We are all on our own earthly sojourn." A line from the Arran Stephens book, Journey to the Luminous, it was a line that resonated deep with Gwen Miller, as she debated on the perfect name for her luxurious yet rustic lodge tucked in the Amish countryside. "In some way, we are all on our own sojourn or journey in life," said Miller.
A sojourner is described as a person who is residing in a place temporarily or on a temporary journey, explained Miller. Sojourner's Lodge was then born out of the idea that they could be that temporary place to reside while one is partaking on their "journey."
This journey could be as simple as planning your next vacation to Amish country. The picturesque countryside of gently rolling farmland is waiting just outside the cabins front door. As you grab your morning coffee or tea and step out on the front porch, you are greeted by the morning sun as its rays dance across the fields, across the lake and poke through the trees of the woods. The countryside comes to life as farmers tend to their animals and their fields.
"A lot of people love the view," said Miller. "We are surrounded by farms and all our neighbors are Amish." Miller explains, that while many people plan to spend their days shopping, many are also curious to learn more about the Amish lifestyle. "You can walk down the road any given day and see and experience the Amish culture firsthand," said Miller.
Peace and quiet is the most sought after experience for anyone partaking on a vacation. Miller said many guests compliment on just how peaceful and serene the lodge is. "People are looking to escape the stresses of their everyday lives and find a peaceful retreat." Sojourner's offers this peaceful setting while still providing all the luxuries and comforts of home.
Duane Miller, husband and co-owner, purchased the land which was once a large farm. The land was sold in parcels and 20 acres of it was purchased to accommodate the lodge, built by Duane himself. Duane originally came up with the idea to build the lodge when the Miller's son was young. "It was something for me to do while staying home with our son," said Gwen Miller.
Today Sojourner's houses six different suites. Four of the suites are lodge suites and can be found in the cedar-sided building while the other two suites are a part of the duplex style log cabin tucked along the edge of the woods.
"All the suites feature top-of-the-line amenities," said Miller. Some of these amenities include kitchens with a refrigerator, dishwasher, glass cook top, microwave and hickory cabinetry. A spacious living room features a fireplace, flat screen, high-definition television with Directv. and DVD player, and sofas and loveseats. Most suites have two, private master bedrooms that share a bathroom with a Jacuzzi for two, as well as a standing shower.
Every suite has a rustic look and feel from oak and hickory styled furniture and photos taken of the local Amish countryside hanging on the walls, yet all the luxuries of an upscale retreat.
With spring just around the corner, the temperatures are beginning to warm and the landscape is beginning to come to life once again. The grass is greening and the flowers are blooming. Venture outdoors and take a walk on one or both of the hiking trails. The trails wind through the woods and are met by a 60 foot bridge which crosses a ravine.
Guests often just enjoy relaxing on a bench in the courtyard where they can sit with a good book and look out over the countryside. Many enjoy taking in the wildlife that can be found in the woods and down by the three-acre lake. Miller finds that many people love to sit and relax by the lake.
In the evenings, guests can enjoy one another's company by gathering around the fire pit. Couples can share the peaceful evening alone or in the presence of others swapping stories. Firewood and grills are readily available to all guests.
Sojourner's is always offering different specials and seasonal packages throughout the year. Multiple night discounts run all year round and include 10 percent off a three to four night stay, 15 percent off a five to six night stay and 20 percent off a stay of seven nights or more. Romantic packages can be customized and gift baskets can be arranged for that special someone.
Sojourner's also has a small gift shop where customers can pick up Sojourner's merchandise as well as Sojourner's homemade maple syrup. "We make our own maple syrup and only sell it here in our shop," said Miller. "It's something we decided to do just for fun." Miller said they recently tapped around 300 trees and accumulated 55 gallons of maple syrup.
Miller said, Sojourner's biggest success is being able to provide a beautiful place to stay and keeping it that way. She feels she is truly able to measure her success by the amount of repeat customers she sees and the many new ones she meets that have been referred to her by other guests who enjoyed their stay.
"We are all on a journey," said Miller. "I love meeting new people as well as seeing the same familiar faces. You get to hear a lot about different people's journeys."
Sojourner's Lodge is located just fifteen minutes from Berlin and Walnut Creek, so visitors can spend their day shopping and then take the winding path through the relaxing countryside to conclude their day at Sojourner's. "We want people to know that we are a luxurious place to stay as well as a peaceful retreat," said Miller.
Sojourner's lodge is located at 2156 Durstine Road, Dundee. To make a reservation call 330-359-5320 or visit www.sojournerslodgeohio.com for more information. Mention that you read this story or saw Sojourners ad in the Amish Heartland and receive 10 percent off a one night stay or 15 percent off a two night stay. Check out Sojourner's facebook page for current specials and events in Amish country.