Monday, October 21, 2013

now we are cold

That really is a gusty wind out there!

Most of the day I spend just looking at it, from the same perch at the kitchen table -- starting with breakfast...

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...through a long period of lecture writing.

You know how killing that is of your spirit, don't you? You stare at the computer screen, you write, you draw a blank, you do a quick step to your favorite blogs or websites, you come back and resume writing, you break again. You keep hoping for new distractions, anything to get your mind off of the task at hand because you've had it with the task at hand...

One such distracting place to run to in times of great work stress is the site. Looking at it now, including at the ten day forecast, I'm dismayed to see that we're in for a cold spell. With an occasional threat of snow-showers. Snow showers??

When I see that tonight there is a window of reasonably dry air, I suggest that we break from our various work obsessions and drive out to get that cider that we missed picking up this weekend at the orchards just north of here.

It is the perfect escape.

So first and foremost -- the classic pretty view from the orchards (at Ski Hi):

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...and the documentation of the purchase:

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As the orchard based shop closes for the day (we are the last customers), we see that there is still plenty of light outside. Or at least enough to do a side trip to Parfrey's Glen.

Parfrey's Glen. It's the first space devoted to state parkland in Wisconsin. For me, it's probably one of the most magical spots in the Midwest. Ed and I first went there early in our years together. Flooding closed the place down in recent years. In fact, we weren't sure if it was open now.

But it is open. And after driving around in circles (this is what we do so well: we nearly always take the wrong turn in our ramblings on the rural roads to the north of Madison),  we come to the state park entrance. Deserted now, in the early evening of a Fall weekday. We leave the car and walk up the trail. There used to be elaborate paths with supportive boardwalks. All that was washed away just a few years ago. These days, if you come here, you have to climb your way up the riverbed, flanked by the natural sandstone formations.

In the blaze of autumn color, as seen in the fading evening light, it is magnificent. Cold, yes, that: I'm in a my winter down jacket -- but beautiful to the core.

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Nina, Ed

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From there, the easy route back home takes you to the ferry that crosses the Wisconsin River at Marrimac. We're at the ferry landing just as the sun sets somewhere there, behind the clouds.

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We've done this trip so many times and still we take the wrong turn and lose our way along the rural roads leading home. It is quite dark by the time we pull into our diveway, six jugs of cider and a bag of Chipotle dinner burritos in hand.