A Collection of our Guest’s Journal Missives and Notes

Hi Marie,

Just a note thanks again for your hospitality this year.  The kids and Patty had a marvelous time (I thought it was pretty nifty, too).  They glow when they talk about it. We’re sorry you lost Daisy.  We hope to be in touch for next summer.  Thanks again


I just wanted to say once again thank you from all of us for our wonderful vacation.  You and your crew do a great job.  I had a hard time putting Nina to sleep last night because she wanted to know why we were not going to be going back on vacation today so she could go to the beach?   She enjoyed your "puppies" most of all.  See you next year.  The girls are already counting down the days.

Nick and Danielle O.

Marie -

All went well. Great cabins! We managed to get a few birds. We talked with some locals and they all said the birds are way down bad spring and all. We will give it a few years to recover and maybe we will be back.


Hi Marie,

I wanted to let you know how much fun my sister and I had, and how much we enjoyed staying at your lodge! The suite was absolutely beautiful, and it was so nice to have a crockpot in addition to everything else in the kitchen. We really enjoyed being able to use the kayaks, too, and it was also so much fun to watch the birds come to the railing for sunflower seeds! And, I absolutely loved getting to know Daisy, Bella, and Minnie -- they all were so very sweet. I can't say enough how much I enjoyed it -- we are hoping to come back next year because we had such a wonderful time. Thank you again and hope to see you next year!

Karen Hall

Gary & Marie -

We made it home to Cedar Rapids safely last night after spending the night in the Twin Cities and making some stops in Rochester on the way. I just wanted to let you know that we so appreciated all you did for us in providing a great, clean, quiet, picturesque location for us to enjoy our week off. The Terry Redlin jigsaw puzzle we left on the table is just a little something for you and the future Northern Lights guests. Have a great fall and thanks again.

Tom and Sheryl Church

Hi Marie,

Just wanted to let you know that we had a wonderful time during our stay. The suite was great, very comfortable and cozy. We especially appreciated all of your suggestions of things to do while we were up in Ely. It really made our honeymoon perfect. We wish we could have stayed longer, but after 5 days away from home it was time to get back to the grind. We enjoyed all of the hiking and picture taking but especially enjoyed watching your girls play with Hannah. She is still pooped out from all of the running around. We are so thankful that your establishment allowed us to bring her along. She was sitting at the door today looking for her new friends, I don’t think that she realizes she is finally home.

Thank you again for being such a great hostess and helping make our honeymoon picture perfect. Hope that tooth feels better and that you have a great winter.

John and Ashlee Morton, oh and Hannah too!

Flowers by the armful....thanks by the heartful! Thank you for running this resort like it is now.

Katrina and Avalon (Cabin #12)

Hey Marie and Gary--Cindy and I truly had a great vacation in the Ely area and Northern Lights Lodge was a big part of our successful trip. Having a wonderful and warm cabin to retreat to each night for Cindy was priceless. Cindy has already talked about a return trip next year. We will have to discuss that due to other planned trips. I hope an Ely trip wins out over the others :o). I am going to start planning another fish/camp trip also. Not sure if those plans will include Northern Lights, but I will definitely stop by to say hey. The fish trip won't be this year though. Hope you enjoy the picture, we certainly enjoyed the experience to get it. Thanx again for your wonderful hospitality and huge supply of fire wood :o)

Be safe,
Bert (Cabin #3)

Marie -

I was busy getting things packed up on Saturday so I didn't get a chance to say thanks so much for making our stay comfortable (as always). The cabin was fantastic and absolutely perfect for our stay. That wood burning stove was nice on those sub -20F nights! My mom was impressed with all the nice winter decorating touches too. :) Your suggestion of Chilly Dogs as a dog sledding outfit was great. Jeff, Donna and the whole family were so very nice and appreciated your recommendation.

I wish we would've been able to stay longer but with my sister and her husband flying back to DC on Sunday and my parents driving home to Iowa, it had to be a quick trip. I'm trying to get a Memorial Day weekend planned soon, so hopefully I'll be back up in a few months!

Thanks again...hope you're enjoying the winter festival!

Ross (Cabin #11)

Marie & Gary--we came here to celebrate my birthday! It's the best choice I could have made. Sure had lots fun!

Sharon (Cabin #11)

Hi Marie,

We just wanted to thank you and Gary again for the most wonderful vacation we’ve ever had. Cabin 4 was not only a big surprise for us, but also gave us the most beautiful experience while enjoying feeding the area bird community, and just taking in the peace and solitude of each day spent on the deck, not to mention our daily visits from either Daisy or Bella.

I’m telling everyone from work all about our experience and preparing an informational area at work to inform anyone who visits me during the workweek. Hopefully we can send some business your way when Spring comes and many DNR staff show up to look at my new products for the season.

