Wyalusing "Adventure" - Ron Lutz II ~ Photographer

Summer Vacation Kick Off!



When Freja's kindergarten school year ended we thought it would be fun to go camping. It was the first weekend of summer vacation, and we wanted to have an adventure. I'd reserved a site at Wyalusing State Park, which is located on the bluffs above the confluence of the Mississippi & Wisconsin Rivers. It's an especially scenic destination, and not overly far from our home, making it an easy drive.

I'd invited all of the families in Freja's class to join us. Everyone else either already had their own travel plans, or they didn't enjoy camping. All this meant for us was we ended up with a very quiet spot, well away from everyone. We also had so many picnic tables we could've built a fort had we the need. I'm not going to lie, it was sort of nice having a chance for us to be alone.

Link to Wyalusing State Park

2
Wyalusing State Park Camping - 2014

"Sitting Round the Campfire..."



"Singing campfire songs!" The three of us had a really relaxing evening. After taking a quick drive down to the Mississippi River to see what it looked like, we spent the rest of the night in camp. Nothing beats a nice fire, good snacks, and a kid that enjoys playing outside.

The evening seemed to pass quickly. Toasting marshmallows, telling stories, and just playing around. Before I knew it, the wife and daughter were in the tent playing games. I then got to spend some time just sitting by the fire, waiting for the right time to go try some nightscape photography.
Wyalusing State Park Camping - 2014

Not the Best of Nights



After it became pretty late, and I was feeling the conditions were right, I grabbed my camera bag, heavy tripod, and went for a long walk. I've always enjoyed shooting nightscapes and the scenic views of the river valley seemed to offer some great opportunities. With that in mind I made my way to Signal Point, which overlooks the Wisconsin River. Prairie du Chien is just across the valley floor.

Long story short, I had set up my camera, and done a test shot just to test the framing. Usually the next step is to then experiment with various settings until I get just the right exposure. I never made it past that point.

You see, in the middle of the viewing platform is this big boulder. I knew it was there, but forgot about it much to my own chagrin. At one point I basically tripped and fell on it, really smashing myself up. It hurt bad enough that I called it quits and packed up the gear to limp my way back to camp.

Only, on the way back I also stepped in a hole, twisted my ankle and then fell down again! Yoinks! It was a very, very long trek back to the tent...
Prairie Du Chien Memorial Hospital

Time to Go to the E.R.



The next day there was nothing for it but to go to emergency room. My ankle was very swollen, and hurt like a S.O.B.. Teri drove me into Prairie du Chien as we intended to just find a pharmacy where I might find a brace, ice packs, etc.. We ended up, by coincidence, finding the Memorial Hospital. After a little internal debate I decided the best thing to do was to get it checked out. After all, I may have broken a bone, plus the kid was with us and I wanted to set a good example.

Well, the good news is that I only tore a ligament. It'll be a long month of keeping off my foot in order to heal. The bad news is I had plans to do lot of work to our home that may be delayed. The best news is that I didn't fall off a cliff.

BTW: The staff at the hospital were really very nice, and were extremely helpful. You all have my thanks!

Link to Prairie du Chien Memorial

Wyalusing State Park Camping - 2014

R.I.C.E.



That stands for "Rest, Ice; Compression; & Elevate." My two nurses made sure I complied with those restrictions. Once back in camp, I was settled in my hammock for a solid hour. Eventually they relented, and the three of us went to the playground for the afternoon. All in all, it wasn't a bad way to pass a Sunday.
Wyalusing State Park Camping - 2014
Wyalusing State Park Camping - 2014

Return to the Scene



Eventually I convinced Teri that I could make it along the scenic overlook trail. The hospital had hooked me up with a pair of crutches, and using them I was able to get around. While it wasn't the easiest "stroll," it was still worth the effort. Teri wasn't too thrilled when she saw where I'd fallen, and how close to the edge I'd been.

With reports of severe storms expected to roll in over night, we decided to pack up and head home at the end of the day. While it would have been nice to have one more night, the thought of dealing with soaked gear while hobbling around didn't appeal to either of us. Even with my injury, we had a really enjoyable weekend. The next time we come I'll be sure to use a flashlight while walking in the dark. I guess I'm just getting too old to see at night as well as I once had.
Powered by SmugMug Log In