Windows getting boarded up to withstand the Spruce Grouse dive-bombings. Screened-in porches boasting a new poly skin ready for lakeside snow flurries. Lunds stripped of their eyes (sonars), tarped and parked up on the hill facing North ready to take head-on the worst Jack Frost has to offer. Such are the views along the Aikens path during days of late. The mighty birch sheds its leaves, a golden hue of brown, aware of the age old warning signs of the frost to come. We at the lodge, continue busily buttoning up loose ends and ensuring our prized destination slumbers idly, well kept, awaiting our triumphant return early next May.
The summer of 2009 flew by. Our long list of accomplishments and upgrades include many notable points to consider:
- The path was remade with wood chips from the North Star (Girl's residence) to the Canot (The Boy's pad), thus ensuring a lighter job of sweeping up sand.
- The new workshop (a huge one at that) opened its doors to our world-class tradesmen.
- The old Caillebo and The Orion got a beautiful face lift. Sharp paint job folks!
- Our new wood boiler kept the water temps high in all of camp and performed admirably in its first full season of use. Our wood operations performed well, harvesting a healthy quota of dead-fall trees to supply the boiler for this year and 2010. It certainly will furnish a green solution to supplying folks here with virtually endless hot water.
- At GGO, a new ice machine and a large walk-in shower were installed to further increase the luxury of said mini-lodge
- Our shuffleboard table was refinished. The rocks slide as if on greased wheels!
- Big Molly's Bar now has it own dedicated Air conditioning system to offset the imposing amounts of hot air blown off nightly in this one-of-a-kind fishing lodge watering hole.
- In the South end, the shell of a new residence was constructed with a commanding view of our coveted waters.
... That is to name but a few...
From the first plane load of guests on May23rd, through till Canada day, then Independence Day, past Labour Day
(Canadian, that is); every guest saw Aikens at its best. Save for the weather. If Aikens staffers are always upbeat and smiling, it is undoubtedly due to the positive vibes that course deep throughout our sandy peninsula. It surely wasn't due to copious amounts of sunshine! Constant rain, low temperature and high winds combined themselves to try and faze our will to persevere. We pressed on! Not even the biblical high water mark of our second crest in late August made us falter. We stand alone in the experience and level of service we offer our clients, we weren't about to let a few gray clouds get the best of us.
On that note, we'd like to thank many times over all of our staff for their resilience and their exceptional work. Day in day out, rain or shine, happy with high water...You all showed up each morning with the strong presence of character which make us the proud boasters of the best staff in the business. Also, we take this opportunity to wish you all the greatest success this winter on whichever path you travel. We hope to see all of you in the not too distant future.
To our dear friends, you, our readership. The guests here at Aikens Lake Wilderness Lodge often make a very special connection with us. Be it sitting in a guide boat for a few days enjoying the finer points in life, fishing or catching; be it sharing a brew in Big Molly's chatting, laughing or plotting; everyone leaves here with a small piece of heaven and we keep a happy memory of those folks bound to return to such an idyllic destination. Thank you for choosing Aikens Lake as your fishing destination. We strive for excellence and our aim is always to exceed expectations. We hope that those of you who have visited us this year retain fond memories of your time at the lake. Thank you.
So, amidst the falling leaves, your author stares out of his lattice-covered window onto a sunny blue sky and revels at the beauty of this Indian Summer. 2009 left us wanting more. In a few short days our closing crew will bid ''Adieu'' to our lodge, lake and season. This winter will hopefully fly by as fast as the summer did. Our days of warm sun are numbered. Oh well, time to un-retire the ice fishing gear!