Yesterday, we stayed hunkered down as the rain continued. Today, we saw brief glimpses of sun trying to peek through the clouds that covered our horizon. At least it was not raining so Mary Margaret and I welcomed the opportunity to stretch our legs and explore our park and Higgins Lake.
While neither one of us have been to this state park before, it strongly reminded me of the state park that is located along the south shore of this lake. My mom and dad used to take us kids to Higgins Lake to go camping and swimming at that state park. That was back in the 1950s and 1960s. I still have memories of seeing a black bear that was hunted, gutted and hanging up by a rope from a branch of a tree in that park. Back then, there was open bear hunting all year long and this was how the hunters prepared the bear before skinning it for its fur and, I guess, harvesting its meat. However, I have been told that bear meat is very greasy tasting and not very good.
On a more pleasant note, I also well remember during one of our forays to Higgins Lake how my sister, Doti, dressed herself, my older Don and I up as Indians, and then taught us how to do Indian dances. Doti loved the Indian culture all of her life and throughout her life read a lot about it and embraced many of the Lakota cultural norms. We not only danced around our campfire but also walked along the road of the park, passed the many other campers and danced. I was about 6 or 7 at the time and it made a lasting impression.
I also remember how we could wade far, far out onto the sandy bottom of Higgins Lake and still only be up to our chest in water. Today, while during our walk around the park and the north shore of Higgins Lake we did not see any black bears hanging from trees nor did we see any kids doing Indian dances, we did see people could still wade far off the shore and still only be chest deep in water.
Tomorrow, the rain is supposed to return before sunshine arrives in earnest on Wednesday. Thus, we may have to wait another day before we get to go swimming and really enjoy Higgins Lake.