Festivals, Fishing & Fun…Summer 2013

Summer and early fall are my favorite times of the year. When winter hits hard in Wisconsin, usually between December 15th and March 1st, I dream about Spring daffodils, summer festivals, and Scottish Highland Games. Every year we spend four days at Irish Fest in Milwaukee, the largest Celtic festival in the world. We have a team for the Run/Walk on the Saturday morning of the fest. All proceeds go to finding a cure for arthritis, something one if four Americans suffer from. It feels good to help fund research while communing with wonderful people and the greatest festival I’ve ever attended.

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This year has been a little nuts for me. I tested for my 5th degree black-belt in karate this Spring and then for 5th degree in weapons on June 1st, which also happened to be the day of the Spring Highland Games.  Talk about a whirlwind entry into the season. I literally blinked and now it’s the last week before my daughter goes back to UW in Madison. That fast, and the chaos of a new school year is quickly upon us; my son starts High School the day after Labor Day.

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We try to pack as much wonderfulness into our summers as we can. This summer has been no exception. One of my favorite parts of it we spent in the Tetons and Yellowstone National Park. I love fishing and we never get to do enough of it. Last month I posted about the brown and cutthroat trout we caught at the dam in the Tetons and cooking them on the camp stove. Yum!

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The summer isn’t over…thank the goddess…and there’s still so much to do. We haven’t taken the bikes out yet and are set to this week. This is the first time we’ll have our daughter on her own motorcycle, she’s so excited and so are we.

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This year I’m running the dog tent at the end of summer Wisconsin Highland Games over Labor Day. Cian, our son, is helping with ax and knife throwing and my daughter will be taking a turn in the St. Andrews Society (the oldest charity group in Wisconsin) tent. It’s our last summer weekend and one we look forward to all year. It’s too bad it coincides with Harley Davidson’s 110th anniversary celebration which is bound to be a fantastic event! So if you’re up for a trip to Milwaukee, check it out. If you’re not going to be here this year, come see us the third weekend in August next year for Irish Fest. I’d love to have you on our MACSKI’s Highland Food Team for the run/walk to Irish Fest, then stick around for one of the biggest and best cultural festivals in the world. A walk through the Milwaukee Art Museum after is definitely in order :). Bristol Wisconsin, right over the Illinois border, is also worth a stop for the largest Renaissance Fair in the country.

I sound like a walking advertisement for my state :). I guess I am. Summer and fall in Wisconsin are magical. Which leads me to my WIP (work-in-progress) part 1 of my Scottish Historical Damselfly series which takes place during the Viking age in Scotland, circa 900 AD. Merlin, from books 2 & 3 of my contemporary Warrior Chronicle series plays a leading role and I get to explore the beginnings of my Scottish secret society dedicated to preserving and sharing Celtic artifacts. It’s been fun exploring this imaginary world of myth and magic interwoven with bits of Clan Donald history. For any of you who have read FIGHTING FATE or DEFENDING DESTINY (just published last month and soon to be free on Amazon) if you’d like to see something special in the Damselfly Society lore, let me know and I’ll see if I can incorporate it. Could be fun  🙂

2013 Defending Destiny Fighting Fate Warrior

By far, the best moments of this summer have been the quiet ones spent with my family. The second best have been the moments writing a world I’d love to visit in this new series. Going to each and every festival along the way is like collecting bits of inspiration, some of which even make it into my books!

So I raise an imaginary glass and say, “Slainte” friends! Here’s to living every summer moment while the sun is long and high to the fullest whether your journeys take you across the continent or just outside your front door, may every step bring joy.

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12 Responses to Festivals, Fishing & Fun…Summer 2013

  1. Tori Scott says:

    Grand Teton National Park is on our to-do list–as soon as we have the money to go. So many places to see, so little money for travel. Sigh.

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  2. leighmorgan1 says:

    Tori, we camped at Colter Bay in the park. Tent camping was $20 a night and entrance into the park is $25 for a week pass. The Tetons are so beautiful! I especially love the hike to Inspiration Point which begins at Jenny Lake. The boat ride across is so much fun and you don’t have to go all the way up to enjoy it; the walk to Hidden Falls is spectacular and not difficult at all. If you don’t want to tent or RV camp, staying near Jackson is fun too. Such a great trip and one we haven’t done since the kids were seven and thirteen…way too long. You’re right about the “So Many Places” to see. Funds allowing, I’d be off seeing something new every month 🙂

    Hope the rest of your summer is wonderful!

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  3. Summer time in Wisconsin truly is wonderful, and it sounds like you and your family really make the most of it! Thanks for the post Leigh 🙂

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  4. Wow–you have a lot going on out there in Wisconsin! (said with genuine longing from my high-rise cubicle back east in the ho-hum-except-if-you’re-a-tourist big city of Boston)

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    • leighmorgan1 says:

      I’ve only been a tourist in Boston, but I loved it. The touristy Quincey market area is about all I’ve seen…sure love the oysters though! 🙂 Come to Milwaukee Irish Fest next year, Stephanie. I know you’d love it. 🙂

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  5. Mona Risk says:

    I have never been to Wisconsin. Another great place to discover. Thank you Leigh for sharing your summer activities.

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    • leighmorgan1 says:

      I think you’d enjoy the festivals season here, it’s fantastic. Door County, Egg Harbor, Fish Creek and Sister Bay in particular, are lovely Spring through Fall. Door County also has an active and thriving artist community. There are writers retreats held there, although I’ve never been to one ~ time has been an issue until most recently. Maybe we should check into places for an Authors of Main Street retreat next year? I’d be happy to travel 🙂

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  6. Carol says:

    Grand Teton National Park was on a canceled vacation about four years ago. Still going to make it one day! Your children are blessed that you spend summer with them. I know you enjoy it too. 🙂

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    • leighmorgan1 says:

      Thanks, Carol! Spending time with them is by far the best thing about writing as a career. I love the fact that I can be with them more freely when they are available (and of course work non-stop when they’re not 🙂 ). If you get a chance to spend some time in the park at the Tetons, it’s so worth it. Lot’s of short, yet wonderful hikes, and longer more challenging ones as well. There are places to stay on the way to Jackson so you don’t have to camp. I just love it there. We used to go ever other summer when the kids were very little. Cian was six weeks old the first time! Not sure why we took so long between visits this time. Just being in the mountains does something to the spirit within that makes me more whole ~ and more thankful. Must be the fact that I feel so small, and life is so big, there. 🙂

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  7. E. Ayers says:

    What an adventure you had for an entire summer! Congrats on your new belt! That’s quite a feat.

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    • leighmorgan1 says:

      Thanks, E! I’m so pleased the testing part of getting my karate & weapons belts is over…huge relief! It’ll probably be a decade before I test again!

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