Friday, July 18, 2008


As we were leaving the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair we found out that Tommy's cousin Grant was tragically killed. We drove home, unpacked the camping gear, and packed up to leave for his memorial service. As we were leaving we saw a beautiful double rainbow.

We love Grant very much and it hurts to have him gone. His memorial was extremely moving and we saw a rainbow circle around the sun during his memorial.

It just doesn't seem real. We think about Grant everyday and we will continue to think about him everyday. He was a great person that really gave a lot. He was a unique person and one to be admired for so many wonderful qualities...qualities I know we will try to model. He taught Tommy a lot of lessons growing up and gave him a lot of fond memories. It's just not fair, and it hurts.
**Edit on 18Jul2008**Thanks Dana for your comment I found our wedding pics and scanned one along with a couple of others. I remember that day so clearly, coming up on 15 years! I also included a couple other pics we took before we had a digital camera, so the quality is not that great, but you can clearly see his wonderful smile shining through!

Here he is in 2004 with Reeve and Kyle

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Devil's Lake State Park

We went camping at Devil's Lake State Park in Baraboo, Wisconsin for the 4th of July weekend. It's Wisconsin's most popular State Park. People make reservations 11 months in advance. I made ours late in that time there were only a couple of tent spots left! We only have one pic of our campsite...

we got one of the worst sites in the place! I believe the campground is situated on what was a golf course in the early 1900's. The campground is very open with really no private sites. We've been spoiled camping in the Provincial parks of Canada. Canadians KNOW how to camp! Mind you this is not backwoods camping, so I was fully expecting some "comforts." There were no handy "dishwashing" stations for the campers...where were we to rinse food off & the campsite??? Also there was no recycling stations! Just a big dumpster for all garbage...this really infuriated me!! It's suppossed to be Wisconsin's best State Park, something to be proud of, a good example of how to enjoy Wisconsin's finest beauty, and they couldn't even set up a simple recycling station??? Ugh! Our campsite was situated on a slanting hill about 20' from the central bathroom/shower and across the way from the stinky dumpster. It was a social site as we met everyone coming and going to the bathroom, eww! Camping aside it was a great place to see and visit. We started the 4th out with a nice half-day 5 mile hike around the lake.
In June they actually closed the park for a week or so do to all the flooding. The beach was still totally underwater.

If you click on the pic below it will enlarge and you can read about glaciation in Wisconsin...just make sure to click the back button on your browser to get back to the blog.

Our house is nicely located in the "driftless" area of Wisconsin. They call it "driftless" because the glacier stopped and the glacial drifts never flowed through this area.

The lake is a little over a mile in lenghth. The lower trail on the west side of the lake was closed due to flooding, so we started out walking the railroad tracks on the east side of the lake.

The lake area is full of huge rocks.

The most prevalent rock is quartzite or "pink lady" as it is fondly referred to by the State Park naturalists.

This part of the trail was easy, and we enjoyed looking at the west side view, wondering if we could actually make it to the top of the west bluff with Reeve & Kyle.

When we arrived at the south park it seemed the flooding was worse at this wonder this is where a huge river flowed in glacial times. There was no beach at this end either and a lot of picnic tables were in the water.

After the park we decided to keep going despite the fact that the road was covered with about 3" of water.

The kids thought it was really neat to walk on the flooded road and chase the little fish.

Luckily the water wasn't too deep, and it was nice and warm.

After the flooded road it was all up hill as we started on the west bluff trail.

I was pretty nervous about the kids getting so close to the edge on the rocks. People die in these bluffs every year, and I've heard of some pretty gruesome accidents that kids have had here.

Reeve did feel restricted, but I'm happy to report that we all survived without injury...the kid in the campspot next to ours had broken his arm at the park the day before.

The view was breathtaking. You can see the flooded north shore in this pic. The beach normally about 10-20' wide...and it's currently all underwater.

The next day we rented a boat and rowed around the whole lake for 4 hours. We didn't take the camera. I forgot my bathing suit, but Tom & the kids enjoyed swimming in the clear lake water. I think in the future we'll just spend day trips at this park, and not camp.