November 22nd, 2013 in Yesterday
In the early days of Scottish Lakes, right after we bought the business, the lodge looked very different. It was just the main room that you enter from the front door….although the door was actually on the left side, not centered the way it is now. The floor was basic wood, not treated or painted. It was simply a large room. You sat on benches and leaned against cold, uninsulated walls around the fire. There were not as many guest and particularly in early winter no one was there during the week. As a result the front door of the lodge was locked from the inside. To enter you came in upstairs, lowered yourself through the trap door and dropped onto the floor to unlock the front door and let people in.
One extremely cold day we arrived at High Camp and Don went up to let everyone in. He dropped through the trap door down onto the lodge floor and slipped on a sheet of ice! What was going on? He fumbled around to open the door, but he could not open it….the layer of ice was higher than the door jam. Lighting a kerosene lamp he saw there was about 3 inches of ice on the entire floor of the lodge with a waterfall of ice coming out of the sink. We always left the water dripping so the pipes would not freeze…but, we had also left the strainer in the sink. It was in the plugged position which caused the sink to fill with water and then overflow onto the floor. Over the week a wall to wall ice rink was created! We were overwhelmed with the situation. What was it going to take to bring the lodge back to normal.
Well we started a fire in the woodstove and dragged in some propane heaters to start melting the ice. We freed up the front door then shoveled the slush out as the hard layer of ice melted using snow shovels. Over the course of the day with the heaters and the roaring fire the ice melted and was shoveled out…as much as possible before it was completely liquid. The amazing thing was…by dinner time the ice was gone and the floor was dry. What had overwhelmed us earlier was history. Just another story for a newsletter 19 years later.