Happy New Year from Lochalsh! That’s where I’ve been hiding out in the midst of these unprecedented times. During an ordinary season, I’d leave camp at the end of October, but this year I was given the opportunity to stay through the winter and look after the lodges. Now I’m over two months into this adventure. I know I’ve stirred up curiosity and I know everyone is missing the wilderness, so I’m starting a blog.
Guests are often surprised to learn that Loch Island Lodge is open until mid-September (closing on September 11, 2018 this season) and we then move full dock, housekeeping, and kitchen services down to Camp Lochalsh, where you can fish on Wabatongushi Lake until the end of October.
It’s been a while since we posted on the blog, so it’s time to finally show everyone what we’ve been working on! (Unfortunately, it was not a hunt for the best fishing spots).
This July was filled with renovation projects around the lake. On Loch Island, we completely removed the old floor and countertops in the Fish Shack. We poured footings and put down new treated wood flooring with a non-slip finish, then moved the ice machine back in and built new countertops that will last for many more years of filleting. The sink now runs hot and cold water, treated for drinking as always. The result is a roomier Fish Shack. For convenience, we purchased a second ice machine that operates in the lodge, leaving you with a shorter walk back to Cabins #4, #5, and #6 or your gathering on the lodge deck.
This summer, we’re completing the walkways on Loch Island so that all cabins will be joined to the docks and the lodge by wooden boardwalks. We know that this will make getting around the island much easier, especially when hauling coolers and luggage back and forth! The walkway leading from Cabins #2 and #3 is now joined up to the lodge deck, and another walkway branches off to the Duplex (Cabin #4 and #5), removing the stairs that were previously there. It is now possible to access the lodge and all of the cabins without using stairs.
We completed Cabin #3’s deck last week. Cabin #2 will be getting the same size of deck put on this week, and we do plan to expand the small walkway/deck currently on Cabin #1. In the future, we will build a deck on the back of Cabin #6 and have access through French doors in its kitchen. We plan to put BBQs and patio tables on each deck in 2019 so that Housekeeping Plan and Modified American Plan groups have more options for cooking their food when the weather is pleasant. The trees will be trimmed back for a better view of Wabatongushi Lake so that you can sit outside and enjoy every sunset with a hot steak and a cold beverage!
Upcoming projects include replacing docks, replacing the Loch Island dining room and bathroom floors, putting new sturdy tin roofs on the Otter Island cabins, building new decks and walkways at Camp Lochalsh, and renovating the Sandy Bay kitchen (which now has a new propane fridge and stove). There is never-ending work around a fishing lodge, but every summer we are dedicated to making improvements for our guests.
It seems like we were out on the lake just yesterday, enjoying sunny skies, shore lunch, and unparalleled fishing. As most of us have been plunged into freezing temperatures and snowstorms, imagining the perfect day on Wabatongushi Lake is the best escape, and soon enough it’ll be time to head back up to the lodge to open for 2018!