For most people from Bemidji, and for many from this state and other northern territories, driving onto a lake in the middle of winter is completely normal.
But for a guy from Illinois, who has only seen ice broken up to allow for barges to pass through Peoria on the Illinois River, driving onto Lake Bemidji for the first time was surreal.
The fact that a man named Jeff Iceman was the first person I talked to for a story on today’s ice fishing tournament made it even more so.
While I understand it’s perfectly safe to drive on Lake Bemidji, I’d be a liar if I said my heart didn’t beat a little faster as headed down the boat ramp at Nymore Beach. Once I reached the city of fish houses, though, even visible cracks in the ice didn’t frighten me.
After writing my story, I walked outside to find this beautiful scene.
A short trip east provided another striking image.
And on the drive home, I found this wonderful sunset over Lake Irving.
Doesn’t get much better than that.