Yesterday, I met Joyce about 40 minutes north of here and we went to Crescent Lake Wildlife Refuge: a place so unknown it stumped google maps. Following directions from the cashier at a gas station in Oshgosh, Joyce’s car took a beating on the washboard surface of the gravel road. I was sure we were on the wrong road – this one was only one lane part of the time, that can’t be right, but after what seemed like an hour what was only 29 miles had gone by and we arrived.
Lovely stroll to look at birds with a small group of binoculared people. Met a woman from Maine who seemed at least as knowledgeable as our guide, who travels for her job inspecting organic farms. She actually knew the farm – and family – of one of my in-patients, did I mention this was about 100 miles away? “small world” is so true in Tiny Town.
We waited in line for hamburgers and tried to listen to the old-time (white bearded) man singing, telling stories, and using implements from what I suppose was a ranching museum to illustrate points in his tale. Some of them he had made into musical instruments. it seemed like the kind of thing I ought to enjoy but he wasn’t quiet close enough or loud enough for me to hear clearly so I split my time between a slight obsession about the food (should I get more chips? why didn’t they have desert?) and admiring the large trees and appreciating their shade.
a self-proclaimed introvert who had answered the phone when both Joyce and I had called him (and when we arrived he let us know he was not letting the bird watching group leave without us, very sweet) showed us a table full of birds, many of which he had carved, and we took and failed the test matching them to their nests. Some had eggs, either “successful” (hatched) or “predated”.
some students then answer questions about the reptiles they had caught and put in small temporary exhibits and I ignored the snakes (hands over ears, not listening!) but checked out the turtles, “mud puppies” and lizards.
Best part of the day I would have voted to miss had I not known how much Joyce wanted to go – a ride on an air boat. they had two of them and the line was short so I making the effort to be good-natured about it when I really wanted to leave (although not as much as I want to, usually!) but the ride was SO fun I’m glad we did it. wheee!
Last thing was stopping at some rich man’s lodge for his open house (where we met the same people who had gone bird watching, including the guide. I said “there’s a pig” when it was a three-legged dog which was especially funny since on the drive I had said “look how small that calf is” when it was a goat. ha, ha!
the lodge was fairly incredible (and more so because it was a surprise) and the free food was fantastic. wish I’d skipped the burger at Crescent Lake.
the weather was perfect, too, warm, a little hot, all sun, nice breeze. could not have been better.