#4: Smith Lake

wp-1470693279926.jpgI’ve often wondered why people who name lakes can’t come up with something a little more creative than Round Lake or Smith Lake.  They probably weren’t thinking long range.  Since Smith is my maiden name I’ve asked if Smith Lake had any connection with our family  but there doesn’t seem to be, in spite of it being so close to my grandfather’s farm, just outside Hayward.  It’s a small, but beautiful lake that seems to be lined up with other small marshes, creeks and ponds.

Mom and I were due for a trip to the library and Smith Lake was in the same direction.  We made it our outing for the day’s challenge.  We drove to the small park with a boat landing and I took off the shoes, once again unprepared to actually swim.  I quickly waded in while my photographer snapped a few pics. Walking out, I  noticed a not so great smell which led me to examine the drifts of weed that had washed up on shore.  Large, black snails in great numbers were decomposing among the detritus, looking a little like a plague of some sort. We didn’t stay long.  (I’m thinking this was a temporary, seasonal thing and it wasn’t keeping others from enjoying the lake in their kayaks.)

The snails didn’t make it into the picture.  Well, maybe a few of them did, in the foreground.

On our way home we drove by one of the marshy areas that has been a cranberry farm for years.  This area has several cranberry marshes and a neighboring town is even known for its Cranberry Festival in the fall.  Not many things grow well enough in this part of Wisconsin to provide a financially reasonable crop but cranberries come close.

#3: Boating on Round Lake

wp-1470780259001.jpgWe 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?

These girls play hard…

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.



This time I really got wet.