Q: Why did you purchase this beautiful lot of land?
Carl: We purchased the land in June 2011. Our son was attending college at Michigan Tech and was looking for a place to stay off campus. He told us about this beautiful lot and we had to come take a look. We saw the property for the first time in March of 2011. It was covered in snow and I immediately thought, “Yes, we have to have this.” Michelle asked why I felt so strongly about it, and honestly it was hard to explain. I felt the Lord telling me to buy the property. All we did was drive up on South Superior Road and I said I had to have it. I hadn’t even seen the lake yet! It definitely felt like there was some spiritual intervention happening because I felt called to own this property.
Q: What was your initial vision for the land?
Carl: Our original dream was to run the property much like how Camp Luther runs theirs, which is how their Keweenaw Base Camp (KBC) got established here. KBC is a Camp Luther program that specializes in group/team-building adventures and activities. So we built the pavilion in 2012 and KBC held their first summer retreats here in the summer of 2013. The dream was that, eventually, we’d donate it to Camp Luther so young adults can experience this untouched piece of beauty and feel closer to God and His design. That’s ultimately the heart behind our purchase and care of this land.
Q: Explain the transition to now offering cabin rentals?
Michelle: We renovated the Barn in 2014 to have a place for the camp director to stay. But then we decided to rent it out during the non-camp months. It took hold after a couple of weeks and we got our first renter. We then learned this could maybe be a thing; to rent out our places to generate revenue for the camp. The next place to remodel was the Love Palace (named after Love Lake). We then decided to bring on someone to run the property. From there we created the name Northwinds Adventures and the additional cabins. Since then, we’ve been constantly growing the property and creating a unique special venue for events (weddings, reunions, company picnics, etc.)
Q: So, what’s your vision for the future?
Carl: We plan to build three more cabins, bringing our total to seven rental properties. Eventually we will split the property line, cutting the lake in half essentially. 200 acres to the West will go to Camp Luther and will include most of the cabin rentals and adventure rentals. The other 200 acres on the East side will be our personal property. We’re currently building our home on that side of the lake and will keep one of our cabins there for guests as well. Once this plan is established, there will still be seven rentals for Camp Luther to maintain and generate. After we’re done with those three cabins we’re going to build sort of a gathering area for our families; a multi-family cabin residence that will have a shared central area with a kitchen and four offshoots with room and board that would fit up to 24 people.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about life in the U.P.?
Michelle: The peace. Most of the year it’s quiet.
Carl: The scenery, the untouched earth that God made is very much intact. There’s no blacktop cement, buildings.
Michelle: Just, the beauty is something to behold.
Carl: It’s really neat to have a place where we have something special with the lake. Someplace where people can enjoy it and have life-changing experiences. To get them out of the difficulty of the everyday grind.
Q: How do you make it through those tough winters?
Carl: Vodka! Haha!
Michelle: We take trips to warm destinations, we make sure to keep the fire stoked – just hearing that crackle every day keeps you warm. It’s really not too bad, it’s just long. So we make sure we take the time to enjoy it! We go snowmobiling a lot and just take it all in.
Carl: We’re not the norm here in Keweenaw. It’s kind of cool when you hear how 12″ of snow will shut down the whole world. For us, getting 12″ of snow in an afternoon is normal; we don’t think anything of it. We’re a special breed up here; we’re tough!
If you’re interested in booking a cabin to experience the beauty for yourself, call 920-606-5639 or visit http://northwindsadventures.com/our-lodging/