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Old 11-17-2010, 12:23 PM   #1
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Non Escape Escape -- near Winnipeg/Voyageurs Natl Park?

Hello folks,

It's looking like we might be packing up for a trip to ... Baudette, MN! Yes, a hotspot for sure, especially in mid-December

Truthfully, we're looking forward to it, as it's for a story we're working on that we're quite excited about. And we're considering the possibly of a few extra days somewhere while we're up there to celebrate an epic birthday, the beginning-of-a-new decade sort of thing, that happens to fall in the general vicinity of this trip.

So I'm curious if any of you have ever been to any of the provincial parks east of Winnipeg -- or to Voyageurs on the US side -- and if you have any thoughts as to how we might find things around and about Dec 9th? Besides cold and dark, of course

Sadly our Escape hasn't been born yet, and even if she were I doubt she'd be that into "cold and dark" ... so we're thinking motels or B&Bs or something.

~e
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Old 11-17-2010, 05:53 PM   #2
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Re: Non Escape Escape -- near Winnipeg/Voyageurs Natl Park?

Ah! Baudette MN. Great place in the summer, not sure about winter. This time of year it is deer hunting and getting ready for ice fishing. Oh and not to forget, watching the Vikings play. You are coming at that transition time. There may be enough snow for Nordic skiing. There may be an opportunity to walk in the woods, even a couple of inches of snow makes that a great experience.

Voyageurs is a water craft park, mostly canoe with some kayak and houseboat. Not much to see outside of water based activities. Quetico Provincial Park is the same way. Winnepeg is a wonderful city but it may be a bit of a haul from Baudette. Other metropolitan areas would be Duluth/Superior. There is nothing close to Baudette. Do you like bowling? Have you ever curled? Do you watch hockey?

Be sure to take a passport as you are on the border. If you cross the border make note of when the crossing is open. Some are not open 24 hrs/day.

Charter a float or ski plane for an arial view of Lake of the Woods and surrounding area. You will see moose. There may be places to see them land based as well.

Finally, tell us when PBS will be braodcasting the show and provide a link to the audio.
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:57 PM   #3
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Re: Non Escape Escape -- near Winnipeg/Voyageurs Natl Park?

Paul, my favorite part of your post is the line ... "There is nothing close to Baudette." We seem to specialize in these sorts of locales (I'm thinking Malta, MT; Regent, ND; Brinkley, AR; etc etc, all sites of past stories -- at least we don't have to worry about running into other reporters, right?).

But curling? Maybe that's the ticket!

I'm actually wondering about Ely. We've been to the Boundary Waters many times, but always via Grand Marais -- and I've always wanted to go up for some snowshoeing. Maybe this is our chance. It's three hours, I think? And they might have beer other than Moosehead. Plus, I'm not sure the opportunities for snowshoeing would be as good near Baudette or Voyageurs -- esp. if we would prefer quiet to snowmobiles. Though if anyone has any opinions on that I'd love to hear.

Duluth is actually one of our favorite cities in the US. Few places are as glorious in the summertime. Might be curious seeing it in winter.

I will indeed post w/broadcast details but it's likely to be a few months, probably spring 2011 -- the piece will be on a large migratory bird kill that took place at a "LORAN" navigational tower up there -- hundreds of birds rained from the sky one night. The birds were collected and are now in a giant freezer in Chicago's Field Museum awaiting prep and placement into their Final Resting Places. A weird little narrative, and we're commissioning an original song. Should be quirky and fun.

~e

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Old 11-17-2010, 09:54 PM   #4
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Re: Non Escape Escape -- near Winnipeg/Voyageurs Natl Park?

Ely would be a good possibility. I forgot some other activities like winter camping, if you are into rappelling or ice climbing I know some spots near Ely. However, I think a day trip on snow shoes an excellent idea

Many years ago I led several seasons of winter camping trips out of Cass Lake. I was an adjunct faculty member at Bemidji State for the "experience". We would use skis and sleep in tents, snow caves, under tarps or build wickiups. Today, I could only classify this as a miserable experience with the need to constantly melt snow for cooking and drinking and never getting much sleep.

My son did a five day snowshoe trip several years ago on the Kekekabic (Kek) Hiking Trail out of Ely. It connects to the Gunflint Trail. Very rugged travel and little used. I would not recommend it. It does demonstrate that the apple does not fall very far from the tree.

For snow shoeing it may not be necessary to drive all the way to Ely. Zippel Bay State Park is on the shore of Lake of the Woods and offers ski and snow shoe trails. I have only camped there in the summer and the lake shore can be calm or wild. It would almost be like being on Lake Michigan. Maybe that is not the appeal you want?

I had to look up Regent ND and Malta MT; I have been to both of them except they had different names. Something like Eureka MT and Mandan ND. I can imagine what Regent and Malta are like. Somehow I would be suspicious there was not even a hotel, a B&B perhaps?
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:52 PM   #5
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Re: Non Escape Escape -- near Winnipeg/Voyageurs Natl Park?

Malta has a B&B -- though I think they'd prefer a permanent vacancy there. It's not a place known for its welcome wagon. We were doing a story there on a group of outsiders trying to reestablish bison on a massive batch of ranch lands nearby -- a project locals were NOT excited about. And they were also NOT excited about us being there to ask questions about it. If you're driving with your Escape on the High Line (US 2), I might advise you drive right on by ...

On the other hand, Regent, ND, is delightful -- home of a now friend of ours, Gary Greff, the creator of the Enchanted Highway -- http://www.enchantedhighway.net/ -- which is really something every Escape-ee should make a point of seeing someday. It's a real testament to the human spirit, to small town resilience, and ingenuity. Go! And if you are still Escape-less, like us, there are some amazing places to stay out there, cheap and expansive, some of the best places we've ever stayed actually. We love it so much in that area we actually got married in Theo Roosevelt Natl. Park.

Meanwhile, I'll check out that state park and do a little bit more research on Ely. Thanks, Paul.
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:46 PM   #6
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Re: Non Escape Escape -- near Winnipeg/Voyageurs Natl Park?

Hi: medora... Baudette...Isn't he the guy from Motel 6...that always leaves the light on ? Alf
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:31 AM   #7
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Re: Non Escape Escape -- near Winnipeg/Voyageurs Natl Park?

The Whiteshell Provincial Park east of Winnipeg is mostly used for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing in the winter. The following link is a brochure that lists some of the available activities and places to stay. The only problem is that there is not usually enough snow at the beginning of December to do much. We have had none so far, but are expecting 15 cm over today and tomorrow which is still not enough for snowmobiling or skiing.

http://www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/pa...enture_map.pdf
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:30 PM   #8
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Re: Non Escape Escape -- near Winnipeg/Voyageurs Natl Park?

.....Falcon Lake, West Hawk Lake, TWO great vacation locals in the Whiteshell Park, lots of nice well appointed campgrounds to choose from too.
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Old 11-26-2010, 02:15 PM   #9
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Re: Non Escape Escape -- near Winnipeg/Voyageurs Natl Park?

We have had 43cm of snow since my last message and Enviornment Canada reports 21cm of snow on the ground in the Whiteshell. You may be able to ski and snowmobile at the beginning of December after all. A call to the resorts at West Hawk Lake and Falcon Lake will let you know for sure.
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