When I first started working in the area, summer was what it was all about. Sun, lush green woods, boating, tanning, canoeing, fishing and long sunny days on the lake. Isn’t that what everyone comes for?? Once I became more of a permanent fixture on the trail and summers we’re too busy to really relax for any length of time I turned towards fall. Wonderful sunny days, long hikes to explore the woods, no bugs, cool evenings, stupendous fall colors and wildlife! What more could you ask for? The busy rush of summer has relaxed and most of the families with school aged children were back in school so the pace slows down and we have time to breath again. But with the end of summer usually comes the end of summer staff so less chores, and less man hours to do them.
Over the past several years there has been a trend towards fall travel as guests find it’s a little more relaxed, and a little cheaper too. So as a resort owner operating a year round resort; happily falls have gotten busier! (on the flip side it means I have to work harder to find some time to enjoy the woods and wilderness).
I have always had a love/hate relationship with winter. I love winter – except when it hates me. Winter is beautiful and bright, but can be a bit isolating. Winter days are short, fresh snow is fabulous, and the still days can be a quiet bliss. But when it’s -20 and the wind is howling, or your car won’t start or we got a fabulous 10 inch snowfall and 6 cabins with walkways and/or roofs to be shoveled I sometimes wonder what I saw in winter – until the next morning when all is calm again and I remember why I love the northwood winters.
I used to view spring as an ugly time. The snowbanks are melting, there’s mud everywhere, the leaves left by the trees last fall look to be a dirty matted mess on the forest floor. Until the first rain – when the dirt washes off the floor of leaves and they turn a chestnut shade of brown against the stark white of the birch and aspen trees and the vivid green of the evergreens. Until the first sunny day – when you think it’s 3pm because the day was feeling like late afternoon and realize it’s 6:30 already. Until the birds begin to migrate, the bunnies change from white to brown, and the Ravens – yes the ravens begin their relentless 6am wakeup screams – caw, caw, caw. And then you hear the first call of the loon, and have the first campfire down by the lakeshore and watch the ice melt or even move off the lake. And you realize that you have long days, wonderful wildlife, no bugs, and that quiet northwoods all to yourself or if you’re lucky or a resorter – you have guests who come up to pitch in to make improvements around the resort in exchange for a quiet weekend away and a long wonderful spring day or two.
Of course – anyone that knows me, knows that there’s one other major reason I love spring (and late fall too) – It’s because it’s the time of year I can close the store and go out and work on improvement projects around camp. (I’m still on property if you need anything – just don’t expect the place to be presentable). The two major projects this spring are upgrading A-frame A2 – New carpet in the bedooms, some new light fixtures, new toilets and a revamp for the loft bathroom. The other project is the renovation of the marina garage. I’m sure many of you are saying – it’s about time! It’s been long on the list but I just can’t do it all at once. I’ve got a plan and a lot of you wonderful people have offered to have a hand in it! I’ll take all the help I can get and want you all to feel ownership in your home away from home here at the Pines! –
To all who have helped over the years – friends, relatives, past guests, one and all – Thank you!