Dave Said, Doogie Said
Big Dave: Our three-day camping trip to the shores of Lake Superior started out on a chilly note. We had to break out the hooded sweatshirts and build a big campfire. Weather.com promised 70-degree temperatures but weathermen's promises are no better than politicians'. With the brisk breezes off the big lake, it felt more like forty. But the 15-passenger van we rented for both our families got us here in style. We're ready to hunker down and pitch our tents here at the state park.
Our dog Doogie seems out of sorts though. While we were unpacking, we tied him to the picnic table with my in-laws dog Peanut. Peanut was fine, but Doogie kept shivvering. Finally, we untied him, figuring a walk would warm him up. Instead, he pulled and pulled at his leash, dragging us back to the van, where he scratched to get back in. So we put him in there. He's by himself, but he seems content now.
Doogie: What have these nutcases gotten me into? We're stuck somewhere near the Arctic Circle, apparently on some type of government-ordered military exercises since we traveled in what looks like a large armored personnel carrier. Then they tie me out in the open! Hea, don't let this fur coat fool you. I freeze! First chance I got I forced my way back to the safety of the tank, or whatever it is. If it is war here, I'll just sit inside and wait until they shoot it out. The winner can drive me home.
Big Dave: It was a cold first night but the winds diminished and the sun's out. Not toasty warm but pleasant. Lots of critters here, chipmunks and squirrels. They're fairly tame and will run up your leg while you're sitting to take a peanut out of your hand. But we can't be too careless with our food. Two raccoons broke into a cooler overnight, eating two hot dogs and the buns too in a separate package. They made enough racket to wake us up. I shined a flashlight at them to shoo them off.
The beach at Lake Superior here is a rock-collector's dream. We scoured the shoreline and came away with some very pretty specimens, even a couple pieces of agate. I had to laugh at a couple youngsters headed down to the water with their swim trunks on.
"Ma said it was hot down here. It's not that hot," one boy said to the other.
"I just hope the water's warm," the other replied.
Lake Superior warm? Gotta be kidding. A popular past-time here is sitting on the beach and watching the swimmers turn blue.
Our dog seems to be settling in finally. But last night the boys heard him barking on the beach. Somehow he got loose and wandered down there. Bad dog. All dogs must be on a leash!
Doogie: This is madness! We're being overrun by wild rats. They steal food right out of your hand. Last night two huge mutant rats ransacked our campsite. Big Dave shined a flashlight at them and they retreated. Gutsy move there, Dave. What happens if a bear shows up? Maybe point a stick at him? We're in a military situation here. Where are the guns, the mortars? At least throw the rocks you've been stockpiling for god knows what reason.
I had it. So I made a break for it. Got free and made it down to the water's edge and called out for a rescue. But nobody heard me before I was re-captured and taken back to camp.
Big Dave: Visited the Taquamenon Falls and took a canoe trip down the Two-Hearted River, mentioned in a Hemingway short story. Played some board games and toasted some marshmallows. Made some s'mores and tonka toast too. No major disasters this camping trip. Ready to say goodbye to Lake Superior. The dogs survived too, but I don't think Doogie enjoyed it that much. We've been leaving him in the tent, but when we checked on him once he had wet all over one of our quilts and a sleeping mat. My son Scott thinks our dog was making a statement with that.
Doogie: No comment ;-)