Road Trip – Part 21 – Visiting Dave & Denise At Camp Victory

Friday, April 17

It was a beautiful day for a five-hour drive to Zumbro Falls, Minnesota – southeast of where Bob and Doris live.

1Not long after we left their house on Friday morning, I noticed these two sandhill cranes almost camouflaged in the field.

1a (1)

1a (2)There were many opportunities to look for reflections in lakes and rivers..

1a (3)

1a (8)

1a (4)These three were moving on as cars whizzed by them.

1a (5)

1a (6)I enjoy looking for ways towns and city’s advertise their names.

1a (7)

1a (9)

1a (10)

1a (11)Lunch. My choice was delicious parmesan-and-bread-covered walleye.

1a (12)

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1a (18)Farmers were busy in the fields as we approached Zumbro Falls.

1a (19)

1a (20)I wonder what stories this shed could tell.

1a (21)It was just before 3:30 PM when we pulled into Camp Victory where Dave is Retreat Director.

1a (22)

1a (23)Dave was in his office in this building, and Denise arrived a few minutes after us.

1a (24)They gave us a tour of several buildings – the dining room was first – and took us to where we would be sleeping.

Denise is the youngest daughter of Cerwin’s sister Velda and her husband, Mel.

1a (25)The recreation center is new this summer and is just being completed.

1a (26)Denise and I decided to hike up the trail to the cabins.

1a (27)On the way we passed the outdoor chapel.

1a (28)A cross carved in a tree stump.

1a (29)Several buildings at the top of the hill.

1a (30)Dave and Cerwin walked up the road instead of the path.

1a (31)The meeting room and…

1a (32)…bunks in one of the cabins.

1bThe “million dollar” view was next to our cabin.


1c (1)Camp Victory is a non-denominational Christian camp and retreat center in SE Minnesota. Located on 200 acres of forested, rolling hills and the beautiful Zumbro River.

1c (2)

2We were introduced to the cabin where we would be staying for the night. I expect this wouldn’t be available to us on Friday nights after summer camps start.


2aaIt is set up to sleep 14 people – with 7 sets of bunks.

2abSince there were only two of us, we had lots of space.

2b (1)The bathroom has 14 cubbies for personal items, two showers, two wash bowls, two bathroom stalls, and 14 hooks for towels and wash cloths.

2b (2)I would like this much room at home. 🙂

2b (5)Upstairs there was a comfortable loft.

2b (6)

2b (7)

3 (1)Looking down on the bunks.

3 (1a)The view of other cabins and meeting areas next to our cabin.

3 (2)Denise wanted to show us their house, which is several miles from camp. This was the view of the dining hall as we left camp in Denise’s car.

3aThe house Dave and Denise rent on a nearby farm.

4 (1)They have a nice deck.

4 (2)Denise is preparing to plant a garden.

4 (3)Their daughter Sami, the neighbor’s dog Jesse, and Denise. Their other two children Brittany and Dan are away in college – Brittney in Virginia and Dan in Florida.

4 (4)A barn next to their yard.

4 (5)

4 (6)Heading back to camp.

4a (1)Dave helped serve supper to a youth group that just arrived for the weekend.

4a (2)After they were served, Cerwin, Dave, Denise, Sami, and I got our meal – which was delicious.

4b (1)Sami having fun with my camera.

4b (2)It was fun spending the evening with them before Denise and Sami went back to their house, Dave helped the youth group settle in to the camp, and we went to our comfortable cabin.

4cIt was a delightful, warm evening, so we stayed outside as long as possible – at least until the sun set.

4dIt was a beautiful, relaxing day – but we needed to sleep because there were things to do and people to see on Saturday.

Road Trip – Part 20 – Saying Goodbye To Bob & Doris

Friday Morning, April 17

Around bob & doris' (1)Before we say goodbye to them, I have a few more pictures. This one is from the end of their driveway.

Around bob & doris' (2)Their many white birch trees add great beauty to the property.

Around bob & doris' (3)

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Around bob & doris' (5)

Around bob & doris' (6)

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Around bob & doris' (8)I am not sure what kind of fungus was growing on this tree, but it was kind of pretty.

