A group of guests checking out today commented that they had seen fewer animals than usual on this trip to Bearskin. We think that may be because all the animals have been gathered up and loaded onto a big wooden ark. It has rained…and rained.. and rained.
Remember that terrible drought last summer? It’s way over.
Sue Prom wrote in her blog (one of my favorite blogs: http://www.boundarywatersblog.com/?item=breaking-records) that we’re setting rainfall records. That certainly is evident here at Bearskin. Rumor has it that Bearskin Lake has not been this high since 1976. Many of our docks are flooded. The beach is gone. The beachside swing, which used to be at least 20 feet from the shore, is in the water. We had a family bonfire planned for Saturday night in the old lakeside firepit. Friday morning the firepit looked high & dry; by Saturday night the pit was surrounded by the lake. (We still had a great bonfire in another spot, and even heard wolves howling and a bull moose bellowing–probably begging to be rescued by that big wooden ark.)
Water has risen up close enough to the big staff house that the building is on the verge of becoming a house boat. Earlier this week Bob set a large rock at the edge of the water line that is lapping at the big staff house. Every few hours we go peer at the rock and discuss which way the water has moved. On Thursday and Friday he had to move the rock closer to the staff house every few hours; today the water may have moved back a fraction of an inch. Maybe.
We don’t have to tell you that for newbies in the resort business, this is pretty worrisome. But on a positive note, we were nearly full for MEA vacation and in spite of the incessant rain and rising lake level, people seemed to have a great time. It may have helped that our fabulous employee Adde put on some enticing children’s activities that kept kids and their parents entertained in spite of the rain.
But Bearskin guests also seem to be a resilient bunch. They were out hiking in the rain or fishing in the wind, and when they’d had enough of the uncooperative weather, some great pie-baking, hors d’œuvre-making and cribbage playing occurred.
On the plus side, our guests loved how beautiful the rock formations were along the north shore because of the water pouring out of every crack and crevice. Every creek, stream and river looks like it has class 5 rapids. All the water is really quite beautiful, at least if you aren’t the one worrying about your staff house floating away. Well worth a worth a visit — but bring your rubber boots, raincoat and pie-baking supplies, just in case!
More high water pictures at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bearskinlodge/