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A Good Time was had by all.
I along with about 200 other travel writers broadcasters and guests arrive at Voyageur National Park to be greeted with a warm welcome by govenor Tim Pawlenty himself, a guy who could be either a presidential candidate or running mate for the Republicans in the next election.

The community of Lake Kabetogama puts on a fine spread to start the festivities and local hosts are assigned to two guests per boat.

We go back to the cabin at the Arrowood Resort and party a little too much for a little too long.

All four of us in our cabin would like to pass on the early breadfast but wake up ready to do our duty, grasping for the first cup of coffee that is available to us.

Into the boats we climb for our day of challenging the open waters looking for fish to measure to see if we can be lucky enough to take one of the species awards back home with us.

We are fishing for walleye. The first spot is entirely unproductive, so our host guide races to another spot.

Our guy is Chuck Colson who lives on the lake and is actually a licensed guide for the federal park.

We catch a few walleye but nothing big.

Back on shore at noon, a shore lunch awaits us in the central tent erected for the event. Walleye is on the menu with the usual shorelunch beans etc.

Back on the water in what turns out to be a hot afternoon, we hold little hope for catching much more.

Our guide again moves from the first to a second spot.

Fishing seems to have run cold….until just before we are ready to leave.

We start bringing in a couple of walleye of a reasonable but not award winning size.

But we are happy as we head back to camp to get ready for the evening closing festivities.

The govenor, who has always stayed for the banquet and prize awards, this year has bigger fish to fry with all kinds of political challenges awaiting him in the twin cities.

The next morning the guests thank their hosts, shake hands all around, and head back to file stories and complete edits for radio or television.

It is an exceptional way of drawing attention to a beautiful region of the Minnesota state, and to the resorts and restaurants in the area.

I have had a great time, interviewed Curtis Johnson of Minnesota tourism on the Journeys Travel Show, and return home with some interesting insights into the state’s tourism product.

And I look forward to returning next year.