2022 Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas
Yeah! We made it through 2022.  It started with the flooding.  The good news is we only lost the fish cleaning building and the Northern Outback dock.  It put us behind MORE and/or AGAIN!  We figured there was around 3 feet of water on the road coming from the parking lot to the camp. The flood water got into the generator building and barely into the generator. Thank goodness the generator survived.  We almost lost the building that contained the boats motors.  Go there was some positive.  Everything was floating in that area such as LP tanks.  Then we got 6 inches of snow which knocked down 33 water drenched pine trees like toothpicks.  At that time, we were stranded at the camp.  We were thankful for Adam to cut a path to the parking lot.  The Bill Ware group helped Dean rescue the marble counters from the fish cleaning building.  The Jeff Obrecht group helped with our free dock.  We think the dock came from Ogani
over the falls. Then it was just a matter of cleaning up.  We also were in the process of finishing our cabin while staying in the Skunk Hollow.  Another rush job.  Dean did get the wonderful, new fish cleaning building finished. My every day job was to keep the phone and internet working.  I finally made the phone into cell phone.  Wrong year to have a litter of pups in Canada
.  It was a cooler summer/fall and a struggle to keep everything warm enough.   I finished out August with breaking my patella (bad leg) by falling into a step carrying a vacuum.  Thank goodness it was a non-displaced fracture.  Adam saved the day AGAIN and brought me home.  I was placed in a brace from the hip to the ankle for 7 weeks. Brings back nightmares!  Dean brought home the nine adorable pups and four dogs.  I had a neighbor help me out for a couple weeks and then I was able to manage.  The only problem was I became attached to those little pups because didn’t have Dean to spoil.  Then the insurance company said we needed to replace all the fireplaces because they didn’t meet code.  More stress! Ahhhh! We decided we had enough and wanted to sell. The insurance company’s way of working with us was to give us two months to replace the fireplaces with no heat available to guests.  We changed our insurance company.  That was a relief. Sorry for any inconvenience and any stress that might have been shown.  Things are now improving.  We are ready for 2023 and my leg is good.  Cabins will have new vacuums and cleaning supplies.  We did sell our cabin in South
.  Our retirement plans have changed for some reason (Covid).  Even after all the craziness, we did enjoy 2022.  We love being on Bluffy and at the Lodge and seeing you! The fishing was great and we ate lots of fish.  OUT WITH COVID RESTRICTIONS AND IN WITH A PROSPEROUS, ENJOYABLE, UNEVENTFUL 2023!
            Our family is doing well.  Our oldest son, Grant, moved to New Mexico
 because he hates snow and winter.  He kept his job working for the Beltrami Telephone Company in satellite systems.  He has great friends in New Mexico
 and is enjoying the weather.  Our oldest daughter, Danielle, moved to Waterloo
 and is working for the City of Waterloo
. Our youngest daughter, Jen, is still working for the State of Iowa
, and youngest son, Adam, lives close by and works for one of his best friends in the trailer business.  Our grandkids and 3 great grandsons are healthy.  Which is a lot to be thankful for.  P.S.  I have a new, warm place to visit in the winter (Tularosa
, New Mexico
            We are changing a few things for next year.  We didn’t change pricing of packages much this year but instead took away free gas.  Between the gas, LP, and diesel, it took a big bite out of expenses.  Dean is working at finding a way to weigh or measure gas. Each gas container will have 5 gallons.  The containers take 6 gallons but cannot have that much because of spillage.  The gas will be charged at the current Canadian price and converted to USD. Hoping for cheaper gas next year.  The highest price in 2022 was $10 gallon CAD.   I can’t imagine that LP and diesel will go down but we can hope.  Our minnows went up with the higher gas prices. Each fly-in last year of minnows was $850. The week before you arrive, we will ask if you will be using minnows and arrange bait accordingly. Because of the 25% increase in LP, the LP deep fat fryers will have a charge.  We will have new vacuums and cleaning supplies in each cabin to help both your group and us get the cabins for the next group. 
            At this time, there aren’t any Covid restrictions for next year.  The ArriveCAN is available for those that really enjoyed using it.  I am pretty sure we will not.  Otherwise we don’t know of any changes for fishing or hunting.  Of course, fishing was great in 2022 and will be great again next year.  The biggest fish caught were walleye at 32″ and northern  at 46″ in Whitemud by a female guest.
            We will be closing the camp for the season the first weekend in September 2023.  Economically it isn’t worth keeping the open for a few people in September with generator costs around $500 CAD per week.  It also gives us more time to get home and get ready for winter.  Our plans are to open up for rifle moose hunting in October. 
            Dean did get our home and garage stained before the early cold set in.  He didn’t get as much wood cut.  Deer season gave Adam and Dean bucks.  I took a vacation with my sister to Kauai
 in January.  It was great to have family time!  This year it is a vacation in New Mexico
.  I do keep busy but it is mostly on my butt!
            Plans for next year are remodeling Walleye Shack (mosquito haven) and fixing the Northern Outback dock.  Dean needs to get electricity and water to the new fish cleaning building.  We are looking for carpenters in the spring to get a jump start.  It never ends!  We call it job security.  Only we don’t pay ourselves.
            Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a super, wonderful, prosperous 2023!  Thanks again to everyone that made the trip to Bluffy Lake Lodge in 2022 and for the people that helped us get caught up. 

Donna and Dean