What Do You Do All Winter?

     This is another one of those questions we seem to get asked frequently.  It’s difficult for people to imagine how we can stay busy when we aren’t serving our guests.  Somehow we manage to do a good job keeping ourselves from twiddling our thumbs with Voyageur stuff as well as other things all winter long.

     We live up at the end of the Gunflint Trail year around even though we have a walk-out basement apartment we can stay in when we’re in Grand Marais.  We like it better up at Voyageur and our kids do too, even though it means 3 hours of bus time for them or 2 hours of driving in a vehicle for us if we want to go to town.  In the winter we keep busy shoveling snow from the decks, roofs, outfitting steps and plowing snow from the driveway.  We also like to heat with wood so we haul and stack wood and make fires on a daily basis. Add some scraping and brushing of the vehicles to the day too because there’s rarely a day when you don’t have to do that.

     My winter days aren’t too different than my summer days when it comes to responsibilities.  I write my blog, update Twitter, post on facebook and produce e-mail newsletters each month.  I order clothes and souvenirs from sales people and I’ve already had two approach me to meet this year for buying things for next summer.  I look for employees and work on hiring good ones for the summer.  Then there’s the updates of the brochure, website and other marketing materials that takes a considerable amount of time.

     Mike spends more time outside in the fall getting things ready for winter.  Moving picnic tables, putting boats and motors away and getting things out of the way of the plow.  This fall he’s been re-roofing the lodge which is a huge project.  He also gets the outfitting food and gear cleaned, organized and inventoried and pulls thing that need to be repaired.  Then he makes lists of what inventory needs to be sold as well as figuring out how we did for the year. 

     There’s the never-ending jobs like applying for permits and paying bills that keeps him busy too.  Winterizing vehicles, updating the insurance companies and organizing the tool shed all take time.  Soon the inquiries and reservations will start pouring in and we’ll be responding to e-mails and phone calls.

     These are just a few of the ways we keep busy in our lives.  I’ll fill you in on some more ways in tomorrow’s blog entrty.  The sun is shining and one of my favorite things to do is get outside as often as I can.