While many of the stories in this section go back a couple generations, this one only goes back to 1993 and only involves one owner. We bought our lot near Backus, Minn., sight-unseen for pennies on the dollar. The land had yet to be developed and the shoreline was fairly murky. We bought an older 60-foot mobile home to put on the lot after clearing it, thinking we would build something a little nicer. Eventually we just kept fixing up the place. We called it “The Trabin” (trailer-cabin). We don’t have any children, so most of our company is couples who come up to see us for long weekends. There is a small airport in Backus, and we even have one couple who fly in from Minneapolis-St. Paul for the annual pilgrimage. Our weekends consist of going to the local meat raffle, playing ladder ball and Yahtzee, and just relaxing on the lake with a few adult beverages.

We see a few fishing boats on the lake, but mainly it is just folks on pontoon boats enjoying the day and going for a swim.

We are located on Big Portage Lake just outside of Backus, about 170 miles north of the Twin Cities and 45 minutes straight north of Brainerd. There is quite a bit of state land on the lake, so there aren’t a ton of cabins and homes. There is a lot of privacy. Big Portage also is connected to Rice Portage and Deep Portage. Eagles are abundant and if you are really lucky you might occasionally see a deer crossing through the channel connecting the lakes.

We love our Trabin; so do our friends!

Chris and Brenda Seidl, Minneapolis