I was sitting in a motel room on the outskirts of Jamestown, N.D., a week and a half ago, looking for resort options in one of my favorite Minnesota towns, Alexandria.
I’d done the search from home, unsuccessfully, but I guess I was just hopeful something would open up.
Boy, was I in luck!
On the morning Mom and I were set to leave Jamestown — and a visit to former Daily Globe staffer Kari Lucin — behind, I found a quaint little cabin on the shores of Lake Victoria available to rent by the night.
It couldn’t have been more perfect.
It had been years since I’d camped out in a real cabin by the lake — dating back to my days as an FFA officer when we took our annual retreat to Ye Olde Mill Inn on the shores of Green Lake at Spicer.
My fondest memory of that trip — aside from seeing the boys make breakfast — was catching my first bass. I don’t recall if it was a large-mouth or a small-mouth. I just remember being the only FFA officer — or advisor for that matter — to catch a fish.
This time, on a little mother-daughter excursion (a bonus of being the only daughter!), Mom and I were a little farther north — far enough to be in loon country.
I just love listening to the call of the loon — so much so that I was awake by 5:30 a.m. both days to sit on the deck of our two-bedroom cabin in my PJ’s, just waiting for them to begin their morning ritual.
I’m pretty sure Mom was quite thrilled with our cabin too, although she tells people how fun it was to see my reaction to hearing the song of the loon; then of catching dozens of little panfish off the end of the dock; and finally of getting my very first ride in a pontoon.
It may have just been a two-night cabin rental, but I relaxed more in those two days than I did in the 10 days we spent last fall on our trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
The resort owners were gracious enough to take us out in their pontoon, and from 8 to 10 p.m., just as the sun was dropping to the horizon, I’m not sure I’ve ever had so much fishing fun.
After losing two small bass earlier in the day and learning from my mistakes, I was determined to do battle with the large-mouths.
And battle I did!
As soon as the bobber on my fishing line was pulled under water, my pole bent and swayed with the actions of one determined fish — and an equally determined fisherwoman!
The fish went this way and that way, toward me and away from me, under the pontoon, around the corner of the pontoon and eventually, into the pontoon.
This scenario continued until I landed about five large-mouth bass. I can’t even tell you how much time had passed. It was the kind of fishing I like — drop a line in the water and catch a fish, take it off the hook and repeat.
Just as the action started to dwindle on my line, a beautiful large-mouth jumped out of the water several yards from our pontoon. Our guide, with his line all rigged and ready to go, cast out in almost the exact spot and boom, the fish grabbed onto the bait and began its good fight, putting up even more resistance than the little bass I managed to catch.
It was quite a sight, and when it was finally landed, I realized just why they call this fish a large-mouth bass. Our guide estimated it to be about 3.5 to 4 pounds; and its mouth was large enough to swallow a softball.
After a few more fish were caught, we pulled up anchor and headed toward a lonely loon enjoying an evening on the lake. Just when it thought we were close enough, it dove under the water and we turned around and headed to shore.
As we packed up the next morning to head back home, I hated to leave such a peaceful setting.
Then, Mom reminded me that our farm offers a peaceful setting, too.
Indeed it does. I just wish it offered the call of the loon, instead of the bellar of cattle.