July 5, 2014 Fish are biting and the sun is shinning. The 4th was celebrated and we are settling into the summer rhythm. Doug is backpacking in Europe for two weeks and Julia is home from a week at UW music camp and a week at Covenant Point Bible camp. Ola is our summer staff from Poland. She has been here two weeks and is part of the family now.
June 22, 2014 So it is summer. Mid-80’s today. Fish are biting. Yes, the ice is off the lake since mid-May. Once the ice was off there was so much to do and such a short time. Memorial Day weekend and the Dog Training weekend were busy. The mosquitoes started May 30th and have been going strong since. We had record snow fall this winter and there is a lot of standing water for breeding. The middle of June we drove to northern Georgia (2200 miles total) to visit Uncle David. We were able to white water raft the Ocoee River. It was great fun. We hiked on the Appellation Trail and Doug biked a mountain trail. A few folks fended for themselves at the lodge while we were traveling. All was well here. The cabins are all ready now. Three bathrooms were remodeled during the winter (we broke all the weather records). Two bedrooms and kitchens were rearranged too. Eight new mattress sets installed also. Spring break took Julia and I to Vail, CO to ski. Julia took a bump lesson and skied all of the Birds of Prey. Julia did track this spring and had a great season sprinting and 4x800 anchor. Our friend Ed had a pace maker put in and is recovering. He will be around helping out as usual.
Spring Break ’14 Julia and I drove to Vail, Colorado this year for a week of skiing at the two best mountains – Vail and Beaver Creek. Julia took a Bump lesson and skied all the Birds of Prey runs in one day. She also had a great season on the high school Cross Country Ski Team as a freshman. It was a very cold winter and she was outside in the cold every evening and weekend.
01/12/14 Happy New Year! The year has started out on an odd foot. So cold ... negative 30° and then positive 30° two days later. We have been skiing on the normal days: Indianhead Mt. and cross country. UW played in the Capital One Bowl game and Doug was there playing with the marching band. Orlando was warm and he enjoyed it. He is sking in Aspen this week with UW Hoofer ski club. Julia is doing well as a freshman on the high school XC ski team. The remodeling is going slowly with the severe weather but should start shaping up. These picture are from the UW game Thanksgiving weekend.
11/15/13 Fall fishermenn missed the late Musky catch. It stayed nice too long. The radio report is that now is the time. Yesterday the lake was skimmed over with ice. It is gone today. Still have a little snow on the grass. The bow hunters got 3 deer. The gun season starts in a week. The Lakeside cabins are all shut down and the water lines blown out. It is the first time I (Laurel) did it alone. Spring will tell what my skill level is. The news is that we having some remodeling to four cabins done. More on that as it progresses.
10/04/13 We are having a mild fall. Color is peaking and we still have not had frost. The fishing is improving. The 27" walleye on the home page was caught off the pier on a sucker. The Dog Training weekend went well. It is such a nice group and every one enjoys the comradely. We have been having drizzle today. Hope to see some nice fish caught.
08/01/13 It has been a busy summer so far. Three generation family reunions are wonderful. The little cousins together are the best part. One family group was here for their ususal two weeks and it was HOT. They had to work to catch enough crapie to feed 20 for the two fish fries. Doug had a wonderful time at the BSA National Jamboree in West Virginia -rafting the New River, swimming in the Atlantic at Virginia Beach, rock climbing, ropes course, mountain biking, and more. Julia has been home for a month after being gone for a month on four trips. Celsey is our new staff member and is a great person. Now we are planning to get Doug back to college and Julia will start sports and band in a few weeks. Oh, the summer is so short. If the weather ever settles the fish should be jumping into the boat. The June crowd did well fishing. The young man in the red shirt was staff during June. Not too mny jobs require this skill.
06/22/13 The loon babies hatched this week along with the worst mosquito hatch we have seen in over 10 years. It is fun to watch the family. The parents are very protective. Often a eagle passes over and the parents call out. When the chicks hatched the parents called out with a tremolo. Julia has been home 5 days so far in the month of June. This week she is off to Island Camp in Iron River, MI. Families are here and the resort is busseling with activity.
05/19/13 First guests of the season this weekend. Still working on water to a few cabins. One of the valve pits still had several inches of ice in it. Julia suggested a hair dryer. That worked. Everything has to be ready by Thursday. All the piers will go in too. Doug came home for the weekend and has headed back to Madison for a special two week class in computer maintenance. Julia's class canoed 40 miles of the Wisconsin River last week from the head waters to Eagle River. She had a great time (much better than algebra class). Spring and Summer reservations are going well.
