We threw the canoe on top of the van and visited a local park with a shallow lake and lots of fish and wildlife late Sunday afternoon. The lake is in a county park with prairie, woods, and lots of hiking trails within a 20-minute drive of our town.
We haven’t had the canoe for long. Both my husband and I have had childhood and young adult experience with canoeing—nothing extensive, just dabbling in paddling (I know—groan!). I started watching for an affordable aluminum canoe at garage sales in my area a couple of years ago. We decided that we didn’t want to pay more than $300. I ran across 3 or 4 canoes a year, but they were always too beat, too cheaply made (plastic!!!!), too expensive, or too SOLD. I finally found a craft that fit all our criteria last fall at the end of the garage saling season. We took it out once, and then it spent the winter perched upside down on our wood and garden storage box.
Many parks in Wisconsin feature water. We have been to almost every park in our area and hiked all the trails, but we’ve only been able to stand on the shore and squint through binoculars at the life on or across the water. We now have 20-50% more park to explore! The canoe allows us to see a new side to these familiar parks: different sights, sounds, plants, and animals. For example, Turtles—I’ve seen them sunning themselves on logs or slipping back into the water from shore. During our last outing, we could see them in mid-lake sticking just their pointy striped snouts up above the water to take a breath and look us over. We were also able to get a closer look at the water birds: Canadian geese, mallard ducks, and even an osprey fishing.
We will be vacationing close to home this year as we continue to pay down debt. We have a lot to appreciate locally for just the price of gas and a snack in most cases. We don’t have the expense of eating out or finding someone to take care of the “livestock.” We are usually home in plenty of time to close up the chicken coop and make supper! Begonia