Weekend Snapshots: A Lazy Saturday and A Trial Hike With Photography Equipment

This weekend was all about relaxing and getting some last minute organizing done before our vacation beings.

Saturday, I think I may have left my couch for a total of three hours all day. I am not quite sure what came over me but I really felt like doing nothing. So strange but I actually enjoyed the leisure time. I did manage a 3 mile walk with my hubby and a nice dinner out together. I was craving guacamole and he loves fajitas so mexican it was.

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That pretty much was our Saturday. We spent the rest of the day lounging around doing absolutely nothing.

Sunday we woke up with a lot more energy. My husband has been waiting for a calm wind day to try out his fly fishing technique and our son has been working on a better way to carry all is camera gear while hiking. So that meant I was going along for the trial hike with our son since I have no idea how to fly fish.

After a big hiking trip to the Porcupine Mountains a few weeks ago our son found that his original photography bag was not made for hiking in any way. He was miserable, sore and just plain disappointed with his entire setup. Which meant he was scrambling to figure out something for our vacation which also includes hiking great distances with elevation. The biggest dilemma was money. He has bought three camera bags already and one at a pretty hefty price. None of them have served him well on the trail yet, so he did not want to spend more money on a plan that did not work. So with some quick thinking we came up with a good solution. He will be using my husbands old backpack and stuffing one of his smaller, padded camera backpacks inside for organization and protection.

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This way he can still carry a water bladder, which no camera bag has ever allowed him to do, and snacks along with the gear he feels he will need on the trail. Here is a look at what the inside looks like.

IMG_1925 For now we zip tied the smaller camera backpack straps down into a smaller size near the top so they would not take up space. After our trip, if this seems to work out, he plans to either cut them off permanently or purchase just the padded organizer that would be needed for his gear. He did find this system to be much more well balanced on his hips during todays trial hike. He also thought it was great to have water along which is huge where we are headed on vacation. So this seems to be the setup he is going to try and we all hope it works out to be better.

As for the trail we hiked today, lets just say I was a very happy hiker today. I saw only frogs and no snakes. Just the way I like it:)  IMG_1926  IMG_1922

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Apostle Islands Sea Caves and a Great Family Friendly Hotel

The last day of our vacation was spent taking the grand tour of the Apostle Islands sea caves. We boarded the boat at 10 a.m. and returned to the dock at 1:15 p.m.. We traveled with Apostle Islands Cruises.

We were two of the lucky 37 people allowed on the top deck for prefect viewing of everything around us. (If you want to be on the top deck, be in line early, it is first come first serve.)

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They took us around many of the islands, pointing out facts about each one along the way. I saw a commercial fishing boat in action for the first time and could not believe the amount of sea gulls waiting for a hand out.

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We eventually came upon the caves. Simply amazing!!!! I really have no words to explain how magnificent they were.

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The cruise company made sure to make enough passes so that each side of the boat could get close up pictures They were patient and a wonderful company to have traveled with.

****A word of advice, if I may. Bring a lot of sunscreen and water. Top deck is VERY hot and you are up there for many hours.

After our tour we tried to find somewhere to have lunch, but being it was a Saturday, everything was so busy with tourist we decided to head back to Ashland and have lunch there.

****Another word of advice, plan ahead, buy your tickets ahead for any tours, and make reservations ahead if you plan to be there on the weekends.

After lunch we headed back to our hotel, which I cannot say enough good things about. We have stayed at many AmericInn’s all over the state of WI and this is by far the most unique one yet.

This place could easily be a vacation destination all by itself and for not a lot of money. Besides the typical hotel rooms, they offer an indoor splash park (sorry no pics, we stayed far away from the kiddos,after all, it was my vacation too), free breakfast, and everything was clean and the staff was friendly.

Then you go to the back yard of the property and prepare to be amazed. Remember I said that they offered inner tubes for play time on Lake Superior, well that is not all they offer for FREE!!! Take a look….

A patio with chairs, tubes, life jackets, fishing poles and free bait in the lobby to fish with. A gas grill and charcoal grill for guest to use. Free smores ingredients to roast over a nightly bonfire.

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Yard game with a fun director on staff in the evening so parents can relax and kids can have fun:)

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A dock to fish off of or to sit and watch the sunset, which is what we did.

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A beach with chairs and two paddle boats are also parked behind the bush that you cannot see.

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And they even supply bug spray and sunscreen.

This was our picnic dinner our last night. We ate, played cards, and watched the sunset.

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They also have free bikes to use on the local trail near the hotel. And believe it or not, they even offer bug window cleaner for these nasty bay flies that these poor people found all over their vehicle one morning. (We made sure never to park next to any light posts)

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I really would seriously recommend this hotel to anyone, with or without kids. It had everything you could think of and then some.

And I do want to give a BIG SHOUT OUT to  the Honda Dealer in Ashland,WI. We ran into a little issue with one of our tires and showed up on the doorstep of their dealership 20 minutes before they closed for the weekend. They helped us, made our repair, and had us on our way again in a matter of minutes. What started as a little issue could have made our trip home a disaster but thanks to them, we made it home with no problems at all. Thank you so much!!!!

That was our summer vacation. Busy, active, fun and relaxing. Just like we like it. It’s just too bad we have to wait another year to plan another one…or maybe not.

If you have any specific questions regarding the Bayfield/Ashland area, Copperfalls State Park or any trails we hiked let me know. I will do my best to make your trip to this area as memorable as our is:)