A Family Ventures into the Wilderness for the First Time
Sep. 28, 2017
When Vancouver businessman Mark Morabito visited Aikens several years ago with some friends, the trip made an impression. The fishing was phenomenal, he said, and he realized Aikens’ comfortable wilderness experience would make it the perfect place to introduce his daughters to the great outdoors someday.
“Someday” arrived this summer, as Mark took his wife, Susan, and daughters Jolene (14) and Veronica (13) to Aikens for a family vacation unlike any other.
“We’ve never been to the total wilderness,” the girls said. “It was cool to be in the middle of nowhere.”
The teenagers thrived with the Aikens Experience, and their parents delighted in seeing their daughters enjoy each other and their natural surroundings in such a unique setting.
“It’s very peaceful here,” said Jolene, who said she hadn’t ever done serious fishing before coming to Aikens. “It’s so beautiful. It’s a special place to spend time.”
With sunshine and 80 degrees every day of their trip, the girls took advantage of afternoons on the beach. Spending time on the sand and enjoying the comfortable swimming water was one of their highlights.
The girls also caught a lot of fish and enjoyed several evenings fishing with their guides, Colin and Dennis.
“Jolene and Veronica did a great job with the fishing,” said Colin, their primary guide. “They were a really fun group to guide because they had a good attitude and had fun along the way.”
Jolene and Veronica also had fun beating Colin and Dennis in shuffleboard at Big Molly’s one night, but the girls were gracious enough not to rub it in too badly.
Walleyes were their primary quarry, although Veronica also caught several nice pike and Jolene caught the fish of the trip in a thrilling surprise: a massive 32-inch lake trout.
“I was shocked. It was super exciting,” said Jolene, adding that she hopes her family returns to Aikens next year. “I didn’t know what I had on at first, then after a while Colin said he thought it was a lake trout. It took a really long time to bring in it. I wasn’t too nervous until I saw it––then I worried it would get away. It was awesome catching that fish.”
Needless to say, our Aikens staff was thrilled to see Jolene catch such a remarkable fish. Our entire team really enjoyed visiting with the Morabitos, who relished an opportunity to get away from it all.
“This was a real mental getaway, because there are so few distractions you get to true relaxation,” Mark said. “At Aikens, you have everything you need and nothing that you don’t need.”
Susan’s favorite part of the Aikens Experience was being immersed in the pristine boreal forest.
“I loved how the air smelled of the trees and forest, and taking in the breathtaking scenery while going about on the fishing boat,” said Susan, who enjoyed seeing berries and wildflowers during a leisurely hour hike along our new Wilderness Trail. “I also enjoyed reading on the screened in patio. And we all felt very much at home with the staff. Very cared for.”
The Morabitos’ youngest daughter, Veronica, made an astute observation that made Pit and Julie quite proud since her sentiments highlight exactly what they strive for every day.
“It’s amazing how welcoming they are,” Veronica said. “They make you feel a part of it.”