If it isn't one thing, it's two. At least that is how I've heard it said. Certainly our 'to-do' list every spring has more than one thing on it. And, like most 'to-do' lists, we finish the priority items but often fail to get around to those less pressing. However, this spring, thanks to some SUPERB workers and some generous friends, we managed to get to a couple of items which have always been relegated to next year.
Those who have been visiting Elk Lake over the last few years have noticed the cabin remodels which have been underway for quite some time. This year our 'to-do' list had finishing the lastest three on the priority end - and re-siding another a little farther down the list. We finished the latest three, and even managed to begin re-siding the fourth.
Regular guests will recognize this photo of Cabin 1 - USFS dark brown paint, white trim, and uncovered wood deck off the front. This was the only cabin without a covered porch. As a result, the deck needed replacing. That we accomplished before the season began with the help of some wonderful friends. However, there was more on that to-do list - and we made a good stab at finishing the rest the first couple weeks of June.
Note the new siding, new deck, and covered porch. What you may not be able to see clearly are the new door and windows. So, thanks to some willing hands and a little extra time, we are now about 1/2 done with another cabin. Yipee!
Another project I've been hoping to accomplish the last few months was what I call 'firming up' the theme in Cabin 7. Each of the remodeled cabins has a distinct theme. Cabin 7 is our moose cabin. However, finding quality yet reasonble moose decor has been somewhat difficult. Thus when my good friend, Gary, offered to let me enlarge and hang one of his moose photos, I jumped at the opportunity. However, finding time to matt and frame this beauty became a challenge - especially as I am still quite slow (I've learned speed comes with experience). However, it is done and now hangs above the bed - a beautiful photo to help 'set' the theme.
It always frustrates me to find I have not taken an adequate 'before' picture. This is one of those times. However, at least you can get an 'idea' of what our project would require. The rock patio is clearly defined. Yet up against the lodge in front of the dining room and to the right of the entry steps was the grassy, nasty, unfinished 'rock junk pile'.
THIS was one of our biggest non-priority projects for the spring. While the main part of the patio is a beautiful work completed in the early 80's, there were sections in front of the dining room which were anything but beautiful. And, as we learned tearing it out, it had once had a 'life'. A small fish / bird pond resided in one spot. However, part of it looked like it had never passed the 'vision-in-its-creator's-eye' point. And so, once again, with the help of our hard-working crew, we set about to beautify another spot in need. This time, the impetutus (besides the obvious) was a wedding planned for the end of the week (which I hope to cover in detail in the next couple of blog posts).
In this photo you can see the project in its early stages. The loose rock which used to fill the 'rock dump' has been removed and stacked on the existing patio and walk-way. A flowerbed is in progress - and even the youngest worker is helping spread the sand which will serve as the base for new pavers where the fish/bird pond resided years ago.
This was definitely an 'all hands on board' project. Everyone had a job and everyone contributed in a major way. From laying the pavers to filling and packing the sand and soil around them to
Creating a new flower bed for the sheer pleasure of adding beauty to an already overwhelmingly beautiful landscape. Here is Anna, one of our faithful 'slaves' with her "tool of choice" - a very large screwdriver.
Like most projects, we were getting down to the wire. The wedding was TOMORROW. We HAD to get this thing together. Unfortunately the rocks we'd pulled out of this 'mess' had mostly been smaller (I suspect the area we were reconstructing had been the 'catch-all'. Anything too small. Anything which broke. Anything which just didn't 'fit' with the layout was tossed over here. So. . .once we'd used everything large enough for our purposes, we had to go looking for more. Thankfully we have a tractor because Craig found some MONSTERS lurking along the road. These we used to finish up.
Anna planted a nice variety of beautiful plants to releave the starkness of the rocky path. We were able to find a several which 'they say' will survive our winter lows. However, the love of cooking did sway us a little - we had to add a few herbs which, sadly, will not survive winter. Nonetheless they'll be put to good use this summer!
I must say, I am extremely thankful for Anna's green thumb and artistic eye! She took a pile of dirt and turned it into - well, as you can see - a thing of beauty. Furthermore, to give credit where credit is due, she's the one who got this project rolling in the first place. Thank you Anna - and the whole crew!
The final result is definitely something of which we are all proud. It not only finishes off what I have always considered an 'eye-sore' outside our front door, it makes the front patio larger and more functional. Furthermore, I am already enjoying those herbs! I guess this just goes to show, even a 'mile from heaven' we still find little things which enhance the beauty of our special 'spot' all the more!
Lady of the Lake