-Clu-clink, -Clu-clink, -Clu-clink this President's Day Weekend

Well, here we go again. Another President's Day weekend, come and (nearly) gone, and we still haven't found out what a 'good' one is really like.

It's like this. President's Day is supposed to be the 'highlight' of the snowmobile (winter) season. Businesses are supposed to be swamped. The money is supposed to come in clu-clink, clu-clink, clu-clink. But, if you notice in my title, there are little 'minus' signs next to all those clu-clinks for our 2007 President's Day weekend - in other words, the money's going out, not coming in. I tell you, God must have a sense of humor, but I'm sure having a hard time figuring out the punchline!

Our first year it was slow because the previous owners had been closed the year before. It took most of the season just to get the word out we were open again. So, President's Day was pretty much a bust - like most of the season.

Our second year we had WONDERFUL snow - incredible piles of beautiful white stuff piled high all around. And, overall, business was great. Word was out. We were open, and the snow was great. In roared the business!

As the 'weekend' approached, we anticipated great things - stockpiled the food, prepped for crowds, and then - - the high on Saturday of President's Day weekend a whopping 16 below zero. Yep! What a great time to get bitterly cold. We had ONE guest that day - and he got frostbite for his trouble (personally I thought I was hallucinating when I heard his sled).

Our third year (this year). Well, the snow hasn't been the best (so business has been slow, overall), but last week we got about a foot of new up high AND six inches at the lodge. Decent weather forecast. Wow! We're set. We'll experience President's Day this year. Maybe even fill in some of the 'cracks' in our leaking money pot (you know the kind - it runs out faster than you fill it up!).

Early Wednesday morning (three days before 'D' day), Nathaniel gets violently sick. Okay, don't panic. It's just the stomach flu (or something he ate). He'll be better in the morning. Go to bed all, I'll sit this one out with him.

Next morning - not much change. He's four. He's tough. It's probably the 24 hour kind. He'll be better in a few hours!

Day two (two days before 'D' day). Just a little left over - after all, that was a tough go yesterday. He'll be better tomorrow. Oh, yeah, I feel a little quesy, but you know, watching someone else get sick kinda does that to me.

Day three (one day before 'D' day). I think he looks a little better. Yeah, I know he threw up again. Okay, maybe I'll call the doc.

NOROVIRUS - good Lord, what's that? Lasts 4 to 5 days! No way! Very aggressive! Anymore good news? Oh, you recover slowly! Gee thanks doc. Yeah, I'll keep those fluids coming!

Day three - late p.m. ('D' day is tomorrow). I think I'll hit the sack a bit early. I'm not feeling too great. What's the bucket for? Oh, well, you know, just in case. Dinner (gag), no I think I'll skip tonight.

Well, guess what we spent 'D' Day doing (well, not all of us - Craig managed to wait till the night of and Hannah had one of those rare, brush-by, experiences which can also accompany this wonderful 'bug'). Yep, President's Day weekend, the busiest weekend of the season, and we've got the sign up (for only the second time in three years) - "Closed due to illness".

I must say, this hospitality business stretches one to the limit sometimes. I mean, I try to be pleasant and hospitable to 'everyone' who comes to the door - after all, that's my job. But this, well, I really think this is above and beyond the call of duty.

Not only did we NOT invite this guest - shoot, if didn't even make a reservation - but it stayed longer than was polite, and made life, well, quite unbearable during its sojourn. All I can say is, this is one guest I'll be glad to see the back of. You know, "Here's your hat, what's your hurry!".

My advise -if you hear of the Norovirus coming to town - rally the troops, circle the wagons, and turn off the lights! You definitely do NOT want it stopping by.

Now, for the weather - gorgeous today. We got about 1/2 inch of new snow down here (it looked like a bit more up higher) last night. The sky is too blue to describe. The air is crisp and clear - and the temps are getting into the low 30's during the day, making for pleasant riding. And, yes, we're open again - maybe running a bit slow - but we're over the 'contagious' part.

Animals? Mostly moose sightings - daily at the lodge. However, I'm accompanying this lovely 'blog' with a photo of some of the Hayden Valley Wolves. (Bearman's Guide to Yellowstone's Wildlife is a fun page for those who enjoy looking at and learning about wildlife).

As is normal, I hear the wolves have been sighted several times this winter in the Park. This photo, taken by our friend Gary Pumplin, is beyond belief. That someone, who is not a professional (however the photo is copyrighted), can take such good photos - well, folks, it puts my feeble efforts to same. However, Gary has been more than kind to share his work with us. So, if you want to see more, take a look at our website.

Better run for today (well, not run - I'll walk, thank you).

Lady of the Lake

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