Wednesday, July 20, 2011

3 Lakes adventure

Another experience we shared with my mom while she was up in Petersburg was a trip out to Crane Lake that turned out to be fairly full of adventure. We shared the adventures with Beau Ward and his two boys.

Beau brought his canoe along with the idea that we would put in at the Crane Lake trailhead and canoe around in the streams all around that area. No matter that these streams are made by beaver dams which would have to be somehow passed over. He was pretty sure this would be a good idea. I didn't realize until we got out there that he hadn't ever tested out this idea.

They had plenty of fun in the canoe even before it hit the water.

Heading out to meet the canoe

Beau had to haul the canoe all the way across the field to get it launched. And then haul it all the way back!

Everybody made it precariously into the canoe. We paddled around a few corners and hit a beaver dam. We then tried ferrying all the kids out to teeter around on the soppy grass on the edge of the stream, but it very quickly became apparent that this was not an activity well suited for 3 adults and 5 small kids. So everyone got back in the canoe, we paddled right back around the corners and got out to hike instead! We hoped to go out in the rowboat that is always there at Crane Lake but, when we arrived it had disappeared. We later found it in one part of the lake but with no oars.

Mom obviously didn't pack the right clothes for this trip! I expected it to be sunnier out the road (isn't it always?) and it was actually colder!

Of course O Boy brought along his trusty homemade (and fairly dangerous with large hook) fishing pole. All the boys took turns dropping it in the water whenever they got the chance. Lots of fish sighted, only sticks and weeds actually caught. But they were undaunted.

We shared the picnic platform at Crane Lake with a large family who brought along some binoculars which they were very brave and generous to share with our delighted boys.

"There are fish down there! Why aren't they biting?!?!"

O Boy The Experienced Fisherman was very confidently giving EW pointers on where to drop the hook, how to hold the pole etc. etc. etc.

Adventure #2: Beau decided to show us the trapeze/net/dangerous thing that some clever people have strung high in the trees next to Crane Lake. Since he has been up there with 15? middle schoolers and it didn't fall down and since two other friends from church, Kristen and Emma (and Kristen's tiny dog) were up there already (goading us) encouraging us to come up, I let the kids start climbing up with fear and trepidation. The fear and trepidation were on my part. EW and Mr. T went up first one at a time with Beau and were in total boy heaven once they got up. They wanted to scramble all over the thing, bounce, and any other mildly dangerous activity that might make me even more nervous. Then, to make matters worse, the 2 year olds decided they had better go up too. O Boy wisely decided to stay on the ground with Mimi and focus on fishing and taking photos. If only I could have joined them. But with Kristen up in the net shouting, "Come on, Mom! Take one for the team, Mom!" and my 2 year old clambering to get up, I figured I'd better bite the bullet and go on up. Now that I can say I've done it once and confirmed that it wasn't at all fun (for me), I can safely and forcefully decline any further offers to go up again. The kids, on the other hand, absolutely loved it and would probably go up again and actually move around (which I stifled while I was up there since it made the net move and made me feel like I was going to roll out). I told Phil when he got home that he and Beau are welcome anytime to take the kids back and play in that death-defying net again. But I'm not coming!

Emma, EW, Mr. T and Kristen

Mr. T gives a big smile for the camera. This was fun, fun, fun for him!
I gingerly rolled over the edge and stayed frozen where I landed and put the Little Sweetie in my lap (she wasn't very happy about that).
Here's the Little Sweetie peeking down through the net.
Peeking over the edge of the boardwalk
After we hiked back to the parking area the boys decided to drop the pole in the water again to see if this time they might get a bite. In this stream you could really see all sorts of tiny fish swimming around. Amazingly they actually did love swimming right up to O Boy's huge hook (just enough to tantalize him); but of course none volunteered to take a nibble.

Getting some tips from Mimi on where to place the hook to get the best chance of snagging a big one. (And by big one I mean about 2 inches long.)

They really didn't want the Little Sweetie getting in on any of the fishing action and were not too interested in giving her a turn with the fishing pole. What would happen if a fish actually decided to bite while SHE was holding the pole??

Fishing off the boardwalk.

Happiness is sitting on a creek bank with a stick, a string and a hook hoping for a bite.

A picture for dad in Russia: we miss you, Dad!

Mimi with the crazy kids

Just as we were loading up the cars to go home, Mimi noticed some small red berries. She picked one and confidently announced, "If we'd used these as bait, we definitely would have caught The Big One." Hope springs eternal.

In which O Boy tries to be a chimney sweep because Dick Van Dyke just makes it look so cool.

In which O Boy reveals his (admittedly not very successful) fishing strategy:

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