Family Fun * Food * Fishing

-- for more of Rita's Blogs and Photography go to www.ritafarmer.com/newblog/lostlakelodge

 

Mama Rita and her family Loving Lost Lake Lodge

 

 

After being serenaded by a symphony of tree frogs and falling asleep to the sound of gentle rain falling on the water, I was awakened that first morning by one of my favorite sounds: the long, haunting call of a loon echoing across a glassy lake. 

Later that morning, Andrew and I - each with a kid nestled in our laps - paddled out into the middle of the placid lake in kayaks. We caught a glimpse of white about 20 feet up in a majestic red pine on the shore and instantly knew it was a bald eagle. As we paddled closer, it took flight, soaring overhead for a minute before joining its mate in another tree down the shore. 

As the eagles made their presence known, the male loon that had been tracking our path from a safe distance, called out loudly. Almost frantically. And it became readily apparent why: nearby a mama loon sat on a nest in the marshy grasses at the edge of the lake. 

Thankfully, no circle-of-life scenes unfolded before our eyes. Instead, we just drifted in our kayaks - the kids being remarkably quiet - and watched two pairs of our state's most striking birds in their natural habitat. We were guests on their turf and for those few moments, we felt like the only humans in a world we are fortunate enough to share with these creatures.

I have written before about the mystical quality of Minnesota lake life. "Up North" is more than just a place; it's a state of mind. A way of life. Something we feel nostalgic for even while we're in the midst of it. It's where we go to relax, recharge, and reconnect with nature.

For me, there is a direct correlation between the remoteness of the location and the quality of that unique Up North experience. Hence the appeal of true wilderness like Minnesota's State Parks and the Boundary Waters. Realistically, though, those spots aren't always easy with small children. 

Enter Lost Lake Lodge. My friend, Jill, and I were invited up to this small family-owned resort with our families over Memorial Day Weekend (filed under: amazing-experiences-that-have-come-my-way-because-of-photography). Lost Lake Lodge has all the modern conveniences of any major resort on Gull Lake and then some: pontoon boats, fine dining, even wifi. It's a great place for families with kids, with an old-school summer camp vibe and all of the activities that go along with that: campfires, fishing, scavenger hunts.

But tucked behind the cabins that face Gull Lake, the Lodge has its true hidden gem: Lost Lake. The private lake has no boat launch and no motorized watercraft. Save for the resort's small beach, the shores are completely undeveloped, meaning no fertilizer run-off from manicured lawns, no real signs of civilization, and the old growth forests along the banks are still intact. It's as authentic a wilderness experience as I've had in the BWCA, but we were able to stay in a comfortable cabin instead of a tent and eat farm-to-table salads and braised short ribs for dinner.

I am grateful for the opportunity to visit and photograph this magical place. And I'm already lobbying my family to go back. I have the feeling I'll succeed. 

Below are some of my favorite photos from our stay.

 

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Family Time at Lost Lake Lodge Memorial Day Weekend

Hello! We were totally thrilled to be invited by Lost Lake Lodge to stay for Memorial Day Weekend!

Hello! We were totally thrilled to be invited by Lost Lake Lodge to stay for Memorial Day Weekend!

We went with my friend Rita and her family. The lodge is a beautiful, intimate, all-inclusive resort located a few miles away from Nisswa, MN.

We went with my friend Rita and her family. The lodge is a beautiful, intimate, all-inclusive resort located a few miles away from Nisswa, MN.

It was an honor to be the photographer of this special spot! I am excited to say that I also might teach a mobile photography weekend clinic there someday...

It was an honor to be the photographer of this special spot! I am excited to say that I also might teach a mobile photography weekend clinic there someday...

This was our cabin! Lost Lake Lodge is unique for several reasons. The first is that it is a small, cozy resort with just 14 cabins. It seems that everyone we met had been coming there for years and years. You can tell it is a beloved spot to many Minnesota families. A tradition. 

This was our cabin!

Lost Lake Lodge is unique for several reasons.

The first is that it is a small, cozy resort with just 14 cabins. It seems that everyone we met had been coming there for years and years.

You can tell it is a beloved spot to many Minnesota families. A tradition. 

Secondly, it is all inclusive - and the meals are seriously gourmet! Every day we enjoyed a delicious breakfast buffet. The evening meals were out of this world. Perfectly cooked premium steaks, hazelnut encrusted walleye, Asian pork tenderloin, and, my favorite, a lamb manicotti that I had to have twice because it was SO good. It is definitely crave-worthy. One of those meals I'll be dreaming of eating again in a week or so!

