Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Canoes on Sale this Spring


Our next Sale starts April 20th and goes through the 29th, 2016.

CALL STEVE SCHON at http://www.piragis.com for details today. 1-800-223-6565

You can shop our current selection of Canoes online here (Wenonah) and (Northstar)

We take canoes seriously around here in Ely.  They are the transportation through 2000 protected wilderness lakes in our backyard.  The Boundary Waters is accessible only by canoe and the deeper you go, the more friends you take, the longer you want to fish the more your needs become specific.  We ship and sell canoes all over the country for a reason.  That's because we paddle these canoes.

We don't just drop ship these boats, we bring them here to Ely and we use different models in our rental fleets each year.  Every year we rent and sell between 100 and 120 canoes and kayaks in our rental fleet alone.  Each one of these boats from 4 Paddler Minnesota IVs to our most popular solo canoe, the Prism, experiences the Boundary Waters and Quetico Park.

Our new canoes we sell to folks all over the U.S.A. as well.  In fact, just last week, I spoke to someone who wanted to know if we ship canoes to Alaska.  The answer of course is yes.  Also, New Mexico, Maine, Florida, New York, Washington State, California.  We've even found a way to get canoes to states in the Midwest :).  How we do it is simple.  Ely is a destination town.  People come here from all over to go canoe camping and to vacation in Ely.  We get rides for all of our canoes with private individuals and we strap down our canoes ourselves on their vehicle just for you.  They drive your canoe right to your door or pre-arranged meeting place.  They take much better care of the canoe on top of their car than the freight companies do with their fork lifts and potential for delay.

This is just part of the personal service we offer.  Steve Schon, our canoe buyer, is available to answer all of your questions about canoes and kayaks, to compare features, to recommend options and even to take trade-ins if you are in the mood to upgrade.  We've been in business since 1979 and we love talking canoes because we love to paddle them ourselves.  If you find yourselves in Ely you can even test paddle different canoes for free anytime, no questions asked, unless there's ice on the lakes (November thru April commonly).  That's a great way to get a feel for what your new canoe can do.

The bottom line is we've got the canoe for you and we're dedicated to taking the time to make sure you feel confident in your purchase.  Kevlar makes canoeing possible for older paddlers whose backs are not as strong as they used to be but still want to paddle and take canoe trips.  Kevlar saves young backs longer, so they can enjoy paddling for a lifetime.  Wouldn't you like to carry a 44 pound canoe down a treelined portage instead of a 70 pound plus aluminum or wood canvas boat?

Call us today 1-800-223-6565 and ask for Steve Schon.

Monday, March 28, 2016


Spring thaws
come in happy hours
within the cold grip
of ice so tired and deliberate
that one ski may float
over and the trailing ski
break through.

One short night might
wake from sleep to a morning of
free current, while
another slip to the darker
side of new ice made.
Below, encouraged;
our thoughts bubble.

One steps with furtive glances
to the shores we’ve
left behind, in favor of
the unknown, the yet-
to-unfold. The mallard pair
guarding the edges of
summer, of tomorrow
and open water.

His green head my own
nodding and diving, looking
underneath for sustenance
and your shadow
lost on winter’s waining
notes. Her hidden brown
feathers only true
against the failed ice.
Waiting for the moment
of anonymity when
she fades into

©Timothy James Stouffer 03282016
All Rights Reserved Ely, MN

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Poem: Low Water Mark

Steve Piragis went out paddling into the early evening yesterday. His picture reflected some of the most subtle afternoon light we've seen so far this year.  It is hard to believe that November is already upon us.  This poem came to mind.  Enjoy.

Low Water Mark

Rising from dark water;
spires climb,
the green trees of years
gone by.  Now like 
bannerless flag posts
rooted in the wetland soil.
Sentinels of the lake
silent, watching.

Reaching through gray.
blue and pink toward
the retreating sun.
Arms entreating dead
grasses to join in the dance.

Canoe bow splits
reflection’s perfection.
Abandoned wood duck
house rocking slowly
to the rhythm of the 
dead wind.

Redwing blackbird
calls from the cattails.
Beaver tail slaps to 
the North.  Pileated beak
strikes home and keeps
the beat, hidden in the 
dark, jagged line of pines.

The colors deepen.  No
one is home, or,
are they?  Paddle pushes
us into the night.

© Timothy James Stouffer, 11/04/2015
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Save the Boundary Waters: Give to the Max Day November 12th

Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters Announces $77,000 Match for Give to the Max Day 
The Campaign hopes to raise $165,000 toward its efforts to protect the Boundary Waters 
from proposed sulfide-ore copper mining.

