Well, it was time to celebrate our five-year anniversary…the “Wood” anniversary, as traditionalists call it. We’re something of traditionalists ourselves because each year, on our anniversary, we like to get each other a little present from the traditionalist list. This year, on top of the gifts of a wooden record player and a wooden T-Rapasaurus Rex, we took it too another level and spent two nights in a log cabin in the middle of the Minnesota woods. When you make it to five years, you gotta take things up a notch.
The cabin itself was a quaint little, two-story stack of Lincoln Logs on Hay Lake (about 30 minutes south of Duluth), complete with power, a working kitchen, and televisions from the 1990’s. All the amenities a person needs to survive in the wild.
Speaking ofwild, lets talk about the canoeing adventure with The Dude. Now when we rented this place, we were told it was 50 yards away from the lake, which apparently meant it was 50 yards away from the muddy marsh cove that was technically part of the large lake family, but was clearly a distant cousin. Always up for adventure, we decided to take the cabin-provided canoe out anyway. We also decided that there was probably enough room for The Dude in the canoe as well, so he could come along for the ride. That was, perhaps, our first mistake.
After getting the canoe down near the water, and breaking one flip flop in the process, we were ready to load the dog into the canoe. The dog, however, was not ready to get loaded into the canoe and was confused why humans were supposed to be in that thing, let alone himself. It was a bit like trying to get him into an unbalanced bathtub, but eventually we were able to get all of him in the watercraft and get him to lay down, whichwas a feat in and of itself. Next on the checklist, getting K into the canoe. She braved the muddy water all the way up to her ankles and stepped on board. Two down, one to go. But myself, being the “one” remaining, also had to shove off and get inat the same time…normally not a problem…except when the canoe is sitting on the mud and not really floating at all. After analyzing the situation and giving a few, mighty “heave ho’s,” I managed to get us into about one foot of water and get into the canoe. Roughly 45 seconds had passed since The Dude had gotten into the canoe and it was around this time that he decided he’d had enough of canoeing. In a flash he leapt out the starboard side, but only three of his legs made it out with him. Try to imagine a dog, half out of a canoe, with his head under water because one of his legsis stuck on board, and two humans doing everything possible to help the dog but not tip the vessel over. It was six seconds that could have got us on America’s Funniest Home Videos…if only someone else were there videotaping. We ended up getting the dog all the way out of the canoe and had to get out ourselves, all so we could get the dog back into the canoe and try to cast off again.
The second time around was much better, but after we all got settled and started paddling, we noticed that there wasn’t really a way to get out of this marsh cove and onto the big lake.
We went one direction and ran aground, went another direction and the same thing happened. It was almost asif you were supposed to wade through this marsh with the canoe over your head, walk across 25 more yards of land, and then cast off into the real lake. Believe, me, that was not what was advertised on the Internet. We briefly contemplated just canoeing around the marsh, which would have been as lame as it sounds, but just as we were thinking of heading back, we decided to try one more path to get to the big lake. It was a little bit like canoeing through a thicket, but we managed to find a space that had enough water under the canoe so that we could scoot across the land and get onto the actual lake. I call that a win, don’t you? After that, it was just normal canoeing.
The rest of the weekend was far less adventurous. We had snacks for lunch, played Scrabble, read books (which turned into napping), cooked dinner, and even busted out the cabin’s VCR to watch Tommy Boy and Fletch. It took us back to a simpler time…the 80’s and 90’s…when record players were popular and T-Rapasaurus Rex ruled the earth…or something like that…