Two carloads of 8 ladies made the long trek along the Red Lake Road to Joan Best’s home in the Tranquille Valley. Having heard about Joan’s adventures in this isolated acreage where she has lived for 23 years, we were curious to see it before someone buys it as Joan has finally made the decision to move closer to town. We admired her little greenhouse and gazebo which she built herself. The garden was neat and tidy with a variety of flowers, fruits, and vegetables, all protected from the deer by tall fences. The cozy little house offered a welcome bathroom after the 45-minute journey from town.After the tour of the 5 acre property, we followed Joan along the Red Lake Road to the turn-off to Wendego Lodge and drove along a very rough logging road to another branch of the road turning left. We eventually stopped at the wetland Joan had described in her original email. We walked all around the pond, stopping to look at interesting clumps of moss and tiny snail shells lining the shoreline. Hunger called and we planted ourselves in the shade where we ate our lunches, fighting off the mosquitoes and the occasional black ant. We continued our journey up the road a few more kilometers, noting the following flowers: wild roses, lupines, red columbine, common red Indian paintbrush, oxeye daisy, and columbia or tiger lily.
Submitted by Margaret Graham. Photos by Adele Stapleton