Around bob & doris' (9)A wood duck house waiting for residents.

Around bob & doris' (10)I heard this woodpecker before I saw it and thought it must be really large because of the sound, but it was a small downy.

Around bob & doris' (11)Look at that stack of wood in the center back of the picture.

Around bob & doris' (13)Lumber is very important in this household.

Around bob & doris' (14)

Around bob & doris' (12)It is used to heat the house – from the large outdoor wood furnace in this building.

Around bob & doris' (15)If you have been reading my blog, you know they use a lot of wood in making maple syrup. This is a friend who came by to do the final cooking of his maple syrup.

Around bob & doris' (16)In another two months there will be beautiful, ripe strawberries in their garden.

Around bob & doris' (17)

Around bob & doris' (18)The boat is waiting for a spring fishing trip.

Around bob & doris' (19)When we left in mid-April, it still looked and felt a lot like winter, but several warm days were bringing signs of spring.

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Around bob & doris' (26)There were lots of little calves on the neighbor’s farm, but I never did find the time to walk over and get close-ups of them.

Around bob & doris' (27)

Around bob & doris' (29)Then it was time to say goodbye to our gracious and delightful hosts – Cerwin’s youngest sister Doris and her husband Bob.

Around bob & doris' (30)

Around bob & doris' (31)They are not only family, but great friends.

Around bob & doris' (28)Just after leaving their driveway, we saw this pair of Canada geese.

Around bob & doris' (32)The church which Bob and their son Japheth pastor – plus two other men – is not far from the house.

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Around bob & doris' (34)Bob and Doris’ other son Jon and his family live next to the church. They are also active in church activities, including the youth group.

We only saw them one evening, before they left for Pennsylvania to visit her family.

Around bob & doris' (35)Bob and Doris have many things around the house to remind themselves and visitors of the value of following and trusting God – during ordinary and not so ordinary days.

We were sad to say goodbye, but it was time to move on to visit a niece, her husband, and daughter near Zumbro Falls, Minnesota – a five-hour drive to the south.

Road Trip – Part 18 – The Lake

Monday, April 13 to Friday, April 17

The Lake (1)This is Bob and Doris’ back yard.

The Lake (2)

The Lake (29)

The Lake (30)

The Lake (3)

The Lake (4)It is unusual to not see or hear water fowl during this time of year.

The Lake (5)Bulrushes that survived the cold winter.

The Lake (6)There were many red-winged blackbirds who perched on them and did everything they could to get my attention with their noisy song.

The Lake (7)

The Lake (8)

The Lake (9)

The Lake (10)I enjoyed catching the bulrush’s fluffy seed heads in the morning or evening sunlight.

The Lake (11)

The Lake (12)

The Lake (13)

The Lake (14)When I mentioned to Loraine that I was going to the lake to take pictures, she offered to go along. 

The Lake (15)There were trumpeter swans making a lot of noise as they came in for a landing.

The Lake (16)They landed beyond my sight, so I did not see them in the water.

The Lake (17)During our time there I saw a variety of ducks and waterfowl.

The Lake (17a)

The Lake (18)I am not an accomplished birder, but I think these are goldeneyes.

If I have identified any of these incorrectly, please let me know.

The Lake (23)Hooded mergansers

The Lake (23a)

The Lake (24)Wood ducks

The Lake (28)Canada goose

The Lake (26)Pretty Reflections

The Lake (27)

The Lake (31)

The Lake (32)If I lived next to this lake, I would have to retire so I could take pictures all day.

Road Trip – Part 17 – Frank’s Little Machine

Thursday, April 16

1Bob and Doris’ neighbor Frank came to show Cerwin the little machine he designed.

2I don’t understand how things like this work, but it makes sense to Cerwin.

DSC_0248It operates by heat and sounds like a hit and miss engine.

DSC_0252I am not a machinist, but it is easy to see that Frank’s skill is in that field.


DSC_0260He also brought a walking cane that his brother carved.


DSC_0266Things like this fascinate me, probably because they are so far removed from anything I could do.