Ely, MN (November 2, 2015) -- Advocates for preserving the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota will be able to double their Give to the Max Day donations to the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters on November 12. The Campaign, which is a project of Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness, has received $77,000 toward its match.

“We are grateful to the community of supporters who continue to raise their voices in support of permanently protecting this amazing canoe country. This year’s Give to Max Day will help us continue a legacy of efforts to protect America’s most visited wilderness area and preserve it for future generations,” said Becky Rom, national campaign chair.

The Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters is a national Campaign dedicated to gaining permanent protection for the Boundary Waters from sulfide-ore copper mining proposed by Twin Metals and other companies. The Campaign has been working to bring this issue to the attention of federal decision makers; grow a large grassroots movement; and educate people about the risks posed by this type of mining.

Last year, with the support of more than 600 donors, the Campaign raised more than $102,000 in combination with a $50,000 matching pledge. This accomplishment earned the Campaign recognition in the top ten of Give MN’s medium category for nonprofits. The Campaign has a $77,000 match this year and hopes to raise a total of $165,000.

Since last year’s Give to the Max Day, the Campaign has continued to grow, taking regular trips to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress and delivering more than 60,000 petition signatures in support of permanent protection for this wilderness. In April, three supporters rode 850 miles on the Bike Tour to Save the Boundary Waters to raise awareness about the issue in communities and campuses from Winona to Ely. On September 23, 2015, Dave and Amy Freeman, 2014 National Geographic Adventurers of the Year, launched A Year in the Wilderness, their latest expedition in support of protecting the Boundary Waters.

Please visit the Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness Give to the Max page for the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters for more information.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Fall Comes to the Northland

Yesterday, Steve Piragis and I took a walk along a portage near Ely.  After a day and night of rain, our leaves that had really just begun to deepen in color were falling all around us.  Autumn here in the Northwoods is fickle and comes on fast.  It has no patience for those of us who love it so much and no desire to every hang around as much as we'd like it to.

So, when you have some time, or not, (it is always best to make time) It pays to get outside and relish the oranges, yellows, browns, magentas, reds against the backdrop of green conifers and blue sky.  The yellow in this kevlar Wenonah Spirit II made a cool focal point.

I'm really just along for the ride, but the Piragis Pants and Chota Breathable Waterproof Socks aren't.  They are the real deal and when paired with Chota Caney Fork Portage Boots or Quetico Trekkers, they make perfect sense for your feet during cool water times such right now.  With 5 nights complete with frost already, the waters are fresh with anticipation of being hard in a month and a half if not sooner.  The fish instinctively know this and they are hungry.  The bite is on!

If the beautiful colors aren't enough to entice you into a trip to Ely and the Boundary Waters this Autumn, that should.  Nothing like a fresh fish dinner over the campfire.

Oh, and just because Minnesota is full of surprises, on Sunday, it is supposed to be 76 degrees here in Ely.  Sunshine will never feel so great.

p.s. The next two weekends represent the end of our Outlet Store Season for 2015.  That means less than eight days left for you to save 75% on excellent clothing items in our Outlet Store.  Sale ends when MEA Weekend is over.

The walk in the woods yesterday inspired this poem.

North Country Fall

Leaves are falling,
circling round in their descent
like distant friends might
one day plot a pilgrimage
towards freedom.
Bigtooth Aspens, White Swamp Oaks,
Showy Mountain Ash
Popples and Paper Birches,
Silver Maple; Black Ash,
Pin Cherry, Quaking Aspens
and underneath, Ironwood, Honeysuckle and Anise Hyssop.
Eastern Cottonwoods, Box Elders.
Sugar Maples and a
Shagbark Hickory, the ugly duckling
amongst a temeritous stand
of Bur Oak.

While the tamarack turn
their backs on their green
coniferous neighbors.
Leafy fingers,
Golden with rust, reach
for the clouds as if 
to pull down the 
snow around their
knobby knees,
before falling selfishly.
Alone, leafless, among all the other
conifers of the North.

Strong smells of woodsmoke
are in the air
and under the raven’s
wing.  Apples burgeon
with Summer’s amorous liquor, heavy
on brown branches that
once blossomed
at the mercy of the same 
visiting winds signaling
the separation of Spring.

Lying on the forest floor
I think of you and how far
and fast I’ve fallen.
In the face of your

@Timothy James Stouffer, 10/09/2015
All Rights Reserved