Day 42 — Bello Lake
July 24, 2021. I was fortunate to spend the last couple nights of this crazy adventure with my childhood friend Bob Jones. Bob is building a little cabin on Bello Lake, just north of Highway 2, and by chance he was up at the cabin for the weekend. Here’s a shot of the cute-as-button cabin he’s building.
The counters and cabinets aren’t in and the water isn’t hooked up yet, and there’s a porta-potty for a bathroom, but it was still an amazing place to be for the last couple nights of the trip, hanging out with Bob and his dog Elmer.
Bob and I first met in catechism in 3rd or 4th grade. We became friends in junior high, and after high school went off to college together at St. Cloud State University. I have no idea why, but neither of us was interested in living in a freshman dorm, so we got an efficiency apartment a few blocks from campus, which we somehow survived. By our sophomore year Bob was already starting his own businesses, and I was looking at moving out west. Our lives went different directions, Bob focusing on building successful businesses, and me into academia. But we always stayed in touch, sometimes with years-long gaps in between contact, sometimes more frequently and regularly. In recent years, we’ve reconnected more regularly.
It was great to see him in this place. When his dad was a younger man he owned a resort on a nearby lake, which we actually visited while I was there — here are a few pictures. It’s a classic mom and pop resort, and still looks much like it did when Bob’s dad owned.
While his dad no longer owned it when Bob came along, there family spent a lot of time in the north country on family vacation. I was lucky enough to join in on several of those Jones family excursions, which I think had a lot to do with getting me interested in the outdoors, and a career in environmental sciences.
So it’s really cool to see Bob stay connect with this country and family history through the building of this little log cabin. Having left Minnesota when we were young and moving all over the country, it’s a kind of place attachment that MJ and I haven’t had the opportunity to make a part of our lives, which I regret more than a little. But for the Jones family I’m sure this place will be the source of many great family memories for he and Pat, and their boys and their families, in the coming years.
Overall it was a great 36 hours together. We reminisced, talked about family, politics, cars, economics, climate change, retirement, and lots more. Here’s a shot of us together on the dock, and another of Elmer.