Far From Home, a Good Thing
Submitted: October 12, 2010
Stayed: October 2010
The Miller Guesthouse is a cozy detached loft perched beside the owners' main house. The lake is no more than 100' shy of the stairway and can be glimpsed through the mantle of trees from the nestled balcony at the top of the stairs. Picture the accommodation as a clean, roomy, fully furnished treehouse. The interior is light with casual, comfortable furniture and ample closets and bureaus. (Only the shower is small.) At the water’s edge are benches, lawn chairs, and a hammock. The dock's built-in bench is a bounty: We spent a couple of afternoon hours there dazed by the sun. Nights the stars are your own.
The setting is extremely private and quiet—we saw a handful of other people on the road or at the lake, but it was the end of the summer, when seasoners bid a hasty bon voyage and year-rounders surrender to their fateful seclusion. The Millers are seldom seen. Around but not intrusive.
Burt Lake is of a size to throw its weight around. The lake is shallow until it is not. I can’t say about the fishing or the boating, but I'm told the lake is so large that the weather is apt to be different upon the opposite ends. I believe it. The Millers make available several watercraft, but we afforded ourselves only a brief paddle around the point in the canoe. Late afternoons the lake would get its spirit up, so we contented ourselves toasting the spectacular sunsets from the beach. A bonfire in the firepit would have been a fitting tribute.
The Guesthouse is five miles outside the town of Indian River. The drive is so scenic you’re apt to miss the turn. For those like us who can't readily accustom themselves to leisure, it's important to note there's no wireless at the Guesthouse or in Indian River proper. But the public library in Topinabee, a refurbished train depot siding Mullett Lake, offers free connectivity. The library is a stone's throw from the pocket-sized Cafe Noka, where we had an enjoyable lunch while riding the groomed North Central State Trail by bike. (Rent bikes at Mary Wadsworth Design in Indian River.) There are good-but-not-great restaurants in Indian River: Vivio's for pizza, The Brown Trout for other fare, and Christopher's for a light lunch. Try the Bakery in Alanson for a treat. The kitchen at the Guesthouse provides all the pots, pans, and utensils for cooking meals in. Why leave?
The region abounds with galleries and shops. Each burg has locals who know discrete histories of the Inland Waterway. Scenery and stories make the place.
Families with Young Children,
Helpful votes: 3/3
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