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Thousands of people make the journey to Lake Park every year for the Midnite Riders Old Time Snowmobile Run, and this year was no exception. For the Olson family of Audubon, the yearly run is a family affair. "We have relatives who come from all over just for the run," said Nancy Olson, who's husband, Howard, and brother-in-law, Don, both won trophies for their sleds. "It really is a family affair." Don took home a trophy for his restored 1976 John Deere Cyclone 440 he bought about a year ago.
After nearly 40 years as a wildlife biologist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Earl Johnson is hanging up his boots. "It's somewhat bittersweet," he said of leaving a job he still enjoys doing. Johnson has been the DNR area wildlife manager in the Detroit Lakes region since 1981, where he managed about 45,000 acres in a three-county region. Johnson's first day of work was May 24, 1971, when he went to work in the DNR's St. Paul office.
Editor's note: This is the third in a three-part series about the Amish in Becker County The Amish have a very simple religion and belief system. The religion is not theological or doctrinal. "It's a very simple faith," the elder said. Their religion is not so much a matter of knowing every detail of the Bible, but following what they do know, he said.
Editor's note: This is the second in a three-part series on the Amish of Becker County. Looking at the everyday life of the Amish in Becker County through a modern person's eyes, it may look very primitive and hard. But to the Amish, their lifestyle is exactly the opposite. "Our lives are pretty modern in many ways," an elder of the Amish community said. Everything the Amish do now, our ancestors did not long ago. Some of the older people around here might remember when they had to carry water out of the creek, using candles or kerosene lights.
Take a drive on the country roads between Frazee and Wolf Lake and you might come across a scene out of the turn of the century -- the 20th Century, that is. A small, black, single horse-drawn buggy moves slowly along the road. The distinctive look is that of the Amish. The Amish in Becker County have been here for three years. About half of the members of the community came from Michigan, where the Amish community was shrinking due to high land prices and proximity to a city that was growing.
Although there wasn't any deer hanging from the trees Saturday evening at the Shell River Hunting Camp, Mike Guetter couldn't be happier. "This is what it's all about," he said referring to the large group of friends and relatives that gathered in his cabin south of Osage. The group of 23 included three of Guetter's brothers, his son and daughter, many nephews, grand nephews and several family friends.
A solid blue bar suddenly appeared on the map of Detroit Lake on Jerry Sondag's fish finder. "Must be a glitch in the map," he said.
On a bright fall day, Tony Schmitz hacks his way through the Becker County woods under a canopy of amber. Somewhat oblivious to the beauty around him, he is set to his task of cutting a single-lane mountain bike track through the county land off Tower Road east of Detroit Lakes. He locates the problem he's been looking for -- an old barbed wire fence across the path.
After playing from behind most of the game, the Detroit Lakes Angels gained the lead on the Bluffton Braves Saturday night when it really counted -- the bottom of the ninth inning. Outfielder Phil Kirchner stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, zero for his last eight at bats with seven pop flies, and hit a three-run homerun to beat the third seeded Braves 10-9 in dramatic fashion in the Hi-10 League playoffs. "I hadn't been swinging well, trying to do too much and trying to hit the ball too hard every time," Kirchner said. "I just wanted to put the ball in play.
The leeward side of the Detroit Lake sandbar was sweltering by mid-afternoon Saturday. Eric Doll of Perham decided to take a dip among the several hundred anchored boats, on what the locals call Cox's Point. Maybe it was the heat getting to him. Maybe it was the beer. Maybe he wanted to impress the ladies.