Northwind Lodge's Island Cabin for Two

Back in 1962, my dad, Joe Baltich, Sr., built a small cabin on the biggest island on Jasper Lake for a summer home away from home. As we grew up, we used to stay there primarily in the winter. We'd cross the lake by snowmobile, build a fire in the the nice little log and knotty pine cabin and enjoy the weekend. I still remember as a kid with my younger brother Bernie, ice fishing in the winter, riding the snowmobile back and forth the across the lake for hours on end to pack and further establish a secure trail. We did this to beat down the insulating layer of snow which makes the ice thicker and prevents the formation of tiresome slush and dangerous airholes. Back then, as 11 and 12 year old kids, we could take turns snowmobiling back and forth over the same trail endlessly. We've since grown up and no longer find driving back and forth on a noisy Skidoo that much fun. I'm now fascinated by all the 40+ year olds who come up from the Twin Cities to do this all day long on meticulously groomed snowmobile trails provided by the State of Minnesota and located next to the city of Ely. They ride from bar to bar and then relax after a "hard day's ride" (as if they were on a horse on a hot, dusty trail) with a cold beer. They now call this a "sport" and I know people who consider it "challenging" as well. We grew out of the "sport" when we were kids. Times sure have changed. There are no snowmobile trails here either.

As kids we also did a lot of kite-flying in March while staying on the Island. Some years, the lake would have solid ice but very little snow on it so you could easily walk or run anywhere. And run we did when the March winds took our paper and balsawood kites high and fast as we ran out of string on our spools. We used chase big gust of wind to give our kite what it needed lest it began the crazy death spiral finally crashing into the hard ice below. Sometimes we just could not run fast enough and the kite would disintegrate as it smacked into the ice, knotted-rag-tail in tow. We'd be out there for hours. When we came in the cabin for supper we'd be all wind-burned, tired out and ready to eat. You could smell my mom's deer roast cooking out on the ice when the wind was right. My mom still has a knack for excellent venison.

As time passed, we all got bigger in size, the resort needed more attention and the Island cabin became too small for the five in our family. My dad decided to share it with the rest of the world and we began renting it out very discriminately in the 1980's. By discriminately, I mean that we began to rent it out but were careful who got to stay there. I guess that requiring that our Island guests have "their heads screwed on right" would be considered discrimination by ACLU standards, but it is our Island and it means a lot to us. It's always been a very beautiful place with lots of pine trees and a thick floor of pine needles. The sound of any little breeze whispers though the pine needles above. As a result of all those dry pine needles, we don't allow outdoor fires there. Also, we only allow 2 people to stay there at any given time. The limit is 2 people with our reason being to preserve the Island almost as we've found it originally. No exceptions, please. Pets are not allowed due to nesting wildlife including grouse and various other bird species. Incidentally, a raven has a nest on the east end of the Island.

At 7.5 acres in size, we could actually build more cabins on the Island, but I'm pretty sure that that's never going to happen as long as Annette and I are alive. We wish to keep the Island as we found it. So, when you rent the Island, you actually rent the whole Island by yourself. The cabin is the icing on the cake! Unless you are independently wealthy, where can you afford to rent an entire, beautiful, Island anywhere else in the world?

Below are pictures of the Island and the cabin. It comes equipped with propane gas lights, gas stove with oven, basic cooking and eatign utensils, and a cooler. There's a good full sized bed, blankets and bed linens. On the deck outside is a gas grille. We provide water jugs and a convenient frehwater drinking source along with a locking refrigerator on the mainland down at the lodge beach/dock area.

This is our Island from our beach at Northwind Lodge

The dock at the Island. The cabin is up in the woods straight ahead.

From the Island to the beach. This is also the boat we use to bring your gear over upon your arrival. Daytime arrival is a MUST. We won't do night-time crossings for obvious safety reasons. Plan your arrival accordingly.

A little closer to the cabin, this is the view from the Island to our mainland dock/ beach at Northwind Lodge

Here's the cabin. Notice the pine needles on the gound. Smokers need to exercise great diligence when smoking. No outside fires are allowed.

The deck with the gas BBQ grill.

The western side of the cabin.

This is what you see every day when you look out the window towards the west. The marsh has two beaver lodges a stones throw from the cabin. You can watch the otters play and during evenings see a beaver or two swimming around. My dad chose the cabin's location just for the marsh where the animals congregate.

A shot of the kitchen living area. Being that it's a true "cabin" of older design, there's no loft or jacuzzi. There is some old fashioned log work in the ceiling.

My dad built everything you see in this cabin without the aid of power tools.

There's one regular-sized double bed on the island. My buddy Kurt was staying in the cabin by himself a few years ago and a bull moose rubbed it's big nose on the window screen as it tried to look into the cabin. His antlers where too big to allow the moose to turn his head sideways to get a better view.

This is your only source of heat for the cabin. It's a good one that makes a rainy day cheerful with the glass door and a view of the flames. We'll show you how to operate it and the gas lights.

When you are standing on the deck looking southeast, this is what you see.

This is behind the cabin looking west.

The path to the outhouse.

The outhouse - gotta have one of these! It's an auto-flusher. Very easy to operate.

What you see to the east when in front of the Island. Fish for walleyes and bass right here. Please clean all fish at the fish cleaning house on the mainland. We don't want any entrails on the Island to attract bears.

Your view to the west when in front of the Island.

It's a serene and beautiful place, with many of our Island guests choosing to stay there over taking a BWCA canoe trip. Our Island people see far fewer other people on our lake than most of the visitors to the BWCA do. Plus, they get to stay in a nice cabin instead of a tent. Sometimes, we don't see our Island guests literally for days on end as they totally enjoy the serenity of the Island.

So, there you have it. When you rent the Island Adventure, you get the Island, the cabin, a canoe, gear transportation, ice, fresh drinking water, showers on the mainland and lots of privacy on a beautiful, smaller, Minnesota lake. In effect, the cabin has running water - you just have to run to get more when you need it. No one else is allowed on the Island unless you invite them over and they can only stay for the day, not overnight. As stated, we only allow 2 people there and no pets. We only rent to people who understand where they are when they are on the Island. We reserve the right to ask disruptive guests to leave. Fortunately, the vast majority of our Island and Northwind Lodge guests have always been kind and considerate folks which means everybody has a nice time when they stay here. We could probably pack people in, but we're fussy resorters. This isn't just a resort property to us. It's our home, too.

Island Cabin Rates

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