Sunday, February 12, 2017

An Outing At Willow Lake Recreation Area

This weekend the Wife and I joined the Wife's Brother (and his family), the Matron of Honour (MoH), and the Best Man at a cabin on Willow Lake near Woodbine, Iowa.  The weekend would be full of laughter, drink, and lots of junk food.

We drove up Friday night.  I made several wrong turns even before I left Omaha which kind of set my mood for the next day or two.  When we arrived at the address that the Wife's Brother had given, we encountered a locked gate.  Unfortunately we did not have our cell phone so there was no way to contact him,  After driving around a bit, and exchanging a few choice words between us, we checked an old email I had that said the cabin was on the west side of the lake ... the only place we hadn't checked.  We ended up getting to the cabin nearly an hour later than planned.

The next morning I woke up grumpy.  Not a really good thing to be on a Saturday morning with fun people.  After downing some orange juice and a cinnamon roll I decided to distance myself from everyone so my grumpiness would not rub off on anyone else.

20170211_Willow Lake Rec Area_002
Sun reflecting off the lake ice.
When the outing was planned we all hoped for snow - cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding was on our list of things to do - but the weather was stupidly warm and usable snow was not to be found.  Even with temperatures nearing 50℉ (10℃), there were ice fisherman on the lake.  I decided a walk would do me good.

I left the cabin for a walk around Willow Lake.  When I started walking the icy mud was starting to thaw.  The trails weren't that muddy but you did have to watch where you put your feet. The lake is roughly shaped like the letter 'J' and the trails took you up and over two short ridges.  The views were surprisingly nice for a small park surrounded by farmland.  It was a bit overcast and blue sky only peaked out a few times while I walked.  I ended up walking around 3.5 miles (5.6 km).
20170211_Willow Lake Rec Area_027
A view from the top of one of the ridges - a little blue is peeking through the clouds.
Despite there being only a little bit of sunshine, the walk did pick up my mood a bit and I rejoined the people in the cabin.  In the afternoon we drove into nearby Woodbine.  It wis a small town dominated by a metal worker.  The metal worker shop was sadly closed this day but you could see the pieces of artwork up and down main street.  Everywhere we looked there was something cool made of metal.

We all scored some treasures at an antique store and a ... not sure what to call it but it had a mix of everything both normal and weird ... before and during our visit to the Corn Palace bar.  The bar had an odd odor and the dour bartender who never cracked a smile the entire time we were there.

That night we had burgers on the grill (the only non-junk food I ate all weekend).  A fire was lit in the fire pit but, for some odd reason, would not stay lit.  The wood was probably too damp.  In the cabin games were played.  I'm not much of a game player and I felt a bit rundown so I layed down on our bed and napped to the sound of raucous laughter (The game they were playing was Watch Your Mouth).  I did play a game of Scrabble with the Wife, MoH, and one of the Wife's nieces later in the evening.

It was a fun weekend despite my sour mood and the fact that few people were sick and hacking most of the weekend.  We'll see if the Wife and I have stayed clear of that.  I hope to go back to Woodbine sometime to take pictures of some of the artwork.  Maybe sometime after the Appalachian trail.

A few pictures I took along the trail can be seen in my Willow Lake Rec Area Flickr album.

No comments:

Post a Comment