Parking: Columbia Park
In the PNW, we’re used to trees that are tall and straight – Douglas fir, black cottonwood, alder, western hemlock, ponderosa pine, cedar, etc. Even our travels so far have only added trees such as redwood and palm that are of similar build. In Wisconsin, we started seeing oak, maple, and ash – the kind of trees that have big trunks and fork off to make a wide canopy. At first it was just a few at a time, but by the time we arrived at Lake Winnebago, we were seeing forests of them, and their shade was very welcome. Our campground had a five-story observation tower, and from the top, the forest looked like a bunch of broccoli with at least 80 windmills (yes, I counted) waving their arms as if ready to harvest it all.
Lake Winnebago is different from the places we usually sail. We’re used to Puget Sound (900′ deep), Lake Washington (200′ deep), and Strait of Juan de Fuca (900′ deep). On our trip so far, we’ve sailed Pend Oreille (1100′ deep – they test submarines in there!), Flathead Lake (350′ deep), and some smaller but still reasonably deep lakes, but Lake Winnebago has a maximum depth of only 20′ despite having a large surface area. We had to be a little more vigilant being without charts (bad sailors!). Sailing down to Fond du Lac at the southern end of the lake was excellent – fair winds, and the marina there is adorable with an old lighthouse and an adjacent park with canals around the ball fields.
At the campground, we were able to keep the boat in the water which makes it nice to quickly be able to head out when there is wind, and it’s not too hot. The camp hosts were nice enough to let us stay in a slip instead of on the sea wall (which gets crowded with weekenders), so Eidolon was extra protected.
They had a nice shower house, but the city water supply smelled massively like sulfur. It’s safe to drink, but it’s rather off-putting initially. On the plus side, my hair has never been so detangled and smooth.
We’ve kept the TV tuned to NBC since the start of the opening ceremony. The tape-delayed finals for the team competition of women’s gymnastics was going to start in about 90 minutes (since NBC won’t show gymnastics live on TV), but at the time, the NBC Nightly News was on. Lester Holt said (with a little smirk) that since the results have already been announced all over the media, he might as well let us know that the US women won the gold. First, nowhere else on NBC had that been reported because they were going to broadcast the event, so we were unspoiled (especially with no internet). Second, if it was already all over the media, then anyone watching the Nightly News was either already spoiled (so, Lester, you weren’t actually reporting anything new to them), or they were deliberately NOT seeking out the results so as to stay unspoiled for watching the competition. Either way, there was NO POINT for you to report the results before the broadcast of the event. Lester, you are a giant jerk, and I will now make it a point to turn off the NBC Nightly News whenever it comes on.
[edited to add: the jerk did it again a couple of days later within five seconds of starting his broadcast before I could change the channel. Of course, he had his usual giddy demeanor that he sports whenever he is reporting really bad news since he knew he was about to spoil gymnastics for millions of viewers.]