Every winter since 1967, people have gathered at Will Steger’s Homestead just outside Ely Minnesota to lend a hand in the harvesting of ice. It was my good fortune to find myself included in the activities this weekend. My gratitude to Marian Moore (thoughtful, kind, funny, beautiful, creative and be-slippered) to her sweet circle of friends, and to Will Steger for the welcoming.
People collected down by the edge of the lake with their various saws and shovels, picks and pry-bars, tongs, chainsaws…
A top layer of softer snow is removed, the surface is scored and sawing begins.
And out comes the first cube:
Time to begin another:
Next, chainsaws are used to cut the large blocks into segments:
Smaller blocks are then loaded onto the sled and the horses take them up the hill to the ice house:
While horses are some tough competition, dogs have had their day helping out with the hauling. To watch these horses in action you may click here! And here’s a still:
Yes, it makes you happy.
The Mess Hall exterior:
Today I am homeward bound. Thank you Minnesota… to the two and four-legged, ever-onward.