The road to the Northwest Angle is a multi-faceted character in an epic, cross-genre novel that spans decades. The story has had many narrators over the years, from the original logging and dragline crews, to the hearty stick-pickers and early adventurers, to the Lake of the Woods county folks who’ve matured and maintained it, to the oft-traveling parents, school bus driver and local package carriers who, today, use the road nearly 260 days a year.
To know The Angle is to be intimately acquainted with its road. The only over-land passage in and out, it belongs to both Canada and the US. It sports a tarred toupee for a majority of its winding miles, but the final 18 are gravel, and that is where its bi-polar personality is cemented and made infamous. Continue reading “Grooming The Road Less Traveled”
Donut Day. Live music. Lefse making. Shopping. Dancing. Fitness and nutrition classes. Cultural day trips. Extended holiday tours.
This is just a sampling of the many different activities going on each month at Roseau’s Four Seasons Senior Center. Into its 40th year now and after many moves throughout the decades, Four Seasons has been comfortably at home in their current building on Center Street since 1997. During that time, the shingles have worn through, but on the plus side, membership has grown from 120 to 228 (annual + lifetime), and the variety of adventures and educational opportunities available has increased exponentially.
Rural America faces plenty of economic challenges, from the sharp decline in the number of family farms and, in turn, the small-town economies that supported them, to the disproportionate reliance on manufacturing jobs, to a severe shortage in child-care providers.
Of course, these are broad-stroke issues within a greater problem facing the country at large, but despite the gloomy outlook touted by commissioned studies, universities, and rural betterment institutes across our 50 states, there are still small community success stories happening everywhere you look.
At mile 49, physically weary from two and a half days of walking in 90-degree weather, Abby Wilmer stopped and gathered with the others to honor their purpose. 231 walkers, their families and the many volunteers of the Challenge Walk MS had all come together to raise awareness and money for medical research and support programs for people living with multiple sclerosis.
From its very foundations, family has been central to Angle Outpost resort. Through four sets of owners, 17 children have been (or are being) raised there, beginning with Harold and Irene Peterson’s five.
Peterson’s Camp was formed as a hunting and fishing outpost in 1957. That was in the pre-electricity days of the Northwest Angle, before there was much for indoor plumbing or even a road to get there. Raising a family and running a resort in those hardworking times took fortitude. “Money was pretty scarce and I ‘worked out’ eight hours a day,” Harold said of the early times, his faded yet still musical Norwegian accent catching on the hard consonants. Continue reading “Angle Outpost Resort Celebrates 60 Years”
Joyce and Melvin Ortmann have known each other forever. Before there was 62 years of marriage. Before there was world travel. Before there was a quiet, shared grief upon losing their only daughter. Before there was a legacy of nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Before all that, they cross-country skied the snowy fields on the outskirts of Warroad while their parents visited over coffee. They played as kids do, tracking the snow, sliding the haystacks, coming back into the house wet and red-cheeked in their childhood joy. Continue reading “Togetherness: the greatest milestone”
Walk into Bear and Bean Coffee Company, Roseau’s cosmopolitan yet decidedly hometown coffee shop, and you might forget for a minute that you’re in Northern Minnesota.
But that’s not exactly what owners and Roseau residents of six years Keith and Tom Pringle are going for. Yes, they’re tapping into the warmth and funk of a trendy spot in St. Paul or Seattle – where Keith hales from, but it’s also an atmosphere that makes you feel right at home in your own north woods. From the man reading his Bible by the fireplace to the insurance agent meeting with an old farmer to the groups of Roseau students and Polaris employees, Bear and Bean makes it clear that everyone is welcome in their living room. Continue reading “Rural America Rising – Roseau’s Bear and Bean might just change the face of rural communities, for the better”