From the miscellaneous drawer by Anne Swenson

by Anne Swenson

The roads, most of them two lane, were bumpy and at times treacherous. It was wartime and army base buses and trucks carried soldiers to their future assignments.
Minnesota wasn’t much better. No carriers of military, but gravel was part of the two-lane road. It was all new to an Illinois child.
Activity in the mine pits around Virginia had no relationship to the rock pits left so far beyond near home.
The man spoke of Lake Vermilion as the place their pastor lived on an island in the summertime. They had chosen his Illinois church in which to be married.
During the gold rush in the area, his sister had stayed with local families while teaching school in the Tower area.
As they progressed toward there journey, they saw glimpses of lakes and resort signs.
Finally the car reached Ely and the road was filled with laden logging trucks on their way to mills. They were so big that it looked like they would be unable to stop suddenly if need be.
Although the ultimate goal was to see the teenage daughter who worked in the kitchen at Camp Widjiwagen, far up the Echo trail, there was a first stop to be made at Rom’s Canoe Country Outfitters.
Ignoring the imprisoned bear close by the outside of the property, Bill Rom offered to help us, then after a time, his wife would come bustling out of the back room to ask about the past year.
Before too long we were on our way up the Echo and settled in for the night. Except for the couple. Although neither of them could swim they took out a boat on Burntside Lake to get a feel for it.
Gene’s curiosity about the region, led him on many adventures as years past.