Gathering of Waters

I've almost always lived by a big body of water.  When I was growing up, we lived a few blocks from Lake Michigan, and I lived close to that lake as a young adult in my first apartment.  During college, I lived on the shores of Lake Mendota (dorms) and then Lake Monona (slumlord's student housing). 

When I worked in San Francisco as a paralegal, our office had views from the Alcoa Building of the Golden Gate and the Bay Bridge.  As a young lawyer in Green Bay, my office faced the Fox River.  Even now, there is a trout steam at the bottom of my hill where I live, and the Wisconsin River is a short drive away. 

Having said all of that, I'm a poor swimmer, fisherman, and boater. What I do enjoy is the calm that water brings to me.  Today, I drove the slow roads from Lodi to the Mississippi River.
I made one stop for gas at a Kwik Trip in Viroqua.  I needed some hamburger buns, so I paid inside.  Besides myself, I saw one other customer (an old guy) wearing a face mask.  A half dozen other customers were unmasked.  I was in and out in less than two minutes. 

Kwik Trip's cashiers wore masks and plastic face shields.  I was impressed.  When I was last in our local Kwik Trip for propane, none of the employees were even wearing masks.  Better late than never.

Unlike our state parks, the county park that I'm staying at required check-in at the office.  The employee wore a mask, and hand sanitizer was available.  I was the only customer, and in/out in less than two minutes.  Lot of the campsites have views of the river, but those sites don't have much privacy or distance.  My site is mostly shaded (with electricity) and has good privacy/distance from my neighbors. 

By walking five minutes, I find what I came here for:

The gathering of the waters doesn't change what's going on in the world. But it changes the way that I feel.  For that, I'm thankful.  Callie and I took a long walk along the banks of the Mississippi.  There will be more of that in the coming days. 


  1. Ahhh yes! Water! Wait - what's that? Hasn't rained here in weeks so I'm on the verge of forgetting.

    Masks or no masks at Kwik Trip, I was just telling my sister last night that I'm getting entirely too comfortable with this hermit lifestyle and need to think about getting out and about more.

    Of course it's well into the 100's for the rest of the week - so maybe later.

    1. I hope that’s a dry heat at 100-plus.

      Julia accuses me of being made for this pandemic; the social isolation has been hard on her. I’ve never been a big hugger outside of my immediate family.

      One thing though, I’m not going to give up traveling while it’s possible to operate within the rules of common sense and science. I will wear a mask, where required or inside or within six feet or so of others. But this virus situation may go on a lot longer than a year, unless scientists get lucky. I have been accused of being a pessimist by close family members.

  2. I love being by water, but as a fellow nomad observed, water brings mosquitoes and other biting insects. Nevertheless, three of my four past campsites the past week have been by water. I have the bites to prove it.

    1. Yes. We don’t have any dry regions or desert in Wisconsin, so we live with mosquitoes, biting gnats, flies, and ticks, all of which need water. Because our insects have so many choices for water here, small stagnant puddles are the worst.

      On this trip so far, there’s been a brisk breeze and hot days to make the mosquitos bearable. Small biting gnats, maybe no-seeums, infiltrated the Scamp last night, biting me repeatedly on the back of my knees. At least those bites don’t swell and hang around for days like mosquito bites do for me.

      A lot of people hate our winters, but the absence of all insects is solace for some of us who spend time in the outdoors year-round.


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