05/12/2013 Friday was beauiful so Julia and "Sunny" took the kayaks out. "Sunny" enjoys canoeing and kayaking which are both new to her. Today we woke up to a couple of inches of snow and strong winds from the North (cold!). Most years the kids swim on Mother's Day. Julia swam in the Manitowish River on Thursday and said that that counts as a first swim. Now bring on the warm weather and spring fishing.
05/10/2013 Going to be cold the next few nights, mid-twenties, but warm during the day. The ice was out yesterday mid-day. Beautiful sunny day today. Our guest from China has seen piles of snow and a frozen lake. There have been a few trumpeter swans on the lake this week; spot them on the ice on the picture. The water for the three back cabins is on without much trouble. Ground is still too cold for the lakeside cabin water.
04/09/2013 Weather alert for tonight again. Checked the forecast for the next two weeks ...Highs of mid-40's Lows of 20's. The following two weeks we should see mid-50's and Lows of 30's. So with an estimated 3' of ice the fish will be really hungry when it melts. Often in the past Ice-out is about Good Friday. Well not this year. These pictures are from the weekend.
Copied from the Lakeland times editorials 3/12/2013, Why we live in the Northwoods ...
The majority moved here not for prosperity but to escape from stress and the impersonal life of city living. We raise our children here because we want them to develop and nurture in an environment that is peaceful, stress free and safe.
We live here to create memories with our children that are framed amongst the creation of nature. We are here because we have an appreciation of nature and develop a love for what surrounds us that develops into a strong sense of preservation. We want to protect our life in nature for our children and the next generation.
We escape to the Northwoods and invite others to visit and appreciate our natural wealth. Our lives are woven and intertwined with nature for the inspiration of the arts.
Our God’s Country is our athletic arena, source of fresh air and complements an ideal of living one with nature that extends our lifeline and enriches us.
Our Northwoods is a priceless gift...
The rest is political. This is what it is all about. Please come and join us here in our paradise.
March 2, 2013 Oh the Places You Will Go! Well some time has pasted here. The UW Badgers went to the Rose Bowl and so did the band and Julia and I. We had a great time in LA / Pasadena. Red Eye flights with credit card points and Metro passes just added to the "experience". The parade was awesome; Julie has photos of almost every float. Hollywood, Rodeo Drive, Santa Monica Pier and Beach, Art and Science Museum, Tar Pits and shopping!
September 3, 2012 Doug is off to Madison. He has been there a week and had band
practice everyday. Saturday was their first game.
He called to say that he made the band. He will be
a Uniformed Alternate for the next game. (He called for money
for the band uniform fees.) What fun. We are having
Hurrican Issac weather today- warm and humid. Fall dates are
filling up so call to reserve your fall getaway. Fishing has still been
slow but you can catch enough for a good fish fry.
Feb. 11, 2012 It has been a good winter. Skiing both downhill at Blackjack and cross country. Shopping has been the other major activity. At Menards (Wisconsin's Home Depot but better). Several cabins are getting an interior face-lift of carpet, vinyl, curtains, comforters. But back to skiing. This weekend the kid´s ski club hosted the Wisconsin High School Cross Country Ski Championship Race. Both Doug and Julia skied in two races on Saturday. Doug finished 14th in the compined total and Julia finished 17th. IN THE STATE..Play movie clip of Doug (2769kb Julia is doing a project at school and she is my personal trainer. I am getting back in shape after a month of inactivity after sugury in November. Julia is good at this and I am really feeling fit.
This picture was sent by Lukas, our 2011 summer staff. It is a picture of him skiing in Poland)
As many of you know Noel passed away May 31, 2011. There was a
beautiful memorial here at the lodge and a wonderful gathering and
memorial in Chicago.
