Often quieter than the rest of the lake due to the shelter from the trees, the north end is home to two beaver houses, two loons nests, and on occasion, some good fishing. The sight of a small, fuzzy loon chick is not uncommon in the early days of June. I took this photo at the public access in the early spring, before the landing dock had been put in. The lake is clearest this time of year, with the clarity reading (more info on how this is found) often reaching 20-30’. This north woods oasis is, by far, my favorite part of the lake.
The Dancing Lake. June 14, 2012
Yesterday began early. It was sunny and the air was crisp; almost like fall, instead of the end of spring. The sunlight beckoned me, reaching into my cozy room above the lodge.
Boot Lake danced as the sun’s tendrils struck it. It was if thousands of Fourth of July sparklers were bouncing off the water.
The birds greeted the day with their chatter. Occasionally, a loon announced its presence with its mournful song.
As the day wore on sounds of Half Moon Trail guests enjoying the outdoors filled the resort. From the carpet ball game across the way, there were shouts and cheers.
Children splashed in the water, parents calling out to them.
During the night the sound of raindrops penetrated my consciousness as I slept.
Not surprisingly, I awoke hours later than yesterday. There was no sun peeking through the blinds to raise me from my slumber. Instead there are raindrops cascading down my window. The lake is flowing, not dancing.
Forecasters predict strong storms, so it will be an inside play day at Half Moon Trail.
Vacation memories can take many forms. We can relax with a book or engage in indoor competitions with checkers or board games. That’s good for the mind and good for the soul.
The weather hasn’t fazed the birds, though. There is a reason we refer to “early birds.” They greeted the day right on schedule, along with the loons.
Caryn Sullivan has been here for a couple days this week. Here is her blog post written on June 13.
Last summer I invited my friend Kelly to join me for a getaway to Half Moon Trail. Kelly is always up for an adventure, so I expected an unequivocal “yes” response.
Instead, she countered with “Can we bring the boys?”
The boys (my Chuck and her Cooper) are cousins. They have deep brown eyes and soft white hair. They love their play dates more than anything (except, perhaps, their mamas).
They romp and run, pant and nibble each other’s ears for hours.
Then they collapse into exhaustion-induced naps.
Our boys were born in the same litter two years ago. They are English Golden Retrievers who think they have green thumbs.
They dig. And they dig. Often, my backyard looks like a combat zone.
So when Kelly asked if we could bring the boys, I quickly explained the resort has a “no pets” policy. You’ll understand when we get there, I told her.
When we drove into the resort, Kelly understood immediately. The grass is lush and well manicured. The gardens are free of weeds and full of colorful displays of assorted annuals and perennials. The thought of our boys set loose in the expansive green grass, the ferns and the flowers was almost criminal.
A couple of weeks ago Kelly and I were preparing for our daughters’ graduation parties, to be held in our backyards. She texted me, “Cooper just destroyed a flat of impatiens.” I replied, “I counted 15 holes in my backyard.”
Graduation parties behind us, I made a quick trip to my home away from home. Yesterday, I watched the gardeners toil for hours. They painstakingly groomed and tended the flowerbeds. It was a labor of love that will continue throughout the season.
From my perch on the balcony above the lodge, I had a good chuckle this morning. Just below the bird feeders, the ladies with green thumbs had planted impatiens along with begonias, miniature evergreens and hostas.
Good thing the boys are safe at home!
Today I am excited to introduce another guest contributor, Caryn Sullivan. A professional writer and annual guest, we look forward to her participation as a contributing blog author, as she shares her experiences here as an urban professional recharging her emotional batteries!
Making Memories at Half Moon Trail. by Caryn Sullivan.
I arrived at Half Moon Trail eager to spend some time alone before a friend joined me for a few days. When I entered my cozy lakeside cabin, the silence gripped me unexpectedly. Realizing the room had no TV, I was unsettled, for I end most days with its chatter in the background. Gradually, my mind adjusted to the quiet, much as eyes adapt to sudden darkness.
Throughout my getaway, two thoughts poked away at me like the woodpecker on the tree outside my cabin. Become one with nature. Live in the moment.
I’d packed these sentiments, shared by others, along with my clothing, books, and toiletries. They proved difficult to honor, though, as I remained bound to home through my BlackBerry.
It’s tough to become one with nature or to live in the moment with an ever-dinging device in one’s pocket. Yet, I was unable – or unwilling – to part with it for long. The BlackBerry is my conduit to others when I feel disconnected and it’s the tool from which I manage much of my life. Sitting on the shore of the pristine lake, I allowed scheduling concerns to compete for attention with the cries of a loon and the elegance of a rare Lady Slipper on the shoreline. Becoming one with nature, I concluded, requires concentration and commitment.
I ventured outside my comfort zone and mingled with guests until my friend arrived. Rain or shine, adults were casting their lines with their kids. Guests from every generation played games inside and out. When evening arrived, grandkids roasted marshmallows for grandparents over a blazing fire.
Throughout the week, I noted how other adults were listening to the loons and the laughter of young children with an ease that should accompany a week’s respite from life back home. They had discovered the splendor of northern Minnesota and figured out how to overcome the demands of their own lives so they could enjoy it year after year. They were living in the moment.
By week’s end I had concluded that digital connections are not the things of which memories are made. Memories of time at the lake are born of fishing lines and worms, paddleboats and ping-pong competitions. The sparkle of the lake in the morning, and a walk through a rain-dampened forest with a dear friend are more unforgettable and enduring than the ding of the BlackBerry announcing the arrival of yet another email.