What a long day we’ve had! These past two days have been filled with enough activity for two weeks and we have so much to share.
After breakfast we started with a canoe lesson down the hill from our cabins at StatehouseLake. The NorthLakelandDiscoveryCenter staff and our counselors taught us the strokes that we need to know to move in the water. Then we partnered up and practiced. A lot of us were nervous! But some of us who were less nervous were able to help ease the others, and after not too long it seemed as if everyone had been canoeing their whole lives. We played a few fun skill games, then we were ready for the big river!
After another homemade lunch of quesadillas we packed up the canoes, got into our water shoes and drove to our launch point on the ManitowishRiver. Four miles and lots of stops down the river until dinner time — we saw an adult bald eagle perched on the branch of a white pine tree, and then another later on down the way! Along one of the bends in the river we saw a bald eagle nest that was almost the size of a small car! Eagles will use the same nest every year, and build on top of it to make it bigger. The one we saw probably weighed 2 tons! A white-tailed deer standing on the river shore stood and greeted us as we approached in our canoes. She was beautiful and she wasn’t scared of us which was really cool.
When we were almost to the end of our canoe trip we stopped to build a fire. There we cooked our dinner of hot dogs and baked beans, and of course had room for s’mores! The weather was almost perfect for our ride and we returned to the DiscoveryCenter just before sundown.
Our evening was spent at the DiscoveryCenter learning about bats! Licia gave us a presentation on bats and we learned a lot about the importance of these flying mammals in our ecosystems, around the world, in the Northwoods, and even back home in Illinois. There are about 6 species of bats that reside in Wisconsin, and 12 that live in Illinois! It was interesting to learn about all of the different behaviors of bats, and we got to meet the Center’s pet bat, Penelope! Who knew that bats could be so cute