I spent my youth living in Minnetonka, but it was at the cabin of Big Grammy Vee (as I called dad’s mom) on Sylvan Lake where my best lake memories were made. As a teen, I hitchhiked from Minnetonka to the cabin, west of Brainerd, rode a bike there (traveling more than 100 miles in one long day), and drove there once I got my driver’s license. On Sylvan, my best buddy and I caught walleyes, pike and bass, caddied at the nearby resort Madden’s on Gull Lake. We also camped for two days in the rain in jungle hammocks on the lake’s peninsula. I courted my first girlfriend there. More importantly, I learned at the lake how to communicate with God through nature. 

Rod Vessels, Maple Grove