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Skogland Brothers Man-cation
We've all read the story of the last Skogland brothers man-cation.  We drove Neil's '65 Buick Riviera from Seattle to Charlotte by way of Fort Hood, Texas.  Four fat 50 year old Eagle Scouts in a mostly reliable old car was a great time.  This summer, Dad is going to join us, possibly nephew Trenton, Marc, Ian, Neil, Loren and Keith are going to visit Camp Ransburg, the Boy Scout camp outside of Bloomington, Indiana that used to occupy our summers.  We'll wander the camp trails and revisit our mis-spent youth.  Next we're on to Louisville, KY to spend a week on the Bourbon Trail.  We're all planning which distilleries we need to visit and which bottles we're hoping to get of taste of.  We'll have a week of brown liquor, golf and cigars.  I can't understand why the ladies are choosing to stay home.  If you have any advice or gotta see places, please send me a note.  Our blogs and pictures  will appear here.  

Thursday, October 10
Brother Neil and I made the trip to Charlotte to meet up with brother Ian and Anita.  We had a lovely trip, made our plan reservations two weeks apart for the same flights and ended up on the same row, both flights.  We had a lovely dinner at Halcyon.  Bourbon scented with bacon fat and orange liqueur and garnished with crisp bacon, Tennessee Schmaltz Bloody Marys with chicken stock and Anita had some fancy local gin, lillet and herb cocktail.  Yellow tomato soup, fried zucchini blossoms and salads lyonnaise for starters.  Dinner was a saddle of rabbit, magret duck breast, pumpkin risotto with game sausage and a chanterelle and asparagus risotto.  After that lovely dinner we headed across the complex to a Buddy Guy concert.  That guy can play the blues.  He had the crowd on their feet.  We're home tasting some rums and planning the start of our day tomorrow.  We'll be in the Riviera driving to Bloomington, IN.

Friday, October 11
We started our day early with 7:00 am breakfast call.  Anita made us a frittata and fruit to send us on our trip.  We drove through North Carolina, West Virginia, Kentucky and then to Indiana. the leaves are just starting to turn so we got a little bit of color for our drive.  

We stopped for lunch in Quincy, WV at a little Mexican place.  Neil found the restaurant's challenge meal.  It was called the Chupacabra, a seven pound burrito filled with three kinds of meats, rice and french fries?  Eat it all in 30 minutes and it's free, can't finish?  It's a $25 dollar lunch.  Neil decided that we should order and share it.  Even sharing it we didn't even get halfway through.  Where is Trenton when we need him!  

We had a little excitement when I was driving.  Ian noticed little puffs of smoke coming out of the dashboard.  Neil and Ian concluded that the power steering pump was spitting excess fluid onto the hot engine.  I, of course, was happy to agree.  Not to worry, back on the road.  After a little headlight adjustment we finally made it into Bloomington at about 8:30.  We met one of Ian's high school friends for dinner at Little Zagreb.  A happening, casual steakhouse in the middle of a college town.  Quick service, a cool crisp salad, a sirloin steak, meatballs paprikash (moderately spicy), shish kabob, some baked potatoes, beers and a slice of cheesecake before heading to the hotel to write for a while then crash.  Tomorrow Marc and Dad join us for the staff reunion at Camp Ransburg.

Saturday, October 11
We got out of the hotel room to get up to Ransburg Boy Scout Camp on the Monroe Reservoir. Brother Marc and Dad were already there after making the morning drive in from Indianapolis. They made friends with Michael Moore who had one of the camp golf carts and were getting the $10 tour. Neil, Ian & I happily took the walking tour, unguided. We started out, all of us thinking how much it had changed, it wasn't this way when we were here. look, they have cell service, toilets, air conditioned staff housing, and on & on. Soon it turned into us all thinking how great this camp was and how it had kept the good stuff and grown in the 39 years since we were here. We talked to a big shot who told us how they try to use the camp all year for lots of events. What a great thing to use this fabulous place as much as possible. I was trying to figure out how I could get a summer off and join the beach staff for a 10 week season. As Neil would say...heavy sigh. They opening the trading post for us to get a t-shirt or two and a trading patch for a scouter I know and we're off to Louisville to get brother Keith from the airport, have a dinner and start our trip down the bourbon trail.

Neil decided that for the trip to Louisville we should stay off of the interstate so we took the country roads for a beautiful two hour drive. We met up with Dave Brewer, one of our best camp buddies from the past and set out for an evening downtown. Ian introduced us to the Urban Bourbon Trail. We tasted a number of mostly delicious bourbons, had a great dinner at a restaurant called Proof on Main and walked around the downtown on a lovely fall evening.