July 4th!

30 Jun

I am very much looking forward to this “weekend” (have to come back home early Sunday; duty calls (haha, doody!)!).

I’ll be heading north to the family cabin tomorrow afternoon (Thursday) to golf, fish, tube the river and drink some booze with my family (Parents, Uncles & Aunts and Gramma).  My family and I are really lucky that my beloved late Grandpa, Steve Van Heuklom, decided to purchase a forty, clear a road one mile long into the woods, clear an area for a yard and build a cabin on the land, all the way back in 1977-78 (not to mention my Dad & Uncles & Gramma who were there to help with hard work and finances).  I only wish I had their foresight; it’s been a blessing.

Now, onto the most important thing:  my golf game.  It’s important.  Everyone cares about this.

We are planning to play Hayward National on Friday morning at 10am and I am brimming with excitement.  This course is a true test.   Several of our family members have had double digit scores on a single hole; these are good golfers, mind you, but the course is set up to kick you in the balls for hitting one bad shot.  It seems unfair at times, but I really enjoy the challenge.

I’ve always made it my personal mission to break 80 on this course.  I’ve come close (I believe 81 is my best there), but I always slip up on a few holes on the back nine.  I generally shoot 72-79 on your typical Wisconsin/Minnesota course but this course is different.  Each hole on the front nine is lined with tall, skinny, pruned pine trees.  Any shot too far left or right and go directly to jail, do not collect Go! and add onetwothree strokes to your scorecard.  I will probably not use my driver on the front nine.

The back nine is less tree-lined, yet more difficult.  The signature of the back nine is narrow fairways lined with swamp.  I again may not hit my driver, which may set me up for more success, as my driver has been very loose but my irons have been generally been going straight.  Uncle Jim, Uncle Dave, Dad and I will brave the heat and hopefully knock down some flags Friday.

Then, Saturday, we will likely inflate our tubes and float down the mighty Namekagon River.  It’s a beautiful time: and, the more booze, the more beautiful it gets!  It appears that it’s going to be hot, which is great for tubing.  Of course, the water may be a bit cold considering the immense amount of snow and rain we had this winter and fall.

I think one of the downfalls of American culture is extreme urbanization and, as an effect, the lack of knowledge of nature and “the outdoors”.  Some see an experience of camping like visiting an alien planet and quickly are off-put.  My wife (aka the most beautiful woman in the world) came from one of the most urbanized areas in the world, yet she has learned to appreciate the outdooors.

I would appreciate your responses in the comments section from anyone who would like to share their plans for the weekend of the 4th.  I hope for your sake that it does not involve work, as it often does for me.



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