An out pouring from family, neighbors- old and new. friends, school
chums, ski club friends, work mates. Noel is missed every day but he is
in a better place. Doug and Julia and I are doing well and the lodge is
thriving. Ed is working here as always. Lukas is a summer student from
Poland and is a great guy. My brother Ralph saved the day when he came
with chainsaw and tools after the storm. When you drink a cup
of Stewards coffee remember Noel. Pam remembered his giggle
and his watching Mash. A work-mate remembered his kindness
and patients. Others remembered him sharing his Ed Sullivan
tapes and is love of watching the White Sox. As you
think of things about Noel email them to me so that I can save them for
Julia and Doug. Noel wrote limericks for our wedding
announcement and both birth announcements. So I wrote a short one for
once was a laddie named Noel
A 299 game he did bowl
Family and friends were his love
He will always be skiing above
Serving country and friend his role
Farewell dear kind soul, Noel
July 2, 2011 The month of July started out strong. That is STRONG WINDS riped through the resort Friday about 9:30 pm. At least twelve trees are down. One tree fell on Eagles Nest porch and destroyed half of it. Two of the huge white pines at the campfire tipped over pulling their roots up. Never a dull moment here. Friday was so hot, mid-nineties and Saturday was a beautiful day. Great weather for clean-up. With three chainsaws going and a legion of kids hauling it is looking better. There was a huge bonefire tonight to burn some of the branches. One of the canoes is under a big tree. A boat was tossed up onto the pier. A window was blown out in Wood Duck and another broken in Red Pine. There were so many clese calls but everyone is safe. It happened so fast without any warning. The power was out for 12 hours. Thank Noel for the new generator!
fishing is at its' best. Summer is over - the first snow
the air as the guys took in the piers. The summer cabins have been
packed up. It was the best year for Musky catch and release
the recorded history of the lodge. 23 legal muskies caught and released
so far. Largest was 44 inches by Roman. Big walleye also have been
caught - 29
1/2 inch. That one is going in on Bob's wall. There are three cabins
several boats and motors available for rent. Noel got his
Chrsitmas/Birhtday present last week – 20000kw automatic
already used it. The
power was off for a couple of hours.
It will power the whole resort if everyone
takes it easy. Julia
is at Camp Manitowish for a
leadership camp this weekend. Doug is at
Cross Country Sectionals. His team won Conference last week.
weekend is State. Then the Cross Country Ski season starts
dry land practice.
This past month Noel went to his 45th De LaSalle
reunion. Julia's Soccer team took 3rd at the tournament
September 29, 2010 That was a very short month. With school starting and fall sports and family and friends visiting it just flew past. The news is that the colors are splendid and the muskies are active. What better news could there be? Doug is doing well in Cross Country running. Julia is enjoying soccer (the tournament is this Saturday). Noel is heading to Chicago this weekend for his 45th high school reunion. We now have a mobil web site for when you are on the road..
August 28, 2010 Rustic Rythems concert was today in Boulder Junction. It was a wonderful event: Up North Connection - Bluegrass and Blue Winds Dancing - Ojibwe Drummers and Dancers and Different Drums of Ireland – Folk Rock/Roots. The month has ended with several weeks of perfect weather.
August 10, 2008 Today was Musky Jamboree
Day. It is a fun day and a work day. Noel was helping at the American
Legion booth selling beer. The funds that are raised are used for flags
and ceremonies. Doug and Laurel helped the Chamber of Commerce at the
Kid's Casting Contest. Two of the winners are guest here. Julia helped
at the root beer float booth. The earnings will be used by her forth
grade class on there trip to the state capital. There was live music
today and Friday night. Lots of beautiful crafts to buy and good food
to eat including a taste of Musky.
There have been some great fish caught - 44 inch Musky, 36 inch Northern Pike, and the super Walleye and Bass pictured above.
Some email that we received and want to share -
Dear Laurel & Noel,
I just wanted to drop a quick note to tell you how much we enjoyed our brief stay at your lodge. We really enjoyed meeting you and your family, and feel confident that you have a future Miss America in the wings. We especially enjoyed the "family feeling" that we received at breakfast. It's fun walking into the kitchen, pouring a cup of coffee, and talking to the cook while she's preparing your breakfast. Also, the evening campfire is a wonderful time to reflect, chat with other guests, and enjoy Julia's perfectly made somores!
Thanks Theresa, (B.J.C.C. Secretary)
We stayed at the Evergreen Lodge and had a wonderful vacation. Little Crooked Lake is a quiet and peaceful place to spend a leisurely summers day. Noel and Laurel are wonderful hosts. Thanks again.
