Herald Journal Columns
May 22, 2006, Herald Journal

Save fuel, have fun in Minnesota

By ROZ KOHLS

Last week, I wrote about Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar’s ineffective plans for reducing gasoline prices at the pump. This week I have a suggestion that won’t bring prices down at the pump, but will reduce how much you spend on gasoline. Instead of traveling long distance this summer, stay within Minnesota and have a blast.

We went up to Big Bass Lake this spring and saw so much wildlife, it’s difficult to describe how amazing it was. I feel like the guy in the phone commercial on TV who has to get an adjective from the adjective wheel to describe what he heard. Otherwise, no word seems appropriate.

We saw deer, otter, beavers, chipmunks and enough turtles that, laid end to end, would carpet the Dassel Cokato High School gymnasium.

Some out-of-state theme parks use robots for animals. Why look at machines when you can see the real thing?

We also saw great blue herons, loons, gulls, bald eagles and several duck species, some we didn’t even recognize.

Another treat was touring the lake by boat. In the spring, the sun is high in the sky. When fish come into the shallow water they are easy to see. We looked down into the lake and saw bass, crappies, sunfish and walleye . We spotted two huge northern pikes. One was more than a yard long. It was so enormous, at first my daughter thought it was three fish next to each other.

This was much better than traveling out of state to look at fish in an aquarium.

It will be even better in the summer now that the fishing season has begun, and the water will be warm enough for swimming.

Not only would it save money on gasoline, but it would help the economy in Minnesota if money for resorts, camping, fishing, biking, motel rooms, and restaurants is spent here.

Tourism across the state produces a gross domestic product equal to the state’s agricultural gross domestic product. Also, Minnesota’s hospitality and tourism industry employs more than 230,000 people and contributes more than $600 million annually in sales tax revenues, according to the Explore Minnesota Tourism office.

You’ll be thankful you stayed here, and your fellow Minnesotans will be thankful you stayed here. Have fun.


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