Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A new chapter begins for Bow Narrows Camp!

Brenda and I have the honour of announcing new owners for Bow Narrows Camp. They are Brian and Joanne Spillar of Wichita, Kansas!
Brian and Joanne take over operation of the camp immediately and will soon be heading to Red Lake for the 2017 season opener.
We couldn’t have found better folks to take over the reins. Brian is a long-time angler at Bow Narrows and of Red Lake. He and Joanne bring with them an array of skills and backgrounds that will not only continue the Bow Narrows tradition but bring a new vitality to it. Most importantly, they are friendly, down-to-earth people with a passion for customer service and the outdoors.
We will support them in every way we can so that they and their children will have as wonderful a life at Bow Narrows as we did. You can read all about Brian and Joanne in their biographies below. We are sure you are going to find them to be a lot of fun.
Brenda and I now enter retirement. We are not leaving Red Lake, however, as we expect to build a personal cabin on the lake in 2018. This summer we plan to finish our home in Nolalu. Brenda has her sights set on gardening and I will finally turn to writing that book.
To our guests and employees over the years, almost all of whom became our good friends, we would like to note that in the Ojibwe culture there is no word for goodbye. They believe that once you have met someone, you carry them with you forever. That is the way we feel too.
See you on the lake!
Dan and Brenda

And now, meet the new owners of Bow Narrows Camp!

Hi Folks, I'm Brian

Brian Spillar
I have always been fascinated with the outdoors. As a kid I was always catching living things in a home-made contraption to be placed in a glass jar or a box. Once my subjects were confined, I could study them and then let them go. Later, there were aquariums, terrariums, and many hours at the library reading.  I once caught a small largemouth and put him in my large tank so I could study how he took bait and hookless lures. I would journey to all local ponds and forest preserve lakes that I could reach on my bike. No one else in my family shared my fascination yet my parents would take me to Wisconsin for a week each year. My dad would row me around for hours while I fished. Ultimately, I pursued a degree in Zoology/Wildlife and Fisheries Management, but my course was ultimately altered with another degree. My career path lead me to technical assignments in the defense, natural gas, oil and independent consulting industries in numerous engineering positions. But my fascination and respect for living things never faded.  I first came to Red Lake in June 1978 as part of a high school trip supported by our anglers club. It felt like a different planet. Over the years, my attachment for this wonderful place and familiar faces grew. As life got more challenging, there was always a constant: "The Trip,” which I made by myself for the vast majority of the time. Year by year, the attachment evolved to a love for my sanctuary.  For the last 19 years, I have been a regular guest of Dan and Brenda and can say these have been my best with their home becoming my home for a week each year. What a testament to their family's 56 years of dedication to us guests. The 7th of March, 2016 was my last day at work in the corporate arena, the result of my employer’s business venture not panning out. Those of you who follow the blog might note that this is the day Dan and Brenda posted that the camp was for sale. I was stunned! So for the second time in my life, I popped a life-changing question to Joanne, and she said yes.

And I'm Joanne
Joanne Spillar
Growing up in a large family on a northern-Illinois farm, my childhood was grounded in homecooked meals. One of eight children, I saw my mother, who was an excellent cook, prepare a lot of food to keep up with all of those hungry appetites. Add to that a yearly extended-family vacation up north with 50 or more relatives, many extended-family holidays, and you have a big focus on tradition and delicious food. Some of my best family memories involve a daily fish-fry potluck meal amidst northwoods fishing and fun on the lake. I spent two weeks of every childhood-summer with my family, aunts and uncles, cousins and cousins’ kids and even my cousins’ grandkids. I feel thankful to have had that. One of my favorite things to do is to collect and share recipes, and I continuously add to my personal cookbook as well as having published several family cookbooks. Today, in addition to homeschooling our children and taking care of family and home, I cook nearly all of our family’s meals from scratch to get the best-quality, best-tasting food for everyone. I see Bow Narrows as an extension of that and look forward to cooking for each and every guest that comes to fish and unwind at the camp. Like Dan and Brenda before us, our family looks forward to welcoming
you as guests in our home, and I can’t wait to satisfy that just-off-the-lake hunger that comes from a day of fishing! Together, we are truly honored for the opportunity to continue the Bow Narrows tradition and camp vibe that has been such an important part of the lives of many. We can't see what could be any better than this and can hardly wait to welcome each and everyone of you to our home, your camp.

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Lammi said...

Congratulations to Brian and Joanne on your new adventure! And to Dan and Brenda,I agree that in regards to your retirement, like mine, "Heaven will be a lateral move!" See you all on the lake!

joe overman said...

Welcome Brian and Joanne! here's to many more years enjoying your hospitality. If Dan and Brenda like you, I like you.
To Dan and Brenda. Thank you and your family for many years of friendship, advice, and just a good time every May. Enjoy your retirement I have to wait another three years.

Anonymous said...

Looking Forward to spending a week with you guys and happy to hear you want to carry on Dan and Brenda s vision of Bow Narrows.
Congratulations to you and your family and Thank you Dan and Brenda for providing me with the great vacations and memories. Enjoy your retirement.
David Pelle

Lonnie said...

Retirement only means that it is time for a new adventure!!!! Dan and Brenda, you have earned it!! We will miss you guys. We know we might not see you this year, but expect a visit from us, when you start your cabin across the bay, to share an 'icy cold beverage'!! Love you guys.

Brian and Joanne, Mike and Lonnie(that's me) are looking forward to meeting you. I have never met a stranger and I'm a hugger, so don't be afraid!!!! (hee-hee!!)

Best wishes and good luck to all of you!!!

Anonymous said...

A Win Win outcome. The Pons group (Larry, Mike, Jason and Karri Ann) has had almost a year to get used to the bittersweet reality that our favorite place to fish and visit would not be run by our friends Dan and Brenda. Bittersweet because we were happy for them to retire and take their life in a different direction. We will still have the pleasure of seeing our friends when they build their cabin a few casts away from our beloved cabin #8.
We win because the new Owners we also know and like. We fondly remember being with Brian for years up at camp, fishing, eating jerky, talking fishing strategy and the hours of time with Brian on the water. A better fisherman and caring Outdoorsman would be hard to find. We look forward to spending happy times with Brian and Joanne and their family. See you this July.
Larry Pons