Friday, December 27, 2013

In Between Christmas and New Year's

Christmas was quiet at our house. Tucker, Bruce and I relaxed for most of the day. After a 1:00 dinner, we took a walk down the back road. It felt good to get out and stretch our legs. Then it was time for a short nap before Bruce beat me in three games of cribbage. All in all, it was a very relaxing day which was just what we needed.

Meanwhile December has continued to provide us with plenty of winter weather. There has been weather that is below zero. Those clear days may be cold but they are beautiful and the nights are filled with stars. Then there are the overcast days with snow coming and going. Today is one of those days. Who knows if we will get and inch or six inches?

Our guests have been enjoying all the facets of winter. It seems that just walking across the lake is the top activity. There is a little snow but no slush on the ice. Some of the days have had no wind which makes it particularly nice on the lake.

Skiers have also be making tracks on Gunflint. There is just enough snow to making skiing easy. Although the woods trails are groomed and in excellent shape, there is a certain allure to skiing across to Canada.

Winter reservations continue to come in regularly. I guess the news of great snow conditions has encouraged people to come north for a visit to the northwoods. They are not going to be disappointed.

Now that we are living in the Tucker Lake house, we commute to work each day. Our car has a thermometer in it. I have taken to watching the change in the temperature as I drive to the lodge. For some reason the coldest point is as I am driving down the hill from our scenic overlook to the turn on to South Gunflint Lake. Tucker Lakes always seems to be one of the warmest areas. Sometimes there is a 5-10 degree fluctuation as I drive along.

We have been seeing a family of moose not too far away. Going to town, they can be seen once you pass the Loon Lake Lodge sign until you get to the first Highway 92 sign. One day I saw a group of three of them. Others have seen as many as five at a time. Of course, we see them licking the salt off the road most of the time.

We are taking care of Lee and Eva’s dog Tucker for a bit. He is funny to watch. Every time you let him out, he charges through the door and starts barking. I don’t know if he actually hears something or is just generally announcing his presence. Certainly we don’t see or hear anything.. I don’t even see many tracks in the yard.

New Years is coming. Have you made your resolutions? Mine just seem to be a bunch of recycled ones.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas, 2013

Like all of you, everyone at the lodge is in the midst of last minute Christmas preparations. The other day there were two stacks of boxes for UPS. One of them was taller than I am. Everyone who gets one of those boxes will be thrilled.

Looking out my window, it snow is all over. We probably have over two feet. I have been trying to get myself out for shoveling a little at a time. Lee and Eva’s dog, Tucker, is staying with us for a bit. He loves it when I am outside. There are so many sticks for him to find. So after lunch when it is the warmest we will be out again.

When shoveling gets tiring, it’s time to go look for a Christmas tree. Bruce promises that tomorrow he will get one cut and up. Tucker and I have been looking for the perfect tree. All we need is the man with the chain saw. We have even figured out the perfect location in the living room.

The sun is streaming in my windows today. It may be cold outside but that sun warms every room is flows into. Of course, it also shows all the dirt on the windows but I don’t look.

At the lodge, Gunflint Lake is frozen. We are not walking on it and will not until Don checks to make sure the ice is thick enough. Just after Christmas he will do out in a dry suit and drill holes ever fifty feet to see how thick the ice is. We will have a good long rope tied around his waist. It is kinda like walking a dog.

The deer are also coming in for their corn handouts. It is hard to tell if there are more or less of them. Certainly the number of tracks tells us that there are lots of wolves around. Bruce saw a wolf while driving to the lodge the other day. I have seen some moose. There was a group of two females and one male on the road about 3 miles from here when I came home from town on Tuesday. The bull was kneeling down licking the ice. I saw them in plenty of time to stop and watch. Of course, my camera was at home. A snowshoe hare ran down the side road at Gunflint two days ago. He is totally white now. The birds are cleaning up on sunflower seeds. I have to fill the feeders again today.

Up at the building site, the roof should be covered tonight. That will end the snow coming in and not a minute too soon. We are supposed to get more snow over the weekend. The ski trails have been packed and will be tracked. Adam started giving dog sled rides yesterday. Everything is ready for our holiday guests.

From our family to yours we send Christmas greetings. Take a minute and be thankful for all we have.