One of the great joys of being in the tourism business is renewing the annual friendships with the faithful customers who return year after year. I’ve been around long enough that I’m starting to become acquainted with the fourth generation in some families.
The Ross family from Merrillville, Indiana are well into the third generation camping at the Sawbill Lake campground. Their three daughters are kind of unusual because they still like to go on vacation with their parents, even though they are now 21, 19 and 17 years old. The reason is that they are self professed fishing addicts. They are ferociously protective of their fishing spots and extremely skilled in their techniques.
This year they told me that they suffer from the common affliction of sibling rivalry and often have spirited arguments. But, they never fight when they are fishing, because it is too loud and would scare the fish. This further reinforces my theory that fishing is the answer for world peace.
John Schroeder Day is fast approaching in Schroeder. Saturday, August 18, is the big day, with a full slate of fun activities planned. It all starts with the Fire Department’s pancake breakfast at the town hall from 8 to 10 in the morning. At 10:30 and again at 12:30, Skip Lamb will lead his popular and interesting history walk, starting at the Cross River Heritage Center. At 11:30 and again at 1:30, Tony and Dion Cicak will demonstrate their sawmill at their house across the river from the Heritage Center. At noon, a movie will be screened at the Heritage Center. It’s called “Long White Boards” and is a look a the history and current state of logging in northern Minnesota. Jim Norvell will speak about the history of Father Baraga’s Cross at 1 p.m. Meet him at the cross. Zoar Lutheran Church will have a brat booth going all day, along with several other food and craft vendors. As always, be there or be square.
My good friend, Steve Wilbers, will be in the area on Saturday, August 11. Steve is a prolific professional writer and a dedicated canoeist in the BWCA Wilderness. His last two books are personal histories of the BWCA Wilderness. The first book is organized around Steve’s experience with his father and the second around his son, Eddie. Published by the Minnesota History Press, the books are very well written and engaging, especially for anyone with a personal history in the wilderness. Steve will be having a book signing at Drury Lane Book Store in Grand Marais at 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 11. Yours truly, who wrote the forward for the first book, will be joining him. Steve is one of the nicest people that I know, so stop by and meet him if you have the chance.
The North Shore Stewardship Association will be presenting a program called: The Storm of the Century and the Building of Split Rock Lighthouse on Saturday, August 18, at 10 a.m. Jennifer Niemi, program manager at Split Rock Lighthouse, will present the amazing story of the construction of the light station and the lives of the light keepers and their families who have made it their home. The program is free, open to the public and is at the Sugar Loaf Interpretive Center just off Highway 61 on the Duluth side of Schoeder.
Fishing has remained remarkably good in the West End for this late in the season. The conservation officers report good catches on Lake Superior and the stream trout are still biting due to higher than normal water levels. Small mouth bass are downright suicidal right now and even the walleyes are biting in the evening. I saw a picture of a 29-inch walleye that was caught and returned to an area lake by a ten year old visitor this week.