Archive for the ‘Bearskin Lodge’ Category

Unheard of in this economy — a price that is going down

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Every cabin or lodge at Bearskin has its prime season, a time of year when its invariably booked solid. Oddly, it’s not the same for all of them.  The lodge units fill up slowly during the summer, but during ski season in January and February they are by far the most popular.  Cabin 4 fills up with fishermen in May and June, and cabin 2 is always busy during honeymoon seasons. Cabins 1 – 11 are booked nonstop during summer, but then Cabins 9,10, and 11 continue to be reserved a year ahead for autumn.  Bearskin was designed to have the perfect cabins for each unique season.

Traditionally Bearskin sets the final winter rates in October.  We aren’t done figuring them out yet, but as anyone could guess in this economy, the increasingly high costs of the fuel and electricity for this winter concern us greatly.  Bearskin is the finest ski destination in the Upper Midwest, but that experience of living and skiing in a winter paradise requires a lot of energy use.  We’ve discussed closing some cabins, fuel surcharges and all sorts of options we don’t like, without settling on anything but this:  it’s foolish to heat unused cabins over the winter — either close them or encourage people to enjoy them.

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Wildlife Bob

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Bob saw an unexpected sight today on the porch of cabin 11 — a Fisher.

No, not a fisherman, although those are an unexpected sight lately, also, during our cold snap. What Bob found in the screen porch was an elusive, medium-sized member of the weasel family known as the Fisher.  Similar to a Pine Marten, but quite a bit bigger, it is very rare to spot a Fisher, muchless see one on a cabin porch.  Pine martens can routinely be lured onto decks and porches, especially in Lodges 1-4.  One of the fun guest games lately is to leave an apple out on a lodge deck and wait for the pine marten to come and take it.  But the glossy brown fur of Fisher is rarely glimpsed at Bearskin, always in a “What was that dark brown animal I just saw slipping into the woods?” way.   We’re not sure why this Fisher ended up on the Cabin 11 porch, but they are aggressive predators of smaller mammals.  Maybe the red squirrels down by cabins 9-11 who routinely munch on porch window screens lured the Fisher in.

It was actually a very good animal day for Bob, who is legendary for his  inability to spot any wildlife, ever.  While standing on the the lodge front steps this morning, a Nuthatch flew around him.  When Bob held out his hand, the Nuthatch landed in his palm. For just a moment Bob thought, “Ah, this is the life of a lodge owner.” Then the bird flew away and Bob returned to the real life of a lodge owner, which has more to do with water leaks, septic systems and propane tanks than wildlife magically appearing on an outstretched hand.

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Our great guests: What’s your Bearskin story?

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Today I was reminded, yet again, of what an amazing group of guests Bearskin Lodge is blessed to have.  Every day at Bearskin we are surrounded by happy, contented people.  Whether they are out on the ski trails, riding in the dog sled, eating a fine Chez Jude meal or Ryan’s special chili, snuggling up with a book by the fire, or laughing uproariously with a group of friends in a lodge, guests at Bearskin all seem to enjoy themselves. You could do far worse than to work at a place where everyone thanks you for the nice time they just had.

We are finishing up our 4th winter at Bearskin.  Each season presents unique challenges on the Gunflint Trail, but winter is by far the toughest.  There are ski trails to groom, roads to plow, steps and paths to keep clear and sanded, cars and trucks to start, cabins to keep warm, and water to keep running — no small challenge when it snows constantly and routinely gets to -20 degrees.

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1.24.11 Windy night, drifty day

Monday, January 24th, 2011
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It started snowing hard yesterday afternoon, then the wind blew wildly all evening. The air is still filled with tiny sparkling flakes. The total accumulation wasn't great, but there are massive drifts here and there. (Addendum after grooming:  Quinn reports that there was a much greater accumulation of snow than we first guessed, especially at higher elevations such as on Bear Cub.)  

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Living the Dream — the Sequel

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

Not long after we bought Bearskin Lodge in 2007, we posted a blog about buying a resort to "live the dream."  As an example of how idyllic resort life truly is, we included this picture of Bob heading down into a septic system while assorted paid maintenance people stood by and watched.

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Do your “last minute” shopping the easy way at Bearskin

Monday, December 13th, 2010

I spent all day Saturday and Sunday on the internet, futilely attempting to do our family’s holiday shopping online. Shopping was a total failure — everything I attempted to buy online was gone. Once upon a time it was not considered to be “last minute shopping” until December 24th, but now by mid-December stores are sold out of everything. I’m not emotionally ready to start shopping in October, but to preserve what remains of my sanity I should learn to start earlier in the future.

If you’re in the same spot with your gift buying options, maybe a gift from Bearskin would help out.  The easiest gift is a Bearskin gift certificate.  You can purchase one in any amount over the phone.  The certificate is attractive and can be used to buy lodging or gifts at Bearskin.   It’s a straightforward, much appreciated option.

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Let the ski season begin!

Friday, November 26th, 2010
Cabin 2, after the snow

 Wow, it's November 26th and it is already real winter on the Gunflint Trail.  When the Twin Cities was hit with 12 inches of snow earlier in the month, Bearskin received only about 5 inches.  It gave us a wintery appearance, and was enough to give us a start on preparing ski trails, but it wasn't enough snow to get excited about.  A few inches of additional snow fell sporadically after that, just enough to require repetitive shoveling.

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November: not quite winter, not quite fall

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

November is an odd month on the Gunflint Trail.  Nobody quite knows what to expect in November, other than that it will be very, very quiet up here. 

 I never quite know how to categorize November.  Bearskin has a with pictures labeled by their dates.  November can look like this:

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A disconcerting afternoon

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

A large percentage of Bearskin Blogs include a line that goes something like this:  "Then the power went out."

This story is no exception.  It was a relatively slow fall afternoon, when unexpectedly the usual background sound mix of computers, coolers, refrigerators, fluorescent lights, and monotonous lodge music abruptly stopped.  A  sudden deeper silence is always the first sign of a power outage, followed shortly by the fading whistle of alarms reluctantly relinquishing their electrical connection. 

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Congratulations, Curtis!

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

If you've ever been out in a boat with Bearskin's fishing guide, Curtis Blake, you can now say that you took fishing lessons from a master fisherman. Curtis, along with his teammate Jon Dircks, took first place in a Cabela's Masters Walleye Circuit fishing tournament on August 22nd .   Curtis and Jon "brought a monster 19.70-pound basket to the scale," according to the to win the "walleye fest" at the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s Western Division stop on Devils Lake.  More info at:   and

 The contest offered an $11,000 first place check, so Curtis is understandably pleased about the outcome.  It's going to be much tougher to expect him to work for peanuts now at Bearskin. @@

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