- Meet the Owners of Crow Wing Crest Lodge (below)
- Retreats - Spring Healer's & Fall Relaxation
- What the heck is Reflexology?
- Spa Stuff (aromatherapy, Ionic Detox Foot Baths, massage . . . )
- Our "Green" Resort Habits
- Kim's Natural Cleanin' Articles (and Recipes)
Meet the Owners! Kim and Big John . . .
Kim was raised in the small agricultural community of Nevada, Iowa. She studied 4 and a half years at the U of Iowa to get her bachelor's in Social Work, focus in anthropology. Working for the family business after college, she obtained her real estate license and spent time as President of the Central Iowa Board of REALTORS. Traveling and learning about other cultures has continued to be of strong interest (the Middle East was quite an experience!) and she makes great efforts to get her hubbie off his home-bound patootie to go explore exotic locales ("he hadn't even seen the OCEAN until I dragged him outta Iowa on our honeymoon, sheesh!") The last 18 years in resorting has offered Kim experience as President of 10th & 11th Crow Wing Lakes Association (10 years, now VP) and over a decade on the Board of Directors for state resort organization, Community of Minnesota Resorts.
Big John was born in Des Moines and raised his three daughters in the tiny town of Maxwell, Iowa while working for the schools in maintenance and driving school bus for Special Ed kids. Before meeting Kim in 1995, John drove up to Hackensack, MN during the summers to manage Pleasant Pines Resort, fulfilling a childhood dream of working at a fishing resort in the "northwoods". An organic gardener for years, his longtime interest and gifts in the holistic healing field have been supported and shared by Kim and now . . . . . .
John & Kim have been reflexologists for collectively 42 years. They bring clinical experience gained from clients in Iowa, Minnesota, Alaska and Hawaii and have perfected a technique based on the teachings of Mildred Carter, Herbal Healing Academy, Dwight C. Byers and the Original Ingham Method at the International Institute of Reflexology.
John and Kim feel very blessed that their path in life lead them to this healing modality and intend to help people attain responsibility for their own health. They have a passion for educating folks in respecting and "listening" to what their body tells them. In addition to reflexology, their background includes extensive studies of Cell-Release Therapy (tm), Rebalancing & Pulsing (tm), yoga, breathwork, meditation, acupressure, aromatherapy, massage, nutritional health, counseling, and psycho-somatic correlations.
MORE FAMILY in the CWC team . . .
Emily is Big John’s youngest daughter. She earned a degree in Environmental Sciences from Simpson College and worked several years for the Army Corps of Engineers at Lake Red Rock in Knoxville, Iowa. When she moved to San Francisco she worked as an acquisitions manager for a commercial real estate firm. She and husband, Ryan, moved up to CWC to help with the resort in 2013. She is now a certified massage therapist and offers massage to local residents and CWC guests alike from her home office here at the resort.
Emily’s husband, Ryan, holds degrees in photography, visual effects for film, and English and creative writing. He has spent twenty-five years working in middle management for various customer service oriented corporations. He has offered one-on-one photography lessons to locals and CWC guests alike and loves to “talk shop” whenever the opportunity presents itself. He’s the guy you’ll see in the lodge most days, selling your kids all the candy and soda they can eat.
(The following is an article published in TC WELLNESS, June 2002, after one year of resorting under our belts. Here's a photo of us at one of our Potluck Luaus. There's Terry, ex-owner & handyman, then Big John, me in purple, and young Adam, who kept the beach and grounds clean and groomed all summer, bless his teeny-bopper heart!)
Welcome to our dream! I’m Kim Bowen of Crow Wing Crest Lodge, a vacation resort nestled into the “northwoods” of Minnesota. My husband, John, and I wake up every morning feeling overwhelmingly blessed to be finally living our dream on peaceful 11th Crow Wing Lake within the healing embrace of Mother Nature. It took us three years to find this jewel of a resort, but it was worth the wait. Now that we’re in the “flow” even the inevitable “surprises” that surface seem like happy ones; (like finding an underground sprinkler system that recycles lake water onto the lawns!)
The previous owners had taken excellent care of the place, one being a master craftsman who remodeled or created new cabins with fragrant knotty pine interiors, and hand made tables and doors made from wood on site. Even the oldest cabins are comfy with modern bathrooms and fully equipped kitchens.
