Gooseberry Strikes Again

The Lake is calling, and I must go…

That three-week jaunt out to the West Coast took a pretty hefty bite out of the old PTO bank this year. We managed to salvage a Boundary Waters out of the remaining shreds, but the annual pilgrimage to the North Shore was left with an empty purse.

It is, however, completely unacceptable that a year go by without a visit to Superior, so we nabbed one of Scott’s three-day weekends and headed up 53. Not the week we crave, but a few days are better than no days. Thank God for the three-day-er.

2018’s newest camper\

Something new was added to the repertoire of our fall Gooseberry trip this year:

One Gerard Alexander made his camping debut!

Also, Courtney was there.

Of course Courtney was there. She was just hidden behind Gerard. 😉

As a kiddo, Court didn’t get to join us on our autumnal sojourns, for she was trapped in school (I wish WordPress allowed me to choose a nice, gory Halloween font here). But now that she’s all growed up, she has a little more control of her life than she did back then. And camp she did this weekend. It was great to have her along.

As every mom has experienced, Court’s been left in the dust of Rar’s stardom, chugging away in her supporting role as Mom. And feedbag. As such, we wound up with very few pictures of her–you’re cute Court, but you just can’t compete with your compatriot–but make no mistake… even though Rar took the spotlight, Mom made it all possible!

‘Twas another cold one on the shores of Superior this year. Rain turned to snow, and we brought a vanload of frozen gear home to thaw and dry.

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But, alas, Gerard is an Ottinger through and through, and didn’t balk at 25º mornings in the least. Woke up squealing with delight even as the rest of us were dreading that first step out of our warm beds.

Agate Beach. The beach should extend all the way out to where Emily (in orange) is standing on the stack.

Superior is higher than we’ve ever seen her. Our Agate Beach is all but consumed by the icy waves.

Calculating vertical rise is tricky, but by the waterline on familiar rocks, I’d guess it’s up at least a foot or two. That’s a lot of water.

For a little perspective, Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world (when looking at surface area). The top inch of water, neatly spooned off the top of the lake’s surface, would yield one very heavy and sloshing 550-billion-gallon drum. The lake is at least a foot higher than it was at this time last year. A few scribbles on my scratch pad, and it appears that Superior has swallowed an extra 7 trillion gallons of water in 2018. Conservatively.

That’s a lot of water. Yikes.

We spent a lot of time in camp, and a lot of time down on our shrunken beaches…

The three amigos had some time on their beloved picnic flow…

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Court got in some good agate hunting with us (it’s been a while)…

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And we all got in some good baby-basking time. Bundles of gold everywhere…

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Exciting news: I got a new Patagonia coat last week. It replaced the brilliant 1980’s Nevica ski jacket I’ve been wearing for the last 25 years (No joke. I got it as a birthday present from my spoiling grandmother when I was 16.). Despite my love for those teal and purple accents, I’ve been flirting with a replacement for a decade, but why rush things? Watching the kids squirm each winter at first donning goes a long way in the argument to keep that baby in rotation.

But alas, after zipper replacements and torn out pockets, and enough coveting of the beautiful and lightweight Nano-Puff, I finally took the plunge, and am unabashedly in love. I only hope it is warm enough, come real winter.

Me & Baby G, and the smelly Patagonia

It performed like a champ around camp, but 25º ain’t quite the -15º I need out of it. Time will tell. Thankfully, they’ll take it back if it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, as long as I keep it in good shape.

Further exciting news: That baby better be warm, cuz I broke it in like a pro this weekend. It now sports three burn-holes, some random charcoal smudging, and a distinct odor of my daily baby-spit-up baths. All thoughts of returning this gem, or exchanging it for the hooded version, have fizzled and died, quite unceremoniously.

This. Is. The. Coat.

I’ll be wearing it for the next quarter century. I hope that’s a good thing…

I think Rar had a pretty good camping debut. I’m looking forward to many trips with the boy in attendance. And his mom. 🙂

Really, how could he not love it? There was even crowd-surfing:

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Time to hunker down back home. The leaves shook themselves off the trees while we were gone. I can feel the winter creep.

And that’s OK.

I’m just fine with the slowing down that winter brings. I’m ready to write, ready to tackle some projects, ready to settle in. Something about all those dark hours in winter really lends itself to a pace that agrees with me.

Because again, I was made for the seasons… and the seasons were made of me.

‘Til next time…

15 thoughts on “Gooseberry Strikes Again

Add yours

  1. I love it. We used to feel like such badasses camping on the Oregon Coast in November, with 38 degrees and rain. 25 degrees and rain turning to snow? Looks like you and Wisconsin have upped the ante. AND with a baby?! That’s quite a trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A very nice post and great family pictures. I might note, however, that when you first mentioned “the West Coast,” I thought I was going to hear about a trip out to some of the great states that border the Pacific Ocean!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, indeed, you should have! Apologies. I recently reformatted parts of the blog, and the lists at the bottom of some series posts disappeared. When you click through to the link about the West Trip (‘That three-week jaunt out to the West Coast’), NOW, after I’ve fixed the problem, you’ll see links to the whole trip at the bottom of that post. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I guess I fixed all the others, but not that series! Uff…


    1. Hi Allan! I’m honored that you enjoy my blog enough to nominate it for an award! I decided in the beginning that I wouldn’t do the whole blog award thing, but I will write a quick post about it and link back to your blog and your lovely photography! Thank you for thinking of me!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah-ha. Whew. 😰 I thought maybe you were getting a little TOO far into my head!

          Hard to let a year pass without getting up there. Too short this year, but still it was fantastic. See you soon!


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