Mandan News

Dan Ulmer: Vacation time at Lake Tschida

Dateline May 25, 2102… Memorial Weekend.

Spent most of previous week chasing the elusive walleye on Lake No Tellum Minnesoda. For the record, we got the price below $100 per pound this year. Got home rounded up supplies for weekend at Lake Tschida. Arrived Tschida at 10 a.m., opened cabin and sat down to participate in a conference call from work.

Call ended and first weekend of summer got underway. As day one progressed, the tribe started to arrive and the clouds moved in along with the cold and then the rain and it rained and rained, and then rained some more. The adults were smart enuf to wear rain gear… the grandkids, not so much.

It didn’t take long for 5-year-old Tristan the tornado to soak himself, then 3-year-old Brock, and the mist made 2-year-old Camryn blink a lot but it didn’t dent her smile. Kelci and Nevaeh, the middle school kids, have grown into lake kids so they just cope with whatever weather comes along… and they’re evidently used to being wet.

Kelci set up some targets behind the garage then pulled out her bow and arrow and a pellet gun. After listening to her father’s safety lecture she spent the day target shooting and for the record, she’s really quite a shot. It didn’t take long for Tristan to get into the act, and despite his mom’s fears he did pretty good too. On the other hand, Grandpa Dan only hit the target once, so he got out of the way before they humiliated him further.

Most of the day was spent in the garage (which is up the hill behind our cabin) and it was rather amazing to note how the younger ones managed to entertain themselves. Brock started with a wheelbarrow. First he just rolled it around the garage then he took it out onto the driveway and let it go. The wheelbarrow would recklessly careen down the road and he’d chase behind it, and after it crashed he’d bring it back up the hill.

This kept him quite happy until his mom decided it was too dangerous for a 3-year-old. So he returned to the garage, and mounted one of the trailered jet skis. Not to be undone Camryn climbed onto the other one and the race was on. They were hollering and roaring at each other as they pretended to pass each other… and finally the noise got so loud that one of the parents decided they needed to pursue another adventure… so they went for a golf cart ride in the rain.

Tristan tagged along with Kelci and Nevaeh and came back soaked. When I asked him how he got so wet, he said, “Grandpa, we were on an adventure.” And Grandpa decided that he really didn’t need to know more than that.

You see life at the lake has its dull moments, but those only last as long as you want them too. There’s always something to do out here even if it’s just a golf cart ride around the neighborhood, or a walk in the rain, or picking up stick to play fetch with the dogs, or just looking out the window marveling at the view.

The kids always seem to find something to do out here while the adults always seem to be most content when they find themselves with nothing to do but whatever they want to do. So here’s the list of things we found to do during the first weekend of summer: fishing, archery, target shooting, nap, volleyball, badminton, bean bag toss, golf carting, pontoon rides, nap, ATV rides (complete with yellow helmet), wheelbarrow chasing, a short visit to Dykshoorn’s Jurassic Park (they have real concrete dinosaurs in various colors, admission’s free but you gotta go thru the Black Forest tunnel to get there), Abe and I hit two golf balls into the bay, bonfires, a few rounds of Zingo (these two occurred after Grandpa Dan went to bed)… and the list goes on but Grandpa Dan’s mind can only hold so much nowadays… so when he sat down and starting writing about this all he could really remember was how wonderful it is to be surrounded by the smiles of those you love.

So that’s why summer’s pretty special around our house. Here’s hoping that summer grants you enough time to enjoy whatever you like to do too. And make sure you check out what those around you do for fun… never know, they might let you join ‘em…