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Where in the World is Smokey?

Traveling through the Midwest

Aimee Ruzicka graduated from UT Knoxville in 1971 with a bachelor's degree in history and in 1974 with a master's degree in library science. A retired law librarian, she now lives in Nesquehoning, Pa., in the southern Poconos.

Ruzicka traveled to Ely, Minn., for a family gathering in August 2008. Along the way, she snapped seven photos at interesting sites:

1) Boundary Waters Canoe Area is a 1.09 million-acre wilderness area within the Superior National Forest in northern Minnesota. Administered by the U.S. Forest Service, the area is known for its both canoeing and fishing. It is the most visited wilderness in the United States.  Many of the lakes weave in and out of the U.S. and Canada.

2) International Wolf Center in Ely, Minn., advances the survival of wolf populations by teaching about wolves, their relationship to wild lands and the human role in their future.

3) Traveling by boat is a popular way for tourists to experience the Wisconsin Dells, a 5-mile gorge on the Wisconsin River noted for its unique sandstone rock formations and tributary canyons. The cliffs, some more than 100 feet high, and canyons are closed to public to protect the area's ecology.

4) Lake Delton was a man-made freshwater lake in Sauk County in central Wisconsin. The lake is now a mostly empty lake basin because a portion of a county highway that forms part of the dike wall eroded in June 2008 under the pressure area flooding.  Several homes were completely destroyed during this event.

5) Glensheen Historic Estate is an historic mansion on Lake Superior owned by the University of Minnesota Duluth. The mansion, built from 1905 to 1908, is on the National Historic Registry.

6) Moe's (almost) World Famous Diner in Osseo, Wisc., along I-94 in northern Wisconsin, is 1950s-style diner, complete with Formica tabletops, oldies on the jukebox and waitresses in poodle skirts.  It's a fun place in the middle of a large corn field.

7) Vermilion, Ohio, straddles a river of the same name as it empties into Lake Erie. The city has a colorful past. The city was a popular drop-off point for illegal liquor from Canada during the days of Prohibition. A lighthouse has stood on this spot since 1847.

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