Inspired by Mary Shidelar, a neighbor to the south in Itasca County in northern Minnesota , who kayaked all 1007 lakes in her area and challenged by my husband to truly get to know intimately my own beautiful backyard for my preference leans always toward international travel, I began my own journey of kayaking all of the lakes of Beltrami county. 

I wondered how many lakes I would need to sojourn and after phone calls were made to both the water division of our Department of Natural Resources ( DNR ) and the Beltrami County Soil and Water Resources, we first chatted about a true definition of a lake . For you see ,  Beltrami County is very water rich. Nearly 18 % of the county is covered by water and that would include sloughs , ponds , streams , bogs, swamps, vernal ephemeral pools, and rivers . Consensus was reached that for my planning ,  lakes of 20 acres or more would be placed on my list . Unlike Mary , I had a much easier  task as I would set out to kayak or in a few cases snowshoe to 294 lakes. I came to find that an average of 65 lakes in a paddling season ( April ice out to Nov.  snows ) would be the pace I set . This is a listing of those lakes and my best pictiorial shots when I enjoyed my own magnificent  backyard and the beauty found on the world class lakes of Beltrami county . 

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This is dedicated to Mary Shidelar the " Kayak Lady" of Itasca Co. and husband Al who knows if he sets before me a challenge I may fulfill it ! Please contact me for presentations as I enjoy sharing the journey with youth and civic groups. 

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