"How far away is it?" Deborah asked as we chillaxed on the porch of the cabin after breakfast.

"Not sure," I replied. "I think maybe 45 minutes. Or 30. It's near Hayward."

My sister called it the Leonard Family Triathlon, consisting of a bike ride around Shell Lake, a paddling excursion on the Namekagon River, and a swim in Shell Lake. Deborah and I had been discussing the paddling segment of the event.

Deborah declined the bike ride, opting to continue chillaxing on the porch while the rest of us tooled clockwise along the road around the lake. We stopped at the Potters Shed Cafe for lunch and Deborah drove there to meet us.

We returned to the cabin and prepared for paddling.

"Where is this place?" I asked my sister.

"It's Jack's Canoe Rentals," she replied.

I drove with Deborah in her car and she put the address in her GPS.

"It's only 20 minutes away," she observed.

"Oh, I must have been thinking about a different place," I said.

It was actually in Trego, not far from Spooner.

We rented a canoe for my folks and some kayaks for the rest of us. Deborah and I got a tandem kayak, which we soon determined was a mistake, as I am a more rambunctious kayaker than she is.

We paddled a calm section of river for about an hour and a half, then got picked up by a kindly member of Jack's staff at a landing just past a bridge and returned to the rental office for ice cream.

Highlights of the paddle trip included seeing an otter (or possibly a beaver or muskrat...hard to say) and some turtles.

When we got back to the cabin, we jumped in the lake. I went fishing with my nephew Ty and caught a whopper of a smallmouth bass.

The End

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