I’m Dreaming Of…The Warmth of A Bonfire!

…and the sweet taste of s’mores…and peace…and quiet…and Jacuzzi tubs…and comfy beds.  Oh how I wish I had a luxury suite booked at the lodge for the night!

For the second day in a row, Dan and I have just returned home from working our weekend job with a local auction company.  And after two days in the cool, damp air, my thoughts turn to the lodge.  My hands are cold, my feet are cold, my ears are ringing…what better way to warm up and wind down than to sit by a roaring fire?

Bonfire at Heartland LodgeBack in March, I wrote about the hayride that Harpole’s Heartland Lodge offers each evening after the scrumptious dinner meal.  But did you know that upon your return from the hayride to the Mississippi River bluff, your guide offers to light a bonfire behind the original lodge?  And did you know that your bonfire comes complete with the makings for s’mores – marshmallows, graham crackers and Hershey’s chocolate?  What more could you want to cap off an enjoyable evening than to sit by a bonfire and enjoy the warm glow of both the original and new lodges at night?  It is definitely an inviting sight!

Now you can’t go wrong with roasting a marshmallow over an open fire, sandwiching it between two graham crackers and a piece of a Hershey’s chocolate candy bar, then smushing it so the marshmallow melts the chocolate.  But if a salty snack is more your style, the staff leaves bags of popcorn in the dining area of the lodge for you to pop in the microwave and snack on.  Beverages are also available – soda, tea, and lemonade may be available but many guests will bring their favorite bottle of wine or beer to enjoy by the fire – it’s up to you!

New Lodge at Heartland LodgeAnd don’t worry about the fire dying down – the lodge has a stack of wood that will keep the fire blazing for hours.  I am glad to say that over the years, Gary and his staff have added some rustic logs by the fire to use as your ‘throne’ for the evening.  You’ll find yourself entranced by the flames and embers – and calmed by the peace and quiet of the beautiful backdrop of the woods on one side and the lodge on the other that you may lose track of time.  But keep your eyes and ears tuned in for the sounds of the nightlife surrounding you.  Over the years, we have enjoyed listening to the resident cat prowling for food as well as photographing a walking stick ‘by the light of the fire.’  I am still trying to perfect my fire photography and that of the back of the lodge at night, but as long as we keep going back, I should have it mastered soon!

I can honestly say that some of the best times Dan and I have had at the lodge have been around the bonfire.  Throughout the years, we have met some great people and some of the best conversation occurs in the relaxed setting of that roaring bonfire.  Last year was a prime example – we sat around the fire with another couple until well past midnight – and enjoyed every minute of it!

But once the fire dies down and it’s time to retire for the night (or morning in some cases), you can enjoy the comforts of your themed suite.  Take a soak in a Jacuzzi tub, kick on the fireplace, and then curl up in your triple-sheeted, canopy bed – off to dreamland you go!

Lori Biehl

Last Updated: April 23rd, 2012

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