Business as Usual

     The title of this blog entry should end in a question mark.  It doesn’t feel like it is business as usual at the end of the Gunflint Trail.  At the morning meeting for the Voyageur Crew I told everyone, "The goal for today is to get ready for today."  We’re spending the daylight hours working towards being ready for the Friday of Memorial Weekend and business as usual at Voyageur.

     The main thing preventing us from operating like business as usual is the lack of a real telephone.  With just one cell phone it is impossible to keep up on all of the calls.  We have friends and relatives calling to talk with us, neighbors and cabin owners wanting to visit, guests with upcoming reservations, sales people, telemarketers, people calling for information about Voyageur and many other calls to field.  Then there are the phone calls we need to make; reserving permits for guests, ordering bait, pop, gas and much more. 

     The lack of a regular phone is an inconvenience to our guests as well.  They need to stop in town to get Fishing Licenses and we can’t just easily swipe a credit card for charges.  The lack of a phone line is a major obstacle to business as usual at Voyageur. 

     To say we have been distracted lately is a major understatement.  Instead of worrying about our livelihood we have been more concerned with lives.  We weren’t doing business as usual during the fire like some business owners on the Trail who aren’t involved in the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department.  Mike, Don and I were otherwise occupied with starting sprinkler systems, putting out spot fires and managing the mutual aid fire departments.

     Marilyn did her best to keep up on business as usual but was pretty overwhelmed.  She had millions of phone calls, reservations to process and had to take care of the kids and staff.  Store orders arrived but didn’t get delivered to Voyageur because of the road block so when we were finally let back in we found ourselves with many boxes to unpack.  Lots of  these items are still in boxes and the store isn’t quite in tip top shape. 

     With the loss of our staff housing it isn’t business as normal for the return staff either.  They were staying here before the fire, then in town during the fire, then here in a lodge unit after the fire, and now have to move again since guests will be arriving.  It isn’t ideal conditions and we really hate to cause such a hassle for them too.

     Mike hasn’t had time to think about business as usual.  He has been busy trying to figure out the finances of the fire for the GTVFD and the mutual aid departments from all of the other local departments.  This has been a near impossible task that has had him wanting to pull out his hair.  He has also been invited to meet with Oberstar today and Klobuchar on Tuesday.

     We are hoping to reach our goal of being ready for today sometime today.  It might not happen today but that’s ok, before we know it we’ll be back in the swing of things and back to business as usual at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters.