July 4, 2017….A Day On The Chain O Lakes -Waupaca, WI

We all had the day off this July 4 holiday so just like old times we loaded up the kayaks and headed out as a family to one of our favorite places to paddle…the Chain O Lakes in Waupaca,WI.

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Very seldom do we all have the chance to paddle together anymore….oh, how life has changed since our son has graduated, starting working, and has become an adult. So as you can imagine, these days are cherished.

As usual, my husband and son had fishing on their to do list, I had swimming and I really wanted some time to relax in my beloved blow up inner tube. We arrived shortly after 9a.m and was happy to see the parking lot had plenty of spots left in it.

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We unloaded our kayaks and I strapped my tube to the back of mine. We then made our way to Marl Lake first. Marl is the best swimming lake here in my opinion.

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It has a public dock, the bluest water probably in WI..or at least that I have ever seen in WI, and no weeds. However, if you are not here early…good luck finding room near this dock. By 1p.m. this same afternoon the dock was packed with people.

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I wasted no time at all beaching my kayak and taking a seat in my tube to relax while my boys fished the same lake near by.

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I had a great time, sucked up plenty of Vitamin D, was completely relaxed, and even managed a good swim while here. Our son, on the other hand, received his first ever fish foot massage….I believe this is something probably in New York or somewhere where the fish pick at your feet/toes while you are in a massage chair. Well, here in WI…it’s free and we don’t need an appointment for it either.

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We again paddled 6 of the lakes total for a total of five hours, swam in one, fished in all of them, saw numerous turtles, our son captured many gorgeous photos with his gear, and most of all we all enjoyed a great day together.

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Summer has arrived and hopefully is around to stay for a few weeks here in Wisconsin. Make sure you all get out and enjoy it before it’s too late!

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****If you would like to read more here is a link to the visit we made here a few weeks ago also.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paddling The Chain O Lakes in Waupaca, WI-Summer 2017

We finally made it to my favorite place to paddle…. Waupaca, WI and the Chain O Lakes. Upon waking up Saturday morning we had originally planned to head to Door County.  Although, after watching the weather forecast, I quickly changed my mind and suggested we head to Waupaca. You see, when its hot here in Green Bay then Door County is typically 20 degrees cooler and that would put their temps right about 70-75…..too cold for me to enter the water. And I had my heart set on paddling and doing some lake swimming. I suggested this quick change of plans to my husband and he said….let’s do it! So we did!

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Upon arrival, we were not surprised to see some very large trees down between the chain of lakes since we saw some big trees along the highway while driving. However, everything down and in the path of the lakes is easy to get around in both kayaks, canoes, and standup paddle boards.

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As usual, I go to paddle/swim and my husband never forgets his fishing pole. Three casts in and he caught his first northern pike of the day. It was going to be a good day;-)

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Since we arrived by 9:30 Saturday morning the parking lot was still easily doable and I made my way immediately to the public dock on Marl Lake to get in my swim I was hoping for. Marl is probably my favorite lake here…..it’s crystal clear and has the most turtles which I love. However, the public dock where we beach our kayaks to swim fills up quickly on nice days so I wanted to get this in before it was too busy.

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Next, it was time to make our way back through the water path to another one of the lakes.

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At this point we passed by where we were parked and noticed that the number of people starting to show up had nearly tripled. Wow, they just kept coming and the lot was nearly full with cars, trucks, and trailers.

Making our way through Beasley Creek was once again a pain in the butt as always. We were hoping with the amount of rain we have had in the area lately that there would be enough water to paddle the entire creek but no luck. Although, this time we planned ahead just in case and my husband grabbed a piece of kayak strapping and threw it in his kayak. This way I held his boat, stayed in mine, and he pulled me and his kayak through with little effort.

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I enjoyed the ride and captured a beautiful hawk hiding out in the trees right next to the creek edge.

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Arriving at the next lake in the chain he again caught a fish after a few casts and this time it was a nice bass.

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Our entire day was a success. No rain, abundant sunshine, warm water, and great fishing. And I even had my first swim of 2017 in a lake…..it was a great way to spend a Saturday.

 

 

Finally February…What’s Next On The Agenda?

A few more weeks to go until we change our clocks once again and life starts looking a little brighter and much more fun in my eyes.

