Hello from Wilderness Bay! We are currently experiencing snowmageddon with a side of 50 mph winds!! I don’t think I have ever seen anything like what we are witnessing today(Sunday, Feb 25). I may have as a child growing up in Minnesota, but it didn’t concern me, so I don’t remember. Well it concerns me today!!
While the power is still on, I thought I would take some time to blog. Let me just tell you that I have so much blogging material from the shenanigans of the last three weeks, it’s not even funny. It might be someday, I realize this.
Three weeks ago today, Dan went on a snowmobile trip with his lifelong friend Mike and a few buddies from High School. It was super bowl Sunday. I got a call Monday am, (I had crawled back into bed as my work had been cancelled due to an ice storm,) Dan says, “let me just start by saying, I had a blast last night….” I knew this convo was going to go south with that opener. He proceeded to tell me he had been in a snowmobile accident .. and rolled his sled… and hurt his shoulder. His buddy had reassured him that night that his collar bone couldn’t be broken because he knows guys that have “pissed themselves” from the pain of a clavicle fracture. Well Dan did not urinate in his bibs but he was up all night with “pain sweats.”
He slept sitting up in the recliner on night two. As any good nurse wife would do, I checked on him at 3am. He was awake in pain and said “I know it’s broken,I can feel the bone moving.” Let me remind you, I was a surgical nurse for much of my career and have been in 100’s of orthopedic cases where there were saws and other power tools involved and it didn’t phase me. Why, I ask you ,did I have to sit down, upon hearing this , to stop myself from passing out cold? When it’s one of my own, I can’t handle it. He had significant bruising and swelling and I googled “clavicle fracture” and the picture looked just like my poster child for clavicle fracture husband.
I finally got him to go to clinic for an x-ray to prove to him it was indeed busted. I said, well now that you know it’s fractured, call Mike and tell him at least you didn’t “piss your pants.” Dan has now had his RIGHT arm in a sling for 3 weeks. Needless to say,I’ve had to step up my game here at the resort.
Last week Dan and I came down with some plague. Fever, cough, sore throat, felt like a ton of work to stand up. We are never both sick at the same time.. Of course he was sicker than me, lol. He really was, he didn’t smile for two days, it was horrible. I told him, when he was feeling better, I would imitate what he’s like when he’s sick, especially at night. I got a report, at 3am, of how many blankets he needed to stay warm due to his fever. Mind you, I had a fever too, lol. But any hoo, there are two people who can’t both be sick at the same time, parents and business owners.
Let’s just say this has been a very trying week. We have had a full resort this weekend and want our guest to have the best experience possible. This is their vacation. It’s not their fault that we are sick and have three arms, they deserve the best. Hopefully we’ve still made that happen for them.
Top Five Favorite Days
Not only is it snowing, the wind is howling and has no mercy. Today has been one of my top five favorite days as a resort owner… Here’s why. We have a full resort, yay!! The power continues to flicker off for short periods..boo. We have a generator for the main lodge but not to all the cabins. All of our guest, (including 15 HS kids from the Menominee HS Fishing Team,) will all be fast friends by the end of the night. It is possible that we have to set up make shift beds downstairs for our renters. I personally would like to sleep between the saltines and the Prego in our store. UGH!!
The other fun part of the day is we had to go out in this blizzard and clear the snow around the furnace vents on the roof. We didn’t want our guest to get asphyxiated while enjoying their stay here at Wilderness Bay.
Did I mention the wind is blowing at approximately 50 mph?? The snow was poking our eyeballs and our cheeks like little razor blades. It took us 20 minutes to walk 10 feet. Both of our dogs were trying to help us, Stu on Dan’s heals, Bo on mine following on the path we trudged, they both looked like little polar bears. At one point, BoBo, who really is the size of a small bear now, scaled a fence. He was stuck in a snow drift and it was the only way to get out. He was like an Olympic athlete, a surge of adrenaline hit him when he realized there was no food in this snow drift, he knew he had to get out.
We all felt the adrenaline of the storm and took on super powers that we didn’t know we had. We were walking through four foot snow drifts. I needed one of those orange flags attached to me so you could see me in the drifts, ya know, the kind they put on scooters?
We also had to go get the biggest heaviest ladders I have ever seen in my life. Where the hell did we get this thing?? I have never seen it before in my life. Dan is trying to lift the ladder out of a snow drift with one arm, his weak arm… I got this adrenaline rush and picked the thing up and started dragging it .. Dan (who also has laryngitis, ) is yelling at me to stop. He sounds like a little school girl with his no voice trailing in the howling wind. There is no stopping me.. in the snow carrying a ladder, near tears..my dad would say, days like this build character!
In our teamwork of handling this million foot roof scraper that’s bending and blowing like a wet spaghetti noodle, we managed to knock the top off the furnace pipe. I am not a genius when it comes to this type of thing, but even I knew, this was not good, we couldn’t leave it like this with snow falling into that pipe. I felt like we were on an episode of survivor but with no million dollar prize at the end!
Me, clad in my shin length winter coat, Juls snow pants, my bog rain boots and driving gloves, crawled my ass up that ladder I spoke of earlier. I am terrified of heights.. I don’t care, I push on, I didn’t even give a rats ass if I fell at this point, I would land in a snow drift. There was no stopping me from this mission. Snow cleared, pipe reattached, made it down safely.. next?? There’s nothing this dynamic duo with three arms can’t handle.
Dan has been snow blowing on the John Deer tractor with snow blower attached to it all day. He’s a one-armed snowblower in a blizzard, those are hard to find. I think we need some “bigger equipment” for this task as one of our guest suggested today. Dan says it works just fine.
