This is one of those winters that I’m glad I have a desk job with a heater blowing on my feet 24/7. Our construction crew has been working in tough conditions to get the lake remodel ready for our guests. But despite the freezing temperatures, a frozen lake, rain, snow, mud and more mud, the new ACE beach is well on its way to completion. Of course, along the way, we have encountered a few obstacles:1. A stand of trees
I love to watch trees grow (yes, one must be patient), so it always makes me cringe to witness the death of a tree that’s been growing for decades, if not generations. In this case, however, these pine trees had reached their twilight years. They were hybrids planted as part of a World War II reclamation program, and their life expectancy was only about 50 years. In fact, we had already started to lose some of the trees to old age. The good part is that this type of tree grows very straight. We can use them in several on-property building projects such as timber posts, benches, and parking barriers.
2. Mounds of dirt
In order to carve out a respectable lounging and volleyball area, we needed to remove tons and tons of dirt. Of course, that is only half the battle – the next dilemma is where do you put it? In our case, we didn’t have to travel far.
The small pond in front of the Truman House (adjacent to the main lake) has been slowly filling with silt and debris from the upper ponds. We decided to start filling it in to give one of our lodging units (the Truman House) a yard area and additional parking. Surprisingly, there still wasn’t enough material to fill it in completely.
3. Mud and more mud
Mud by its very nature is slippery and somewhat uncooperative. And on this end of the lake, the depth is about 4 feet, with a solid rock base covered by several inches of mud, leaves and such. The goal, of course, is to remove the mud – but how? Well, we came to the conclusion it would have to be done one scoop at a time. Check out the photos.
4. We sprung a leak
As we were digging into the bank, we exposed about five fresh-water seeps that tend to be more annoying than anything. For several, we installed drains to direct the water into the lake. Others are high on the bank and a bit more difficult to wrangle. Actually, we’re not quite sure what to do. For now, we’ll leave them alone and repair any erosion created as we go along.
On May 16th and 17th, we are planning a beach party to break in our newly expanded beach and celebrate ACE’s 30th year in business. Stay posted for more details – there could be a free trip to ACE in your future. We hope you can join us to kick off another great season!