Most people who live beyond the official borders of Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, will never sink their toes into the cool waters of Lake Vermilion. But author John Abel and photographer Tom Hill have created an immersive experience of a book that almost tele-transports readers to the shores of one of America's most spectacular natural features.
America's Lake Vermilion...its Seasons, Stories and Spirit takes readers on three journeys. One is a sensory trip around the contours of the lake itself, capturing the jarring shrieks of loons and the lap-lap-lap of the water against the side of a boat.
The second is a gentle, slow, reflective pilgrimage through winter, spring, summer, and fall - how the four seasons, through uncounted years, have annually transformed the colors, sounds, and textures of these 40,000 acres - much like this poetic description of Vermilion's harshest season...
- Winter's invitation uses the strength of its cold dominion to welcome us outward. While nature rests beneath us, one can walk across the stilled water and listen to the magnifying sounds cut through the air above, clean and pure. One pauses at the resonating boom of expanding ice or the crack of a pine as the wind embraces its branches.
The third is a uniquely human journey. Abel and Hill document, in words and pictures, the ways that the lake has shaped the hearts and minds of those who live nearby.
- I noticed a man standing on a dock gazing pointedly across the water. We navigated close enough to say hello and I asked him if there was something we could help him find. He assured me, 'I'm not here to find anything. This is the place I go to lose things. I've lost anger here, and jealousy and the fear of death. Sometimes, the answer to my prayers is not about finding things, but losing them.
Love of God, love for neighbors, and a relentless desire to preserve a uniquely beautiful place are the cords that bind this community together.
One day you may be blessed to see Lake Vermilion for yourself. Until then, consider this book an indispensable preparation for that experience.
John Abel is a resident of Victoria, Minnesota, 25 miles southwest of Minneapolis. A native of Indiana, he discovered the beauty of Minnesota's lake country at an early age. This is John's third book project. His current work as a pastoral minister inspired him to uncover the stories of the people whose lives have been positively impacted by the lake whether through the recreation they pursue, the businesses they operate, or the people they inspire. Lake Vermilion's greatest asset is its community.
Tom Hill is a resident of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 80 miles west of Philadelphia. Throughout his corporate career, he travelled extensively and brought his camera along with him. What began as a hobby has now evolved into an intrepid pursuit of the natural world around him. From India to the Virgin Islands to Alaska, Tom's expressive natural photography adds depth to the stories being told. His work behind the lens at Lake Vermilion underscores his passion for capturing God's great north woods.
"America's Lake Vermilion inspires conversation beginning with its striking sunset on the cover. The book's common theme is to help preserve and strengthen a place that comes alive with its photography and writing. As the author suggests, the beauty of our natural world is an important way to connect with God." - Sue Orsen, Editor
"America's Lake Vermilion is a uniquely human journey. Abel and Hill document, in words and pictures, the ways that the lake has shaped the hearts and minds of those who live nearby. Love of God, love for neighbors, and a relentless desire to preserve a uniquely beautiful place are the cords that bind them together." - Reverend Glenn McDonald, author
"America's Lake Vermilion offers an eclectic mix of contemporary stories about mankind's shared responsibility to protect its natural resources. It's a colorful collection of the seasons and people of our community." - David Colburn, Editor
"America's Lake Vermilion appreciates what nature has to offer. It captures the fabric of Vermilion – and the people who care for it in so many ways – and always will. I hope they're right." - Mark Ludlow, Resort Owner
"Thankful for this book showcasing the beauty and people of Lake Vermilion." - Bill Avery, Customer