Friday, June 12, 2009

The Truncated Tale of Lake 13

There's a picture postcard that's been for sale in Minnesota's lake country for decades. It's a cartoon of a small boat, rain, a man with fishing gear, and a woman who's clearly been in the rain for quite a while. She's asking, "Are we having fun yet?"

Sometimes, it's the other way around. Sonia Johnson, Loonfoot Falls Chamber of Commerce head, is an avid fisherman. Fisherperson. Fishwife.

She like to fish.

She took a break from organizing this year's River Revel last weekend, and headed to Lake 13.

About that lake's name: Maps of quite a few parts of central and northern Minnesota look like they've been spattered with blue ink. "Land of 10,000 Lakes" is an understatement. We've got upwards of 11,000 lakes that cover more than 10 acres.

With that many lakes, sometimes one name got stretched over several lakes, like Upper, Middle, Big, and Little Cormorant Lakes. Or First Crow Wing Lake, Second Crow Wing Lake, and so on, through Eleventh Crow Wing Lake.

When a lake wasn't all that big, or accessible, it got numbered. Which, here in Grimm County, got a little confusing. Minnesota's numbered lakes are mostly up in the northern part of the state, like Lake Thirteen, north of Leech Lake, and Thirty One Lake.

Grimm County numbered its own lakes, so county maps show spots like Lake 21. Our "Lake 13" is north and east of Loonfoot Falls. You won't find it, unless you've been there first.

And, I'm out of room.

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