Whether it's Highways 10/371 or Highway 169, families for generations often have taken the same route to get from the Twin Cities to cabins in the Brainerd lakes area.
Now two Plymouth men, along with a Twin Cities photographer, are in the process of creating a book of photography that captures the landmarks and familiar scenes often found on the drive up north.
The coffee table-style book to be titled, "Brainerd Bound: Landmarks to the Lakes Area," will feature the often lesser-known stories behind the recognizable sites found from approximately Elk River north and throughout the Brainerd lakes area, said co-author Mark Rustad.
"We think the appetite for the book is pretty darn good," said Rustad. "All of the people in the Twin Cities are trying to beat the clock and traffic and get up to their cabins. We want to show them what they're missing."
Rustad, who has a home-based sound acoustics business, came up with the idea for the book after one of his many trips up north to his family's cabin on West Twin Lake. He recruited friend Mark Utter, also of Plymouth whose family has a summer cabin on Gull Lake, for the book.
The two men, along with photographer Curtis Johnson, have been working on their book since late summer.
Their goal is to document and research several sites, unique businesses and a variety of events and festivals throughout the year and publish the book in Spring 2004. The book will be designed by Nelson Graphics of Baxter and published by Bang Printing in Brainerd. Rustad said that because the high quality photography book will be self-published, they will be able to sell copies for under $30.
Rustad said they would like suggestions from Brainerd lakes area residents on what types of landmarks or unique stories to feature within their book. They already plan to feature the Paul Bunyan Amusement Center in Baxter, the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway, Nisswa turtle races, Pequot Lakes' Bean Hole Days, the St. Cloud prison, a behind-the-scenes look at Grand Casino Mille Lacs and more. The book will showcase the tourism, fishing and hunting industries in the Brainerd lakes area and other aspects of what it means to drive up north, he said. Rustad said they also are attempting to get Twin Cities area celebrities to contribute personal stories of vacationing up north to the book.
Rustad said ideas submitted should involve landmarks, businesses or events that can be viewed from a car window along the major roadways. He and Utter also are looking for corporate sponsors in the Brainerd lakes area and businesses to become "Brainerd Bound booster club members," to sell the books.
To submit a story idea or suggestion for the book, call Rustad at (763) 694-8907 or contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ideas also can be submitted through their developing Web site at www.brainerdbound.com.
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