Sunday, August 15, 2010

Relaxing in the north woods

Our week-long lake vacation was wonderfully relaxing, and it renewed a connection to lake life that had once been very important to us. We rented a cabin at the quiet little Pine Terrace Resort on Star Lake in Minnesota's Crow Wing County:


In the late 1950s, my parents had built a modest, much-loved lake cabin in northern Minnesota. It was on leased land, and in 1993 we lost it when the state auctioned off its lakeshore holdings. We couldn't afford a new place, and we never found a suitable place to rent. Coincidentally, the St. Paul Saints started up that same year, so Peter and I threw ourselves into baseball.

We had enjoyed the primitive life at our family place--using natural gas instead of electricity, pumping water at the nearby campground and bringing it to the kitchen in a 5-gallon can, and of course making do with an outhouse. But when we decided to rent a place this year, we didn't really want to live with someone else's decades-old couches and impossibly lumpy beds. We also weren't interested in the big, luxury resorts with golf courses and mixed drinks and noise and Social Life.

I discovered that there are now quite a few small, family-oriented resorts featuring attractive, modern cabins--AND you can find them through the Internet. Our cabin was beautiful--solidly built, well designed, attractively furnished. It is set into a hill, so when you look out toward the lake, you're in the treetops, mostly oak and birch. The resort has 13 cabins, and while the ones along the lakeshore are pretty close to one another, ours was a little apart and very quiet.

The resort is the only one on the lake; there are also about a dozen homes. That leaves a lot of undeveloped shore where we saw a heron, a crane, a beaver, and a family of loons. The owners also have created several nature walks through the woods.

We spent hours in the boat each day...so much that when I closed my eyes at night I saw water and felt myself rocking ever so slightly with the waves. We caught dozens of small crappies (pronounced crah-pees) and bass, and eventually we kept a couple of larger ones. I found that I was eager to clean those fish, to regain my skills after 18 years of not using them. My presence in the fish-cleaning house created a lot of curiosity. The men casually glanced in to see how I was doing. The women asked Peter, "How did you get her to do the fish-cleaning?" He assured them that I loved it, and had been doing it since long before we'd met. He also noted that I drove the boat (although I often had a little trouble controlling our approach to the dock).


The furnishings were lovely and the beds were great. Peter, an every-night insomniac, slept better there than he does at home. He brought his computer and worked off-line a few hours each day. While the resort does not offer internet connection,the owners had WiFi at their home next door, so when Peter needed to send a file we drove over and sat in their driveway for a few minutes. I hasten to add that I did NOT check blogs while there!

The week was just what we'd hoped. If all goes well we'll make it an annual excursion, and we hope the kids and grandkids will join us! . 

25 comments:

Leah Rubin said...

It sounds like bliss! I'm so glad you found a new place to love. And being totally unplugged and able to clean your fish makes it all the more wonderful!

--but welcome back!

L.

Darlene said...

Sounds like a wonderful week!

grammy said...

sounds as great and relaxing as our camping trip
awwww
I wish it had been two weeks for us
maybe next year (o:

Jeanie said...

This brought back a lot of memories for me of summers at the lake when I was growing up. I loved driving the boat and was allowed to take it out alone when I'm sure I was way too young. I did my share of catching and cleaning fish, but I can't say I have a big desire to recapture that skill.

#1Nana said...

It sounds lovely. As much as I love being connected to the internet, it is very liberating to not have access for several days. We're going on a cruise in September. I won't pay the super high by-the-minute fees on the ship and will be unwired for a week...ahh the freedom!

Teresa Evangeline said...

Sounds like a great week. I used to clean fish right along with Coleman's dad and got quite good at it. Your cabin looks like a good place to be, too. Something about being on or near the lake that makes sleep come better, it seems.

Kat said...

Sounds like a wonderful, relaxing time. I love those cabins in the woods and fishing too. We used to do that a lot, but not lately.

Barbara said...

Oh what a nicetime you had, and gorgeous photos to show too, I love the water any where and any how, good post, I have become a follower so I do not loose you, really enjoyed your post. Thanks and blessings, Barbara from
http://bakinnbitsbarbara.blogspot.com/

Far Side of Fifty said...

Looks like you found a very nice place to stay! The sunset is beautiful..good for the soul! :)

DJan said...

This does sound just blissful -- except for the fish cleaning part. I guess you had to be there. Interestingly, there is an article in the NYT today about unplugging oneself from the internet now and then and how good it is for the soul. Of course you already know that, having just been reminded.

Grandma Nina said...

This sounds like a wonderful vacation. As we've gotten older, we now love the peace and quiet that being out away from the activity and noise has to offer. We also love that part of the country. We fell in love with it on our travels to Spokane to visit our son.

Jeanie said...

Thanks for visiting The Marmelade Gypsy! So nice to have you there!

I'm enjoying your beautiful photography and learning more about MN. I'll be learning firsthand with my first visit to Mpls. this week. Unfortunately, most of it will be centered with funeral-related issues and family, but I'm hoping to get a wee bit of a tour from someone in-between family stuff. Thanks again for stopping by!

Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs said...

What a lovely getaway. I lived in Minnesota until age 10 and spent many a summer day on my grandparents' lake in Wisconsin. Your photos and description brought a peaceful, easy feeling. Thank you for sharing!

gayle said...

Sounds so wonderful!! I go back to work tomorrow and feel like I need a vacation already!

SquirrelQueen said...

It sounds like a heavenly place for a real getaway vacation. I'm not that good at cleaning fish but I can drive pretty much any boat on the lake.

Grandmother said...

All that a vacation should be- lovely, relaxing and making memories- good for you and your Honey!

CherylK said...

That sounds like a great little holiday. So glad you enjoyed yourself. I loved your photos...Minnesota is certainly a state filled with beauty.

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog...any friend of Ms Sparrow's is a friend of mine *wink*!!

Cheryl said...

Sounds heavenly.

I enlarged that sunset and noticed you captured a dragonfly. That photo is absolutely gorgeous.

Wow, that was awkward said...

Sometimes I miss the Midwest. I used to drive from Chicago to the U.P. to camp with my buddies. Your pictures bring back great memories.

Misfit in Paradise said...

What a wonderful vacation.

injaynesworld said...

Boy, could I use a week like that. It sounds heavenly. Lucky you!

ladyfi said...

Those photos, that leafy greenness, the sunset - so glorious!

Meri said...

What a beautiful place! And I'm impressed that you can clean fish. As far as I'm concerned, that's a job for someone else. . . the same someone who is going to eat it.

Jeanie said...

A little bit of paradise, I think. It sounds like bliss. Lovely photos, too. I hear "smiles" in your words.

erin said...

Looking for a great vacation getaway this summer? Then look no further than Island View Resort in Knife River, Minnesota. Island View Resort is your best choice for a Lake Superior Cabin experience on the North Shore in northern Minnesota. Located minutes away from Duluth and Two Harbors, Island View Resort provides a pet-friendly atmosphere in selected cabins. The resort features beautiful views of Knife Island and Lake Superior, and offers cozy lake and pine view cabins. Whether you are looking for two harbors mn lodging or duluth mn resorts, Island View Resort is sure to exceed your expectations.

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