"We started the resort to change our lifestyle," said Sheila Blanford, one of the family owners of the Tamarac Resort and Campground.
Twenty years ago, Blanford and her family packed up their belongings in California and moved to Minnesota. Her husband had always dreamed of owning and operating a resort/campground, and within one week of living in Minnesota they found one: the Tamarac Resort and Campground.
"We actively looked for resorts," Blanford said. "This one had the best location, it was on a lake ... on the Tamarac refuge; we enjoy hunting. It was kind of a no-brainer."
Looking back now, Blanford said that the beginning is just a blur.
"I don't really remember it," she said. "There was no rules, everybody showed up with all kinds of things and all kinds of people. It was a tough beginning."
Over the years, the Blanfords have made changes and adjustments to the resort. They added about 300 more feet of shoreline, went from eight campsites to 48, and Sheila no longer does all the cleaning by herself. She did that for 18 years.
They also replaced their lodge and four cabins. Now, they have two cabins that sleep 12 each and an original 1 bedroom cabin. All can still handle the winter months.
"It's a little bit different clientele," Blanford explained. "We see a lot of families that are getting together for weddings or reunions."
Currently, the cabins and restaurant open the first weekend of May, but the restaurant closes sooner than the cabins: the last weekend of September. The cabins are open until after deer season.
"We've been very fortunate to have returning customers," Blanford said.
Early in their career, they were open year-round, but the Blanford family has adjusted that. Now, they use the winter months as an opportunity to be around their grandkids and family.
"We enjoy the quietness," Blanford said. "It's beautiful up here in the winter."
In the future, Blanford is hoping that her children might take the resort and restaurant over, but she isn't sure what the plans are yet.
"It's just always been an adventure and it's been a great place to raise our children," she said. "We're just happy up here and wouldn't change a thing."
The Tamarac Resort and Campground's Lodge is open Thursday-Sunday. Hours vary by the day and through the seasons. More information on the resort and campgrounds, and the restaurant, can be found at http://tamaracresortmn.com/.