December 23, 2007 Wow, I thought that the summer was busy. Doug and Julia are busy with school and home work and a few extras. Soccer, Gymnastics, Kung Fu, Boy Scouts and now Ski Club also take time and are all in Minocqua which means that I am driving them and waiting for them. I have been x-country skiing at Ski Club at least. We had a wonderful fall and good snow for December. Several times this month we have had to wait out storms. Noel has chaired the Lions Children's Christmas party for a dozen years or so. It is a wonderful small town event with the Lions, Lioness, American Legion and Auxiliary working together for the children's enjoyment. Today we had about 8 inches of snow. We went snowshoeing. Bailey and Casey came with us. Our destination was the pond at the far end of the swamp at the south end of the lake. It was dark and we still weren't quite there. Doug had to carry Bailey he had so much snow clumped on his fur that he could hardly walk. Finally we came out to Evergreen Lane. Bailey had a warm bath to melt all that snow. Hope your Christmas was Merry and the Best to you in the New Year.
August 13, 2007 The weather has been oh so fine. It is starting to cool off at night, 55ish. Musky Day was beautiful and the American Legion had a successful day selling beer with Noel at the tap. Doug helped his classmates raise money for the class trip selling root beer floats and Walking Tacos. Julia shopped for the family. She found Grandma a birthday gift, 89 this year, a jacket for the new dog and earrings for herself. Laurel directed traffic and enjoyed the sunshine and the people. The day did start on a rough note. The well pump failed Saturday night about 10 p.m. The GW plumber was up and eating breakfast at 7 a.m. when we called. He rushed over had a new pump installed and running by 11 a.m. (SUNDAY morning). The guests actually cheered him as he drove away. Some of the guests learned that you can flush a toilet with a bucket of lake water which Doug delivered before breakfast.
July 27, 2007 Wow! The summer is going fast. We had some cool weather for two weeks with fair fishing. This week we have had a hot week. Today is perfect; low 80’s and some wind. Great nephew Alex went off to church camp and now Olivia is here for two weeks. She had taken a bike repair class and is working on some of our bikes. The big news is that we have a new dog. His name is Bailey and he is three years old and a miniature poodle. He is a solid 18 pounds. He is friendly and lively and jumps in your lap when ever he can. He and the other male Casey are sorting the pack stuff out.
June 26, 2007 The weather is warm, high near 90. Check the HOME page for the beautiful Muskie caught by Walter yesterday with guide Van Jolin. Julia and Doug are home from camp. They both had a great time and are looking forward to next year. Work is progressing and we will be ready for the crew on Saturday. Several big trees came down today. They had died because of the trench dug for the septic system a few years ago and the porcupine that damaged them. The Tall Pines Music Fest was a great time last Saturday. We all went and enjoyed our selves and worked for the chamber. Noel worked the beer tent and I worked the volunteer gate. The Guess Who was my favorite.
June 18, 2007 Where has the month gone? The kids are done with school and the resort has been busy. Doug is at band camp at UW Stevens Point for the week. He called to check in and he is first chair of the trombone section. Julie is off to a five day camp. A 40 inch Musky was caught last week. Fishing has been very good or nothing. We have had temperatures in the mid 80’s for a week with storms mixed in. Some big storms missed us a few weeks ago.
May 28, 2007 The holiday weekend was great Wisconsin weather again. Friday and Sunday were the best days with rain and cool temps on Saturday and Sunday. Fishing was good and we have a freezer full of fish guts to prove it. Muskie was elusive but some seen and some caught. Walleye, Crappie, Bass, and Pan fish were plentiful. Noel and Doug participated with the American Legion Memorial Day services in Star Lake, Sayner, and Boulder Junction flag pole and cemetery. Doug played taps at all four ceremonies. The other big news for the weekend is we have another dog. Casey is a nine year old Golden Retriever. His owner was a friend that recently passed away. Casey is adjusting to resort life and fitting in just fine.
May 17, 2007 The weather has been just perfect for Wisconsin − 85 one day and 30 the next. Noel has turned the water on to all but four cabins. There are leaks in those four and he should have them done soon. The chamber has updated the fishing page check it out http://www.boulderjct.org/reports/?cat=3 Remember the FREE FISHING WEEKEND, JUNE 2nd and 3rd. The other big news is the Tall Pines Music Jam June 23, 2007 in Boulder Junction at the ball park. Here is the line up 12pm Gates Open 1:00 pm Orange Ladder 3:00 pm Copper Box 5:00 pm Nitty Gritty Dirt Band 7:00 pm The Guess Who 9:00 pm Peter Frampton http://www.tallpinesjam.com/home.html Sounds like a great day. We were in Milwaukee last weekend for a friend’s daughter’s wedding and we went to the zoo on Sunday. My mother came back with us so that she can go to Julie’s ballet recital. The holiday weekend will be busy.
