Camping With Canines: The Legendary Land of Minocqua

20 07 2018

Ever since my niece Becky got married, I have been hearing tales of Minocqua, Wisconsin.  Her husband John spent his formative years there and at every chance has regaled us with stories of hunting, fishing, and other outdoor adventures in this small northern Wisconsin town.  So when we started planning our trip and saw that we would pass very close, we were intrigued. And when we found out that the Becky, John, and their boys would be vacationing in Minocqua at the same time that we were in the area, stopping at Minocqua was a no-brainer.

Minocqua will never have a water shortage.  Everywhere we turned, there was another lake.  And the streets were lined with businesses selling floating docks, boats, and fishing supplies.  My favorite had a sign out front saying, “You complained about the fish puns, so we’ll scale it back a little.”

We camped at Patricia Lake Campground just outside the town.  A whole section of this campground was devoted to folks who stayed all summer.  Wooden porches, landscaping, yard art…it was obvious that these summer residents had been coming back here for many years.  John wasn’t the only one with Minocqua Fever!  But the best part of the campground for us was the fenced-in doggy park where our dogs could run free, sniffing at their leisure and rough-housing with each other off-leash.

John recommended that we spend the evening downtown at Lake Minocqua, watching the Min-Aqua Bats perform their thrice-weekly summer ski show.  So after dinner we gathered up the dogs and headed into town.  Min-Aqua Bats: the perfect name for this amateur group of acrobats on water skis!  These teenagers did not disappoint, performing stunt after amazing stunt.  The boats pulled multiple girls at a time who performed synchronized movements, even forming pyramids as they passed by the viewing stands.

6.27.18 Minocqua Min-Aqua Bats (56)

A group of three guys skied barefoot, but then were overshadowed by one who skied on his backside.

6.27.18 Minocqua Min-Aqua Bats (48)6.27.18 Minocqua Min-Aqua Bats (81)

And then, a skier on a hydrofoil. A chair ski.  And ski jumping, three in a row, one skier pulling the next.  An hour passed with one more astounding trick after another.  Our dogs were the only ones not impressed.

6.27.18 Minocqua Min-Aqua Bats (60)

A hydrofoil ski

6.27.18 Minocqua Min-Aqua Bats (68)

This was the second of three jumpers in a row, each pulling the ones behind!

6.27.18 Minocqua Min-Aqua Bats (73)

The next day was fairly chill.  While waiting for Becky’s gang, we took the dogs for a hike on the Bearskin Trail that follows an old railway bed across Lake Minocqua.  The trail was ripe with enticing smells for our pups and delightful scenery for our human eyes.  A deer slogged through the marsh and a pair of bald eagles flew overhead, but alas, both passed too quickly for my camera.

6.28.18 Minocqua (3)

Later, I went swimming with Becky, John, and the boys at Lake Katherine.  Dogs weren’t allowed, so Brian stayed behind at the campsite, enjoying a quiet afternoon by the lake.  For dinner, we got pizza and then ate s’mores at the campsite.  A solitary loon called across the lake, ending a very relaxing day in Minocqua, Wisconsin.  I’d like s’more, please!

6.28.18 Minocqua Lake Patricia

Sunset on Patricia Lake

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