heat retention. They were expensive but I don't ever want to end a photography gig again due to frozen toes. Word out there is that these are the best and I'm about to put them to the test.
In the meantime, here is a link to Steger Mukluks:
Until next time, I hope you all have a very Happy Valentine's Day and thank you for stopping by.
Of all the photo inventions from the last several years, my favorite has to be Photo Booth. It is an app that can be found pre-installed on most Apple products. I'm not sure if other devices use it or not, but if so, I highly recommend trying it. My favorites are thermal camera and kaleidoscope.
Great images can be made from the most mundane of objects. If you have an iPad or iPhone, give it a try the next time you are waiting in a doctor's office or in the car (not driving though) or just looking to boost your creativity levels.
I hope you enjoyed this post and as always thanks for stopping by!
I am a photographer who lives in Minnesota. I blog about Minnesota, photography, music, food and miscellaneous topics.