Secondly, it is all inclusive - and the meals are seriously gourmet! Every day we enjoyed a delicious breakfast buffet. The evening meals were out of this world. Perfectly cooked premium steaks, hazelnut encrusted walleye, Asian pork tenderloin, and, my favorite, a lamb manicotti that I had to have twice because it was SO good. It is definitely crave-worthy. One of those meals I'll be dreaming of eating again in a week or so!

When I posted a photo on Instagram and said that I was at Lost Lake Lodge, someone commented "Best food on Gull Lake" and they aren't kidding. Gull Lake is BIG and has a lot of restaurants and Lost Lake Lodge's restaurant is certainly the gem.  

When I posted a photo on Instagram and said that I was at Lost Lake Lodge, someone commented "Best food on Gull Lake" and they aren't kidding.

Gull Lake is BIG and has a lot of restaurants and Lost Lake Lodge's restaurant is certainly the gem.

 

Also unique is that the lodge is on a point-like area that allows you access to two lakes! The very large and popular Gull Lake on one side and the small, private Lost Lake on the other.

Also unique is that the lodge is on a point-like area that allows you access to two lakes! The very large and popular Gull Lake on one side and the small, private Lost Lake on the other.

On Lost Lake we saw turtles, frogs, bald eagles, and a pair of loons fly by while we played and swam.

On Lost Lake we saw turtles, frogs, bald eagles, and a pair of loons fly by while we played and swam.

We spent most of our days at Lost Lake - enjoying all of the toys that Lost Lake Lodge leaves out for their guests: SUP's, paddle boats, kayaks, canoes, a water slide, a floating island, and so much more. It was such a perfect spot for our boys to play! They got to try out every water toy.

We spent most of our days at Lost Lake - enjoying all of the toys that Lost Lake Lodge leaves out for their guests: SUP's, paddle boats, kayaks, canoes, a water slide, a floating island, and so much more. It was such a perfect spot for our boys to play! They got to try out every water toy.

It was hilarious to watch Arlo jump on a SUP for the first time and cruise away like he had been doing it for years. The beach area also had a basketball hoop, some swings, a fire circle and even a bath house with fresh towels, running water and a toilet. 

It was hilarious to watch Arlo jump on a SUP for the first time and cruise away like he had been doing it for years. The beach area also had a basketball hoop, some swings, a fire circle and even a bath house with fresh towels, running water and a toilet. 

Our beautiful newly updated cabin was on the other lake, Gull Lake. Nearly every window had a view of the water. This morning I watched the fog roll off the water as the sun rose. An ethereal scene (until I fell back asleep!)  

Our beautiful newly updated cabin was on the other lake, Gull Lake. Nearly every window had a view of the water. This morning I watched the fog roll off the water as the sun rose. An ethereal scene (until I fell back asleep!)

 

Our cabin had a pier located just steps from our door and Cy had a blast bringing in one fish after another! One day he caught 32 fish in a little over an hour! 29 blue gills, 2 large mouths and a pumpkinseed. The fishing was terrific! We watched his new friend Henry pull in a fat croppie this morning! They definitely caught a lot of keeper-sized fish.

Our cabin had a pier located just steps from our door and Cy had a blast bringing in one fish after another! One day he caught 32 fish in a little over an hour! 29 blue gills, 2 large mouths and a pumpkinseed. The fishing was terrific! We watched his new friend Henry pull in a fat croppie this morning! They definitely caught a lot of keeper-sized fish.

Speaking of his new friend Henry - that was the other thing that made Lost Lake Lodge really special.

Speaking of his new friend Henry - that was the other thing that made Lost Lake Lodge really special.

Since it is so small, you feel a teeny bit like you're at camp (a really amazing camp with gourmet food). As I said, we came up with our close friends (Rita & her family) and we spent the majority of time with them. But we also made new friends: Charlie & Ann and their boys, Franklin and Henry. 

Since it is so small, you feel a teeny bit like you're at camp (a really amazing camp with gourmet food). As I said, we came up with our close friends (Rita & her family) and we spent the majority of time with them. But we also made new friends: Charlie & Ann and their boys, Franklin and Henry. 

Playing hide-and-seek with new friends after dinner Our boys adored their boys! They became fast friends. And they live very close by to us in Minneapolis! The boys are already begging to have them over. We just loved their parents - they were down to earth, funny & kind - so hopefully we will hang out with them again back home!

Playing hide-and-seek with new friends after dinner

Our boys adored their boys! They became fast friends. And they live very close by to us in Minneapolis! The boys are already begging to have them over. We just loved their parents - they were down to earth, funny & kind - so hopefully we will hang out with them again back home!

