Getting the Parks Ready to Open

As the sun rises this morning I awake to the calls of Robins outside… spring is here at last. I am the park ranger/innkeeper here at beautiful Seyon Lodge State Park in Groton, Vermont and these days I’m busy opening the park and preparing for this season’s guests and visitors.
Out near the big barn in the side yard is a row of rowboats all tipped up on their sides, waiting for the ice to thaw on the pond. Later today we’ll bring them down to the water one by one and launch them into the marina for this year’s anglers to enjoy. I notice that the sky is spitting snow as I zip up my parka and head out the door. Today is a quiet day, the breeze through the tall pines and the squeaking of red squirrels keep me company as I wander down to the water’s edge. Soon this place will be alive with anglers eager to cast their fly rods and Lodge guests heading out for hiking and other activities before dinnertime.

Heading up toward the vegetable garden my mind switches gears. What to plant this year? This depends on what meals we will serve to guests. Beets come to mind, I love that new beet and carrot salad that a friend introduced me to the other day. Nothing “beets” a fresh, light salad made with shredded root veggies and a light maple balsamic dressing… and fresh parsley too. Salad greens are of course among the top priorities, last year the fresh garden salads were a hit. Edible flowers are nice too, adding splashes of color to the plate. It’s time to order some compost and arrange to borrow Dad’s rototiller… soon this barren soil will be a gorgeous display of colorful food. Delicious, local, and nutritious too.

After lunch I take a quick tour around the Lodge to check the status of the guest rooms. A spring cleaning is on the list of things to do; time for dusting and sweeping, mopping and cleaning. This old Lodge feels like a friend and I want it to look its best as we head into spring.

Outside, the grounds need raking and the voles have left their little pathways all around the lawns. I have a feeling that I’ll be spending many hours with a rake and a shovel, working to spruce up the expansive grounds. Soon the new green grass will grow up over the brown and cast a summer vibe across the park.

The new innkeeper will begin training soon and I think about the countless things that I need to teach him. This park is a unique one because there is both an outdoor aspect (hiking and fishing) along with the innkeeping duties including cooking, cleaning, and hosting guests of the inn… to name a few. I love my job because there is so much day-to-day variety of tasks to accomplish and people to meet. A new season is on the horizon, and I stir with smiling anticipation.


  1. AnonymousMay 08, 2009

    JessieMae is the best innkeeper one could hope to have. Her garden has inspired me to plant my own, and her smile alone is worth the visit.

  2. I may not be a fan of beets, but I'm most definitely a fan of JessieMae. Stay at the Seyon and you will be, too.


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