North wind causes delay in Shagawa Ice Out

by Anne Swenson

In what had to be the oddest occurrence since the Ely Echo’s Ice Out Contest began, Grand Ely Lodge’s dock was socked in with ice until Tuesday, April 27 at 4:41 p.m.<BR><BR>The prior weekend brought winds from the north which cleared Shagawa Lake fairly well in the east to west direction. What happened, though, was a fluke. The ice piled up on the south shore of the lake, pushed by northern winds. The result was that Grand Ely Lodge’s dock was wedged with ice and a boat could not leave to go to the opposite shore.<BR><BR>Finally on Tuesday the wind shifted to come from the west and the official judges at Grand Ely Lodge watched the shoreline expectantly until late afternoon’s ice opening.<BR><BR>Almost hitting the time on the nose was winner 4:30 p.m., Karson Otness, Bemidji, MN. Karson will receive $100 in Grand Ely Lodge dollars. Next closest was 4:18 p.m. from Helen Tjaden, Babbitt, who told us, “This is the first time I’ve entered and have only had my name drawn to win tickets for two to a movie some 30 years ago when we lived in Des Moines, so I want to try my luck again.” She was followed by the 4 p.m. guess of Mark Kauppi, Brooklyn Park, MN.<BR><BR>Other guesses in the final week for April 27 were: 6:23 a.m., Matthew Mikulich, Ely; 7:48 a.m., Mariam Pelto, Baxter, MN; 10 a.m., Jack Nystrom, Aurora, CO; 10:58 a.m., Robert Welch, East Troy, WI; 11 a.m. is “The official guess of the staff at the Ely Chamber of Commerce;” noon, Erik Donley; St. Paul, MN; 12:11 p.m., Bill Braun, FL & Ely who wrote, “I pull the Echo up almost every day to get updated.....we leave for Ely at the end of the month. Ice better be out;” 12:35 p.m., Alex Bee, Babbitt; 1:02 p.m., Karen Shusta, Otsego, MN; 1:02 p.m., Mark Hedin, Ramsey, MN; 1:47 p.m., T.J. Anderson, Ely; 2:30 p.m., Lori Westrick, Ely; 2:45 p.m., Stephen Anderson, Ely; 3:15 p.m., Ed Harney, Sleepy Hollow, IL.<BR><BR>In week three of the contest, the April 27 entries were: 5:35 a.m., Fred Clasen, Ely; 10:28 a.m., Nikki Selisar, Ely; 11:11 a.m., Ed Seliskar, Ely; 11:15 a.m., Ryan Scharber, Babbitt, MN; 1:43 p.m., Shayla Zaverl, Ely; 2 p.m., Vincent Dodge, Ely; 2:17 p.m., Amelia Pluth, Ely; 3 p.m., Cal Anderson, Alexandria, MN.<BR><BR>Entries from the second week of the contest for April 27 were: 11:30 a.m., Joe Krtinich, Babbitt; 2:14 p.m., “and a big THANK YOU to all the Elyite hospitality you guys have given us,” wrote Bruce and Cathy Wheelright, Eagan & Ely (cabin); 2:15 p.m., Kris Halberg, Accokeek, MD; 2:15 p.m. Keith Pollock, Buffalo, MN; 2:33 p.m., Mike Teach, Piqua, OH; 2:45 p.m., Phil Hyde, Ely; 3:10 p.m., Jill Tegantvoort, Cottage Grove, MN; 6 p.m., Sheri Tegantvoort, Eagan, MN;<BR><BR>“Just wanted to get in on the action. Being from Florida, I have a great deal of knowledge and expertise in this particular field. We have often melted chunks of ice in our beverages and are fascinated by the molecular shrinkage of the ice ‘cube’ (some of our quaint local vernacular). Anyway, please include me for April 27 at 2:01 pm. Just please don't ask us to count the votes for this contest,” wrote Mike Galuska, Lutz, Florida.<BR><BR>The first 2004 contest entry was received from Joe Shikonya, Onalaska, WI who chose April 27 at 8:42 a.m.; at 1 p.m. was the choice of Cheryl Nelson, Ely. <BR><BR>So ice is out of area lakes and the snowbirds and visitors are on their way to the Ely area again!