Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Vacation

It's been 3 years since our last vacation, and Dave decided he needed one badly.  We trained up Alex and his friend Cody to watch the flock while we were gone and we headed off to Governor Thompson State Park near Crivitz, WI. It's a new park, situated on the Cauldron Falls impoundment. A very nice park, actually.

Except for the rain.

Seriously, it hadn't rained in Southern Wisconsin for WEEKS. No rain. the grass was brown, we really needed some! Up North, it rained for 3 days straight. A few hours here and there were dry but it was getting absolutely ridiculous.
The first night we were there, we set up and went down to see if we could get cell reception and call home. I took this photo from the boat landing. Nice, eh?  Even the mosquitoes were pretty scarce. We called home, everything was fine and went back to fishing.

There's been a fox stalking our flocks. Problem is, we've got a huge flock and the geese are actually bigger than the fox. they'll stomp/peck/hit him with their wings and he'd be a dead fox. Either way, if I can get him before the flock does, I'll sleep more soundly.

The next morning, rain. We head off to Crivitz to get breakfast and then put out on the lake with our canoe and kayak. Sure enough, even though the radar said all clear, it wasn't.

Dave is in the canoe, I'm in my Kayak and it started misting..then drizzling, then raining. I backed up under an Oak on the bank and watched Dave fish. It was nice to just be somewhere quiet.

Incidentally, twice -at two different lakes - I had people come by me and engage in conversation about me to their spouses: "What is she looking for?" was their question. I think the first lady had it right in her response, "I don't know....serenity?" Yep, I was looking in the water at some fishies, clams and snails. I also observed some interesting water plants that spiraled up to a small flower that broke the surface. It was peaceful. Apparently I am more curious about underwater life than others.

We ate our steaks in relative dryness, a treat we picked up for the trip. In the morning, more rain. We checked the radar and it showed endless rain, or what I termed, 'fresh hell.'

A discussion ensued and we decided to pack up and travel to a less wet park. We picked Buckhorn State Park on Castle Rock Lake, It's a HUGE lake, but there's inlets that are less inclined to be used by motorboats.  We had much less rain, but more mosquitos. Oh well. We put in on the lake and started our travels. Somewhere I lost my husband, but he's a big boy and can find his way back to the shore.
I rounded a peninsula and found this field of pond lilies. Now Dave says he's never seen them this high over the water and from comparing the maps of the inlets to actual inlets, I think he's right in believing the water was lower than it's normal level.

Aaand this lily pond was where I picked up the biting flies...............
I went in search of Dave, trying frantically to swat away the flies biting my back and armpits while paddling. Oh, and then my sweet niece starts a facebook conversation at that time that sets my phone to go BEEP-BUZZ every time someone responds to her. Wrong time sweetie!

Not to say that every day was rainless, I mean one morning we woke up and checked the radar for fresh hell and one was coming upon us. We decided to head on up to this shrine to the Virgin Mary up the road.
It was.............interesting. The entire complex was devised by a lady who had been receiving regular visits from the Virgin Mary in the 1950's. After Mary stopped coming, other saints made visits. From the completeness of the shrines, it was a busy place in the 70's but is in decline. As it was just getting done with the rain, there was no real place to kneel and say prayers. I think they probably should put a place inside where that could be done.

We paddled more on the lake, and tried to catch fish, but they were just not biting. We slept a lot, read a lot and got sand in lots of places it didn't need to be. Saturday we awoke to the hottest, muggiest day since last summer. We packed up and beat the storms home. 

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