Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year 2010

We want to wish all our fine guests a very Merry Christmas and the best New Year yet! No matter what is going on around us in this troubled world, those who trust in, depend on and love our Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord can experience His peace, love, joy, and provision. It's a whole different kingdom than the kingdom of this world. There is no anxiety, worry or fear in His kingdom. It's the best life possible.
What a wonderfully fun and exciting Christmas it has been this year with all our children HOME FOR CHRISTMAS. Our youngest is Jonathan who with his wife, Reseth, is stationed at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, OK. We don't get to see them very often, so it was especially nice to have them at camp for a good week, along with our oldest, Cherish, who lives in Ely,MN and Joanna who stays with us. It's a joy for John and I to watch and listen to them interact with each other when they are together. They have a great mutual love and admiration for each other. Our days were filled with laughter, fun and games and lots of outdoor activities like dog sledding, snowmobiling and hiking. Reseth is a budding photographer for weddings and other events, so she took quite a few pictures of our times together. You can see some of her work at Cherish too, captured some excellent candid photos for remembrance sake. Jonathan is a true northerner and was hoping there would be a good amount of snow for him to enjoy while he was here. His desire came true as we had about a foot of fresh snow fall during the week and when they got to Knife River near Duluth,MN to visit his wife's relatives, they really got dumped on with 20 inches of fresh snow. Just to make sure he got his fill of snow, even Oklahoma City got fourteen inches. Now he can go home and throw a snowball. We aim to please, Jonathan.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Trip South To Visit Family

I had originally planned to fly down and visit my parents in Franklin, North Carolina in October. That was before I took my Humpty Dumpty fall off a ladder, breaking my ankle. After two months of recovery time, I rescheduled for the Thankgiving holidays and was driven down to Ely by Joanna where I connected with our other daughter, Cherish. She drove us down to Duluth to catch a flight which took us to Detroit and then Ashville, North Carolina. Cherish was quite a trooper helping me find wheelchairs at the airports and carrying extra bags for me. She is our oldest child at 32 and works at a real estate office in Ely as the advertising executive and also pastors Oasis Intl. church in Ely. Being the busy girl that she is, she was in need of a relaxing vacation to visit her grandparents.
We had such fun with Mom and Dad who are 83 and 85 respectively and still in very good health. My sister Wendy and her family also live in Franklin, so we got to spend lots of time with them. My brother Rick and his family live in Gainesville and came up for Thanksgiving day. Each day had some exciting adventure or fun activity planned. Relationships are more important than anything else in life. I so enjoy spending time with family and friends. My sister and brother in central Florida were not able to make it this time, but hopefully I can plan a spring fling on the Florida beaches with them. Right John???

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It Was Supposed to be TWO Inches

On Saturday, November 15th, it was predicted that we would receive two inches of snow in our area. Sure enough, about ten o'clock in the morning, big, beautiful snowflakes began descending all around us. It was a cozy inside day watching out the window at the beautiful scene before us as everything became blanketed in white.
The next morning we woke up to a gorgeous sunshiny day and over SEVEN inches of fresh snow. Most likely it will have melted by next week, so Joanna went out and took these pictures of the winter wonderland so you could enjoy it with us.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hunters Hit the Jackpot

Our last group of Moose hunters left just this morning. Lee Lariviere and his group from Southeastern Ontario,shot the cow the day after they arrived. It was quite exciting for them. Then, a couple days before they left they brought down the bull. I think the majority of hunters that come get excited just to be out in the woods. Getting a Moose is simply a bonus. Some hunters don't even get to see a Moose. Some get to see them, but never get a shot at one. So, to be able to take two Moose home is quite an accomplishment. We really enjoyed having Lee's group here and we look forward to seeing them next year.

Sabre- Our Camp Dog

Sabre is a pure bred Beauceron. The Beauceron is a rare breed that originated in France. They are herding dogs as well as good guard dogs and loyal family companions. Similar to the German Shepherd, the Beauceron is very versatile and excels in many different venues from Police dogs or Search and Rescue to tracking, agility and other protection sports. Joanna came across this unusual breed, which everyone thinks is a cross between a German Shepherd and a Doberman, while looking for another family pet for us. While the guard dog instinct is very strong in them,we have found them to be very lovable dogs.
It's been nice to have Sabre roam the premises, alerting us to the presence of bears or wolves and chasing them away. He sure enjoys his new home where he is free to run all over and investigate what the cat is doing, walk beside John while he mows the lawn, run the outside perimeter of the dog yard fence during feeding time and check into the activities of the camp guests.
The Beauceron is supposed to be reserved with strangers and wants to check people out without being crowded or pet on the head. We tell our guests to just ignore him and let him smell them. Pretty soon he will be eager to chase after a stick or ball that someone throws for him. He loves to play.
Joanna took these nice shots of him on the hillside this fall when the wildflowers were in full bloom.

