Honoring a longtime Byway supporter
Crow Wing County Engineer, Duane Blanck, was honored with a plaque and a shower of compliments at the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association’s (PBSBA) annual meeting at Antler’s Restaurant, Breezy Point, on November 13.
Prior to presenting the plaque, PBSBA chair, Lynn Scharenbroich, read to the audience of nearly forty people, a congratulatory letter from Minnesota Scenic Byways Coordinator, Mark Anderson. Mr. Anderson recounted Blanck’s contributions to the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway effort from its inception in 1998, echoing the compliments shared by others. Anderson concluded his letter, “Your cooperation and assistance helped the byway association to meet the requirements for designation as an ‘America’s Byway’ in 2005. Thank you for your assistance to the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association over the years. Your support has enabled this group of creative people to enhance the area for residents and visitors and to make this one of the most highly regarded scenic byways in Minnesota.”
Blanck commented on his years of working with the PBSBA and the diversity of the projects. When he slipped in the, “Someday I want to retire,” comment, the audience let out a good-natured Paul Bunyan sized disagreeable gasp.
Chair, Lynn Scharenbroich, shared a story with the crowd about a byway leader from another area of the state who, after hearing a presentation by Duane Blanck at a statewide convention, blurted out, “How can I get you to be my man?” Scharenbroich said the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association is incredibly fortunate to be able to work with someone like Duane. That’s why they hope retirement is still a long ways off for the Crow Wing County Engineer.
The Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway’s fifty four miles run entirely on county roads. Although not verified nationwide as the only byway with this type of route, it is indeed one of the few. There are 126 nationally designated byways in 39 states. Minnesota is home to 7 of those, one of which is a multi-state byway.