I’m sure I’m not at all unique in the fact that the last week has felt like the longest decade of my life. A week ago, the phones were ringing off the hooks and the email reservation requests were coming in as fast as I could type. Then last Thursday happened. Now, the only sound is the ticking of my watch.

Sunset at Golden Eagle Lodge, Gunflint TrailLike everyone else, I watch while the whole world holds its breath, waiting to see what happens next. As individuals, we’ve been faced with situations and uncertainties we never would have dreamed of in America. As a business, we’ve grappled with many of these same situations and uncertainties. We’ve even debated long and hard if, as a business, we should even publicly acknowledge COVID-19, or if that will just add to the pandemonium. I think we are beyond that point, now. Despite the perfectly groomed ski trails and superb winter conditions, it feels like the world has stopped. Well, for that matter it has pretty much stopped!

I was thankful to be reminded yesterday that we still have the Great Outdoors to play in. A neighbor, who’s now working strictly from home, invited me over for an afternoon of outdoor recreation. It was a dreary afternoon, not unlike the mood of the entire week, but it was nice to get outside and somewhat get things off my mind. As I headed back home across Hungry Jack Lake, the world once again started to weigh heavily on my mind. They sky was starting to clear, and I glanced back over my shoulder towards the West. My eyes were met with the last rays of a beautiful sunset slipping behind the trees across the snow-covered lake. That’s when it hit me; this virus can touch our jobs, our businesses, our families, and our very lives, but it cannot touch the Sunset.

“It’s like in the great stories… The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun does shine, it will shine out the clearer.” ~Samwise Gamgee, spoken to Frodo Baggins, The Lord of the Rings

Photo over Hungry Jack Lake, March 16, 2020