Our Mighty Mouser

Cricket is her name and hunting mice is her game. Though she truly is a fierce hunter and has drastically cut down the mice population at Agimac River Outfitters, she has a very pleasant disposition for a cat. It all began when our daughter Joanna asked us if we would like to have a cat join us in our move to Canada. I replied, " Joanna, we have 43 sled dogs, a family dog and lots of wild animals out there in the bush. Her chances of survival are pretty slim. Besides, I don't want just any cat- she has to be a good mouser, loveable and be able to survive living outside."
Joanna quickly replied that she fulfilled all three prerequisites. So, I relented, as I always do when Joanna wants to bring another animal home. But I was the one who was surprised. She turned out to be an unusually gentle, loving, affectionate cat AND a great mouser. (Take a look at those teeth in the open mouth picture. I sure wouldn't want to be a mouse caught in those.) She's still alive, so she must have some pretty good wilderness alertness skills.
At first John jokingly called her "dog" because she would follow him outside wherever he went, right behind our dog, Sabre. She even followed him up to the dog yard where 43 dogs went crazy to try to get at her.
She's part of the family for sure and now we don't know what we'd do without her. Thank you Joanna!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Did We Skip A Season?

What an unusual summer and fall we have had. It was rain, rain, rain most the summer with a few sunny days thrown in there and very much on the cooler side. Then September brought us summer with day after day of warm, sunshine. It cleaned all the mold off of us.
Soon as October rolled around, we skipped fall and went into winter. Fall is one of my favorite times of year with the blend of spectacular yellow, red, and orange leaves against the evergreens. It floods my soul with flutterbursts of awe and appreciation for all God's creation. I wish I could make it stay for two months at least. Maybe we'll be surprised and have a warm Indian summer in November. However it turns out, we did get our first blizzard the beginning of October. Even though it is too early, those heavy white flakes ARE beautiful. It was so thick we could hardly see to the other side of the river.
Maybe we'll have an early spring?????

Training Season

With the cool weather comes the excitement of dog training. Joanna goes into high gear when the temps dip below 40 degrees F. That means it's time to get out the four wheeler and hook up the dogs for their conditioning for winter trips and dog sled races. It really is a spectacular sight the first time she comes roaring down the hill from the dog yard along the front of the camp and onto the 325 road, heading for the logging roads. She always trains her racing team first since they need the most miles on them. The training begins with short four mile runs for a little while, then up to six mile, eight mile and so on till she's doing 30 to 40 mile runs. The more miles you can get on them before a race, the tougher and better prepared they are and less chance of injury. John and Joanna take excellent care of their dogs and Joanna is becoming a very sought after breeder with the good blood lines she's developed in the kennel.

First Moose of the Season

Moose season is in full swing now. The temperatures have been much cooler this year than last. A member of Ray Talbot's group came up with this huge bull Moose, the first one in camp. Seeing them up close never ceases to fill me with awe. It must be quite a thrill to not only see one, but to claim it for your own. Another group was able to get a calf.

Humpty Dumpty Had a Great Fall

I guess I was playing the part of Humpty Dumpty. Although I wasn't sitting on a wall, I was on a ladder leaning against a wall. Joanna and I were attempting to finish up some staining on the side of our two story house during one of the two last warm days of summer, Friday September 25th. Joanna was working on the lower parts while I was on the ladder finishing some higher parts. Of course we were on a side hill which made it a bit more precarious as I had to block one side of the foot of the ladder to try to keep it level. John's last admonition to me was, " Be sure you use big enough boards to block your ladder so it doesn't slip." I looked around but just found a few smaller boards and didn't want to waste any more time looking. (Next time I will look longer.)
As I was making a few final sweeps of the brush above the first floor windows, I felt the ladder sliding off my blocking and knew I was headed to the ground. I landed full force on my right foot and smashed both ankle bones royally. John rushed me to the Dryden hospital for emergency care where they set the bones in place and put on a cast. The following Monday, John drove me to the Thunder Bay hospital for reconstructive surgery with pins and plates in my ankle. I commend the care of the doctors and nurses in both hospitals. They did an excellent job.
Now I have some forced rest on the sofa with my leg in the air. John and Joanna are excellent care givers- what more could I ask for? Maybe a little more common sense.

Fun With the Little Ones

Adam Larson,the husband of John's niece,(pictured on the right) and Eric Oberg, John's nephew (pictured on the left),came up for a first time visit to Agimac River Outfitters. They had heard about the great fishing and plenteous blueberries and wanted to know if the stories were true. It didn't take them long to find out. They hooked a number of Walleyes and got this 37 inch Northern Pike as well. It was also surprising how many blueberries they took home after just a short time of picking; enough to make a number of blueberry pies, I'm sure.
Eric's son, Lawrence and Adam's daughter, Gloria are pictured behind their parents.

