Spending time in the outdoors has many rewards

Published 8:56 am Friday, June 25, 2010

Here we are pretty much right smack dab in the middle of summer and it seems like it’s only just begun. Once the vernal equinox has made its appearance it’s pretty much downhill from there on out. I don’t want to sound cynical but it always seems to me that after that yearly event summer has a way of speeding up its exit.

A couple of weeks back grandma and I had the chance to head north with three of our grandsons and although we had more than our share of rain it was a great time and one that we will always cherish. The fishing was pretty good and we did fish in the rain a few times but that’s all part of the outdoors and we didn’t even melt. Trevor the oldest of the three caught the largest walleye of the week at 21-1/2 inches. There were plenty of bass to be had and the northern were biting pretty well on one of our favorite pike lakes but they ran pretty small. Taylor did manage a 24-incher and Dylan caught fish on every lake we were on. The boys caught some nice crappies on our lake and may I mention that they were mighty tasty too.

The cold and rain kept grandma back at the cabin where she was content to clean, cook and relax. She had a running feud with a few red squirrels that were working on emptying the bird feeder.

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For a few years we were able to enjoy the luxury of “FREE” TV at the cabin but of course someone had an idea and changed everything to digital. This was just a way of taking another freedom away from “Joe Average” and making it impossible to watch TV without cable or buying a converter box that doesn’t really seem to work all that well. It was a good deal for the people on the moneymaking end of things because you need their product to access TV.

If you detect just a hint of cynicism on this end it is duly noted. I don’t have a problem with being in the north woods without TV because watching wildlife and going to sleep at night to the call of loons and other sounds of nature are a much better form of entertainment. The problem that I have is the taking away of something that was “FREE” to us and making it a pay to play business. There are rumblings on some radio stations that there is a move on to make radio the next target. I guess nobody has put a “Loon Tax” on us yet so I’m safe for awhile.

While we were in the north woods we were treated to quite a variety of wildlife. We saw many deer along the way when driving to different lakes and we also saw a fox hunting along the shore of one of the lakes we were fishing. On the shore of another lake we saw a golden eagle perched in a dead tree close to the water’s edge just watching us as we trolled past. This was truly a magnificent site to behold — these are really very large and beautiful birds. There were also many bald eagles to be seen and on the driveway to the cabin we saw a hen and six baby grouse scurry across the road in front of us. Trevor’s eyes lit up because he knew that these grouse were living in our woods and that is a good sign for a healthy grouse population in the next few years.

As we were driving down the long road to the public access leading to one of our favorite lakes I made mention that I don’t think that I’d ever seen a deer on that road. As we rounded the next turn there stood a deer just off to the side and it stood and stared at us as we passed. My grandson Dylan, who is quick with a quip, said “grandpa, I suppose next you’ll say you’ve never seen a bear on this road either.”

The last time we were up there we had a wolf run across the road in front of us. These are just a few of the experiences that we enjoy while spending a few days in the outdoors. It’s hard to put a value on some things but sharing time with family in the outdoors is precious to me and is also something that you just can’t put a price on.

On one of the more rainy days we had up there we decided to drive to Blackduck and stop in and say “hi” to some folks from this area that moved north and are now operating a very nice family resort. My Aunt Alice had a good friend named Vi Kycek and she called me and told me that her granddaughter and her husband had a resort on that lake. She asked if I would stop and say hi if I ever was in the area. I figured a rainy day was a perfect time to make the drive and meet these fine folks. It was the first time I’d met Larry & Shannon Kampa but after talking a bit I realized that they had a way of making anyone feel at home.

We took a walk around the resort, and Shannon said that the cabins were all full or she would have shown us the inside of one. The cabins were really nice to look at and you could tell that the resort was well kept. After talking to one of the guests I could tell that the Kampas were very well thought of and I got that same impression while asking for directions in the town of Blackduck.

They say it’s a guy thing to drive around and get really lost before asking directions — well I can tell you that at my age I don’t have all that time to waste so I’m definitely not that guy!

If I were ever in the market for a lake to fish and a resort to stay at I’d definitely give Larry and Shannon a call at Dunroven Resort in Blackduck. You can call and inquire about the resort at 877-474-7759 or 218-835-7759 or check their website at: www.dunroven-resort.com