Cedar Lake Village residents, Carl Kruse and Rae Ellen Hinken, graciously shared stories from past vacations. Since many people weren’t able to travel this year due to COVID-19, we enjoyed hearing their stories and hope you do, too!
Carl Kruse shares, “I taught at the China University of Mining and Technology in Beijing during the 1996-97 school year. I took vacation time in January 1997 to go with a team from China Central TV to make a film in Kunming. A 15 minute film, titled “Seeing China Through the Eyes of a Foreigner,” was shown nationwide. The trip included a visit to the Great Stone Forrest.”
Rae Ellen Hinken’s favorite vacation was canoeing in the Boundary Waters in Northern Minnesota. It must have been a favorite for her because she kept going back every year for 6 years!
“Our first destination would be Ely, MN. Ely is a town of outfitters! We would get supplies that we hadn’t been able to pack while preparing for the trip. Our last meal would be breakfast at the Chocolate Moose before heading to the wilderness.
My favorite memories are the challenges! You have to portage all your supplies and canoe from one lake to another until you finally reach the lake you are registered to camp. All navigation is done by map and compass.
For me, the Boundary Waters which borders on Minnesota and Canada, is a special, magical place where the lakes and trees give an essence of beauty and peacefulness like no other.
There are many preparations before entering this magical land where you, family and/or friends will be self-sufficient living off the land for 7-14 days.
This trip will challenge your fitness and strength as you face nature face to face. That’s why the 1st year on our final portage I started to cry because I had done it, I had met the challenge!
What were the other challenges? First, the packing, the preparation of bringing what you will need. Facing the weather; the 1st year it rained every night, getting everything wet (we didn’t have a very good tent) so part of the day was hanging everything up to dry. We hung our food up in a tree and a bear still managed to reach it. We even had a chipmunk get mad at us!
Days were spent exploring other lakes, fishing, getting close to nature. We watched loons with their chicks. I never tired of listening to the haunting sound of the loons, watching moose but keeping our distance. Eagles, these magnificent birds left me in awe every time we saw them. We placed the fish entrails on a rock away from camp, but close enough where we could watch them swoop down and get the food and carry it away in their claws. Once we watched Eagle parents teach their chick to solo flight. As we watched we silently cheered for the eaglet.
The mosquitoes started coming out in full force at 8:30 p.m., so by then it was time to head for the tent and call it a day!”
Thank you, Rae Ellen and Carl, for reminiscing with us.