03 July 2009

Ah, The Sweet Sounds of Birdsong

Location: Crouse House, somewhere in the Chicago suburbs

Time: 30 minutes before the 4 day camping trip hits the road.

Characters: Me, Husband, Daughter

We hear water running in the background, then shut off. Moments later Daughter enters, dripping wet and wrapped in a towel

Daughter: Mom, I just threw up

Me looks at Daughter completely nonplussed.

Me (to Husband) Well now what do we do? If we leave now and she has to come back home because she's really sick what will we do? We can't take two cars because the mid-life-crisis-mobile you bought only seats 2 people, and Daughter is bringing DBF with her. Do we call the whole thing off? WHAT DO WE DO NOW!!??

Me and Husband spend 15 minutes discussing options, making phone calls and taking temperatures.

Me: Oh the heck with it. We'll just go. If she needs to come home later we'll figure it out then.

Turns out whatever she had was a short term thing. She got sick once in the car on the way to Devil's Lake, then one more time in the afternoon and then she was done. Good thing too, because I really don't know what we would have done if she had to come back home. I imagine that Husband would have been left stranded with no car for a couple of days.

This camping trip is an annual affair, with a large group of friends and neighbors who go out into the wilderness for a long weekend, usually near the end of June. This year we were staying at Devil's Lake State park in Wisconsin. We let Garmin tell us how to get there, so we got to experience something that we had never done before. We rounded a corner and the pleasant GPS lady told us, "Board Merrimac Ferry."

We've never been on a ferry before. Husband panicked became concerned and had me look at the map to see if there was an easier way to get to the other side of the lake. (I think he was concerned about how much this was going to cost.) I checked the map and determined that the fastest way for us to get where we were going would be to bite the bullet and take the ferry across. Turns out it only added about 10 minutes to the trip and didn't cost a thing.

We arrived at the group camp site around 5:00 and commenced setting up the tents.

Husband and I slept in the blue and gold tent, Daughter and DBF in the green one. If we should ever have a similar setup in the future, we'll put the girls tent a little farther away, as it turns out that two tent walls don't have a lot of noise reduction properties.

There was a path just behind the girls tent which led about 100 yards to the shower building. This building is surrounded by 80 foot pine trees, at the top of which nest Blue Herons. Turns out that when Blue Herons nest, they like to do so in large groups. This is certainly the case at Devil's lake.

The treetop photo isn't a great picture, but I have a less than perfect camera for this kind of photography. In any case, the birds were there, a lot of them, and they vocalized pretty much all day and a good part of the night. Because it was continuous, it wasn't hard to tune out after a little while. The larger problem came at night when the turkey vultures would come and try to raid the nests. At that point there was a lot of screaming and shrieking. Because it was midnight when it was happening, I'm not sure which species was making the noise, but I would guess it was the Herons.

We spent the weekend doing a lot of hiking


And hanging around the campfire.

Not a bad way to spend a weekend.


Five Ferns Fibreholic said...

Very nice. I'm glad the weekend turned out well despite the three loads of laundry you probably had to do on your return.

Amy said...

It sounds like you had fun. I'm glad I'm not the only person who vacations in WI (I live in California, but my family is all back in Green Bay...my vacations for the past 15 years have been trips back to visit my parents)!