Summer Intentions: Getting Outside

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At the end of May, in celebration of the sun showing its face and warm weather beginning to settle in, we packed a picnic, loaded it into the back of the car, and set out for Devil’s Lake. 

J spent time at this lake in high school and has been eager to return ever since we moved to Wisconsin, and I was ready to see if it’d live up to all the hype. 

After sunscreening ourselves, we set out with eager intentions to hike around the entire lake. At first glance it appeared easy, doable, completely sane. As we got going, we felt good, strong. About an hour and a half into the hike, the realization that we’d gravely underestimated both distance and timing hung heavy from our limbs.

Almost three hours later, we finally arrived back to the car where bread waited to be piled high with cucumber, tomato, cheese, pickles, lettuce, and mustard. Cold seltzer paired with salt and vinegar chips topped off our picnic in the shade, and, I swear, these are the moments where the goodness of life is at its purest: complete exhaustion married with complete contentment. . . tired muscles, sweat drying down back valleys, gentle wind waving new leaves, distant shrieks from children splashing in water.  

Getting outside has always been an imperative for us, and so far Wisconsin hasn’t disappointed. The list of state parks that we want to visit this summer is long with many hours of driving required, but with a few more picnics and a healthy dose of sunscreen, we think we’ll make it. 

Two weekends ago, we decided, a bit last minute, to get outside again—this time to camp.

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The weather was quite different from our Memorial Day weekend adventure: cloudy, chilly, and windy. But we made the best of it with walks around the state park, plenty of fires, beer on ice in the cooler, some reading, and little fireside guitar strumming. 

On Sunday morning, rain woke us up at around 6 a.m. and we stayed huddled under the blankets, waiting, hoping, wishing for it to go away. As is the case with rain, eventually it slowed to a sprinkle, then a drizzle, then calm. Hopping around puddles, we built another fire, boiled some water for coffee, and set to peeling potatoes for breakfast. 

And sometimes that’s enough—getting up, facing another day, boiling some water for coffee, and feeding ourselves a warm breakfast.

In your corner,
Angelina Danae

Angelina Danae