The 100 year old lodge was an added bonus with much history in the logging venue and the lake is the headwaters of a famous chain of fishing lakes (the Crow Wing Lakes and River also make for some of the best canoeing around). Less than a three hour drive from the Twin Cities, the location couldn’t be better within the “heart” of vacation land. Although one is surrounded by forest in a cabin by the lake, a tiny town is only a mile away with any necessities needed. Within a few miles, there are other surprising attractions: Itasca State Park, bald eagle nesting grounds, golf courses, horseback riding, a paved 28 mile bicycle trail, museums and quite a variety of restaurants.
People have traditionally visited the area for fishing or family get-togethers, and we hope to continue to cater to these folks, but also offer more opportunities in the holistic healing field to expand not only their enjoyment on vacation, but to attract new guests and groups for those interested in exploring their own healing of the body, mind and spirit.
2001 was our first season here at CWC, but we were not new to the business. John and I managed a resort about 20 miles away from here for several seasons in the mid-90’s and enjoyed it so much we decided to find our own someday. What we liked most about the experience was seeing intergenerational families and friends getting together to connect with each other, having fun and making memories. We laughed as adults “let their hair down” and played like kids again - often with their own children, truly enjoying themselves. They taught their young’uns to fish, they watched the serenity of a soaring eagle in awe, listened to a haunting loon song and breathed in the fresh resin scent of balsam and birch . . .
. . . Friends got together around a campfire and related stories, witnessed shooting stars and roasted marshmallows. The simple things in life were being appreciated in a way they often said they couldn’t find in the hectic hustle bustle of “real life“. We realized that this vacation time was the most important week of the year for many people. It is a remarkable tool for stress relief and an opportunity for connection with oneself and others.
While our path led us away from Minnesota for several years, we learned much from our travels to Alaska, Hawaii, and our home state of Iowa. We were able to focus and improve upon our own holistic healing skills. John had been practicing reflexology for 30 years and since I met him ten years ago, I’ve also become a reflexologist and developed a passion for aromatherapy.
As reflexologists, in 1999, we were invited to become part of an international research grant studying the effects of "integrated medicine" at Grinnell Hospitals in Iowa. The goal was to determine how effective holistic therapies like these were in a clinical setting and if they could be "integrated" into the western medicine field (hospitals) of today. Could doctors accept and work with practitioners in these fields? A resounding "YES" was the answer to this well received year long study. We believe the results will help go a long ways towards health insurance acceptance and become wellness therapies every doctor will soon recommend instead of discard out of dis-information.
Hoping to incorporate our holistic healing skills into a vacation resort led us to Crow Wing Crest Lodge, where it was being successfully run as a traditional family summer vacation resort with a few fishing groups in the spring and fall. We’ve continued running CWC as a kid friendly family summer resort, but we now have added the further enhancements of reflexology, healing touch, bodywork, aromatherapy, drumming circles, yoga, chakra connection, etc. as guest interest dictates, so that it now has even more to offer guests to help them connect and relax in body, mind, and spirit.
We organize two Relaxation Retreat Weekends a year now which have been wonderfully successful. We have had lots of fun with women's groups of all kinds - especially now that we've built luxurious Retreat Cabin #19! We welcome scrap bookers, sewing clubs, family groups, high school reunions, yoga retreats, massage classes, herbal workshops, etc. to schedule off-season events here when the woods are quiet, the leaves start turning and the waters reflect nature's beauty. The lodge is a great place for meetings and with 19 cabins, can accommodate small or large groups.
We learn to love CWC more every day, there’s always something new to experience: a pair of tundra swans grazing weeds 20 feet from shore stopping here for a day on their way north, a porcupine lumbering across the road, a mink stealing minnows out of our bait bucket, a dozen loons having a yodeling contest at three in the morning, the lady slippers and trilliums peeking out to show off their color, the northern pike fish valiantly wriggling their way up the tiny brook to spawn, a new melodious bird song to identify, the laughable antics of wild baby ducks, or having a fuzzy little chipmunk bravely take a peanut from your hand. The air is fresh and crisp, and the Milky Way glows a shiny swath across an evening sky. The water sparkles when rippling, and often, especially at sunset, it’s smooth as glass and just as serene. Just to simply “be” here is a simple pleasure in life we love to share with others.
We warmly invite you to come play with us and to experience relaxation for yourself in nature‘s arms. Dreams do come true and we are living proof. May you find the courage and strength to follow your own path in life, too. ----Kim & Big John