Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz
Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal & Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Minn.

July 23, 2001

Vacation was great, home sweet home is good

Firmly and infamously set into family vacation history, the cabin of summer vacation 2001 will be long remembered.

The weather was great, the bugs bearable, the scenery fantastic, and the lake beautiful.

But the cabin stunk, and according to my wife and sister, did not even come close to meeting its advertised claim of being modern.

The only two gracious items of the small, three-bedroom lake cabin was that it had a roof, and the kids simply didn't care how dirty, slimy, and grungy it was - they were on vacation.

It was your typical Minnesota summer lake cabin vacation.

The lake, the cabin, sandy beach, dock, 14-foot fishing boat, petting zoo, and just about everything you can imagine to keep two toddlers and two pre-schoolers entertained for four days. The vacation was supposed to last for six days, but you can understand why it got cut short.

The cabin, when my sister and I booked it for a week long stay, was advertised as a modern lake front cabin with all the amenities, dock, sandy beach, and level ground.

The ad included, "Come and hear the loons on a beautiful Minnesota lake."

The loons did call to us throughout the stay. Every night they called, "Hey, you idiots, you'll get eaten alive by mosquitoes if you stay over night in that dump of a cabin."

They seemed to tell us that every night and they were right.

Aside from cracks in the doors and holes in the screens, the placed smelled of propane, mold, and of course, bug spray.

The 1960s circa shag carpet was sopped with humidity and when walked on, felt more like the sandy beach on the lake than a carpet.

It was your standard issue 1950s lake cabin that at some point in time when electricity and plumbing were added, got called modern. Modern enough for me on a fall hunting trip, but not exactly what wife expects for her kids when on vacation.

For the most part, the adults on the trip accepted the conditions and lived with them because of one simple fact: the kids were happy.

The kids thought the cabin was a castle, the beach was the biggest sandbox in the world, the lake and the ducklings that came with it a were a super-duper adventure, and the hammock was the world's greatest combination of swing, trampoline, and bed.

They were in amazement for most of the trip and who cared if they spilled their juice on the floor or tracked across the carpet with wet sandy feet? We didn't. The owner of the cabin, I'm sure, didn't.

Some day, if we ever pull out the tents again, we might gain some appreciation for the cabin of summer vacation 2001.

Nice fish catch

RAM Buildings hosted its first annual fishing contest on Collinwood Lake, Cokato.

The award for biggest sunfish went to the Brinkman team, which caught a three-quarter pound sunny during the last 15 minutes of the tournament.

Team Radtke took the awards for largest walleye and the most pounds of fish. The walleye weighed in at five pounds, four ounces. Total weight for the team was 13 1/2 pounds, not including the two dogfish the team brought in.

Charlie "the Crappie King" said he caught all the fish in about eight feet of water on muskie jerks from Joe's Sports Shop.

Outdoor notes

­ Bear hunting license lottery winners are now available on the DNR's web site.

­ There was an unconfirmed siting of two whitetail deer on Denis M. Campbell field in Winsted July 17.

­ Plan your fall hunting trips now.

­ Fishing at this time of year can be tough, many anglers call it the dog days of summer and fishing.

­ In general, the fishing does slow down. For better results, fish deeper water, try to cover as much water as possible, and if you're an avid sunfish anglers, try trolling outside weedlines in 10 to 12 feet of water with small leeches.

­ Pay special attention to your dog when the weather is hot and humid. Make sure it always has fresh water, shade, and work him during the cooler parts of the day only.

­ Take a hard look at your outdoor equipment that is in storage. When the humidity gets high, things like to get moldy and those made of metal like to rust.

­ Make sure your equipment is stored in a cool, dry place. A little prevention now can prevent big headaches and expense later.

­ For more fishing fun and better results. change the line on your fishing reels. Also, make sure you keep your fishing reels stored inside and out of the direct sunlight. To much sunlight can do heavy damage to graphite rods and monofilament line.

­ Take some time to enjoy summer. Before you know it, the seasons will change and summer will be gone for another year.

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