Typically by this time of year, I have already starting planning our summer excursions, booked some camp sites, and made numerous other plans to fill up our summer calendar. This year, however, has been a bit different…..I have done none of this. UGGGG! I have been, in all honesty, unmotivated since we returned from Tennessee to do any of this. Life has been chaos and I just can’t seem to catch a break long enough to even consider summer planning.

I have been keeping up with my pledge to try at least one new recipe a week for our family dinners. And so far, we have found some real winners. Like beef with pepperocino peppers in the slow cooker. The easiest recipe ever since you literally take your beef roast and lay it in the slow cooker. Dump the jar of pepperocinos with the juice over the roast. Add a shimmy shake of Worcestershire sauce and a tsp of beef bouillon to the mixture and cover and turn it on. Taaaadaaaa….6-8 hours later you shred it up and serve how you wish. I layered whole wheat rolls with cheese and baked them until they were melted. Then I added the meat and served it with a side salad. A complete meal, with little work and very tasty to end a long day.

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With February normally being the month I struggle with the most, so far it has been ok.I have been keeping busy thanks to many different things on my plate at one time. With a trip disaster in January to TN, I am still fighting with the airlines for refunds. I have made and have had plans with friends cancelled due to illnesses(on their end) numerous times. And I have been doing my best to keep a level head about some work issues that have been plaguing me.

I recently went to dinner with my brother to a restaurant I had not been to in at least 15 years and was happily surprised by the remodel job. The place was beautiful but the food was mediocre at best. Next month it is my turn to choose the restaurant and I think I might try Thai for the first time ever. I love that my brother has a broad sense of taste, since then we have many different options to choose from. Often, when I go out with my husband, it’s to the same three restaurants and even though its nice, I sometimes wish he was a bit more adventurous when it came to trying new things.

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February at the gym has significantly gotten less crowded. Normally by February I am so ready to be outside doing something active, however, this year I am not quite there yet. I am loving the gym and my time to do what I love. I have been concentrating on strengthening my abs and core along with my upper body again. Paddling season is not that far off and after taking it easy all last summer due to my abdominal surgery and the summer before due to my husbands disc herniation….this summer I plan to paddle as much as possible.

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We have a bunch of birthdays coming up in the next few weeks and no real plans as of yet to celebrate them. For mine, I am hoping to get a nice dinner out somewhere…..maybe Hibachi/Sushi….we shall see.

There is also an REI garage sale date coming up and unless there is a snowstorm that stops me from making this two hour drive to our nearest REI, I have the calendar marked and the gift cards are burning a hole in my pocket. On the list….a new pair of Keen hiking boots for yours truly. Mine have taken me many miles through Minnesota, Tennessee, Arizona, Michigan, Utah, Arkansas, and all over Wisconsin. I think it’s time to let them rest and break in a new pair.

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And come next month our clocks will once again be changing. Daylight will be longer, snow will begin to melt away leaving mud around every corner. And we will slowly start to venture back outside and start making memories again of times better spent somewhere other than in the four walls of our house. Ohhhh, how I wait patiently for this month to pass.

Kayaking Waupaca’s Chain Of Lakes

During the holiday weekend we had the opportunity to spend a day paddling Waupaca’s Chain Of Lakes as a family. Our son had both jobs off and this meant we were going to do some serious paddling for the entire day.

(If you recall, my husband and I made this trip once before and it was a disaster from start to finish, so we were very happy to see sunny skies for this trip.)

I can’t even begin to tell you all how beautiful this area is. We will be returning without a doubt in the near future. We ended up paddling, swimming, relaxing, fishing and exploring with the camera gear seven lakes in this chain. All of which are highly used for SUP and kayakers…..with Long Lake being the only one we explored that allowed big boats and a wake.

Here are some pictures from Manomin Lake, Knight Lake, Marl Lake, Lake Orlando, Beasley Creek, Long Lake, and Pope Lake. All of which are completely connected.

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We put in at the pubic boat launch at Knight Lake bridge. Here you will find a large parking area and a porta potty. You can go either direction to reach all of these lakes. By far, my favorite of them all is Marl Lake which is the only lake that offers this gorgeous aqua color. It also has a public dock which offers a nice break for the kids to swim, parents to rest and if need be, at the top of the stone step hill there is another bathroom. The other direction from Knight Lake bridge, was Orlando Lake, Beasley Creek and Long Lake. Beasley Creek we needed to walk our kayaks through since the water level was so low. Although, it was a nice walk, not long at all and offered us time to chill in the water.