They don't call her Mamacita Rita for nothing! On our last night we went with Rita's family out on a pontoon. We slowly cruised around, just enjoying the sights and sounds of Gull Lake. And finally, the boys did a little more fishing as the sun began to set. 

They don't call her Mamacita Rita for nothing!

On our last night we went with Rita's family out on a pontoon. We slowly cruised around, just enjoying the sights and sounds of Gull Lake. And finally, the boys did a little more fishing as the sun began to set. 

The loon is Minnesota's official state bird. It has the most beautiful call. The sound of summer. We will definitely be coming back up to visit! It was such an easy car ride home too! Just a little over 2 hours. We don't go to my parents' cabin in Wisconsin just for a weekend because it is too far away (4.5 hrs) to go Fri-Sun -but Lost Lake Lodge certainly is close enough for a weekend away. And they make it so easy - all you need to bring is a few sets of clothes - and they really do provide the rest!

The loon is Minnesota's official state bird. It has the most beautiful call. The sound of summer.

We will definitely be coming back up to visit! It was such an easy car ride home too! Just a little over 2 hours. We don't go to my parents' cabin in Wisconsin just for a weekend because it is too far away (4.5 hrs) to go Fri-Sun -but Lost Lake Lodge certainly is close enough for a weekend away. And they make it so easy - all you need to bring is a few sets of clothes - and they really do provide the rest!

Thank you so much Lost Lake Lodge for having us this weekend. It was an absolutely wonderful weekend filled with friends and fun. The perfect way to kick off summer and be with the ones we love.   

Thank you so much Lost Lake Lodge for having us this weekend. It was an absolutely wonderful weekend filled with friends and fun. The perfect way to kick off summer and be with the ones we love. 

 

With Love,

❤️The Emmer's

Summer is here!

We have started the season with a bang.  We were happy to host a wedding for 160 people.  The Bridal Party and many family members stayed on property.  They hosted their own BBQ dinner on property and then had an amazing ceremony on the beach.  The food was stellar and bars were positioned around the property for easy access to their guest.

Then we were honored to showcase Chef Matt and Sovereign Winery at a wonderful food and wine weekend.  Lots of tasting and learning about wine, food and drinks ensued with demonstrations and yummy bites to share. Thank you to Terri Savaryn and Ben Banks for joining us up at the lake!

Book your Summer vacation now and keep checking back for special weekends to enjoy.

Thinking about a wedding?  Bachelor/ette party or grooms dinner?  A special girlfriend getaway?  Family reunion?  Call and let us help you make your event special.

2016 will be a great year at Lost Lake Lodge! A huge thank to everyone who chose to make memories with their friends and family at Lost Lake in the past.  We are working to make your experience even better in the future.

Happy 70th Birthday Lost Lake Lodge!

For seventy years Lost Lake Lodge has been a special place for families and friends to gather.  As we consider this rather long history it is apparent why many families keep coming back year after year.  We have been a part of many families’ traditions, memories and we know we will be a part of their future as we strive to make the resort the best that it can be.

With just 14 cabins, you are part of the family, not part of the crowds.  Our setting is intimate.  We have a friendly staff who have the ability to make your vacation unique to your needs and desires.  We have wonderful dinning rooms and shared spaces.  Not only do you not have to cook, the chef inspired meals are one of the highlights of your vacation.

  •  The new theme for the restaurant is "Global Flavors, Local Roots" -- and so far we have gotten rave reviews!  Back this year are some traditional favorites and a Minnesota dish with everything you love about eating in our state.  Guests who have a little more time can enjoy a four course menu.  For those who want quality ingredients and preparation, but have an eye on getting back out to the lake; order off the menu.
  • Cabin Renovations and New Cottages -- Part of our plan to ensure Lost Lake Lodge is around for generations to come is to renovate and remodel our cabins and build larger cottages which will be offered for sale to private owners. Cabins and Cottages will be rented to resort guests when their owners are not using them.  And the transformations have been incredible!
  • You can own a little piece of this heaven. Renting a cabin at Lost Lake will feel exactly the same, but now we have investment opportunities for those who would like to own a cottage.  Are you interested in purchasing your own piece of Lost Lake Lodge? Drop us a line! 
  • New weekend retreats and special events for everyone! Many new things to try.  New knowledge to gain and more fun to be had.  Look for special weekend packages.

We can't wait to see what 2016 has in store. It will mark the 70th Anniversary of Lost Lake Lodge!