Sunday, July 25, 2021

Tubing on the Fox River at Princeton

Last winter when things were still in pandemic mode and everyone was ready to do something fun, we commiserated with my son-in-laws' parents.  We decided to rent a couple cabins in the St. Germain/Sayner Wisconsin area for a week.  We share a grandson named Ewan, who has become very familiar to a lot of you through my blog posts.  We found a place with two available cabins for the 2nd week in July 2021.  We put down a deposit and went on with life.  As many of you know, life is never a straight line, and my husband passed away a month before we were scheduled to go.  The decision had to be made whether I should go or not.  In the end, I decided to go.  I thought it was another step in life that I had to conquer.  Believe it or not, I hadn't even filled a gas tank in twenty years.  We did everything together, so I didn't have to think about those kind of everyday things.  Today I noticed the water softener needed salt, and Mike still had a couple bags in the basement.  I never gave it a thought before, but I have to remember to pick up more salt next week.

I won't go into a lot of detail about my trip.  There were a lot of good things that happened.  I drove more than three hours instead of being a passenger.   I saw eagles, loons and even a pure white deer.  Of course, we spontaneously went for ice cream one night and no one had a camera they could reach in a split second.  That photo will have to remain in my memory.  We did get one of the ice cream however.

The lake was absolutely beautiful and clean.  Ewan paddle boarded, kayaked, drove the big boat, fished, rode horses and had a wonderful week thanks to his other grandparents.  

The bad part was that my cabin had a gas leak they were trying to fix when I got there.  They thought it was fixed, but I could still smell it even with all the windows open and fans on high.  The cabin actually looked pretty cute from the outside.  

There was another odor that resembled a dead animal which wasn't pleasant either.  The first night I went to bed, I got the chills and felt very sick about two hours later.  I got up and sat in the car,  then I walked around the cabin, I got extra blankets and tried to get warm and ended up in the car for the rest of the night.  I didn't want to return to that cabin ever again.  The owner was nice enough and said she didn't have any replacement cabins for the rest of the week, but she might have something for the next two nights.  I never heard from her again and slept on the couch in the other cabin for a couple nights.  At that point, being an intruder and not feeling all that well, I came home.  Maybe it was the universe telling me it was too soon, and I was pushing it.

Then last Sunday we had the fun drive-thru zoo experience.  I hadn't realized it was so close to home and I enjoyed it a lot.  Shamba Safari  Today I participated from a distance in another family activity even closer to home.  We have an ice cream shop called The Ice Bowl about a half mile from my house.  This spring they expanded the Green Bay Packer themed business to include tubing trips on the Fox River.  You meet at the store, they take you by bus to a starting point and you leisurely float back to your vehicle at the ice cream shop.  

Today my daughter, her husband and two sons went.  It was very hot and humid with a heat index of 97 degrees F so a few hours on the river sounded appealing.  Here is a photo of the bus with all the important information for anyone planning to be in the Princeton Wisconsin area.  They also have a Facebook page.

The boys are on the bus and ready to go.

The family is ready to hop on their tubes and shove off.  Since it is a 2.5 hour trip, I was in no hurry to go downtown to view them coming into the last leg of the journey.  To add insult to injury, sometime in the past five days I developed a chest cold or some kind of flu.  No Covid, thank goodness but not fun either.  I haven't had a cold for 5-10 years and brag that my bone broth is very good for my immune system.  Never say never because it will get you every time.

Almost two hours later I got a call that they could see my house.  I went out on the deck and sure enough, off in the distance there they were.  Ewan frantically waving his paddle.  A little too far a way for a good picture, but I could see they had gotten that far.

I waited a few minutes and headed down to a place I knew I could see them round the bend into the home stretch.  The Ice Bowl was so crowded today.  They were having a fundraiser with a Meet and Greet autograph session with some former Green Bay Packers, Gilbert Brown, Santana  Dotson and Craig Newsome.  I couldn't have found a parking space if I would have tried so I'm glad I chose an out of the way location.  I sat for a very long time in the hot sun.  I had underestimated how far it was in river miles.  I did see a lot of these very beautiful Cedar Waxwing birds flitting back and forth across the river.

I kept thinking they were coming so I would snap a photo only to find out it was a stranger.  I had a lot of deleting to do when I got home.  Soon I saw Ewan's bright green shirt in the distance.

There they were all in one piece and looking happy.

And as they headed back to the start I was thinking "another great adventure and memory in the books", and we didn't have to travel for hours to find it.  That's what summer fun in Wisconsin is all about.  Now for a little ice cream, a little resting and a nice supper. 

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