Bald Eagles aren’t an unusual bird around here, and we see them quite frequently. However, the other day there were two Eagles and a few Black Billed Magpies on the deer carcass at the same time, about 25 yards from our front window. We typically save the deer scraps and carcass from the fall hunting season to attract wildlife. There are several different types of birds and animals that will feed off the carcass all winter, including, weasels, eagles, crows, ravens, blue jays, chickadees, and magpies.
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.
Many of you simply enjoy relaxing on the lake during your vacation, but we also know there are quite a few that like to be active! Listed below are a couple places that you may want to check out, for both on and off-road biking.
Itasca State Park (aprox. 15 min by car) – If you don’t have bikes of your own, Itasca Sports is a bike shop located in the park and rents all types of bikes, along with Burly’s if you have kids too young to ride. They recently re-paved a new 6 mile bike trail that is beautiful, but a little hilly. There is an additional 10 miles of trail that shares a one way road with vehicles, and takes you on a loop around the park. This is a very unique route with a lot of beautiful scenery.
Heartland Trail (aprox. 20 min by car) – On the contrary to Itasca, this trail is very flat and straight. This was an abandoned railroad and goes from Park Rapids up to Cass Lake, which is approximately 50 miles. Not quite as scenic as Itasca, but a very nice paved trail and goes through several small towns along the way. It’s a perfect trail to stop and have lunch in Dorset or Nevis. There is also a bike shop that rents bikes in Park Rapids if you would rather not bring your own.
Maplelag Resort (aprox 40 min by car) This is a well-known cross country ski and mountain biking resort that has almost 40 miles of trail. Many of the cross country ski trails are opened up for mountain biking use during the summer, but there are also several single track mountain bike trails. The area is fairly hilly, and provides a challenge for those looking for more of a technical ride.
Minimum Maintenance roads/snowmobile trails – (within biking distance of the resort) – Although these aren’t official biking trails, there are quite a few small roads/trails that take you through some beautiful country right around the resort. Many are snowmobile trails in the winter, or old logging roads not being used anymore. They aren’t technical or very difficult to navigate but are fun to explore and very convenient for a quick trip right from the cabin. We have cruiser bikes that are available for our guests to use free of charge if you would like to take a spin and check out the area!
After the last week of temperatures well below zero, I thought everyone would enjoy a few photos to remind us that, despite our current frozen state, summer will come once again and be delightfully warm, and full of exciting adventures at the lake!
P.S. – Thanks to Justin at Bees Knees Photography for the pictures! They are good friends of ours and we were honored to have them here this past summer to take some photographs for us. If you would like to check out some of their photos, feel free at www.bees-kneesphoto.com. For those of you who would like to see some pictures of our daughter Mabel when she was a wee tot, scroll down on the first page (of the above link) and you will find a photo of her taking a bite of avocado for the first time…quite humorous!
Companeros is coming back! In September of 2014, a devastating fire destroyed the Dorset House and Companeros restaurants in the famous little small town of Dorset, MN. Many of our guests have long standing traditions of going to these places when here on vacation and it was very sad, especially when their future was unknown.
We were very surprised and excited when, ironically, one of the friends that Liz taught school with in the Twin Cities contacted her with the news that she and her family were going to re-build! Here is a picture of Levi, Beth, and the beautiful Durgin family who will be taking over. I have also included a couple photos Liz snapped today of the building progress. If you would like more info or would like to follow along in their new adventure, here is a link to their Facebook page.
My brother Nate is home from college for winter break. This was our New Year’s day party, splitting wood for the kettle corn and s’more fires! We typically try to cut and split enough wood to stay two or three summers ahead, so it gives the wood ample time to dry. Almost all of the firewood we use comes from the resort property.
It’s amazing how much ice is made in one night with zero degree temps! With warm weather the last couple of weeks, the lake opened back up soon after our post on the 3rd, and has stayed open until last night. The steam rising off the newly formed ice, along with all the little tufts of frost made it for yet another beautiful morning by the lake!
Last week I dropped off our batch of 1200 newsletters to this little post office in Lake George. Dave and Mary tried to send their mass mailings through this post office to keep it up and running, and we plan to keep that tradition alive.
About an hour after I got home, I got a call from Flo, the gal that works at the post office. She had gone through every letter, checking for a stamp and a zip code. She told me of about a dozen zip code errors and asked if I’d like to know the correct zips so I could update them in my system. She also had stamped the unstamped envelopes, set aside the couple envelopes with no addresses, and gave me her cell phone number in case I remembered anyone I wanted to send those address-less newsletters to.
Bless her heart, and that tiny little post office up in Lake George. One of the many perks of a small town!