1. Ady caught her first big fish. Adam took me, Ady and my cousin Cameron paddling on Caribou Lake in the spring when the small mouth bass were spawning. We all caught big fish that day. Ady caught a couple fish and ate all the treats and declared herself bored. Well, Adam could have gone hours more, but we told Ady if we caught 3 more fish we could go home. Well, she sat right up and put her pole back in the water and viola! She caught a huge 4 pound plus smallmouth bass all by herself.
2. Adam shot a bear. Not by choice. This was a problem bear, and the Forest Service, DNR, and Cook County police Dept thanked him. It's a longer story than that, but I'll post that later.
3. This summer's northern lights were spectacular!
4. The Haddock's all came out and had a wonderful family reunion. Everyone was able to come except Blake who was stationed in Bahrain. We fished, saw waterfalls and even saw a moose, relaxed, went to the lighthouse on Lake Superior, canoed, camped, completed a puzzle, had campfires with marshmallows, geocached, hiked to bluffs with beautiful lookouts, played with cousins and we wore ourselves out! Thanks to everyone for making the long trip to enjoy the beauties of northern Minnesota!
5. One of our very kind neighbors who live on the lake gave the lodge a hand-carved wooden totem-pole to replace the existing one that was falling apart. This was a big surprise and a very nice gift that took a lot of talent and must have taken a lot of time. We had an unveiling ceremony to which many friends and neighbors came and we had a very enjoyable evening.
6. Adam spoke at the Wooden Boat Show. He was invited to be a guest speaker and talk about the lodge and it's history and how it impacted the Gunflint Trail and surrounding area. We both snuck away from the lodge and I teased Adam on the drive in to Grand Marais asking how many people he thought would come. He said he'd be pretty happy if 15-20 or so people came. I thought he was being optimistic, but I was wrong. It was standing room only. Adam had several people crying during his talk, and several people after came and thanked him since it was so good. People came up all summer and mentioned they'd heard him speak at the Wooden Boat Show.
7. We hiked all over in the Fall! We went on the Centennial Trail, to Deer Lake and to Gogebic Lake. We went as a family in Sept when things finally calmed down enough for us to slip away a couple of afternoons. Deer lake and Gogebic lakes are one portage from Clearwater and the leaves were turning. It made for some great fall photography. The Centeniall Trail is further up the Gunflint trail and is an old abandoned mining place which used to have a railroad grade. It was a beautiful hike as well. Plus we found loads of blueberries that day and Brock did his impersonation of being a black bear eating blueberries right off the bush.
8. We achieved being ranked #1 on Trip Advisor and we have over 100 5-star reviews. Anyone in the hospitality field knows how hard this can be.
9. There was a lost hiker. A mom had flagged a boat down to bring her in and ask for help to find her son. Jack, one of our seasonal staff, and Adam took off with some water and snacks and started running the trails to see if the boy was to be found. Jack finally found him and met up with the rest of the party. It was a big relief.
10. We took a small vacation at the end of the season to Lutsen. Our outfitting manger was getting married at the lodge and offered us to leave and stay at Lutsen Resort and go ride the Alpine Slide. We had a good time staying on Lake Superior, riding the alpine slide and gondola, swimming at the lodge, and playing disc golf and 3-par golf at the resort, and of course eating at the the nice restaurant on site. It was a much needed break and getaway.