King of the Smallmouth

Ernie Baker is John's stepfather. He and Nona, John's mother, have been with us in this new venture with the camp from the beginning. I don't know what we would have done without their support in every way. Nona and her deceased husband started a resort from scratch in northern Minnesota which is still being run to this day by Larry Oberg, John's brother and his wife and family. It's called Timber Wolf Point Resort in Buyck, Minnesota.
Ernie and Nona go south to Texas in the winter and come north to stay at Timber Wolf Point in the summer. They come up from there to visit us at Agimac River Outfitters. Nona is a superb blueberry picker and a true pioneer woman. She has grit. We look forward every summer to having Ernie and Nona come to stay with us. They are such fun.
Ernie really enjoys going fishing on Indian Lake, especially for those delicious Walleyes. But it seems that he has quite a propensity for snagging large, smallmouth bass. So, we nicknamed him the King of the Smallmouth. Here is a picture of one of his beauties and a picture of Ernie and Nona together.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Loony Loon

While our grown children were here visiting us at the camp last week, we went out in our 18 foot runabout for the first time since we moved here. We had not had a chance to see all of Indian Lake being so busy at the camp. We zoomed all over, taking in the varied beauty of the majestic rock walls, the hills and islands. On our way back to the camp, we came across a delegation of loons, numbering around thirty. I'd never seen so many loons together at one time. We stopped and turned off the motor, so we could watch them. I do this funny little call trying to mimick the laughing loon. I put out my call hoping to get a response from some of the delegation. A few of the loons came closer to the boat to get a better look at this weird looking loon. Seconds later we heard a splash along side the boat and up popped a loon. It was only about three feet away. They have got to be one of the most striking birds with their tuxedo colors and bright rings around their necks. I kept doing my laughing loon call to see what would happen next. The loon dove under water and swam under the boat. We could see him so well in the clear water. What a sight. He popped up on the other side of the boat and swam under the boat several times. It was a delightful spectacle. We were glad we stopped for a visit.

The Walleye Duet

Our daughter-in-law Reseth went fishing with her Dad on Indian Lake and they each caught some real winners. Reseth's walleye was 25 inches and Joe's walleye was 27 inches. I think it made their day.

Shooting the Rapids

Since we've resided at Agimac River Outfitters, I have had a hidden desire to shoot the rapids under the bridge on an inner tube. But it seemed that it might be a bit dangerous to maneuver down the rushing water, avoiding rocks beneath the surface. Along comes our son and his wife from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He too thought it would be a thrill to shoot the rapids. After carefully studying the path of the water to make sure it was safe, he donned a life jacket, paddled his tube from the boat landing to the beginning of the rapids and bounced on down the rapids with a big smile on his face. When he made it look so easy, the rest of us jumped on our tubes and took our turn too.

Cole's Catch

Ken Klewicki brought a group of men with him to stay with us at Agimac River Outfitters. Among the group was a young man, Ken's grandson, Cole. This is a picture of Grandpa Ken and Cole with a 29 inch Walleye that Cole caught on Indian Lake.
It's great to see the little guys bringing in the big ones.

The Lazy River

Our son Jonathan and his wife Reseth recently came to visit us from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where they are stationed in the Air Force at Tinker Air Force Base. Cherish, our daughter, who lives in Ely, MN came to visit us at the same time so that all our children were here together. Joanna lives here with us at the camp and helps with the dogs for dogsled adventures. What a wonderful time was had by all. We found exciting adventures to take part in every day.
On one warm, sunny day we ventured out on Indian Lake with two boats and some tubes. We made our way through the chain of lakes and rivers to Mameigwess Lake. The river just before entering Mameigwess is absolutely beautiful- crystal clear water, sandy bottom with a good current. The first time I went through there, I thought to myself how fun it would be to bring our children back there and float down that river. So, that's just what we did. We jumped out of the boat, hopped onto our tubes and floated down what we now call "the lazy river". We felt like we were in paradise- perfect weather, gorgeous scenery, wonderful company.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fish of a Lifetime!

Andy Holtebeck and his nine year old son, Josh, came to Agimac River Outfitters for the first time this June 2009 with a group of friends and family. I just love to see fathers and sons coming together for an adventurous fishing trip. What an opportunity to connect with each other and God's glorious creation!
Josh took the award for the largest fish caught during the week with this monster 46 inch, 33 pound northern pike. His Grandpa Don beside him is holding the heavy fish for the picture. Apparently, he received some helpful coaching from the other veteran fishermen in the boat during the exciting reeling process. Andy calls it the "Fish of a Lifetime".
I bet that one is going up on a wall!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's Got To Be A Record!

The week of May 23-30, the guys in two of our cabins were having their own little fishing contest. On a predetermined day, the one who caught the biggest fish on a three foot, pink, Barbie Doll fishing pole was the winner. Towards evening, Josh Miller landed this 45 inch, 31 pound Northern Pike on 6 lb test line, winning the contest, including a trophy with a Barbie Doll on top and $45. They didn't have a net big enough to land the monster, so Trever Miller, his uncle, grabbed it by the gills and yanked it into the boat. Last year Josh caught a 43 inch Northern Pike on a short pole, which might have been the motivation for the contest this year.

Some Recent Catches on Indian Lake