April 29, 2007 The weather is perfect and the bugs are sc race. Everyone should be here to enjoy this beautiful Northern Wisconsin weather. No telling what next week will be like but this has been the best. We enjoyed going to three track meets this week to watch Doug in the long jump and 100 meter dash. Noel has started getting the plumbing ready for the Spring Opener. Spring cleaning has started too. We are looking forward to a great fishing season.
April 22, 2007 Oh, to be on vacation again. It has been hectic. Somehow Income Taxes waited until the last moment and usually they are mailed the middle of February. We had a great family hike today with the up hill neighbors. Noel and Doug hunt on the DNR land on Evergreen Lane. They had found some very interesting rock formations. HUGE BOULDERS. Hence, the name− Boulder Junction. There was also evidence of wolf and deer but we didn’t see anything out today. The weather has gone to summer this weekend with temps near 80.
April 7, 2007 Sun Valley was great. We enjoyed our Chicago Friar Ski Club friends and family. Noel and Doug had an extra treat when they went to the Chicago White Sox opener. The Sox didn’t win but the event was great. Julie turned eight this week and had a bowling party with a few friends. Bumper bowling is great fun. While we were gone Boulder Junction went from winter to summer and back again. It has been cold, windy, and snowing all week. The Easter Bunny will have a hard time here. Little Crooked is open water again and we enjoy the site of the sparkling water. It won’t be long and we will be getting the piers ready.
March 18, 2007We are packing to go ski in Sun Valley, Idaho. We have had the busiest winter I could imagine. Lots of skiing at Indianhead Mountain in Michigan. Doug joined the Lakeland Cross Country Ski Club and practiced once or twice a week and raced in several races at the middle school level. We didn’t have as much snow as we would have liked but it was good enough for all our skiing. Julia is taking ballet and enjoyed gymnastics again. Both of them are taking Kung Fu also. We have been in Minocqua at least three times a week. It seems that the winter flew past. I have taught several computer classes. Noel organized the Lion’s Children’s Christmas Party. Installing new computers and software and winding up the annual paper work took time. It will be exciting to ready the resort for the coming busy season. Our spring break out to Idaho will bring a close to the ski season. April will bring the start of preparations of the resort for the summer.
October 31, 2006 HAPPY HALLOWEEN. The summer cabins are closed up with the water turned off and pipes drained and bedding washed. The picnic tables, grills, lawn chairs and toys are put up and away. The boats and motors and pontoon are stored for the winter. The piers are up on shore. The muskies have been biting and the bow hunters have several deer hanging. We had a pleasant day Monday but are ready for the next snow fall and know that it may stick until April. Grandma was here for a visit; she is 88 years young. We went to see the Birds in Art exhibit at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau. Wow. We all had favorites. Grandma loved a duck that was carved. Remember her and Grandpa carved and painted the loon on the front desk and several other pieces in the Lodge. Speaking of the Lodge we had a late birthday party for Doug last Saturday. His whole class was invited and all but two were here. The three girls only stayed for pizza and a movie but the 10 boys spent the night. Not much sleeping was done but all had a good time. Now Julia wants to have a party too. The camera and computer are not speaking to each other so check back for pictures.
October 20, 2006 There was a party of 8 men musky fishing Oct. 18. There was a bad storm with dropping temperatures and strong winds. The power was out for a while. The temperature unexpectedly dipped to 20° and many of the pipes froze. The men did not have running water for a while. Noel and Ed were busy getting heaters and thawing pipes. Several pipes broke and Noel discovered a new plumbing devise. Well the crew caught six legal muskies. Two were caught with suckers swimming off the pier while the men watched from the cabin. That was a northwoods weekend.
October 12, 2006 We have had our Indian Summer. Last weekend it was beautiful with the last of the color and sunny mild days. So today it is 20° and snowing and blowing. The lights have been off twice with the high winds. The water is frozen in a lot of the cabin pipes. There are still hearty fishermen here looking for those lunker Muskies. The summer cabins will be shut down next week and the piers will be pulled out too. There is lots of laundry and clean−up to do so we will be very busy. Last weekend was the youth gun deer hunt. Doug didn’t get a deer but the guys had a good time together and have some stories to tell. Julia and Doug are busy with school and activities. Doug had a great weekend backpacking in the Porkies a few weeks ago. Doug checks the Indianhead Mt. web page every few days and today they are expecting a couple feet of snow. That is only 45 miles from here. He has new ski gear and can’t wait for Indianhead to open. So the seasons change.
