Thursday, August 23, 2012

What are my earnings, loyal age group triathlete?

What's my reward for a season of Iron-training?  Why, a fabulous camping trip to Rock Island with the girls, of course! Saturday was my last regular training day, with an eighty mile ride (steady, minimal stops), followed by a brisk eight mile run.  The whole affair wasn't perfectly fast or even neat and tidy, but I didn't feel too bad, and any time one makes their way all the way through an iron training plan, no matter how many workouts are altered or skipped, it's celebration time!  

So, my reward, in pictures:
The journey starts, as many family trips do, at Gill's Rock, Door County.
Ahh...the unencumbered woman ponders a bright sunny day on the ferry to Washington Island.
So we park on Washington Island, and head to the passenger boat: Karfi.

friends amongst us.  The parking lot is littered with bumper stickered vehicles.

Not nearly enough recall stickers in DC, oh...the divide...

Mad River Glen!!!! Go fire, Vermont!

Chiaravelli Montessori. What a tiny little world.
 We quickly learn that our fellow campers have a trick to camping on Rock Island. It's called a Dolly.  They pile as much stuff as they can on the small Karfi Boat, then bring a hand truck in order to pull everything to their campsite.  There may be no cars allowed on Rock Island, but it's hard to get folks away from the concept of car camping, which usually includes bringing, well, a lot of stuff on board!
We were proud to carry everything in on our backs.  Great teamwork, great practice, and we didn't gorge ourselves on weird Piggly Wiggly retro food (you know the drill: hot dogs, chips, beer, juice, smokes, cereal).  This was our two day allotment and as it turns out, we still gorged ourselves. What a delight!
What would camping be without gingham tablecloth.  How did this happen?

Tent set up, site ready.  Three girls ready for fun and adventure.  Let's go to the water!

OK, Addie...take a few pictures of me that commemorate the journey to Ironman Wisconsin 2012.

This will be my seventh Ironman.  OK then.  Eight if I were to count that dud year in Penticton...
 And then on to the sandy beach.  Take note, this must be the sweetest, lightest, finest sand I've seen on the Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan.  A perfect day to boot, sparsely populated beach. We're completely thrilled.  I whip out my crochet while the kids wade around the rocks, swim, play in sand, an generally devour the joy that is a fabulous beach in late summer.  It never gets old in our family.
Looking east. This is about 200 meters from our campsite.
 By the time evening rolled around we were feeling the satisfaction of seasoned Rock Island travelers.  Our neighbors were a curious lot.  Four strapping young guys with enough camping gear to fill the rear of a 4x4 truck.  They were nice enough, and kept the volume down, aided by the fact that the sites are quite well spread from each other.  Our sunset walked revealed some of the best photo-ops for Addie.
Would I ever tire of this?

How did we achieve this color?

Addie, all the way.

Chester Hjortur Thordarson's Boathouse/library.  Keepers of Rock Island history know that this inventor-genius built this great hall to house his valuable book collection.  Restored, beautiful, for the sharing as a Wisconsin State Park.  How's that for public works?

Water containers, portal to the campsite path.

Rock Island.
 Day two we hiked the 6.5 mile loop around the island.  We were tuckered out, but the path is truly gentle and do-able for just about anyone.
Water Tower.

Pottawatomie Lighthouse.  Lovely.

Inside the light housing.

Here we are! " It's too beautiful to photograph!!!" "Mom, you always say that!"

Morning view of our beloved beach.

How precious, this stone?
 And then it's back to Ellison Bay.  No small feat, considering the cleaning, tidying, packing, boat jumping involved.  Throw the clothes into the washer and yes, one more shot at the sweetness of a summer day at my favorite town beach.  Ashby and I are up for it.  Addie has had enough. She wants a bath, a dvd, and a cold soda.  What can I say? She's becoming her own person that we love so much.
It's simply unjust to leave this beach alone anytime before Labor Day. 
 The three of us rally for one last night out.  This summer has seen plenty of great sunsets and this one rivals them all.  The girls are skipping stones and I'm taking photos, watching the other sunset-gapers come and go.  I love it, every time.  The weather is perfect and the sun is just nearing the tip of the town bluff, Fall is coming.
It never gets old.

And then it's gone. Just like anything.  Just like everything.

1 comment:

  1. Totally awesome story-telling - love the photo close-up of the 3 "Happy Campers"! Great memories!