It had a little mishap today and would only blow snow to the right.. you should see the right side of the resort right now, it’s buried. This just in! Dan fixed the snow blower!! He had me set a timer for one hour for him to go out in the garage to fix it, as he had been out the entire day and was time to eat and he needed to rest. He came back with seven minutes to spare. A victory for Dan! He so needed one. I am so proud of him when he accomplishes stuff like this.
The following is a little impromptu blog by our cat Regis Malcom Velvet Knuckles Hance
I bet you are worried because I haven’t mentioned our septic system yet! Well, it’s still a work in progress. Not finished. There is no way to find the trenches etc at this point with the snow. Our season is quickly approaching and we have been assured it will be wrapped up soon. I pray about it a lot… God is so sick of hearing about my shit, lol.
Our daughter Jen and son in law Mike and our grandkids Amy and Cal came last weekend with their friends to stay in a cabin and snowmobile. They enjoyed the cabin but the snowmobiling experience was less than fun. Ended up with a sled having to be towed in off the lake. Apparently the snowmobile didn’t survive the crash any better than Dan did. It was great having the kids here. We had good quality time with grandkids. They are so stinkin’ cute. Amy is a hysterical little kid and so very sweet. Cal, aka, “Cheeks Magoo” is a snuggler and really a laid back baby.
We went snow tubing at Gogebic Community college which was so much fun! Our friends Melissa and Bob came with some friends kids and we had a blast! We didn’t realize Amy was too small to snow tube, but no worries! Papa to the rescue. They went out on a tiny hill and Papa let Amy throw snow balls at his butt. She loves to “get him.” Juls was a trooper, she frequently will get excited to do something but then not do it when we get there. But she did it we only had one tiny mishap as her tube got separated from the tow rope and she slid sideways down into a ditch. Mom to the rescue! I love it when she’s willing to try new things and giggle her head off!!
Speaking of Juls, she lost her cell phone and thought maybe a girl at her place of residence stole it. Well, long story short, she called 911. The staff member came out of the bathroom to find two members of law enforcement in the hallway. The phone has never been found. We are not sure what happened to it. Juls is taking this independence seriously! “I don’t need to talk to mom and dad about it, I’ll call the police.” It’s funny now….wasn’t at the time, like most things. Ahh, I never know what each new day will bring.
Menominee HS Fishing Team
As I mentioned earlier, we have the honor of having the “Menominee HS Fishing Team” here. This group of kids raised money through holding fish fries to pay for their trip here. They are hard core. Up at the crack of dawn ready to buy their bait for the day. It has been nice to see a nice group of young men and women doing something so positive and are so polite.
They even have a Fish Team trailer!! I remember growing up, the big schools had those cool trailers and I don’t even think our much smaller catholic HS had a trailer for the marching band. If I recall, I think I had to carry my flute in a station wagon with fake paneling on it. Isn’t it cool they had their own trailer? They fancy!! They raised money for that too!! The trailer is to carry the ‘big ones” they catch back home.
Special Memories Made at Wilderness Bay
Some other exciting news that happened here at Wilderness Bay! We had a young couple, Jim and Emily, get engaged while staying right here at WB!! Such a sweet couple. I was at work and missed it when they came into the store for some pics and told Dan how it all went down. Dan sent me pics and I zoomed in on the diamond.. nice work Jim!! This is why we love what we do here… That was really cool for us! I hope they come here year after year to celebrate their anniversary and who knows, they might bring their kids here someday!!
Guests who’ve become friends/family
We have had some of our summer guest come stay with us this winter!! The Becker/Babbitt clan and the Marinellis (along with Hawk and Cami) came for a snow mobile trip. It was so nice to have them. We consider them not only our customers but now our friends. We love chattin’ with them catching up on what their kids are up to etc. They always have such kind words and we can feel how much they want us to succeed. It’s like having a little piece of family out here in the Northwoods.
Outpouring of love and support
The outpouring of love from our friends since Dan’s injury has been so humbling. We had friends from Iowa come one weekend just to help us. Our friends here have dropped everything and come over to help with no questions asked. Just now, I looked out the window and Denver from The Arrows Resort is helping to plow our driveway. Dan HATES ask for help, even when I lovingly tell him we need it, ok not so lovingly… There are still good people in the world and we are blessed beyond measure to be surrounded by good friends and neighbors. One of my favorite mantras is “Be the good..” I want to take this moment to thank all of those that have helped us for “being the good..” We are grateful for your help.
I think that is it for now. We are spending the day digging out. Today is a new day, what difference a day makes. Thank you as always for reading about our adventures. We appreciate that you take the time to read this blog. It is a great way to connect with human spirit. Thanks for spending part of your day with us here at Wilderness Bay, we truly appreciate you.
Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort is a family oriented facility located in Watersmeet, Michigan on Thousand Island Lake within the Cisco chain of lakes. We offer snowmobiling and ice fishing in the winter months and game fishing for muskie, northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, crappie and bluegill in the spring, summer and fall months. We offer waterfront cabins, snowmobiles, boat rental, a candy shop and convenience store where you can purchase hunting and fishing licenses. W
e pride ourselves on being family oriented with the desire to a place that you will call your home away from home. New owners Dan and Laura Hance are excited for this opportunity. Dan comes to this resort with thirty years of experience within the hospitality field and Laura will continue nursing with over twenty five years of knowledge and experience within the health care field. Dan and Laura want their love for people, their work ethic and combined talents to make Wilderness Bay their dream come true. We look forward to hearing from you!