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While the Black River Lodge appeared deserted when we drove up, Chris did eventually find the call button for the manager, who drove up on a golf cart from parts unknown.

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We’ve never been to a ski lodge during ski season—or, really, any other time, as we Rowlands consider ourselves wise enough and clumsy enough to stay away from sports involving pointy metal sticks—but we have to assume it’s usually more lively. We encountered one other family as we were unloading our baggage, but inside the building it was spookily quiet. It was also greatly lacking in the little frills that tend to set a lodge apart from other lesser lodgings.

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While listed amenities included a bar and a game room, investigation found these to be mostly shuttered and shrouded: the pool table was turned on side and covered with a sheet, the bar was dark and inaccessible. We did find some board games and puzzles, and the boys played a quick game of Mousetrap while Katherine enlivened the room with the strains of the World’s Sorriest-Looking Piano.

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We had better luck with the pool, billed as “the largest in the region!” It was sizable, and half of it was nine feet deep. It was also gloriously empty, meaning that the boys could hoot, holler, and splash as much as necessary without bothering anyone else.

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Once again, we attempted to complete our online blogging, but the low connection speed didn’t allow us to post anything. We counted ourselves fortunate to be able to check our e-mail and get the text written up.

The morning brought a complimentary breakfast of toast/English muffins (at our request; when we first arrived, there were toasters but nothing to put in them) and a dreary selection of cereal. There were also milk, orange juice, and coffee. Limited, but at least it was food. We swiftly finished our repast and headed out.