The Bay, Bemidji, Bikes, P. Bunyan and a Blue Ox (named Babe)

It’s Monday morning, and time to get geared up for our first fishing trip of the year. It always seems to take us longer than we expect to get ready on that first day…getting the poles strung and set-ups on, running up town for bait, loading everything on the boat…today we were finally ready to go around 11:30 a.m.

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Beth and Nicole joined Tom and me for today’s excursion. We pointed the boat toward Pike Bay, drove under the highway bridge and walking bridge, and then ducked under the train track bridge. The lake is high this year, so we just eeked by without bumping our heads.

Fishing wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad either. After about two and a half hours, the four of us had pulled in 16 fish; 12 perch and 4 rock bass. Since we had gotten a late start, our afternoon was cut short, but there was still time for relaxing on the shore.

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By late afternoon, we had made our evening plans. Tom started riding his bike toward Bemidji. When I was ready to leave, I took the car with my bike. I picked him up along the road (11 miles into his ride), and we drove on to Ruttger’s Birchmont Lodge. From there, the two of us did the Lake Bemidji loop, a 16.5 mile bike ride almost entirely on dedicated bike trails. We took our selfie with Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, as the annual tradition requires. Back at Ruttger’s around 8:20, we met up with Beth and Bill and their family, and Mom and Dad.

It was a beautiful night to sit out on the deck, overlooking Lake Bemidji, while indulging in tasty food and engaging in lively conversation. The weather was perfect, with a light warm breeze blowing off the lake. We chatted with Karrie (former owner of Birch Villa), who now owns Ruttger’s. She and her husband Mark have already made some terrific improvements to the main lodge. We also met her adorable 5-month old puppy, Reggie.

All in all, it was another lovely day at the lake.