Library Tour in Lake Country

There are at least 15,000 lakes in MN, and I think most of them are in the region I visited last week. As I gave 12 presentations at 9 libraries (most of them in small communities) in 5 days in north central MN, I kept my blog readers in mind, since Kristie had asked what a library tour was like. What images could I share with you?


As I approached the area last Monday, I fell in love with the beautiful lakes. I decided I would photograph each one.

This would have kept me in the region until July, so I gave that up. Then I was going to write all the lake names down, but then I would have driven off the road. “Hole in the Day” Lake was my favorite name (named after Chief Hole in the Day.)


This area, between Brainerd and Bemidji, is know as the home of Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe. When I saw my first Paul Bunyan statue, I knew that’s what I’d share with you. This area is CRAZY for its statues!

All sorts of statues… Here’s a chicken on a store roof. (Store didn’t sell chicken.)

Pelican on top of store that didn’t sell pelican.

Another Paul Bunyan…

And another…. (good photo op—have kids stand in Paul’s hand!)

Quick tour story. At the end of reading The Perfect Nest to a group of five-year-olds, and talking a bit about sheep and our farm, I asked if there were any questions. A boy in the front row immediately raised his hand. “How do toothbrushes become electric?”


Ha! That’ll teach me not to be specific. I didn’t say “Any questions about farming or about sheep?” I just said, “Any questions,” and he had one. I didn’t attempt an answer…

Here’s Babe, the blue ox…

And Babe again… I finally figured out there was a regional theme, and nearly every town had a Babe.

Here’s an Indian….(might have been more impressive before the tree grew up in front of him.)

Buried arrow… (what does this mean???)

Here’s Paul and Babe together in Bemidji. (Very tall statues!)

I was even part of the visual art in one community…

The librarians were all wonderful, and I enjoyed meeting some fans, and hopefully making a few new ones. I became quite adept at setting up projector/laptop/screen, but continued to point my wireless remote at the screen instead of at the computer (not very effective….)

And these were just a few of the statues. I also saw some lovely art sculptures in Bemidji—that city is filled with art. 

The trip’s highlight? Finding an Elvis ‘Babe’ in front of a bank. I rarely turn around when I’m driving (just ask Melissa), but I did for Elvis.  🙂  It was a fine tour…but as an introverted homebody, I’m VERY glad to be home…


7 thoughts on “Library Tour in Lake Country

  1. Thanks for taking us along with you on your tour! I knew Minnesota had lots of lakes, but had no idea it was also filled with statues. Too funny about the little boy wanting to know how toothbrushes became electric. 🙂

  2. Those Babes were part of Oxtrot, a Brainerd Lakes Area promotion a few years back. We found almost all of them and thoroughly enjoyed the process. Being from southern MN also(Rochester)we love visiting the north country. Just read your book “Hit By A Farm” and looking forward to reading more of your work.

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