NEW RICHLAND-HARTLAND-ELLENDALE-GENEVA AREA

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The town of Walker, Minn. is known as the Million Dollar Plus Town, the four-day weekend of the Eelpout Festival. This was the 34th annual festival, with the most people ever this year. At a conservative $100 spent per person and about 12, 000 attending, you do the math and get a million dollars plus.

The most unusual thing we saw was a man-made 35-foot-long eelpout out of snow and spray painted. The maker was sitting in a lawn chair on top of the head, with a rod and reel pointed down a hole he cut, and the rod bouncing like he had an eelpout on the end of the line.

We stayed at the Palace Casino Hotel in Cass Lake, Minn. As usual the Palace employees treated us like royalty: Vernae in Bingo; Toni at the gift shop; Becky and Michael as casino hosts; Bill the casino tech; Rodney the casino payer to jackpot winners; Christopher the casino cashier; Rickey in Guest Services; Kristin and David in Security; Josh, Reggie, Robert and Sheryl in the dining room; Jason and Karin in the snack bar; Monte in Maintenance; Charlie, Jessica, Chris, Betsy, Sara and Kortney at the hotel desk; plus many others.

Genie and I thank all the employees of the Palace for being most friendly.

We attended Sunday church at Trinity Lutheran Church on Highway 2 just west of Cass Lake. Pastor Peter is in the process of growing a beard. Genie and I couldn’t decide if we liked the new appearance or not, and neither of us wanted to tell their conclusion. We decided to keep our decision from each other so we cast a secret ballot. We are keeping the result a secret from each other. (In case you’re wondering, we voted the same way.)

Larry and Marilyn Glass of Trinity promised us soup on Wednesday, Feb. 20 for Lent. We had to beg a rain check, as we would be in Baudette that night. (Wild Rice Soup, with flatbread and hot blueberry pie filling is their delicacy.)

We left Monday, Feb. 18 and drove to Baudette, Minn. in a blizzard.

While in Baudette we enjoyed a dinner with our friend Carol Edstrom at Cyrus Resort. Once again thanks to Farmer Tim Toft for the corn we gave Carol to feed her deer.

We stopped in at Walleye Retreat Resort to say “Hi” to Terri and Pete, the owners. Tony the bombardier driver, was there also. Grandma Sherry stopped in to challenge us to a fishing contest when we are there in March.

A must-see if you’re in the Baudette area during the winter is “the Igloo” from Zippel Bay out on Lake of the Woods ice in about 20 feet of water. There are 16 holes for fishing plus food and beverage, with room for about 125 people – it’s standing room only on the weekends.

In closing, it was so cold (20 to 35 below) that the City Fathers renamed their town. It is now “Brrr-midji.”

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Bob is a retired AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) agent, currently working on his master’s degree in Volunteering. His wife, Genie, is a retired RN, currently working on her doctor’s degree in Volunteering. They have two children, Deb in North Carolina, and Dan in Vermont. Bob says if you enjoy his column, let him know. If you don’t enjoy it, keep on reading, it can get worse. Words of wisdom: There is always room for God.

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