We are open for business as of May 1st!!  Our customers have already been stopping in which is nice.  Sadly, some of our customers who were wanting bait for the Wisconsin fishing opener and we didn’t have it yet.  Our bait guy came last week so we are selling fatheads like crazy for the Michigan opener!!  In fact, we actually sold out of them in three days!  We hate to turn people away, with their head down and empty minnow buckets. Most people have been understanding and we are thankful for their patience. 

Snow is finally gone and the lake is open!

There were still a few mounds of snow around up to last week. When I pulled in the driveway from work the other day, I saw Dan cruisin’ down on the John Deere with the snow blower! He wanted to try and break this glacier down that we have in front of the Loon cabin…. it’s like Chinese food, you shovel and snow blow and it doesn’t look like you made a dent in it.   He finally shoveled the snow onto our trailer and dumped it in our “Rootbeer River”.  Take THAT Winter!! 

Our lake ice went out earlier this year than last! Last year we had ice out on 5/9, this year it was 4/29! We did a little happy dance when it finally left. Just days before our bay was full of little icebergs. I think it is so cool how quickly it goes when it does go.  Just the week prior, it looked like it was gonna hang on … that makes us nervous as we have guest coming to stay, ready to fish!!! But we are ready!!

Thousand Island Lake after ice out at Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort

Docks and boats are in!

Dan has been out testing his mushy muscles! After his clavicle injury this winter, he was out of commission for a long time. He’s hittin’ the ground running this Spring. There is a lot to do around here! Two weekends ago, along with the help of our good friend Pat Manns, he got two docks in!! The following week his buddy Bob McGuffin helped with the other two.  Then Dan went to help put in McGuffins, Manns and two other friends docks.  The boats went in shortly after.  We go from being stagnant to full bore!  We are soo blessed to have made some great friends up here!

Dan and Bob McGuffin work on docks at Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort Dan and Bob McGuffin work on docks at Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort Dan and Bob McGuffin work on docks at Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort Dan and Bob McGuffin work on docks at Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort

Oh brother…..another septic update!

Good news, the septic system is in and 100% functional. No more “if it’s yellow let it mellow…”Bad news… it looks like we were bombed on the lake side of the resort. Another little detail… the 50 feet of snow we got this winter has melted, and the spring has brought some April showers and May showers as well. We have mud and lots of it!! Stu thinks this whole project was done just for him!! He’s like “thanks mom and dad for this awesome mud pit you installed, you shouldn’t have spent so much money on it just for me!”  Dan spends part of every day trying to minimize the impact on our guests.  

We are thrilled to have the install part almost behind us.  This was a six figure plus project, which was a huge investment to better Wilderness Bay. Since this project was so huge for us, we have not taken on many other new updates to report this spring. One thing at a time, little by little adding to our dream.

Snow melting at Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort Septic System Construction Restoration at Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort Septic Install at Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort

Working to reduce impact on guests

We are committed to making this place great again.  Now it’s time to start the clean up and restoration of the beautiful lake side part of the resort. We will get there, it is going to take some time, man power and grass seed,   but we WILL get it lookin’ good again.. asap.

We sent an email to the guests who are coming to stay with us in May and June explaining the condition of the resort. It’s sickening to us to see our resort like this and we wanted to give them a heads up before they got here so they could call with questions or concerns. We take such pride on keeping our place looking good. Thanks to our great customers and friends, we were humbled by many who were so understanding. Our guests really have become like family and I feel like they have shown us nothing but love and support for our business and what we are trying to do here. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for understanding. This project has been a long haul and you guys have been hearing about it for the last year and a half!!

Ready to party?

We really want to have a septic system is finished party. Of course it will need a great name, like “Who gives a shit at Wilderness Bay,” or “Welcome to the Shit Show.”  I think there should be        t-shirts too that say, “I took the first dump at Wilderness Bay.” This septic system will laugh when our resort is full of all guys, eatin’ fried food and drinkin’ beer for a week straight. It’ll be a drop in the bucket for it to handle. We won’t have to have the tanks pumped twice during the week they’re here. In all seriousness though, we are proud to have taken on this project that was done to improve our guest experience and protect the environment, and almost lived through the stress of it all. I am not sure what Dan and I will talk about when this is all complete!

Cisco Lake Bar opens!

Big news in the neighborhood is the Cisco Bar is open under new ownership! Kirsten and Jim Bohem are off and running with the bar. Dan went over on opening day to welcome them to the chain. He got all “Martha Stewart” and made a really cute welcome candy bouquet all on his own without any of my always offered advice!! Wilderness Bay supports them wholeheartedly and we are so excited to have another business on the chain with good people!!! We are a partnership, a little community of small businesses working together, helping each other out to carry out our dreams and make the Cisco Chain even more fun and inviting.

Dan with Kirsten and Jim Boehm at Cisco Lake Resort Great burger at Cisco Lake Resort Candy Bouquet for Cisco Lake Resort from Wilderness Bay

Welcome Melissa!

