The water has always been my backyard.
I moved to Mizzou to attend the journalism school and although Columbia is lovely, there isn’t a true lake in sight.
I have learned concept of home is very prevalent in college, especially if you are a transplant. When people find out you’re from another state they quickly follow up with their brief impression of the state. Wisconsin typically gets: cheese, brats, beer, cows, farm fields, Packers and harsh winters. While their impression isn’t far from accurate they are missing one key component. Wisconsin has over 15,000 lakes. If you don’t live on a lake, chances are you know someone who does.
I grew up on the Bark River with Lake Okauchee and Lake Nagawicka my stomping ground. My childhood was filled with swimming on the sandbars, sinking our paddleboat, tooling around on the pontoon, catching crayfish upstream, turtle spotting, searching for shells, circumnavigating the lake by kayak and watching sailboat races in on Sunday mornings.
But in the last couple of years, the sound of the Bark River has been replaced by cars rolling down College Avenue. Geese traded in for just as obstinate squirrels. The lake activities replaced by…
Well, that’s the challenge. During my time in Columbia I have been searching for something similar and I have come across some amazing adventures along the way.
This weekend’s micro-adventure landed me in Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area. The gravel road entrance was a bit daunting for my 1995 Saturn but with looming clouds overhead we [my car and I] pushed forwards. It was already dusk when I found the park and the clouds only made it darker. Perhaps we should have heeded the clouds’ warning. I had just began exploring a small pond when the sun faded and the mosquitos descended. The stagnant pond must have been lovely breeding ground. Not wanting to be the mosquitos next sacrifice I quickly made my way back to the safety of my car. I never made it to the lookout so a return trip (in the daytime) is necessary.