September 16, 2006 Doug’s football team has won 2 games and lost 1. The weather has been changeable and we have had a frost. Our tomatoes are still doing well, 96 so far from 6 plants. Fishing is picking up. Lots of follows and several landed. The maple trees are changing so we have those brilliant reds. There is a new picture on the SPECIAL page of a nice walleye that was caught Memorial Day Weekend. The fisherman is a friend of Noel’s since first grade.
September 7, 2006 The weather was beautiful for Labor Day Weekend. The Chicago Friars Ski Club took most of the cabins for the weekend and it was wonderful to get together again. The trees have just started to turn. It is 80° today. Yesterday we drove to the U.P. and hiked around Bond Falls and Agate Falls. Wow they are both spectacular. Doug and Julia swam here in the afternoon it was so nice out. The weather is going to cool off and the trees should get the message that fall is just around the corner.
August 30, 2006 Evergreen has quieted down for a few days but will be full this weekend. We are using the time to catch up on summer. We rode our bikes to the culvert. Highway K is so smooth it felt as though we were floating. We went for a short hike in the woods with Mandy. She was smelling some critter. There have been wolves and bears on the road often. An eagle has been fishing the lake. Something new is that a muskrat has taken a liking to fish finder wires and eaten two of them. School starts Friday. Doug has been practicing with the football team and loving it. Julie has enjoyed summer vacation and was horrified to hear that many people only have two weeks of vacation per year. She thinks teachers have a good deal with the summer off. Last week we took a quick trip to Mt. Horeb to celebrate my mother’s 88th birthday. Ed and Noel handled the resort including breakfast. All went well.
August 10, 2006 Doug is home form church camp and he had a great time on the island. No showers or schedules ; just fun with his school friends and new friends. Why don’t we all still go to camp, it is so much fun. But here at Camp Evergreen we are having a wonderful summer too. From the amount of fish entrails that are in the freezer each week I know fishing is good. The resort kids have been chasing around like they should. The women are getting the shopping done and books read (guys too). There is going to be a talent show tonight at Musky Strike. This weekend is the 50th anniversary of Musky Jamboree. There is a rock’n roll band Friday night on main street (sounds like fun) and a parade Saturday (Noel and the Legion are leading it) and the usual craft booths and musky feed on Sunday (we are all helping). Check back for the results of all this festivity.
July 31, 2006 We were heading for a record high temperature today but it only hit 95". Everyone spent the day in the lake. It was wonderful. Since we endured Evergreen Lane being torn up and redone the county thought we could handle more. Highway K from Highway H to P was torn up. We never even had a chance to wash our car. Well Highway K is getting new black top and is almost done. Tomorrow the town day camp is having a car wash and I will be in line. Biking has been out of the question since October so we are pumping up the tires.
July 27, 2006 We once again enjoyed "Chicken Fest" with the extended family that reserves all twelve cabins for the third week of July. Our lake association meeting was Friday and the neighbors across the lake noticed that everyone was wearing blue t−shirts and playing horseshoes from morning ’til night. This is tradition!
The Lakeland Times, Minocqua’s paper, had a terrific story
Evergreen Lodge on the front page of the Extra section, July 14
http://www.lakelandtimes.com/features.php?story=152 The article follows
The Bils’ boys are at it again: catching Northern Pike. We enjoyed a wonderful fish fry with them. Doug is back from Scout camp. He had a great time and will be a First Class Scout now. Alex, the great nephew, has returned to his home in Galesville and is looking forward to returning next year. The HOT weather broke yesterday. It was only 95 here but that is hot for us. Lots of time in the water helped. It is very dry but may rain tomorrow.
Lodge: A true Northwoods experience
since 1929...By: Joyce Laabs
The original lodge at Evergreen Resort.
