Friends / by Kenneth Benson

Alyssa reminded me the other day that I had once made the comment to her, "why would anyone live in Wisconsin?" After leaving Minneapolis we made our way across and into Wisconsin. Charlie and Rebecca just happened to be spending a week at this parents house on a lake a few hours north of Madison and were kind enough to invite us along. It had been a few years since spending time with them and for the most part it felt like no time had passed, with the obvious exception of Moonbeam, soon to burst onto the scene.

A huge thank you to Rick, Bobbi, Charlie, Rebecca and Claire for their hospitality. The Duck Lake house was such a needed reprieve from the constant go of the previous week.  We were able to empty out the car, get some laundry done and generally let go of making plans and arrangements for the "next stop".

Of all the beauty we have seen so far on the trip, being in a beautiful place with good friends made for an exceptional experience. Driving to the house was an education in Wisconsin backroads and there were a few illegal u-turns and missed exits. Our map skills are getting better and Vega was again a champ in the car napping and generally being good to hang out with.

When we arrived the house was empty so we made our way down to the boat dock to find Rebecca enjoying some weightlessness. Kohbi got right in of course and proceeded to chase sparkles and squirrels for the next 72 hours. Vega was amped up to jump in so we did, we got on our suits and hopped in the lake. The water was amazing as was the weather and the view. That is how it went for the next 3 days. Breakfast, Lake, Lunch, Lake, Dinner.  There were kayaks, a paddle board and multiple flotation devices.

The Duck Lake community is an interesting gathering of families, many who have been there for generations. One family hosted the annual Duck Lake Open Slalom. Passing on participation having never water skied Devon and I opted to lounge on the shore and swim with Vega. Charlie and Claire amped up the sibling rivalry and entered. Once they completed their runs we headed back to the house for more grilling. The next day Charlie was graced with a special delivery of his second place ribbon.

On Monday the 27th we packed it all up again and along with Charlie, Rebecca and Claire took a short drive a little farther north to meet up with Matt, Alyssa and her family camping at the shore Starrett Lake which is pretty much smack dab in the middle of that whole lakey region.

We have been lucky the entire trip with amazing sunny weather and Starrett was no exception. More swimming, more floating on various devices, and more grilling. Our second day there we set off on a decent bike ride. The lakes in this area are criss crossed with very well kept paved bike paths that wander through the woods. Vega sat for her longest ride yet, 16 miles and we were finally able to pass off the most hideous, scary baby doll, that I am sure will one day make it back to us. Find it yet? It was so comfortable and nice seeing you guys again, safe travels and we will make a point of seeing you again in Duluth.

From now on, whenever I hear someone say they are from, or are going to Wisconsin, my response will be very different and I'm sure, even though I never thought I would, I will be back. I am looking forward to meeting the baby formerly known as Moonbeam. Rebecca and Charlie, you two will be great parents. Alyssa and Rebecca, Vega misses you two and whenever we have gone swimming since her response has been "Alyssa come too? Becca come too?"