Sandy Points Blog

A Stroll Down Sandy Point Lane

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When the girls were little, we looked forward to our daily stroll down Sandy Point Lane. Our blacktopped lane is about a quarter mile long. It leads to the mailbox. 

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But now that most of our mail is delivered electronically and my girls find ways to NOT spend time with me, I’ve found other reasons to travel Sandy Point Lane.

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The main reason? 

It’s beautiful.

 

The trip down Sandy Point Lane is the real start to everyone’s summer vacation. 

Welcome.

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How Many Resorts Still Allow Dogs?

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We have a dog. She’s a six-pound, longhaired Chihuahua. How do you spell A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E? If you’re a dog lover, it’s hard not to adore Cinco at first sight. If she further blesses you with a sniff and offers the opportunity to pet her, the word L-O-V-E may even form in your mind.

If Cinco doesn’t like you—say you’re another four-legged bitch threatening her family, or she just doesn’t fancy the smell of you—you may find her yappy bark quite annoying. We get it. No one loves their dogs more than their owners. Some dog owners love their pets SO much they’re simply blind to anything that may cause others to be annoyed.

 

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We used to live in the San Francisco Bay Area. At the time, in the city of Berkeley, there wasn’t a STOP sign in town that didn’t have an additional message spray-painted below it. “STOP War;” “STOP Abuse;” “STOP Racism;” etc. Because of this, I remember not being the least bit surprised about finding graffiti on nearly every public sign in the East Bay. One I remember particularly well was in a public park. The sign read: “ALL DOGS MUST BE ON LEASH.” And the spray paint below it read: This includes YOUR dog!”

So often people believe the rules don’t apply to them. Specifically in the case of dog owners, many are so sure their dog is the most well trained—the best-behaved dog ever—that a leash isn’t necessary. These are the same owners who simply don’t hear their dog barking incessantly at all hours of the day, whether they’re inside ignoring the barking, or away all day, neglecting the ‘best-behaved dog ever.’

As resort owners who happen to love dogs, we want to provide a facility that allows dogs. We’ve tried. Over the years, 17 to be exact, we’ve had to tweak the dog policy to make it work for us; however, I’ve come to believe no one reads policies in advance. They only read them after they leave, and only if they have a reason.

The reason would be, of course, because we kept the dog deposit.

 

We currently don’t charge for dogs. We only charge a deposit. The deposit is refundable, unless there are violations to our policy. I can count the number of times we’ve found it necessary to keep a dog deposit. Most—repeat MOST—owners are highly responsible in picking up after their pets. There is virtually no sign that a dog was on property, indoors or out, after they’ve left.

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Unfortunately, there are and will always be exceptions. And it’s the less responsible dog owners that ruin it for the rest. When the offending dog owner further proclaims we are completely unfair or unjustified in keeping the deposit and goes as far as to issue threats such as: We’re never coming back and we’re telling ALL our friends to never go to Sandy Point;” well, we have to put them in our “People Can be Jerks” file and move on.

But it also means we have to change the policy. We simply don’t like being put in the same awkward/difficult situation more than twice and being the kind of people who learn from our experiences, we once again find the need to change our dog policy.

Yesterday I searched for websites of other resorts that allow dogs and nearly every one I found charges a fee. It costs us $150 to fly with Cinco (and there’s NO clean-up required by placing her soft crate under the seat in front of us). Every hotel we stay at for weekend soccer tournaments that actually allows dogs has a fee as well.  So, our research has shown that Sandy Point is unique for two reasons: 1. It still allows pets and 2. It doesn’t charge a fee.

Time to get with the program.

We only allow dogs in the shoulder/off-seasons. This will still be the case. But now there will be a fee in ADDITION to the damage deposit. We don’t want owners to think just because they’re paying for the privilege of bringing their dog that they don’t have to clean up after their best friend as well.

And if we feel the need to keep the cleaning/damage deposit, I guarantee you, we are justified in doing so. If it means you’ll never come back to Sandy Point with your barking, shedding, clawing dogs . . . good.

 

 

Open During Construction

Project Managers of the Hwy. 70 construction project, employees of the Wisconsin D.O.T., paid us a personal visit today in response to the phone message Mike left asking how long Hwy. 70 would be closed to Thru Traffic. It was good of them to visit because we have a legitimate gripe. Our business is, more-or-less, inaccessible. Currently, the detour takes motorists so far out of the way to get to our resort and disc golf course, they may as well plan to spend the day at Mall of America in Minneapolis.

Thank goodness, many of the locals know the backroads and traffic picked up a little today on the disc golf course.

Here's what the D.O.T. field managers told us today: "It will be another two weeks before Hwy. 70 is open past Cty. Hwy. D and the detour will be in place until Fourth of July. That is, of course, only if the contractors meet their deadline. They may not finish in time and opt to take on the penalty. We have no way of knowing."

Not much comfort for a Mom and Pop operation like us.

We have an extremely limited number of weeks—14—to make our income for the year. When the D.O.T. makes our business impossible to access, that doesn't bode much hope for the bottom line. They claimed they contacted all the businesses along Hwy. 70 to give them ample warning to make detour signs and contact their customers. We, however, weren't contacted. The representatives admitted they failed to consider the idea of businesses exisiting North and South of the road. . . .     (Duh). "We'll know better next time," they said.

Next time being 15 years from now when a new road project occurs? Anyone want to place a bet that these two employees will still be working for the government D.O.T?

Nevertheless, there is a viable detour, for which it was suggested we supply our own signage. We'll do it; however, in case you actually check this blog or even the front page of our website, here are the details:

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From Minocqua, head north on Hwy. 51 to Hwy. 47 toward Lac du Flambeau.

Just before you reach downtown (the casino) turn south on Cty. D. Just outside of town, take a right on "Indian Village Rd." 

Take it to Chaquamegon Forest and make a left. It will turn into Mitten Lake Road. Mitten Lake Rd. dead-ends at Hwy. 70.

Make a right (west) and go about a block. You'll immediately see our freshly painted ROAD ARROWS, pointing you left on East Squaw Lake Road. From there go 3/4 mile and you'll see our sign at the corner of East Squaw and North Squaw, pointing you down Sandy Point Lane.

Eureka, you have found us. Five bucks for all day play of a World class, 27-hole disc golf course, including the use of our golf discs. Also, jewelry and books by Michele Cozzens.

 

 

 

 

Birch Trees Survive the Winter

 

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Blessed be the birch trees. After the trauma they experienced last July and the dramatic rescue we staged to save them, we are happy to report that our shoreline stand of paper white birch trees survived a particularly harsh Wisconsin Winter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northwoods Splendor

Our annual spring transition is in gear. Mike's at the resort, hosting a full house this weekend. The girls and I are packing up the Tucson home and having emotional goodbyes. Both girls will be at new schools next year. I am EAGER to get out of this 100° desert heat and back to the splendor of the Northwoods. Meanwhile, this is what came in this morning's mail:

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From Mike: Taken about 10 minutes ago. Yes that is snow. UGH!!!! 

I can't wait to get to Sandy Point!

 

 

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