It seems like yesterday we purchased the resort. We took possession on Sept 14, 2001, only 3 days after 9-11. The boys were 1.5 years and 3 years old. We had the world and eternity ahead of us.
Now, into our 13th season, the boys have grown, along with manyof our guests children and grandchildren. It’s been a wonder to watch them all enjoy, experience, care for and learn from the wilderness that surrounds us.
We’ve made countless repairs, improvements and done seemingly endless maintenance but it feels as though we have not made a dent on our neverending resort wishlist. Yet when we sit down and compare what we’ve accomplished to what we want to do, have time to do and money to do – we realize we have done quite well.
We’ve met many people – made many friends, helped many strangers and helped countless people relax and enjoy the woods, nature and create wonderful family memories. Yet in this business you cannot please everyone. Occassionally I hear that we have not met the expectations of a guest. It affects me greatly. It’s even harder when the guest doesn’t talk to us about it. Nonetheless we attempt to learn from it, continue to try our hardest and stretch the money and our time and resources as far as possible.
By far one of the hardest elements of our this particular business is heartbreak. Because we are a small mom/pop operation, we often get to know our guests pretty well. Because the resort it our home we also have come to love our neighbors – whether they visit in the summer or live her year round. We both volunteer as EMS on the local fire department and have at times been called to assist Gunflint Trail Visitors, and heaven forbid a local resident when they are sick or injured. As time passes we hear of their ailments, battles and losses. I’m sure I’m just aging and everyone goes through this feeling as we begin to age.
Today I was reminded of how time passes seemingly unnoticed until something brings it back to our attention. Another long time resident of the Gunflint Lake area passed today – Eleanor Matsis. A lady near and dear to my heart who I can only add to a list of memories of wonderful people I’ve had the opportunity to know.
So at this season of Thanksgiving Season I want to take a moment to thank all of you – friends, relatives, guests, neighbors, visitors, aquaintances and even the unhappy guests. I have learned from you all and promise to continue to strive to become a better person because of the good the bad and the ugly experiences you have helped me live.
If you stop by the resort sometime – check-out the photograph of ” Gunflint Raspberries” hanging in the resort bathroom. It was given to me this past spring by a friend who now owns Eleanor’s cabin here on Gunflint. I was thrilled to get it and be able to share a piece of her passion and history. She loved the Gunflint Trail and all it had to offer.
Rest in Peace Eleanor - I will remember you!