Posts Tagged ‘Meetings Division’

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MEMORIES OF WILD RIVER

February 28, 2010

Amidst the raging health care debate on every Sunday morning talk show, and horrific shots of the devastation in Chile on the news channels, the dependable Sunday morning Strib experience brought a smile to my face with its travel feature “Into the Wild” – a look at Wild River State Park in the wintertime.

I am an urbanite and have been since childhood. Family vacations at my Grandma’s in Wisconsin were always met with trepidation. I wanted to go; I always had fun – but I had this thing about the bugs.

The original log cabin-turned guesthouse- along the river erected by the once-logger north woodsman, Grandpa Herb, might have been charming to the eye…but oh, the spiders! Not to mention use of the outhouse out back, wood tics, strange crawly things in the river, and the poison ivy. And who knew who or what might be hiding in the woods?!! My fears were trumped only by a week of fun with all the cousins, excursions through northern Wisconsin to visit relatives whose names I hardly knew, lots of roadside stops along the way, picking blueberries so Grandma could make us muffins for breakfast, shopping in town for new jeans and moccasins, and endless hours at the beach. So I was always excited, as we rumbled across the “Indianhead” Bridge from Wabasha to Nelson, and were officially on vacation in Wisconsin. But when I could, believe me, I opted for sleeping on the living room floor in the house, with running water, no spider webs, and close proximity to the adults in the huge kitchen- in case I needed them!

So, when the staff of the old Meetings Division planned their first Memorial Day outing to camp at Wild River back in the 1980s, needless to say, I had to be convinced that I would have a good time! But off I went, in the safety of my own car, in case I just could not stand it and had to get away quick. Little did I expect that I would grow to love Wild River, those Memorial Day weekend outings , and the camaraderie shared with all those that camped or just came up for the day to party with us.

I am not sure a cabin in winter, with no running water nor kitchen at Wild River would be my thing, but reading about it, I was flooded with such good memories of the site and of all those that experienced it with me.

So here’s to the Meetings Division…Hollywood, Bether, John, Al, Diane, and all the others who camped or visited for a day before life took us in different directions as only a few of us morphed to tipi experiences scattered about the country from Milwaukee to St. Louis to Albuquerque. Thanks for the wonderful friendships. It’s been a while since we were all together spinning tales and creating new experiences. (The Lake Independence cookout in ’06 hardly counts) I am missing you all today.

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