September was quiet at the lodge. The weather was so beautiful I should have taken some time off for fishing or hiking. Instead I used the warm dry time for painting the lodge. I didn’t quite finish but most of it is done, and it is the first time I have been able to get the whole building done at one time.
Our only activity at the lodge was our “Hike and Bike” weekend. It was a great weekend with many of our longtime veterans attending. Most of our hike and bikers have been guests at Claybrook Lodge for 25 years. They are the people who made our business a success and shaped the way we do things. They have become dear friends, and we have shared so many adventures that they have become part of our family. I want to thank them all for being such a big part of our lives.
With little business in September Pat was able to spend some time with Anna and Jay and of course Levi. I went down for an overnight and delivered a load of firewood. It is hard to comprehend how quickly Levi is growing and learning. He is heavy enough now that Anna has strained her back from lifting and needed a little break. Levi calls Pat “Ya-Ya” and I am Papa. He especially loves “Sawwee” (Sally the dog).
I did take a ride down the Dead River to provide a canoe for 2 Alaskan women, paddling from Grand Falls to the Big Eddy on Maine Huts and Trails route. They were having a nice adventure, but I am afraid it was a bit tame compared to what they were used to. I hiked from the boat launch to meet them, and we came together at the little bridge across the stream below the falls. I checked the stream for a fish and discovered something rare. There was a Cusk finning in the shallow part of the stream. They are native to Flagstaff Lake, but this is the first I have ever seen. They look more like an Eel than a fish and prefer to dwell in deep water. I’m not sure what it was doing in this little shallow stream except that the water is from a cold spring, and the river was warm at the time.
The fall foliage began to turn early, and it was spectacular at the end of September. I saw a big bull moose following tracks of two cows on the Round up road. I guess the rut has begun early also. Though he was interested in my call, he was even more interested in the fresh scent of the cows and didn’t linger long.
Beechnuts and acorns are piling up on the ground, and the critters are taking advantage. Deer hunting is just around the corner. I’m looking forward to it.
Greg and Pat