Life at Elk Lake definitely includes the best nature has to offer. the best sunrises and sunsets. The best wildlife sightings. The best fishing. The best seasons of silence. The best snow. . .okay, so I'm a little prejudiced! I suppose it is to be expected when you love the place you live. Nonetheless, even living in a place as special as Montana's Centennial Valley there are times when 'real life' must equal 'work'.
Each year a few projects on our 'To-Do' list make it to the top. Each year we attempt to cross them off as completed. This year has been no different. Yet the busy summer season rarely allows time for more than the day-to-day chores. Thus each spring and fall we set aside time to tackle at least a few lengthier projects.
So, this time of year we put up our "By Reservation Only" signs and, between serving and caring for reserved guests, we begin to tackle those 'must-do-this-year' projects. For the fall of 2012, this meant a new barn roof, a new fence around the garbage burner, and a fresh coat of paint on our directional signs.
Thankfully the weather held - in fact it has tended to 'hold' all too well. Take that to mean - it has been hot. With the sun reflecting in your face, hot means shorts in October at 6700 FEET. I must admit I do believe that was a first.
While we have addressed most of the resort's buildings, the old log barn across the road had been pushed far down the list. It's old sway back and roughed up sides gave it the look of an old horse confined too long in the corral. However, they made things to last those many years ago - and for all its rough exterior, it has a good 'heart'.
Sporting its new head-gear, we expect it to last for a few more generations - at least!
Garbage is something which plagues us - even in the heart of God's country. I guess it is just impossible to put a group of people (even a small group) into one place without creating something which needs to be thrown away. While we make regular trips to the dump to dispose of much of the accumulated waste, storage is an issue in bear country so quick disposal is our best option. Thus the garbage incenerator.
Useful - yes. Necessary - most definitely. Good looking - NOT! So, this year it received a face-lift, or, more appropriately, a face-veil. Hopefully the new fence will have more eye-appeal than the needed burner it hides.
This fall has been more than a little crazy. While the end of September and the first of October usually bring few people to the Centennial, the pleasant extended fall has kept the traffic flow unseasonably high. Accomplishing our fall chores - even after limiting business to reserved guests - has been quite a challenge. Thus we readily took up Jake and Laurel's offer to paint the signs before they left.
What a difference a few dabs of white paint (okay, I KNOW it was a LOT more work than a few dabs of paint :-) makes! Our signs, which are still quite 'young', had taken on the faded appearance of old women without their makeup! Made up again, they look as fresh and pristine as teenage girls! (Gee I wish it worked that way for me!) Thanks, Jake and Laurel!
While much of our time of late has been spent 'doing the chores', we have still found time to enjoy the valley's bounty. With the increasing wildlife sightings and the lingering fall colors, time out-and-about has been quite productive. Next time, I hope to share some of those captured Montana treasures with you!
Lady of the Lake