Diane and I will cherish our time with you folks and will look forward to the time we can come back again. Please say hi to Gary and your son for us, and give the girls an extra dog treat for us. Take care Marie and have a wonderful Fall and Winter.

Dan W. and Diane S. (Cabin #3)

What this vacation means to me:

A group of 8 came together inthe woods to enjoy each others company, the woods and the the lake. Chad enjoyed sunny weather and the Ely Steak House, Pat enjoyed the serenity of this Resort. We got caught in a storm out on the lake--the weather was crazy, but it was fun!

B. Jasper (Cabin #6)

This was our second trip here -- 1st time in 2003 when we honeymooned in here in Cabin #3. We're so glad that we were able to finally return to "our Cabin #3" and we have got to say how great the Resort looks. It's so easy to see how much Gary and Marie care for this Bear Island Lake paradise.

The weather was wonderful--couldn't have asked for a better week. We saw a bear, beavers, loons, deer, a wolf and caught lots of fish. The only thing missing this trip was a moose but I know that's a tall order to fill in July.

Marie, Gary and Gary--it was great being here and thanks for all you do to make this the best place to be on Bear Island Lake!

Andy and Bev C. (Cabin #3)

Marie--just wanted to shoot you a quick note to say thanks for everything. We will probably see you again in two years since next year I am off to Canada. Hope you have a good season. Thanks

S. Steffes & Family (Cabin #1)

Hi Marie--Just wanted to let you know that our recent stay at your resort was wonderful. Even though it was for only two nights, and being my first time to Ely, Jeanne and I enjoyed the lodgings and the area. Being from the East coast originally and only being in Minnesota for 6 years, I just could not believe it could be so quiet at night.

Thanks again for the memories. I had only wished we got time to paint a road sign. I thought of it on the drive home and had wished we took one with us to send back to you to hang for us to find on our next visit to the boundary waters. Thanks again, and the suite was clean and inviting.

B. Masters and J. Westerlund (Suite #7)

We had a great week! We fished (too many panfish off the dock to count) and released, we canoed (only swamped once near the rapids on Bear Island River), we hiked (Bass Lake Trail and Angleworm Lake circuits) and we mostly had leisurely means with good conversation. Weather was hot Sunday to Tuesday and then cool and rainy Wednesday to Friday.

Quote of the Week: We all live on a water trampoline, water trampoline, a water trampoline". There is nothing like a week of wild blueberries, loon calls, and Northwoods evening Thunderstorms to rejuvenate your soul before returning to the stress and tension of life in the City

Dan O. (Cabin #6)

Wow! What a great experience for all -- this was our first time ever staying in a cabin with our whole family. The kids want to stay another 6 six days, so that tells me they had a great time. Our family was very fortuante to have G-Pa & G-Ma (both age 70) with us and they both went kayaking!

The time has been relaxing and quite. I wasn't sure if the kids would survive without the tv but they did. I wasn't sure if my husband would survive without his cell phone--but it worked and he actually just turned it off!

It's too bad all of this peace and quiet will soon have to come to an end.

Jessica U. (Cabin #6)

Wow! It's some amazing up here. So peaceful and tranquil, I wish we never had to leave. I had fun hanging around with Gary and kayaking this week. Marie and Gary have been been great hosts. This is my 3rd year up here from Chicago AND it's just a gorgeous as the 1st time.

Next year we are spending 2 weeks here. So fortunate! Well, gotta go, we are headed out to the lake for a boat ride.

Ashely S. (Cabin #1)

Marie -- I'm supposed to tell you that Wet Willy caught 38 Walleyes but I caught some of those too. We also got 2 big northerns. Perfect week! Thank you for sharing your home with us!!

Jess and Mary Jo (Cabin #2)

Hey! We came up here with our relatives from Mound MN for a week of fun and sun! Some of our highlights of the stay was swimming, hiking, boating/tubing, air plane ride, playing pin pong, shuffleboard and volleyball What a fun place to be! Hope to see you next year.

Kim T. (Cabin #4)

Hey Guys! This is our 5th year coming and staying in Ely with Marie, Gary and Gary. This is the most peaceful place on earth. One can connect with nature and truely be alive in the Boundary Waters. The sky is a bit bigger here and the air a bit fresher. I wish we could spend two weeks here. The fishing was great and the fishing guide was a big help! The northwoods is very refreshing, it's really hard to get up in the morning. We can't thank the Vogt family enough for being such a gracious host!

Rob and Bree (Cabin #1)

Bear Island Lake

The night was cool and dry
we were blessed with a breeze
you could hear the forest sigh
in the needles and the leaves.

And now the sky is overcast
the lake is chopped by steady wind
the blue of yesterday has passed
but I'll look for it again.

It's raining on Bear Island Lake
and those who fled remain inside
with no cause to stir or wake
in cabins where they came to hide.

From what they came to find:
breezes cleaning out the mind.

Written by Britt