It’s been nearly two weeks since we touched down in Queenstown and made the drive to Cedar Lodge for our fifth season. The weather was absolutely awful upon arrival. All of our local friends were blaming us for bringing the rain and snow to summer again and I was beginning to believe them after last years “worst summer in 30 years”. We spent a few days at home doing what we could to prepare when your power is out and its dumping rain…..and snow. Finally, a cold southerly wind finished us off with snow down to 400 meters, and a gorgeous clear morning. It’s been stunning spring weather since. Rivers have dropped into shape and despite not traveling far from the lodge we have caught fish every day we have tried.
We had a bit of time before the first guests arrived so a tennis tournament in Dunedin was on the slate. Dunedin reminds me a bit of Eugene as it has approximately 21,000 students in a town with a population of 130,000 people. Patsy’s won all of her matches to contribute to her Southern Lakes team.
After the tennis tourney, it was back to work getting the lodge ready for guests. The helicopter got a complete rebuild(ouch), the kids bedrooms and laundry room received facelifts, we needed to “move back in” freezers, beds etc.. Meanwhile the walk-in fridge at the lodge needed a quick fix(nothing is quick out here), the lawn mower belt snapped, my computer’s screen failed, the phone line at the lodge was out, meat slicer needs a fix, smoker needs a repair, golf cart isn’t charging, deisel in the petrol mower(mislabeled jerrycan) and more. Oh the joys of lodge ownership. As I write this I have all but the slicer fixed but there were a few days there where I felt like everything I touched was going to sh….
We continue to develop the landscaping around the property. Gardens are in and producing, the bark mulch from the removal and chipping of 10 trees around the property has been spread. The golf course is ready and mowed. We have filled numerous trailers with clippings from the native garden around the outside dining area.
As I said earlier the weather has turned for the better and water conditions have been fantastic. We have managed to catch a few fish out walking or driving short distances from the lodge. The suggestion is that it’s going to be a hot dry summer. Despite a few windy afternoons, it’s been sunny and gorgeous. After some tractor/mower therapy by “yesterdays days end” the lodge was looking and feeling better than ever and we are stoked for a great 2017-2018 season!