Evergreen Lodge, one of the oldest resorts in Boulder Junction, is still a favorite place for vacations. It was in 1928 that Larry Doolittle bought two 40−acre parcels and seven lake lots on Little Crooked Lake to build a resort. Then, with the help of his son, Kenneth, they built a lodge and two cabins, and opened Evergreen Lodge as a resort in the summer of 1929. He continued to build cabins until they could accommodate 50 guests. The Doolittles ran the resort until the late 1940s, when Larry decided to sell and establish a career in real estate. He sold to the Rhodas and Marskes, who eventually sold to the Vodas, who eventually sold to the Spristers, who, in 1989, sold to Noel and Laurel Malicki, who run the resort today. "We are the last resort in the Boulder Junction township to have a restaurant license, "Noel said, "although we ended the American Plan in 1995. We still offer breakfast to our guests and Laurel cooks a breakfast special every day.
Water so clear you can drink it
"Little Crooked Lake is 154 acres, fed from Wolf Lake and underground springs. It is a clear lake − so clear, in fact, that you could drink the water. We don’t, of course, because as we have an artesian well at the resort. There are no invasive species in the lake. "We discourage jet skis as we would like to keep it a wilderness lake. In addition to the boats they trail to the resort, our guests use canoes, kayaks and paddle boats." There are 12 cabins at the resort −open for guests from the beginning of fishing season through the end of the hunting season. One family returns each year and occupies all 12 cabins for their extended family reunion. "Noel and I were working in high−rises near the Sears Tower in Chicago when we decided that we would like to live and work in a less−crowded, less−stressful area," Laurel said. Although we both had degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago, we knew we needed a change of lifestyle −a simpler kind of life.
Vacationed in Wisconsin
"We had vacationed in Wisconsin. We’re big skiers and stayed in the Boulder Junction area when we skied in the Upper Peninsula. We decided to look at resorts in that area. "We looked at several resorts, but when we walked in the lodge at Evergreen, we looked at each other and knew we had found what we were looking for. It was beautiful." Five of the cabins are one−bedroom, seven are two−bedroom and one is a three−bedroom. The resort can accommodate 57 people. "We have kitchenettes in the small cabins and full, completely equipped kitchens in the others," Noel continued. "We supply linens and towels but no longer have daily maid service in the cabins. "There is 1,000 feet of frontage on six acres with screened porches on all the cabins. Since we took over, we have put all the electricity underground and a new septic system." "I do all the laundry here at the lodge," Laurel said. "When we first took over there was a standard washer with a wringer, and I used to iron the sheets. We have gone to a modern washer and, weather permitting, I just hang the sheets outside to dry."
In the lodge on rainy days
"Many guests gather in the lodge on rainy days, where we have my grandfather’s player piano, a pool table and all kinds of games. There are no TVs in the cabins and no video games. Guests adjust to this quite quickly and find their entertainment in the out−of−doors. We do have game night each week, with drawers full of various games, and weather permitting, we have a campfire each night. "During the summer a week is a minimum stay, but we book shorter stays in the "shoulder" seasons. July and August are completely booked, but we would like to see more bookings in May and June. Some guests use the kitchen. There are six siblings in one family who return to the resort each year. They use the kitchen, with one sibling taking over each night. I help them with the clean−up." The Malickis have had two children since they took over the resort −Douglas,12, and Julie, 7. The entire family is involved in the Boulder Junction community. Douglas is the official bugler for the Boulder Junction American Legion, Noel belongs to the Lions and Laurel is a Lioness as well as a member of the board of the Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce. Noel also helps arrange the kids Christmas party. The Malickis said that when you run a resort you have to take the good with the bad. "We have a very low percentage of "grumps" −but, if we get one that is unhappy with our resort, we try to direct him to a resort where he’ll be happier." Noel said getting nine cabins ready for winter is a big job as the water has to be drained, plus other jobs that must be done before the snow flies. The other three cabins are winterized and remain open during the hunting season. With the children in school, the family stays in the area almost all winter, when they catch up on their first love & skiing. They ski at Indian Head, where Doug has won medals. During school vacations, they can often be found at Aspen or Steamboat Springs in Colorado. The Malickis are pleased with their life at Evergreen Lodge and with the ability to offer their guests a true Northwoods experience. "We have no future plans." they agreed. "We just go along from year to year."
To view the resort, go to www.evergreenlodgewi.com. For information go to email@example.com This is the second in a series on housekeeping cabin resorts in the Lakeland area, focusing on the survivors of a once−flourishing industry that has succumbed to the condominium boom.
