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Lake Kabetogama Visit

Kabetogama Lake
















Ken, George and Buck
















Rock Garden















Kathleen here,


It’s close to midnight and we are almost asleep. George just nudged me saying, “Hon, can you hear them?” I knew immediately what he was talking about. We quietly got up and walked into the living room, listening.


We are parked along Fox Lake, ten miles north of Bemidji, MN. A perfect little RV park and we are facing the water. Loons. That is what we are listening to. If you have never heard them, you are missing one of Nature’s most beautiful sounds.


Now that I am fully awake and the loons are singing their midnight song, I will write a bit on what we have been up to this past week. A busy one for sure. Last winter, while in Mexico, we met Ken and Debbie Mandt. They are full time RVers from Minnesota and this summer they are work camping at Lake Kabetogama and loving it.


A stop to visit Ken and Debbie was in our plans, as we began our journey westward to Seattle. This beautiful lake is almost at the Canadian border just a few miles southeast of International Falls, MN. We arrived at the lake during the Mandt’s work day. Debbie was busy working with kids at making turtles out of stones. Ken was working with a young lad helping him make a fishing lure. He was also overseeing the dock activities.  We were all delighted at seeing one another. Their big ol’ dog Buck greeted us with vigor as well.


We were camped a few miles away at Pokorny’s Resort; our coach just a few feet from the water’s edge. George loved it, and within the hour had his boat put together and in the water. He and Ken spent a couple of days fishing. Debbie and I went to town for lunch and enjoyed a good visit.


So much to see and do up here in the wilderness. There were two highlights that we most enjoyed. One was a pontoon ride on the lake, with Ken at the helm. I can’t tell you how much we enjoyed that. The smell of the clean, clear lake and the pungent aroma of the pine trees that grow tall and proud on the islands, reminded us of our many trips to the area a long time ago.


We made our way over to a peninsula that has quite an interesting attraction. This little point is where the Ellsworth Rock Gardens are found. In 1944 Jack and Elsie Ellsworth began transforming the rock outcrop into an enchanting rock garden. Every summer their imagination transformed stone slabs and chunks into fascinating works of art. Small tables and chairs to mythical creatures, ponds and bridges, balancing rocks and so much more keeps one following the path throughout the garden. Today, the National Park Service is restoring the garden to its original state. One day visitors will see the same types of flowers that Jack and Elsie planted in their garden. We took several photographs and are pleased to share them, but the real enjoyment is to actually visit this garden. It is enchanting.


Our second highlight? Well that would have to be the encounter with the black bear that live throughout the area.  George’s essay on the Black Bear of the North Woods follows.


Ken and Debbie, thanks for the fun week, the exciting tours and your great cooking. See you in November.

Ken, Debbie, and Buck Mandt













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