Several years ago, in August of 1990, to be exact, Doug and I were wrapping up a vacation in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. On the day we started for home, we came upon the Seney National Wildlife Refuge and decided to spend some time there. As a result, we didn't get far that day.
By the time we left the Wildlife Refuge, the hour was getting late; and we had no idea where we were going to spend the night. The nearest town of any size was about 45 minutes to an hour in the opposite direction of where we wanted to go.
We were approaching the intersection where we would have to make the decision about whether to continue towards home and possibly have to drive hours before we found a motel or to turn in the other direction and, hopefully, find something within an hour or so.
Just then, we saw a sign that said "Blaney Camp 9," advertising nightly rates of $35. Even 20 years ago, that was a pretty attractive rate.
We decided it wouldn't hurt anything to at least stop and look at the place.
The "office" was actually the home of the proprietor. The "rooms" were separate little cottages. As we learned later, this had been the site of an old lumber camp. The man who now owned it had turned it into a bed and breakfast of sorts. I think he was sizing us up as much as we were sizing him up during our initial meeting. We must have passed his inspection, though, because he took us to a unit to let us see it.
We were charmed.
The cottage was tiny, but immaculate. The furnishings included a very inviting queen bed, a chest of drawers, a comfortable chair, and a television.
The bathroom, though also tiny, was equipped with all the usual necessities. In short, it was perfect. It looked like a little honeymoon cottage; and, as it happened, that night just happened to be our third wedding anniversary. We couldn't have found a more charming place in which to spend it.
We marveled, as we often do, at God's gracious provision.
|Our host can be seen here, making his breakfast deliveries.|
The next morning, our host delivered to our cottage door muffins fresh out of the oven, freshly squeezed orange juice, coffee, and a copy of the Detroit newspaper. (Thus earning the "bed and breakfast" designation of his little enterprise.)
For several years afterward, our host sent us a Christmas newsletter, as if we were old friends. Then, eventually, the newsletters stopped coming.
Five years ago, 15 years to the day after our first visit and during another anniversary trip to the Upper Peninsula, we drove by Blaney Camp 9 to see how it was faring. Sadly, it appeared abandoned and neglected.
It was disheartening to see the place in such a state of neglect, but we will always remember fondly the charming place it was when we stumbled onto it the night of our third anniversary.
I wonder what has become of our host of that day. I hope he's happy.