Well this winter has been up and down so far with all the mild weather being followed by big cold snaps. On Sunday the 24th, we experienced lots of rain by the shore because it was so mild. At the same time the rest of the North Shore away from the lake was getting pummeled by a winter storm that dumped 8-12 + inches in some spots. The disparity between lake shore snow…very little, and away from lake shore…tons, is staggering. One just needs to strap on a pair of XC Skis or Snowshoes and journey back into the woods to see the night and day difference. As part of the 2nd Annual Volks Ski Festival, Cascade Lodge hosted a guided snowshoe hike up to Lookout Mountain on Friday the 29th. The weather was gorgeous and sunny as Matt led a group of eager snowshoers up to the top where they experienced lots of fluffy snow, a bald eagle, some deer and great vistas. On the way back they encountered a gentleman at the mouth of the Cascade River who was spin-casting spoons and rapalas out into the lake. When asked he explained that he had the gear, saw open water and took advantage of a beautiful day to make some casts. This is the first report of someone fishing in January that I can think of since normally it’s too cold to even think about it!
Lake and Cook County residents were shocked last Tuesday morning (1/26) around 10 am when suddenly all cell phones, out of area land lines and internet connections went down. The explanation give was that a steam pipe down in Duluth burst and melted a Qwest Fiber Optic Cable Line. Cascade Lodge and Restaurant’s ability to conduct business was shut down for about 12 hours that day since we really heavily on Satellite Internet, Digital Phone Systems and Credit Card Machines. Our local radio station, WTIP, did a great job of broadcasting emergency numbers and updated information throughout the day and into the evening. There is a pending investigation about this monumental inconvenience since Qwest’s original explanation of a burst steam pipe melting a fiber optic line is not supported by Duluth Steam Cooperative Association. They are the association responsible for all steam lines in the city of Duluth and they say no such incident ever occurred. Mmmm…something smells very fishy about this whole thing!
At the time of this post, the North Shore is experiencing a very rare week of temperatures hovering around 32 degrees culminating in this MLK holiday weekend’s balmy 36 each day! It is so very nice to be able to spend time in these great outdoors and not freeze one’s buns off. We just hope we don’t loose too much snow cover and this warm air ushers in a bunch of fresh snow. Everyone is out enjoying the trails on their skinny skis or snowshoes this weekend and thoroughly enjoying the beautiful weather. Michael did a cross country ski lesson on this Saturday for a nice group of families staying in Log Cabins 12 and 14. Even some younger children joined in on the fun which was great to see.
In staff news, all employees returned home safe and sound after the holidays so we are grateful for that. Matt actually returned back a day later than expected, after getting buried with snow at his families’ new lake home on Big Stone. His excuse: The interstate was closed…puuhleeze. Our two new Colombian students are Fabian and Liliana. They will be here until early April and work as housekeepers and servers at the restaurant. They are very nice and have excellent English skills. They noted how they celebrate Christmas and New Year’s in similar fashion, but it’s a little more laid back here in the states. That and without the cold and white stuff on the ground of course! Our housekeeping couple, Adam and Taisha, recently spotted a moose roaming around their apartment one night on Cascade Beach Road. He was a juvenile male with little antlers and somewhat tame as he let her take multiple photos of him. We hope to post some photos of the encounter here soon. Here’s hoping for some more snow!
Is it just me or did the holidays creep up faster than normal this year? Wow, talk about time flying fast! The staffs of Cascade Lodge, Restaurant and Solbakken Resort recently had the annual Christmas Party at Cascade Restaurant. We closed down shop early in order for everyone to attend and not have to focus on work for one night. There was some really great food, prepared by the excellent restaurant staff, a fun gift exchange and drawing for gift certificates. We have a lot of new employees at the resort so it was a nice chance to see new faces and get to know everyone better. Big thanks go out to Michael and Maureen O’Phelan who were once again the gracious hosts of the evening. In recent recession years, many companies have eliminated Christmas parties due to costs, but ours keeps getting bigger and better every year!
Cascade Lodge has just opened up a newly renovated vacation home right here on site. The Creek Chalet is a converted duplex, completely remodeled with new hardwood floors, carpet, paint, beds, furniture and a 42 in plasma TV! The Chalet boasts 4 bedrooms (two up, two down) with a kitchen on each level, fireplace, deck with views along the Cascade Creek and room to sleep 12. The Creek Chalet is also flexible enough to rent as a full vacation home, 3 bedroom, 2 bedroom or 1 bedroom studio. We welcome our first guests to it on 12/22 and it is booked right through the New Year! The entire Cascade staff would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, safe holiday and Happy New Year! We hope to see you sometime this winter!