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When you enter Long Lake from Beasley Creek, you will be able to get back in and paddle more, but this is not a slow wake lake, so watch for many go fast boats!!!!

*****If you have any questions about this area or the lakes we paddled, feel free to send me a message or leave a comment. I will do what I can to help you experience this beautiful area as we did.

*****As an added bonus I would like to share with you all some of our son’s moments captured during this gorgeous day. These last two pictures are courtesy of Quade Byrnes Photography.

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Waupaca Kayaking low wm-1

 

 

 

 

Kayak Trailer Construction

This week we have made some real progress on the construction of turning our utility trailer into a kayak carrying trailer. By “we” I mean my husband has made progress.

Ever since we started paddling, we have always just lined them up side by side and wiggled and jiggled them until all vessels were in a happy place for travel.

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And every time we buy a new kayak with a bit different shape or size, its gets a bit more complicated to find a happy spot that they can all be carried safely.

Now of course, we have seen kayak carriers on trailers for many years but time was always a factor. Let’s face it, summers are short and who wants to work on the weekends when you could be paddling. Well, we have now come to a point where we had no other option since our son bought a very long kayak and this has thrown our whole trailer situation into a tail spin.

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Thankfully, my husband is an engineer by profession and can literally come up with a plan for almost anything. And he is a pack rat (which I consider his second profession) which actually turns out to be a bonus in this situation. He has had pipes laying around in our garage rafters for years with no good reason until now. They are what he is using for the frame work that the kayaks will be braced on for travel.

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Evey night this week he has spent time drilling, measuring and making progress.

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All that is left to do is add are few more bolts, cover a few more pipes with pool noodles for protection, and a test drive to a body of water somewhere. Now, whether that will be this weekend or not….we shall see.

 

 

 

Is It Friday Already?

I couldn’t believe it was Friday when I woke up this morning. My week has just flew by and here we are embarking on another summer weekend.

We have been really working on getting some projects done during the week so our weekends are free to enjoy summer to the fullest extent. One of those projects is my husband and son need to build a kayak/SUP carrier that will make our utility trailer more watercraft friendly. And since our son decided to switch from a river running kayak to a much longer model this is a job that needs to be done and finished asap.

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Before they can design the trailer to carry all our different kayaks and my SUP we needed to first, fit this beast of a kayak into the garage. You see, every time we buy another piece of watercraft this seems to be an issue. However, we have come to the point that if one is purchased one needs to be sold, which he did. But…the new kayak he purchased is at least twice the size of the old kayak. Thankfully, dad had it all worked out in his head and thankfully that plan worked out in real life. (This does not always happen as planned)

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That shall do it for now. Our weekend is up in the air with a few things at this point but is sure to be fun and exciting with the very nice weather we are predicted to have.

Happy Father’s Day to all you dad’s out there.

A Weekend Of Sun, Fun and More Sun

What a weekend we had!

We traveled 2 hours to pick up our son’s new kayak at our nearest REI on what happened to be one of the famous “garage sale days”. Since we were aware of this event ahead of time we planned to arrive early enough to hopefully get some deals ourselves since we had to be there anyhow. Even though we needed nothing at all….we still ended up with $100 spent and some buys that we just could not pass up.

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After we did our shopping they kindly carried out the new addition to our fleet of watercraft. Meet the new addition the Dagger Stratos. IMG_4325

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After we left the store we remembered that we had not eaten since 5 a.m. so we stopped at a great restaurant with outdoor seating. It was perfect, hot, and sunny outside. I could not have wished for any better.

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Until, of course, the food arrived, which was fabulous. IMG_4334

After that I was itching to get home quickly. I had prepacked our bags to make sure we had a few hours to spend on the water ourselves having some fun. Upon arriving home, we tossed everything in the house, grabbed the bags, switched vehicles, loaded up my standup paddle board and headed to the bay.

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By the time we returned home we were exhausted. 

Which then brought Sunday and as we call it, a sun hangover. This is when you feel as if you drank all night but never had a  sip of alcohol. Morning came way too early and I knew the plan was to pack up and head back to the bay, only today with our son and his first paddle of his new kayak. However, I quickly decided today mom was staying home. I had taken my first fall off my SUP Saturday and was feeling the after affects in my abdomen area, which meant I was taking it easy today. Neither of my boys disagreed and they packed up and headed out while I did some chores around the house. By mid afternoon, it was time for some relaxation.