[A Rite of Passage as the Dude assists with "putting in the dock" for the first time - age 6.]
[Multi-generational dock installation - or - three Johns and a dock. Hats were optional, though blue swimsuits were required.]
It's a record – the longest drive to cabin – 5 hours 15 minutes. We did stop twice (Subway in St. Cloud – 25 minutes tops, and Dairy Queen in Staples (of course) for 10 minutes.) Traffic like crazy. The high price of gas is not stopping anybody. As usual, the price of gas rose with each passing town. It was about $2.59 in "The Cities" and by the time we got to Perham it was $2.75.
For the first time, the dock was "put in" without hypothermia. Temps in high 80s at least – 97 in city on Sunday. Water bearable to the point of allowing several short swims – or at least limited wading with a quick complete immersion. Didn't take your breath away – too much.
Fishing – the next big thing. The Dude fishes with Cousin Michael and learns to bait his own hook and take fish off the line – well almost.
Instead of packing my bag with all sorts of cabin "projects", I let the cabin "just happen", and I was not disappointed. This year I did not pack 4 or 5 books of the sort I'm supposed to read: like Moby Dick, or War and Peace. (To me, "summer reading" means getting caught up on all those books I was supposed to read when I was younger. But really – if you haven't read the classics by age 44, why start now?) For the most part I relied on reading material available at the cabin – old musty books and magazines from years past. Every summer I think, "This is the year I'm going to do - - fill in the blank - - during my free time at the cabin." Don't know who I'm kidding, since I never did all those things before the kids came along, and I sure as hell don't have the time now.