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  • It’s not exactly The Shining — well, maybe on second thought it is, or may as well be.

    For 25 or more years our daughter has carried uneasy recollections of the old lodge that are completely compatible with that maniacal Nicholson movie. She finally had the chance to face down those spooky memories formed when she was too young to understand all the dead things hanging on the walls of the intimidating building. Today we could laugh, shake our heads, and enjoy the quirkiness - along with a very good meal as well, actually.
  • The sign in front of Fish Lake Lodge, which is built of rough-cut spruce logs, dates the resort from 1911 while other sources say construction began in 1928. Sitting at an elevation of just under 9,000 feet, it is by any measure, a very large and very old building. The roof sags, logs inside and out are covered with cobwebs, floorboards are splintered and mushy.
  • The dining room with its paned windows that overlook the lake has been given some care and it is very pleasant. The walls, however, are still covered with a variety of taxidermy (both mammals and 34-pound fish), numerous antlers, and a strange assortment of pictures.

    A rather cute but dusty critter (pine martin?) presides over the door which opens directly from the dining room to the restrooms. There the floor undulates as much as the roof but with less predicability, and it is noticeably soft in many places. Maybe this is because showers are also available in the restrooms before 5:30 p.m. Dinner is served; bring your towel?
  • The lone waitress brought coffee and cream in a dainty little basket and the key to the padlock on the chain securing the door to the banquet hall. (Cover photo) Even with light streaming through the full length windows, the silence made the cavernous room seem full of decades-old shadows.

    An inviting but weathering porch runs along the entire back of the lodge. Looking in the French doors, we discovered that the other wing of the building once housed a ballroom equal in size to the dining and banquet rooms combined. It must have been quite the venue in its day. The one clue to possibly more recent use was marooned a few feet inside the doors and decidedly tacky. It left feelings of regret and melancholia as we peered at the empty bandstand through hands cupped against the glass.
  • It is a grand old building, and there are attempts at preservation and restoration in evidence. It seems to manage to continue limping along financially. We can only hope it will be there for future visits.
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