|A typically gentle Star Lake sunset|
A few favorite memories:
|Enjoying the ride, working up an appetite|
* Pontoon boats are great--easier for us older people to climb on and off, easier for kids because they can move around, easier to take "provisions," cameras, and other stuff along. But they're designed and sold as party boats. All the seats face in, making it awkward to fish. The kids preferred dock fishing, where we catch tiny sunfish and throw them back "to feed the snapping turtles."
* Augie and Vi love being outdoors and seeing wildlife, whether it's with their dad's family in Montana or with mom's in Minnesota. Loons, herons, beavers, snapping turtles, deer--or bison, mountain goats, pronghorns. They know them on sight and can tell you where they live and what they eat. And maybe what their scat looks like.
|Eric paddling in after tipping the kayak|
|Augie and his new gymnastic trick|
* When the resident loons set up a loud, constant tremolo sound, it means they have spotted a predator--often the bald eagle that visits regularly. The eagle perches atop a tall pine near the resort and eventually glides the length of the lake, just above the water. He or she is often seen taking fish, but nobody knows, or is saying, whether its prey has included young loons. From the little I've learned watching eagle nest cameras, it seems possible but not likely.
* Vi discovered a small raspberry patch planted next to our cabin. She visited twice a day looking for newly ripe berries. The berries are still tiny; we'll see whether they get larger as the plants mature or whether the birds grab them before we get the chance. Another possibility is that as summer weather varies from year to year the berries might ripen when we're not around.
* Time at the cabin is mostly a celebration of the outdoors, but we all found it a huge treat to drive about four miles into Crosslake for hand-dipped ice cream. In fact, it leads Vi's list of highlights for the week. I liked it, too, because the little ice cream shop carries toffee crunch, with the added title "butter brickle." Bridgeman's butter brickle was my favorite ice cream growing up, and it's years since I'd had any. A little online research has just revealed that I can find it several places in Minnesota, including one just a few miles from my house.
|Dinner on the river, and yes, Vi's at that stage|
* Other than one dinner out, Abby did all the cooking for five days, and when they left Peter cooked for two more days. In other words, I had virtually no kitchen responsibilities for a week, and I loved it. Now that's a vacation.