one of the qualities that we were taking into account as we composed our short list of potential places to call home was quick and easy access to all sorts of outdoorsy activities. and by quick and easy, we specifically mean, less than 20-30 minutes away because we’ve come to realize that if something is more than 20-30 minutes away, it’s not going to become a regular part of family life; and we really wanted odin to grow up knowing that camping and hiking and swimming and canoeing and snowshoeing and cross country skiing and horseback riding and countless other activities were all part of regular routine and not squeezed into a rushed family vacation once a year.
so, we couldn’t be luckier to have the 8,569 acre kickapoo valley reserve close by. originally slated to be flooded and turned into a reservoir in an ill-fated flood control and “recreation” project the area is now a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts all year round, even in the winter when you can go on horse-drawn sleigh rides, skating and skiing and during the annual winter Festival we’ll probably join the locals in “vegetable sailing”, which consists of shooting veggies from a slingshot at a concrete tower that’s only remaining evidence of the dam that was thankfully never built.
throughout the park you can find examples of the unique features of the driftless region which was untouched by the glaciers that razed the rest of the midwest flat as a pancake, including giant sandstone outcroppings that tower above the kickapoo river, which is considered one of the best canoeing rivers in the midwest.
and then we enjoyed a peanut butter sandwich and pirate’s booty right before odin fell fast asleep while we weaved along the winding road back home while blasting the godspeed you! black emperor song that wasn’t even finished before we stopped in the driveway just as the clock in town struck noon.