The lake is thawed! Apparently the change occurred nearly over night. A terrifying thought to me, but it was evident when the integrity was faulty and thus the swarthy collegiates did not venture forth any further.

The most current venture forth brought us to some hiking around the lake. Despite nearly the entire perimeter being fenced in by big houses and what not, there is “maintained” a trail that follows the 22 miles of edging the lake provides. From Ryan’s school it is a 1.5 mile hike to the nearest establishment that sells beer and a 2-3 mile hike the other direction for tasty tacos. I don’t know if that makes hiking healthy or negates its effects but it was lovely to walk anyway.

The seasonality of the lake is interesting to me. The lake hasn’t been unfrozen that long and already piers are being put in. There was a brief window when the lake got to be just a lake and now it is coming back into recreational use. Beautiful all around but in different ways. I’m left wondering exactly how many piers will be put in and how that will affect the look of the water. All along the trail there were a lot of piers stacked high to the sky.

In the realm of bummer news, Ryan had to work EVERY SINGLE DAY I was up to visit. We did get a good deal of quality time in but man(!) they are making him earn his GA.

And in the realm of crazy tourist traps. Paul and I (Paul used WI as a half way point on his way to visit a friend in MN) stopped at the Fair Oaks Cow Birthing Barn on our way back. There is a fantastic billboard along the highway that shows an all midwestern little girl (10 yrs old or so) in a cowboy hat being hugs by her Marlboro-man of a father and smiling at him. The caption reads, “And today I got to see a cow being born!” Sadly, it’s 10$ for a tour of the facility and they cannot reasonably guarantee that you will see a cow being born. But the ice cream was tasty and that lessened blow.

All in all another good trip. Only 8 more months of this. (April doesn’t count, it’s already started so I’ve crossed it off. Does that work?)