My husband, Merle, grew up with boats on the Chesapeake Bay, so he's always been attracted to floating on water. And I grew up in Portage, canoeing many rivers and lakes in Wisconsin. He moved to Madison in 1976, and me in 1978.
Back in the early '90s, my newlywed husband bought a small wooden boat for his 20-something son, and we decided to take it for a test ride on the lakes to celebrate our anniversary. We used the dock at Olin Park and went on our way to go through the Tenney Locks, to Lake Mendota, to the dock at Mariner's Inn. After a fabulous dinner of steak and tail, we saw the light show to the west, of a storm coming in, and thought it might be a good idea to head home. When I say this was a small boat, consider how it had a 3-by-5 foot cargo space behind the two seats. It also meant the engine was small ... so we hurried as best as we could to beat the storm, and got to the Tenney Locks before the storm hit but not through the Yahara River. We ended up anchoring and catnapping until 2 a.m. under the Johnson St. bridge until this storm passed. Then we felt safe enough to find our way back to the Olin Park dock on Lake Monona.
Lauranne Bailey, Madison