42 hours on Wisconsin River

That thing called “life” has a way of happening every minute of every day. Sometimes life is good, sometimes not so good.

My daughter, Selina, is 16, she is very scheduled and the days of several simple camping trips whenever we want to do them are past. This week we did a simple camping trip!

Monday, July 31

High 80, Low 60

Here is the plan. Selina has off from her job at the Necedah Kwik Trip on Monday and Tuesday, so we are going to put our War Eagle into Lake Wisconsin at Whalens Grade in Columbia County, go up the Wisconsin with our trusty golden retrievers, Fire and her crazy pup, Ruby and camp on a sandbar until Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday we would get up early, break camp and get Selina to work at noon. Here is reality in Waltersville! Last night I thought I would make sure that my 90-horsepower Etec was running well, so I hooked it up to a hose and tried starting it.

That was a no-go at first. After a bit I did get it started but she was not running good at all. On Monday morning I took my rig over to my pal, Dave Cox, and it was determined that I had a whole bunch of water in my gas.

Long story short, big boats cost lots of money to keep on the water and Selina and I did not launch the War Eagle until 6 p.m. but we made it.

So, all we care about is building camp at a cool location, hanging out with the pups and hitting the rack “sand” early, and that is what we did.

Tuesday, Aug. 1

High 78, Low 61

We should have dug furrows in the sand for our bodies, and a herd of owls hunting nearby all night long were the two reasons that I did not get much sleep last night. A furrow for your body makes flat ground become a bed.

Since Selina is a teenager, it is official that she can sleep quite late. Since we are camped near Folkies Bluff I know there are lots of beautiful walleye in the area and I must try to catch them, so we do not starve.

Doc Folkie was my doctor in Poynette and a neighbor. He had a vacation home in this area and that I believe that is how Folkie’s Bluff was named.

My plan was to troll with two Flicker Shads and a crawler harness, and possibly catch a state record walleye. Reality had me catching a 12-inch walleye and a sauger in the same size before heading into wake up “sleeping beauty.”

It was burgers from Walters beef for breakfast and then Goof and I headed out to sea to catch Mrs. Big! We found lots of shallow water. There were a million people on the water for a Tuesday, the walleye were really hungry for the first 30 minutes and about 25 percent of the people in other boats need to read the law about passing fishermen at a close range at a high speed.

We trolled for several hours which in our minds means tending to five lines while going for a long boat ride at a very slow speed and not really caring if a fish is caught.

In the middle of the afternoon we went back to camp, I cooked lunch, Selina swam with the pups and then we tried to take a snooze. This evening we fished until almost dark and did not get a hit and did not care.

We dug furrows under the tent for our bodies – a “very claustrophobic experience.” Then after dark I made spaghetti with venison and Walters beef.

The next morning we were up early, did the five-mile ride back to the truck before it appeared another person was on the water and Selina was at work in plenty of time. That, my friends, is making the most out of a 48-hour experience with a 16-year-old girl that you know will only become more scheduled as time passes.

I love my job!


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