Friday, April 15, 2011

Don Q

Each spring and fall, Adventure Rock, our local climbing gym, partners with UW-Milwaukee to provide a nature/rock climbing course at Devil's Lake State Park.  Brian and our friend Chris typically work the course with Don Q, the UWM naturalist who puts the class together.  They've been trying to get the ladies to come along for some time now, but the weather never seems to cooperate, so Chris’ wife, Dawn, and I usually stay home.  This year, we were determined to join in the fun this year. 

Both Dawn and I decided that we weren't going to spend our weekend freezing or wet, so we did have to set a minimum temperature requirement.  I wasn't feeling so well on Saturday morning (a cold, I think), so I was especially hoping that the weather would be pleasant.  We were told to expect temperatures in the 60's, and those magic words made us eager to go to Devil's Lake.  Since we knew it wouldn't be very nice on Sunday, Dawn and I initially planned to head home early Sunday and leave the boys to work in the rain. 

It was a chilly morning, nowhere near the 60 degrees+ we were promised, and the sun tried to break through the clouds for the better part of the day.  I found the best way to stay warm was to climb, so I did plenty of that.  We spent the day at a climbing area where Dawn, Chris and Brian had climbed last November; at that time I couldn't climb because of my surgery.  It was nice to do all the climbs I had watched everyone do five months ago.  It was also really nice to be outside and active.  It took most of the day, but the sun came out, and that was really nice too. 

Saturday night, we all went to the Little Village Cafe.  Dinner was nice and it was fun to have the time to talk to everyone.  Don has some really great perspectives, and I felt so comfortable talking to him.  I think we have a similarly-minded hippie hearts.  Dawn, Chris, Brian and I spent the night in Baraboo.  We watched a little Star Wars on TV and called it a night pretty early, which was a good thing since Sunday was gorgeous.  The weather was so nice, we decided to spend the morning with the group of nine students we climbed with the day before.  We hiked up the Balanced Rock Trail and saw some really great rock features along the way.  Again, Don had so much information to share, and I was secretly proud of myself for knowing a lot of the answers to Don's questions.

I learned so much about nature that weekend- birds, trees, shrews, etc. I am so impressed with Don Q's knowledge, and how he is able to share it with others.  It was a really great learning experience.  And, if you're into trying new things, the next time you feel a cold coming on, try taking an essential oil called thieves...Don says it works wonders. 

Taking in the view

Brian and me by  Balanced Rock - Devil's Lake State Park

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