Last month, after hibernating in our house for weeks on end, hubby Fred and I finally broke out of our self-imposed isolation. A year ago, we reserved a cabin for June of 2020 at a resort near Hayward. After giving it much thought, we decided not to cancel this year’s vacation on Chief Lake.
This fishing getaway gradually grew into a family outing of 13 people, including my son and daughter and their families. (A grandson also brought his girlfriend.) Five people ended up sharing one cabin, and the remaining eight shared another.
I was a little disappointed that the fishing wasn’t as awesome as I had anticipated, compared to the year before. Still, it was a wonderful family time, especially for the young cousins. While there, we celebrated the 20th birthday of our Colorado granddaughter.
In addition to having our family fishing boat available, we rented a 13-person pontoon boat for the week. That was great fun, especially for the grandchildren who took turns at the helm. The “younger set” also enjoyed tubing, as well as driving or riding on jet skis.
Some of those activities ended up more enjoyable than others.
One day, our two oldest Janesville granddaughters took off on a jet ski excursion. While “jetting around” the lake together, they got lost. Then it started to rain, and they began getting cold. They spotted a lakeside bar and stopped to ask for directions back to our resort.
Obviously, and sadly, they inherited my terrible sense of direction. Even with “help” from the bar patrons, they remained lost.
While wandering about on the increasingly choppy lake, they spotted a pontoon boat in the distance. They headed straight toward it, anxious to get back to their family before dark.
As they drew closer to the pontoon, they suddenly recognized some familiar faces. Ours!
To say that those two granddaughters were “happy campers” when they spotted us is an understatement. They were cold, tired, and relieved to know they would soon be resting in a dry cabin.
As I watched them “park” their jet-skis and climb onto the dock, one thought kept bouncing about in my brain: If those girls ever have kids of their own who want to ride jet-skis, they’ll have an interesting, cautionary tale to tell them.
In addition to enjoying each other, we enjoyed the wildlife around us. Besides the usual chipmunks and squirrels, we spotted eagles, ospreys, loons, hummingbirds, cranes, beavers, muskrats, raccoon, and deer.
However, none of us enjoyed the bears, especially the growling one my daughter heard while walking down a nearby road. And the one that tipped over the trash can beside our cabin. And the one that broke into a resort dump when someone failed to activate the electric fence guarding it.
There were rumors a mother bear (a.k.a. “sow”) and her three cubs were also visiting the area.
Please bear with me, but the bare truth is I’d rather deal with gummy bears, teddy bears, and Smokey Bear rather than any wild bears, especially when they’re baring their bare teeth.
Leanne Lippincott-Wuerthele, a native of Milton, who has lived in Minnesota and Iowa, has been writing Sunny Side Up for about 40 years. A graduate of Milton Union High School and Milton College, she has written four books. She has two children, three stepchildren, and a blended family that includes 11 grandkids.