We have a new employee to tell you about! Part of our Wilderness Bay family has left us this year to pursue another job.  Tricia is no longer with us and we were devastated when she told us the news. She was a HUGE part of our success and helped in our store and cleaned our cabins for us.  Our customers loved her and we did too. She is still our dear friend and we thank her for all she did to help us.  She will be missed tremendously.

After she told us the news, Dan and I were wondering where to go from here, who would we find that could do as good of job as Tricia? I felt like Eyore.. all doom and gloom about it.  Dan and one of good friends Melissa McGuffin were discussing our loss and Dan was going to ask her if she had any ideas of who she might know that we could hire.  Melissa said “I would love that job!” Are you kidding me? It was like winning the lottery we were so excited!! This truly is a blessing not only for Dan and me but for Wilderness Bay. 

Melissa knows and loves the Cisco Chain. She and her hubby Bob live on the chain and were actually the first ones to welcome us on the day we moved in. We have since become great friends.  Melissa is organized, has excellent customer service skills, is creative (and has tons of fresh ideas,) and wants to help us be successful. We were on cloud nine when she accepted the position. We are excited for our guest and customers to meet her!

Melissa McGuffin joins Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort

The Beaver is Back

In nature news. The beaver is back… Dan said he wanted to shoot him.  He doesn’t want to pay anyone to trap it. Every day I ask him how the beaver shooting is coming along. Like he has time to sit out there and wait for a beaver sighting. “The Beaves..”  has caused mass destruction. He has “girdled “two trees, (to add insult to injury,) and taken down a few good size trees. I might just shoot him myself. 

A beaver trapper showed up and Dan talked him into helping us with our little “Justin Beaver” situation.  Unfortunately, now that the lake is open again, “The Beav” has moved on.  There is a strategy forming to start trapping next year before the ice is out.  While I was taking the dogs out to do their business, watching the raging stream we have in our front yard, pondering how my day might go at work, I HEARD A LOON!!! And all was right with the world.

Beaver Damage at Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort Beaver Damage at Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort Beaver Damage at Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort

National Institute of Health

We took a little trip to The National Institute of Health in April. Juls is taking part in a 10 year research program on people with William’s Syndrome. She and Dan who was a “voluntary control patient” went through a battery of tests. Juls and Dan were troopers, MRI, ultrasounds, blood draws etc. We feel strongly that we partake in this study to help improve the lives of others with William Syndrome.

We stayed right there on the campus at an incredible place called “The Children’s Inn.” They went above and beyond to make us feel comfortable during our stay. They have a game room, art studio, snacks everywhere, bingo with fabulous prizes, volunteers to cook us dinner.  I almost didn’t come back. It was a really cool experience, people from all over the world were there. I am proud of Juls and Dan for making this world a better place.

Juls from Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort completes eye exam at NIH The Children's Inn at National Institute of Health Playhouse at Children's Inn - NIH Juls has fun at Children's Inn after a day of testing at NIH

Drew’s Mystery Hour

We have gotten to do some other traveling during the month of April. Many of you know our son, Drew who worked for us our first season.  He now lives in Minneapolis and has a show called “Drew’s Mystery Hour.” He performs at the brewery he works at. I don’t even know how to explain it to you but it is hilarious. He has a passion for performing and he’s good at it. Our daughter Jen and her hubby Mike surprised him and came from Dekalb IL. The big sister love runs deep.

Drew Hance at Drew's Mystery Hour Drew's Mystery Hour in Minneapolis, MN

Family time…

Getting to see our grandkids always fills our hearts. We stopped along the way to see my parents in Rochester MN.  The annual Easter Egg hunt was fun. My dad who is now 86 years old, has been doing this bunny thing for several years now.  It never fails, he forgets where he hides them!! Once when I was little we found an egg in the piano, months later! It brought back some fond memories. Now he’s hiding eggs for his great grandchildren. My mom had the table all decorated for Easter. I love those two and know where I got my strong sense of family… We are so blessed that both my parents are alive and kickin’.  I wish the whole world could meet them.

Dan from Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort with grandson Cal Juls and Amy ready for Easter Egg Hunt! Four Generations with Polly and Gumbo, Laura's Parents

Little bit of respite for us!

We also took some time for just the two of us for the first time in 17 years. I was craving warm wind and waves. My sweet husband started looking at a place to ease my craving. We took a four day weekend and went to Siesta Key Florida. The soft white sandy beaches, and the sound of the waves is just what we needed.  Our biggest decision was when to leave the beach and where to eat. We even read books! I’ve been on page 4 of a book I got for my birthday two years ago! It is important for our relationship and the resort to get away when we get to refuel. I was so grateful for that little get away.

Dan and Laura of Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort in Florida Laura and Dan from Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort in Florida

I think that ‘s it for now. It was nice sitting out here on the front porch, breeze blowing, writing this. I can hear the pine trees blowing in the wind, and the stream is babbling. The birds are out chirping away and an eagle soared above close to the resort this am. We are excited for you to get here to experience this!

Thank you as always for reading this. We are entering our third season! Thank you for your continued support and love. Without you we couldn’t carry out our dream.





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