We had a gorgeous day for this outing – clear sky, warm air and warm water. My brother had agreed to take some teens tubing on our favorite lake. Round Lake is a large, deep, spring fed, recreational lake about eight miles west of Hayward. Our family farm was only a quarter mile from Round Lake and our childhood memories are pretty much dominated by the times we spent there, swimming, skiing, fishing and boating. It is known for it’s clear, unpolluted water. I don’t know it’s present status but when I was younger, it was known to be clean enough to drink.
We met the kids at the boat landing and put the tubes in the water. I don’t want to say that my age is responsible, but within ten minutes of being there I had gotten my leg tangled in the tow rope and fallen down in the shallow water, clothes and all. But, hey, I was there to get wet, right?
The tubing was fun to watch and the kids had a great time being viciously competitive. After they learn how to hang on, the only real excitement is in knocking someone else off or flipping their tube over. At the mid-point of the afternoon we parked the boat out in the middle and spent some time diving off the bow and swimming. It was as refreshing as any of my memories, and that is unusual since memories often take on a life of their own.
A couple of years ago my family started talking about trips they had made to the Delta Diner, a restaurant in a streetcar, out in the middle of the woods. I had never been there so Mom had it on the list of things I should do this visit. We got right to it – breakfast on Day 2.
Since I’m mentioning breakfast, I will tell you that the Delta Diner is not just another greasy spoon place by the road. It is a destination. It has gotten media attention and been touted as one of the most interesting places to eat in our neck of the woods. It is small (duh, it’s a streetcar, really) with a bar overlooking the grill, and a row of booths on either side of the door. People wait outside on picnic tables for their seating. We came for the breakfast menu, which also included some sandwiches and desserts. I had been waiting to try Mom’s favorite, Norwegian pancakes with jalapeno. I was not disappointed in them either.
In calling this “lake a day” challenge I have to explain that I have a very loose meaning of the word lake. It is any body of water, excluding mud puddles or the kitchen sink. Today it was all about a stream called the White River. It is small in some places but since the watershed looks really big on the map I’m sure there are some wider spots. The place where our road crossed over was definitely not a park, but just a place where the pavement allowed us to pull over without obstructing traffic. There was a view of the stream that was flowing swiftly into the largest culvert I have ever seen which carried the water under the road. A canoe or kayak could easily ride through.
I was not the first person to make my way down to the water’s edge but I wouldn’t say there was a path either. Up here in the northwoods we always have to think about poison ivy. There is also the possibility of losing footing and sliding into the stream and I was very aware of that. Photo credits on this day go to my brother Dennis who was handicapped by the direction the sun was hitting us. This was another one foot dip, although the water was clear and only about four feet deep. I need to start wearing my swimsuit everywhere I go and traveling with a towel.