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"The Ripple"

Hanson's Hideaway Lodge's Blog featuring the latest vacation information and events!

Spring Awakening

April 27, 2023

By Kiley Shebageget

“Spring work is going on with enthusiasm.” -John Muir

While late spring/summer/fall is generally known to be “camp season”, some of our busiest days are in early spring as we gear up for “camp season”. Once the snow melts and we have some consistent warm weather, opening season begins!

Spring cleanup is made of many big tasks. The cabins that we don’t use during the winter season are always drained every fall to avoid having to heat them and keep the water lines from freezing, and one of our first tasks in the spring is getting the water going to them again. Once the water is going, each cabin is thoroughly “spring-cleaned” – walls and ceilings washed down, every shelf, corner and surface washed, windows washed, all dishes and utensils washed and cupboards washed out, all linens that were put away in the fall get a fresh wash, etc. This also reveals any needed maintenance tasks, and equipment, supplies or furniture that needs fixing or replacing. We power wash cabin exteriors and decks as needed and just make sure that all of our buildings are in tip top shape and looking great!

Yardwork and landscaping are another big task. Snow plowing all winter can sometimes do a number on lawns, so there’s always rocks to pick ahead of grass mowing season. We try to rake and mulch as many of the fallen leaves as we can in the fall, but sudden fall snowstorms guarantee that we will always have to rake the majority of the property every spring. We are fortunate that some years we’ve been able to partner with local volunteer groups or sports teams looking to do some work to in exchange for a donation from us, so that usually means we get a good size group who comes and gets most of the yardwork done in a day or two. In those cases, we have a BBQ to feed everyone as well.

Once the ice finally melts and the lake is “open”, we get to work on docks. We have a few floating docks that we move and tie to the main docks though the winter to avoid any damage caused by the ice, and those have to be moved back into place and re-connected. The main stationary docks are always inspected for any damage to the decking or cribs, caused either by the ice or by high or low water the previous year. Once docks are in and fixed, the next big task is getting boats out of storage, serviced, cleaned out and ready for summer rentals. Kayaks, canoes and paddleboards also come out of their winter storage and get cleaned up and ready for summer use!

Major maintenance projects are completed in the spring, though that may have started in the fall when things closed down. One of those happening this year is new siding going on our duplex cabins (#6 & #8). Last fall, the old siding came down and we are in the process of putting the new siding up now! We also did some updating at the beach, pulling out the old retaining wall made of creosote railway ties. We will finishing that up with some spring landscaping work to have it all ready for this season.

Now while it’s mostly hard work all spring, we sometimes do sneak in the occasional day out on Crow Lake for some shorefishing for Lake Trout. There’s usually a short window where Trout are hanging out just off shore before moving out into deeper water as the temperatures rise. We go out and sit on an island and set some lines, or we may or may not even set up a line off one of our docks while we get the camp work done (pop cans make great alarm bells to let you know your line has moved). Work hard, play hard, right?? 😊

Despite all of the hard work needed in the spring, it truly is one of our favourite times as it is a time to refresh and renew, and we can’t wait for you to come enjoy this wonderful place with us once it’s ready to go!

Border Crossing Made Easy

March 29, 2023

By Kiley Shebageget

For those planning to visit us from the United States, one of the biggest things to plan ahead for is crossing the US/Canada border. There are lots of great resources available for up to date border crossing information that we wanted to share, and also sprinkle in some tips of our own.

Destination Ontario has compiled a lot of great information, including how to find border wait times, construction and traffic conditions, identification and customs requirements, and even a border crossing checklist. They update this regularly as border crossing information changes, so check them out close to when you plan to visit -

Northern Ontario Travel’s online magazine keep a regularly updated article on border crossings specifically in northern Ontario, and includes info on what kinds of questions you will be asked by Customs Officers, restricted and prohibited items that should be left at home, info on admissibility for anyone with DUIs, crossing the border with pets and what to expect if you are selected for a secondary inspection at customs -

The Northern Ontario Tourist Outfitter Association has border crossing tips that include what to bring to Canada (personal baggage, firearms and weapons, bringing your boat, etc), information on products not permitted to be imported (bait, cannabis, poultry, etc.) and lots of information for visitors with criminal records wishing to cross -

There are two land ports of entry to our region – International Falls, MN/Fort Frances, ON and Baudette, MN/Rainy River, ON. There are fees to cross the International Bridge at Fort Frances ($7 per car/pickup, $4 per trailer) and the bridge at Rainy River is a no fee crossing. Fridays and Saturdays during the summer season tend to see more traffic at the border, so plan for delays on those days or select arrival and departure days that avoid those days.

The Canada Border Services and U.S. Customs and Border Protection are very professional and will be very welcoming and helpful if you have any questions when crossing. We recommend to always be honest when answering questions and never try to sneak anything through that could pose a problem if you are selected for a secondary inspection. Bring enough groceries for your stay, but also remember that many goods should only be purchased upon arrival to Canada (bait, cannabis, certain restricted food items such as poultry items, etc). We are happy to recommend places to shop on your way to see us if needed.

Crossing the border may seem intimidating if this is your first visit to Canada, but for the most part it is a simple process if you have gone through the above information ahead of time and follow the guidelines. 

"The Ripple" re-born!

March 23, 2023

By Kiley Shebageget

Greetings to all of our friends near and far! The third day of spring 2023 is not feeling very spring-y at all, we had 6 inches of snowfall yesterday that we managed to dig out of and woke up to a chilly -15 degrees celcius this morning. However the sun is shining and the forecast looks to be in our favour over the short term so we'll take it!

Many of our longtime guests may remember that we used to do an annual mailout newsletter called "The Ripple". Before websites and social media came along, "The Ripple" was our primary way to keep in touch with with guests and friends and provide any information on the upcoming season. It was a whole family affair to do the write-ups, select photos and stuff, address and seal envelopes, and we always sent it out right around Christmas. From time to time, we will find an old copy laying around and it's a wonderful account of history to read through it and see how so many things have changed and also stayed the same.

While it's not necessarily feasible to continue the annual mailout (what with postal costs and the desire for instant information these days), we thought it might be fun to resurrect "The Ripple" in digital form. We will strive to provide lots of great information you need in planning a great vacation to visit us, while also providing fun musings from camp life and sharing info on events and activities and other happenings in our neck of the woods. Check back here a couple times per month for new entries!

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