Hello from Kim & Big John!
We hope this update from the northwoods finds you healthy and happy . . .
2014 will mark our 14th year here at CWC, and despite copious gray hairs and maturing
wrinkles through the seasons, we are gladdened and grateful to still be here and
going strong. We thank you for visiting briefly or repeatedly, thus becoming part of
the stewardship of this historic lodge, at this magical little spot at the headwaters of the Crow Wing lakes chain.
This last year found us more appreciative than ever of the team involved in taking care of this place: loyal and laughing cleaning staff, capable and charming brother Kris to help solve maintenance issues, hard workin’ and willin’ ex-owner/friend Terry to help with bigger projects in the off-season, and the fresh new energy of our smiling daughter Emily and son-in-law Ryan (a.k.a. ‘bracelet man’, ‘photo-guru’, or perhaps just simply ‘awesome dude’) taking over lodge duty all summer long. All these peeps are such an on-going blessing, not to mention all the conscientious guests lending a hand to help us move a dock section, enlisting kids to pick up litter, or just going the extra mile to row out and grab an abandoned paddleboat seen floating away in the wind. The community of CWC is contagious, and we witness many kindnesses from you aiding us in keeping Crow Wing Crest flourishing.
Having increasing support has allowed me to spend a little more energy in several community groups wherein my involvement can surely only help the betterment of the resort. Park Rapids hosted Governor’s Fishing Opener in 2013, and as a long-time chamber member they asked me to organize a booth for local resorts. I roped the big guy into dressing up as Paul Bunyan (not a drastic change in costume, I hafta admit . . . ) to escort me around as his ‘sweetheart’ wife, Lucette, (see photo at top) and we had a bit of fun promoting the area’s logging history. However, after the fifth time I caught Big John boasting to somebody that Crow Wing Crest was the birthplace of Paul Bunyan, I again shook my head, rolled my eyes and whispered to the avidly listening reporter, “‘no, no, it’s more accurate to say the first published story of Paul Bunyan happened in Akeley as part of a Red River Lumber Co. advertising campaign, a company which, yes, did, in fact, build our lodge in 1898”. At which point I proceeded to park my presumptuous hubbie over by the booth with a plate o’ food to keep him outta tall-tale-telling-trouble. *sigh*
After several years of tedious work as President of Lake Association, it finally reaped some tangible results this last year. I secured a grant for an aquatic vegetation control program we’ve been struggling with for awhile (and then it hit a snafu and fell through. Typical. However, chances are 99% the grant will be accepted this year now that red tape has run its course once.) We successfully partnered with three local government entities to initiate a Watercraft Inspection program on 11th Crow Wing Lake (to stop aquatic hitchhikers) at the Akeley public boat ramp. . .
. . . And most exciting for you BICYCLISTS: I begged the area MN Dot supervisor to put some attention on the narrow, graveled, rather dangerous shoulders on Highway 64 going across the lake. I’m not sure if it was persistence, the photos I snapped or the corny jokes relating experiences from years of picking up litter along that portion of road (I’m sneaky that way), but he has allocated the money and has promised to PAVE the shoulders and move the rumble strips off the fog line. It is scheduled for next June (?). (I think he was instrumentally clever in the timing of the funding request, bless him). Whatever worked, we are so very grateful – AND he said they’re not only paving the shoulders over the bridge, but all the way from our County 23 to Highway 34 (VFW). Woo hoo!
Of course, CWC is where I spend most of my attention, and all of us have been working hard on projects to improve and sustain the cabins and amenities. Here’s a few of ‘em:
- Carpenter’s Cabin #2 got a new roof
- Vutadyfor Cabin #16 got a new window in the dining area to replace the one which started to fog up during early summer last year when we had no time to repair it. (We have also measured for new carpet in the living room/bedroom.)
- CAMPERS! The upper and lower campsites are available to rent as they always have been (we sold the little camper daughter Emily & Ryan were living in this last summer, and purchased that neighboring bigger camper from departing Indiana seasonal guests.) A couple of you repeat guests are in the lower campsite as you prefer, so enjoy!
- new SHOWER in the lodge bathroom, a one-piece unit that’ll be easy to clean, and hopefully will be more resistant to heaving/cracking from cold winter months of non-use.
- classic pontoon got some new grey carpet this fall and it looks fabulous! (Thank you, Scottie – you rock!) Kris also cleaned out the motor and replaced spark plugs (sorely needed!) so the motor is running much smoother these days.
Cabin #19 now has WIFI! (And may I say what a freakin’ PAIN in the patootie this was . . . . sheesh. Equipment tried and returned, lots and lots of conversations and brainstorming . . .but FINALLY a new parabola dish is set up and working fine.) We also intend to install one more repeater in the spring to help strengthen signal everywhere, but it still won’t be powerful enough to download Netflicks or instant streaming movies, etc. (In fact, if you attempt it, you’ll cut off everyone else checking their e-mails or uploading a photo to their facebook page, and we’ll need to re-boot the router at the lodge. So make sure you load your videos before you arrive!)
As always, there are lots of cabin juggles as we send out this coming season’s confirmations and peeps are reminded to view their schedules (I still have quite a few to still send out, but if you haven’t received yours by January 25, zip me an e-mail or give me a ‘ringy and we’ll check on it for ya.) Feel free to check the Cabin Availability page on the website if you are interested in upgrading or changing weeks or encouraging more friends and family to join you. We’d be delighted to meet new kith and kinfolk or if we haven’t seen you in awhile, c’mon on up and join the fun!
Take good care, have an engaging 2014, and just know the lake will be waiting for you . . . Kim, CWC