Road Trip 2019: Day Sixteen, Lake Vermilion

Dear Minnesota,

How do you tease with lakes buried under ice for seven months that are swimmable by July?

How my Colorado blood envies your lack of altitude.

How windy you made this lake for three days until the dusk presented a photo-less calm that brought all eleven of us onto the water.

Even Ruby, just six, paddled to the bald eagle island halfway across the bay.

Even my mother, just sixty-five, tolerated the nearly-still lake.

You should have seen it with your non-existent books, your lack of information published online, your secret beauty buried beneath ponderosa pines and fish-hunting loons.

You should have told me that peat bogs and mosquitos mask the firelit perfection of summer.

That the North Woods encapsulate the fairy tale life we’ve all wished to achieve.

I should have known, Minnesota, that you were too good to be true.