Friday, February 12, 2010

Another Week

Bruce and I ran off to Missouri this last weekend. It was Grandson Zach’s 10th birthday. He is growing too fast. The top of his head is over my shoulder now. Don’t anyone write and ask me where Zach’s picture is. You know how terrible I am about taking pictures. Right now he looks pretty funny because there is a green cast on his right hand from his arm pit to his knuckles. He fell into someone while running backwards. Zach is now learning how to eat with his left hand. Because of the bend in his cast, any food he tries to get into his mouth with the right hand ends up on his left shoulder. The best news is that it was a clean break and he is healing well.

We missed a very busy weekend at the lodge. Don Decker had three dog teams up giving guests rides. Here is a picture of one of the runs on the lake. They also had runs in the woods. By the end of the weekend the dogs were pooped. It is truly amazing how those dogs love to run. When you start to hook them up to the sled, every one of them is barking, “Don’t forget me! I’m over here.”

In addition to all the dog team activities the local snowmobile club had a fun run up the Trail with stops at several places. I understand we had some riders also stay for lunch. The dining room and kitchen staff were kept fairly busy for part of the afternoon.
This weekend looks like it is going to be really busy. The cabins are full. I can already hear fishermen going out on the lake. In addition to our guests there will be lots of visitors in for lunch. The entire staff gets into it when we are this busy. The lodge just hums. We are very lucky to have a group of people working for us who get as excited as Bruce and I do when there are guests all over the place. It is just more fun when it’s busy.

While the lodge is serving meals, our construction crew is busy on Cabins #26 and #27. I took a picture today of Jordy Kirk in #27. Jordy is heading up the construction crew and doing a wonderful job. Those of you who stayed in old #27 need to take a look at the windows in new #27. The view of the lake is stupendous. Also the living room and kitchen are so bright and cheery.

On Wednesday Bonnie and Sheryl are going to Duluth to order furniture. They have their list and they will be checking it twice. Some salesperson is going to be very happy to see them. There will be a lot of furniture in those two units. We have also been talking with Jeff Boutin who does our carpet for us. This time the cabins will be getting 18” squares of carpet. It will be a different look but you will really like it.

So life moves along here at Gunflint.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

What Shall I Write Today?

A new piece of furniture arrived on Sunday for the main lodge. It is a new buffet for our coffee service. This picture does not do it justice. The wood is white pine, red pine, birch bark and black spruce. It was hand made by a small company in Two Harbors. They delivered it and put it together for us. Heaven help anyone who spills anything on it!

If you are not up here now, you are missing some of the most beautiful days and nights this winter. The last storm has left lots of snow hanging on the branches of our trees. The full moon is just reflecting off of all this snow. People are just out walking and soaking in all the beauty. Even looking out my office window, I can’t get over how wonderful everything looks.
Wolves are still coming around regularly. Yesterday Bruce and I looked out our kitchen window only see some scat left by a wolf during the night. I can’t say that I am out to get wolves because they kill deer. It is all part of the pecking order in nature. This year (both summer and winter) we have suddenly had a great increase in wolf sightings. You know they will not hurt you. There is, however, something deep within us that shudders when we see a wolf.
As you might guess, sometimes I run out of things to say. Today is one of those days. I’m wondering what Justine might have done today. It just so happens that I have a diary that Justine kept during the winter of 1936-37. I don’t know why she kept it as we have no other diary of hers. The guess is that she kept it because people were always asking what she did all winter. So here is what she wrote:

Wed, 2/3/37 Parade in evening & went with Bub & Ed & Wanda to hear Rudy Valee & see the queen picked & crowned. Met Steven & went to their house to see their movies of the north
Thurs, 2/4/37 The day of the Hook En Cow shindig – we did not go down, aired the dogs & did some errands. Out to Ed’s folks for supper.
Fri, 2/5/37 Parade in evening
Sat, 2/6/37 Contacted Bradley & aired the dogs – Final parade in evening. Went to St. Paul Hotel to meet Paul
Sun, 2/7/37 Drove back from St. Paul with all the puppies & sled in a small blizzard – Only had to air the dogs once – Had lunch in Duluth

The background is the Bill and Justine were invited down to bring their dog team to march in the parades for the St. Paul Winter Carnival. They were paid a modest amount but really needed the money. The only way they could transport the dogs was in their small car. I seem to remember that the dogs wanted to fight quite a bit in the car. It must have been like bringing three teenagers..

Of course, the dogs were not used to being in the city. They wanted to go lots faster than the parade was going. Luckily Mom had thought this might happen. She had run the team the previous day to try to tire them out. The only place she could find to run them was in one of the St. Paul cemeteries – no traffic in there and lots of roads. They left on Sunday to go home. I think all were glad to get back in the woods.