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The UP's Birch Lodge at Trout Lake May Have Once Been a Tuberculosis Sanitarium, But It's Delightful

Road trips always mean snacks. Giant seaweed snacks that is.

Well, to be clear, this was first time I've ever purchased the giant variety.

We had hoped to make it to Mackinac Bridge before dark. Not sure why the last time we drove over it it felt really scary. This time it was fine.

Nah, it was still scary. The center grates give me the whillies.

Scott found us a historic resort to stay in the for the night, the Birch Lodge at Trout Lake. It was after we booked the room that we found out it was originally a tuberculosis hospital.

Well, it was, but very briefly. I'd seen this place when planning our trip to the UP this past summer, it was a good price and looked right up our alley. It's only about a half hour from St. Ignace, which made a perfect spot between Lowell and Three Lakes.

It was darling none-the-less. Notice the white framed areas above the beds. Our room was originally three rooms. The current owners saved the original transom windows but closed off the doors. 

You can still see all the original doorways in the hallway.

After settling in we went in search of dinner in Trout Lake. There were only 2 restaurants available in town. We tried the Buckhorn but they were closing the kitchen right as we arrived.

So we ended up picking up some sandwiches from the corner market down the block. Not exactly fancy, but it would do.

The owner mentioned the original dining hall was a community space so we ate our sandwiches in there.
 
Eventually they plan to open a restaurant in this space. When that day comes, we have to come back.
 

We were also told there was a cabinet of games to play. Sign us up!

This whole place felt super cozy on this winter day.

Of course Theo picked Sorry.

Our room was the Fawn room, which featured historic photos of the original resort owners pet deer. 

I also love that they renovated the place to historic details. 

We need a shower like this! Maybe if we had a bathroom to our 3rd floor some day.

Rise and shine little buddy.

We got ready to check out their breakfast.

In the mornings they have donuts and drinks for the guests. You know our kids love that.

Don't forget the fruit!



This parlor upstairs was another common space for guests.


In the summer they have canoes and kayaks you can use.

I think we'll have to stop here next time we do our Tuska Christmas.

Or for your birthday one of these years. Not quite a cabin, but close...
 
There's also a motel on the property.

Since we were nearby I thought we should stop back at Kitch-iti-kipi. Even though we were just here in the summer I wanted to see it in the winter. 

I was pretty sure this was going to be meh in the winter, but sometimes you have to give in to the ones you love.

I thought we'd be the only ones but we had to wait for another group and then were joined by another family.

It is harder to see without the cover helping the reflections.

But you could indeed see.


The only downside really is that you have to turn the pulley wheel for a lot longer since it's only you and one other family. It definitely seemed harder to turn in winter.

I thought it would be best if we ate at the nearby bar, the Big Spring Tavern, before heading southwest to the Wisconsin Northwoods.

We may have had bigger eyes than stomachs. Scott never believes me that sometimes appetizers are a meal themselves.

We split these rueben fries and a BLT, but it was still way too much.

Hey I know this picture.

Nice place, would come back. No Port Bar, but a nice place.
 
Our car is notorious for getting stuck in snow. 

I don't really remember getting stuck in snow, but I might be suffering from blocking out bad memories.

We made it about this far before we couldn't get any farther.

Smooth move, dude. Oh, that was me.  
 
The kids immediately built a snowman while waiting for the house to heat up.
 


And then we played on the lake.

Not much snow this year. 

But still lots of fun. It is my favorite weekend of the year: Northwoods NYE!

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