July 4, 2006 The resort is full and happy. Doug and Noel marched in the Boulder Junction parade today. Doug carried the American Legion flag wearing his Boy Scout uniform. We will go to the airport strip to watch the fireworks over Boulder Lake tonight. Fishing has been good; some of everything including Muskies. The adults are trading stories at the campfires and the adolescents are playing Ghost in the Graveyard out in the dark and cards in the lodge. Bless this wonderful nation that provides so well for all of us.
June 26, 2006 Noel had a great time at the golf outing which was a memorial for a friends son. The young man died in maneuvers off an air craft carrier. There was a Navy Seal that parachuted onto a green (http://web.mac.com/fallingangelses) and some great speakers at the dinner. Our great nephew, Alex, is staying here for a month to work. Alex is Ryan’s brother. We cleaned out and fixed the plumbing in Acorn (more plumbing problems). Doug is just back from a Boy Scout weekend of biking the Sparta −Elroy Trail. He biked 50 miles on Saturday and had a great time. Muskies are still being elusive. They are following but not taking the bait. More walleye are being caught. Julie has taken to fishing and caught a nice large mouth bass off the pier.
June 16, 2006 Summer weather is here− mid 80′s and some humidity. The fishing is good, swimming is good and Zycie jest pi?kne (Life is beautiful!) Noel is in Chicago for the weekend for a golf outing with old friends. The cabins are nearly full for the weekend and everything seems to be ready for the year. We keep getting reports of a monster muskie. Notice the new pictures scattered on the site.
School′s out! School′s out! The kids are home. The weather is beautiful. The raft is in the water and we have been swimming out to it. Doug finished the year with a new hair style. It was nice to cut it all off and have our boy back. Julie spent the last few days of school at home sick with a virus. She is back to her old self. There is a family of snow shoe hare baby bunnies that we are seeing. All the plumbing seems to be done. Walter caught 2 legal muskie yesterday. Julie caught a nice large mouth off the pier.
It is the weekend. Water problems are still plaguing Noel. A lot of people are fishing with the following results− Crappie, Bass, a 24 in. Walleye, Northern, and several Muskie follows including a huge one. Doug and Noel joined the Legion and the Cub Scouts to put flags on the veteran’s graves at the cemetery in Boulder. Monday Doug will play Taps on his bugle at the four memorial shoots that the Legion performs. It is good to have the resort full and happy.
The plumbing is coming along. 4 of the summer cabins are up and running. The screens and awnings are on the lodge. Some of the piers are in and the pontoon boat goes in tomorrow. The weather forecast for the holiday is warm with a chance of showers. We need the rain but hopefully it is at night. It is an exciting time at the lodge as things are coming together. We are looking forward to a busy weekend with guests in every cabin. The couple that were here for several days caught some crappies and a 36 in. muskie while fishing for crappie. Doug declared that the water is warm enough to swim and promises to try it tomorrow. Enjoy your holiday were ever you are and remember to take a moment of silence at 3:00 p.m. and think of the men and women in the armed forces now and in the past that have ensured that we live in this wonderful country.
Well here we go. It is time to get everything ready. Noel is turning water on to the cabins and finding all the broken pipes. One by one he fixes the leaks. So far three cabins are ready. Jill and Ed are both working too. Three cabins have new roofs. Dwight helped with the roofs. The last roof was done by a new firm: Three Grumpy Old Men Roofers (Noel, Dwight, and Ed). They are not taking on any new jobs. The weather has been very changeable as always. We had several weeks of rain and 9" of snow May 11. It is hard to get things done.
School is coming to an end. Everyone is happy about that. Our school is short funding so we had a referendum. It failed in February and so we tried again in April. It passed but a lot of campaigning was done. Doug had a great year in Band, Gym and Art. Julia had a great year in reading and math and building friendships.
We enjoyed the winter. Enough snow to ski all the time. There was one real blizzard in April. Most every weekend found us on the slopes at Indianhead. We also joined our Chicago ski club for a week in Aspen at the end of March. The weather and snow were wonderful and the mountains were awesome.
Some guests were out with Jeff and had a beautiful catch of Walleye. When the cabin was cleaned all the fish were found in the refrigerator. Through a series of phone calls they learned of this before they left Minocqua and they returned for their catch.
Last fall the beavers started attacking the trees on our frontage. A friend set traps and caught seven large beavers that had a house in the back bay. He was happy to have the pelts and we are lucky to have any hardwoods left.