'Pea Soup Shorty' Competes For the Prize
They came to taste-test the split pea with ham soup served up by the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association’s (PBSBA) ‘Pea Soup Shorty’, artfully characterized by board member Wayne Chamberlain.
Over the course of the couple hours between noon and 2pm, the Byway’s soup stand at Crosslake’s Bait Box Marina served up nearly sixty bowls of burly lumberjack-sturdy pea soup with ham to Saturday’s Crosslake Winterfest visitors.
Between spoonfuls of soup the taste-testers chatted with PBSBA representatives about the Byway. Most knew Paul Bunyan as well as many of his cast of characters and some had to have the new deck of Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway playing cards featuring thirteen of the logging camp characters at various events along the Byway.
Some soup sippers had roots in the area as far back as the turn of the century and enjoyed every minute of telling their stories. Others recited heartfelt longings for ‘the little cabin we always went to when we were young’ as the reason for their retirement move to the lakes area. Several talked about places along the Byway route that are personal favorites, such as Uppgaard Wildlife Management Area and Veterans Walking Trail, both located on County Road #16.
Within that two hours around the soup kettle, the essence of the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway route came to life; rich stories from the people, the strong role of recreation and the lodging industry that supports it, the appeal of the charming winking whimsy of Paul Bunyan lore, and the fifty four mile route that serves as the necklace on which to hang these gems.
Did Pea Soup Shorty’s split pea with ham soup win the People’s Choice award? Well the official word released by Crosslake’s Winterfest committee says the People's Choice this year is awarded to Java Connection. Congratulations! Pea Soup Shorty’s soup may not have earned top billing, but we extend a Paul Bunyan-sized thanks to the people who shared their stories and took time to learn more about the Byway as they tasted soup. See you again next year!