First, let me say that we truly hope you are all doing well and that neither you or yours have become ill with the virus. If you have, again, hope you fought back and are now ok.
This is an awful thing happening to the world on so many levels. But as there have been other catastrophes, epidemics, and life altering events in our histories, we will get through this one too.
Mid March or so, social distancing was ordered and of course, all of our restaurants, bars and many lodging place closed or began to limit activity. Around that time, the landowners in the region also closed snowmobile trails on their land. It could have been because the snow was getting soft and did not offer good riding anyhow, but it also was related to the virus.
Hotels and cabins in the region, although were not restricted at that time, began refusing guests or limiting to essential workers only. I know we did also for the month except for a weekend mid march for 3 guys from Madison who wanted to ice fish. They were very considerate of the town, brought food and supplies from home, stayed on the ice all day and in the cabin at night, never venturing out to town at all. After they left, we let the cabin sit quiet for a day before entering it with a can of Lysol.
Our Governor of Maine then issued a mandate to close everything until April 31 except essential businesses. This included lodging. Luckily for us and others in the region, this is a normal downtime. Trails are closed, there is no open water fishing yet, and mountains are too wet for hiking or ATV trails to open. But our bars and restaurants usually would stay open for locals or travelers passing through.
Bishops Store jumped in (in March) and chose to supply dinners for seniors and kids at a fair price, even delivering to those who could not leave their homes. They received over $4000.00 in cash donations from the community which allowed them to keep the prices low. I think Ray said they had enough donations to keep the program going until the end of April. They also offer take out and discourage people from roaming inside the store.
Our grocery store, hardware stores, town hall, doctors office, and post office are all open (limiting hours) and using precautions also. A couple other restaurants have offered take out on weekends. I think everyone that can have tried to offer support to each other as able.
SO what will happen in the future?
The Moose Lottery event at Sky Lodge planned for June is cancelled. They will do the drawings virtually. They did promise though that Jackman will be the location of 2021 Moose Lottery Drawing.
As for other events and activities for the summe5r, this is all an unknown. We will have to see what our Governor chooses to mandate or if the town of Jackman chooses to issue any town wide mandates.
As for us, we are working on redoing the insides of a couple cabins, spending as little as possible just in case. We have 3 big expenses coming up in the next 2 months and hope we can get them done. Not only financially but with the weather permitting.
We are still taking reservations for the upcoming months with the understanding on both sides that things may change. We have set up some basic standards that any guest who makes or has a reservation should keep in mind. First and foremost, if a guest becomes ill and their doctor recommends they isolate (within 2 weeks of a reservation) we expect that reservation to be cancelled. We are also asking future guests to be considerate of this small safe town. Bring you own food and supplies from home, bring a mask to wear (I may try to make some for you all to use if needed) if you have to go into any stores, and practice social distancing except with your immediate family in your cabin. This should probably be common practice throughout the summer and maybe into Fall, no matter where you are.
Personally, I think people can enjoy some summer vacations in these remote areas especially when keeping these things in mind. There are hiking trails, lakes and streams to fish, ATV trails to ride (when open), yard games or swimming in the lake, all activities as these do maintain physical distancing from others.
SO be safe, be kind, be healthy. We hope to see you soon.
Sadly, there will be no hugs of welcome from me this year. For those of you who no me, no this will be a hard task.