Sunday, March 27, 2011

A new muddy trail

The dog and I went walking in the woods today. Nice walk too. Terribly muddy place. We ran into a half dozen guys, laying oak planks on the ground, they said they were building a bike trail.

Where we stay, we're kind of half way between an overbuilt "up north" lake, and that trail. It made me think about being a kid, and going up north. When I was a kid, up north was a place called Skidway Lake. Skidway Lake is actually a lake, but more than that, it's a hand full of lakes with a couple of church's, a hardware store, grocery......... My grandfather's sister and her family lived there. When I was a kid, there was no place as good as up north.

This town has a bunch of art gallery's, some bar's (they all serve food), some eateries that don't serve booze, a golf course, and an incredibly overbuilt lake area. I've never seen the lake up close without ice on it, that's coming up in less than a month.

By overbuilt, I mean there are 700 square foot houses on tiny plots of less than 2,000 square feet in some places. Picture being able to reach out the window and touch the house next door. It's not quite that bad, but close. In other places, there are million dollar homes on plots of land measured in acres, some on high ground that are seriously impressive. Why would anybody want most of them? By them, I mean the extremes, the low end and high end. Beats me. Much as I love a lake area, a dinky little shack that's 8 houses away from the water, and so close to the neighbors you can hear the alarm clock go off doesn't sound too great. Nor does a mansion where the tax's are measured in thousands per month, when it's less than a quarter mile from the shacks, and everyone shares that same little bit of water with the millions of motor boats on it. And if I wouldn't want the mansions at any price, I have to confess, it's a lake I wouldn't want a cottage on.

BUT......... if I was a kid.......

It's so congested that there would for sure be other kids. So, if I was a grandparent, and I wanted to have the greatest cottage up north for my grandkids, it would indeed make sense to have one of the shacks. When I was a kid, up north was great, but on weekends it got better when the few other kids came to the lake. That lake from my past was driving distance from the factories that made General Motors cars, and one way or another, that was the source of the money that supported those cottages up north.

That bike/walking/skiing trail that heads south away from town, is mostly for adults, but if I was a kid here, I'd know it like the back of my hand too. Why? That stream that flows through there has to have bass, pike, and probably walleye's. When I was a kid, I'd walk 5 miles one way, to sit next to a bug infested stream and try to catch a couple of 9 inch brook trout. Lunacy, right? My father certainly thought so. This afternoon, the dog and I, while getting covered with mud, ran into the mountain bike guys. They were out shagging oak planks out into the woods along side that stream.

Up north hasn't changed much in 50 years. It never made much sense. My dad never could understand it. I guess I've matured, it doesn't make sense to me anymore either. But I must admit, it's a great place to get covered with mud on a spring afternoon.