Do you believe in luck and portents? I don’t, though I am often struck by coincidences. Our hellish trip up here has been mirrored by a fairly unpleasant couple of days here at Dairymens.
Oh, no, it isn’t the weather! The weather has been great. It’s nice and warm (for us) and cool (for the natives), with these brief but tympanous thundershowers during the afternoon. The evenings are clear and the water calm.
It certainly isn’t the food, either. As always, the food at Dairymens is bounteous, including sinful desserts and breakfasts.
No, this time it is our cabin – not the cabin itself but its location: Right between the swimming platform in the lake in front and the playground in back. Given that there are at least 800 children here, and 799 of them are pre-teen girls, the screaming (high pitched, extremely loud, and unfortunately frequent) has completely overwhelmed us. The dining room is a zoo. Now I understand why this was the last cabin to be filled, and rather than counting my lucky stars that we got a cabin this week, I am making a mark in my little memory book: Keep away from Cabin 15!
That said, our vacation has had many good moments too. Friday we stopped in at Arlene’s Pottery and Gallery in Boulder Junction. Arlene known as Arl) is a friend from my earliest memories at Camp Osoha. She was also my co-counselor in Blue Herons (which means nothing to you if you are unfamiliar with the names of the Osoha cabins – Think more pre-teen girls: About 11 years old if my memory is correct.)
Arl is selling our recycled wine bottle glasses and vases, as well as some of my photos in her gallery. My sales get traded out for other neat items she sells, including her own pottery, and this year, a set of wine glasses I intend to use at the Farm. Arlene’s Pottery is right in the middle of Main Street Boulder Junction (a one street burg) so you won’t miss it. Be sure to say hello from us if you stop in to see her.
Friday afternoon, after the first aborted nap, we walked about 2.5 miles from our cabin along the shore of the lake towards Cabin 25 (last cabin on Home Lake) then through the woods to the golf course, back along the road through the service area to Wolf Creek, and then back to the cabin. Along the way, we saw baby ducks and a convention of mergansers, our only wildlife. We also saw Indian Pipes (I think that is the common name) and interesting plant with no chlorophyll.
Friday evening, we picked up Arl and went in to Boulder Junction to the Boulder Beer Bar, a true landmark of the northwoods. Two beers and some really awful karaoke were enough to convince us to call it a night about 9:30.Saturday, we left about mid-morning and went to Fallison Lake to walk their interpretive trail. The Fallison Lake trail is one of the shorter trails in the Northern Highlands American Legion State Forest which is all around us for several counties. Supposedly there are literally thousands of lakes in this area due to the glaciers, and 900 or so of them are in this particular state forest. In an earlier post, I may have mentioned that Dairymens has seven named lakes on its property.
The Fallison Lake trail is one of the nicest. The path is alternately sandy and deep pine needles. It goes up and down; it has stairs, rocks and roots to help ascend and descend. The views of the lake and the nearby bogs are camera-worthy. We both had our cameras with us, as well as our tripod, so the first 1.2 miles of the walk took us two full hours! We did get some nice pictures through! The last mile took us just about 20 minutes, as by then we realized that if we maintained our current rate we were going to miss lunch!
The trail was in use by others, too – there were 5 or so cars in the parking lot when we arrived. However we only saw a family of 5 walking, a young couple jogging, and a mountain biker (twice) who was doing laps around the lake just for exercise (remember the steps, rocks and roots?).
Saturday afternoon, another aborted nap, and hours spent editing pictures from the morning. After dinner, trying to spend a quiet evening reading, we were instead regaled by the screaming pre-teens until well after 9:30pm. Going out after dinner may preserve our sanity this week!
Shortly after it finally got quiet, Gerry went to bed. I stayed up to take night pictures – the stars over the lake are amazing! Last night we were supposed to be able to see the aurora borealis, too. I went out between 10:30 and 11:30 and took pictures – some eerie glowing on the horizon, a couple of lightning flashes, a serene and beautiful evening on the lake accompanied by the call of the loons. A perfect way to end any day!
Sunday morning – the routine begins again. Today, however, we actually have things we “have to do”. First, a trip to Red Arrow to see Gerry and Oscar, and stay for chapel. Camp was pretty empty – several cabins including Chateau, the oldest boys, are out on trips. Chateau is on “the Canadian” – fourteen days in the wilderness! Oscar just came back last night with his cabin (second oldest boys) from a week hiking on Isle Royale in Lake Superior. He’s very tan and all sun-bleached – right down to the eyelashes. It was hot, but never rained, he reported. Gerry looks good, too – tanned of course, and a little thinner. Seeing them will be the best part of this trip! Now we’re just waiting, with the proverbial bated breath, to find out when their days off are and whether they will spend any of their time off with us.
After the stop at Red Arrow, we drove up Highway 51 to Manitowish Waters to drop of the two photographs for the art show. The opening reception is Wednesday night, and the show itself from Thursday to Sunday. Though I would be thrilled to win one of the prizes, I will be even more thrilled to sell both pieces I brought. Fortunately, Arl will pick them up for me on Sunday, and perhaps one of them may sell in her gallery before the end of the summer. I am crossing my fingers.