Monday, August 04, 2003

The weekend on the Wisconsin River was…

21 miles -- from Blackhawk Outfitters just south of Sauk City to Peck's Landing near Spring Green.

Invigorating… We didn’t get started Saturday until 4 p.m. because we did Ice Age Trail blazing in Milton. Got the whole city blazed. Lots of stares, a couple questions, and over a mile of new signage. Esther did a good job keeping everybody motivated. My job was to consult where the signs should be placed and used a special tool to tighten metal bands that hold the signs in place.

On the river, canoe loaded, heavy with mucho gear, we don’t do any of that float down the river take it easy kind of thing, though did take a break on shore to eat. Passed by a nude beach en route, but it was a total sausage fest. Old men.. Ugh. Paddle fast, shoulder aches. Gotta catch up with our group, who left at 10 a.m.

We made it to the camp spot at 7 p.m., marked by a bright orange flag. Fire was already burning, most of the guys were fishing nearby. They came back with two big smallmouth bass and a good-sized walleye. Made for two big pans of fresh meat cooked up in butter. Yum! I grilled up a bunch of chicken pieces… Good time around the campfire. We could hear carp or some big fish splashing in the water. When I walked along the shoreline looking for deadwood I saw a fin sticking out of the water, a zig zag pattern of disturbance in the water as mystery leviathan disappeared to deeper water. Every 10-15 another fish retreated.

Wide river, sandy bottom, popular stretch, lots of people. Not the typical outdoor weekend adventure where I see one or two people the whole time. Bluffs and hills on certain stretches. Dodged inclement weather. Three separate storm fronts. Saw the lightning, heard the thunder, saw the rain falling in the distance, but nary felt a drop. Fell asleep to comfortable temps and starlight.

I woke up Monday with an adrenaline rush when Esther dropped the alarm clock. Minutes later, on the pot, I’m startled again when shampoo bottle falls into tub along with metal drain plug. I didn’t drink any coffee…

I watched my first football of the new NFL season as Brett Favre worked a couple series on Monday Night Football. I switched channels after the stars were benched and watched a History Channel documentary, Klondike: Quest for the Gold.

I saw my brother Mike both this morning and this evening. Esther had jury duty in Belvidere and was grilled by two lawyers for over an hour. She came home completely worn out, but thankfully was not selected to serve on the jury of a high-profile sexual molestation case. A small-time local politician and Belvidere business owner is charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault. Esther was one of five jurors interviewed and three eliminated. Her work in child care, she believes, kept her from serving. I'm glad she wasn't selected, because the trial would be up to two weeks long and she'd be sequestered the entire time.

Mike is still looking for work, just hanging out at Mom and Dad's, listless, nothing to do. He showed me some photos on his computer and we talked around the kitchen table for an hour after dinner. He seems to be in good spirits despite his impoverished condition.

I was really tired today, just plain worn out from the jazz/trail work/canoeing jam-packed. Threatening clouds today, but no rain. I still canceled a couple jobs, put ‘em off until Wednesday. Two customers want me to bag their clippings and I have to pick up the bagger from Steve’s mom for the mower he gave me.

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