It’s Cooler By The Lake

As life would have it high heat and humidity in WI bring the risk of sever thunderstorms which brings a quick change of plans. So what do we do to escape the heat but still be outside, we head to the lake….Lake Michigan that is.

IMG_8184

Originally, we had plans to paddle the chain of Lakes in Waupaca but quickly made a change since the sustained winds were 30mph or higher and thunderstorms were a possibility. We have been there, done that before, and we were not willing to relive this possibility again. However, it was a weekend, the sun was shining, and it was HOT! Which meant I wanted to be outside where I am happiest, so my husband suggested we head lakeside and tour lighthouses and walk the piers since the waves would be fun to see. I was all in!!!

We started in Kewaunee, WI but were quickly disappointed to find the lighthouse was under construction and the pier was closed.

IMG_8155

We did see a wedding just finishing up lakeside. What a gorgeous place to say I love You!

IMG_8156

Being we have been here many times before, we also brought the watermelon rind from the watermelon I cut up before leaving home and grabbed a few carrots to feed to the deer at a local wildlife park in this area. They seemed to enjoy the cool treats.

IMG_8165

IMG_8170

IMG_8178

Next we headed to Algoma, WI and had lunch at a place my husband has eaten at numerous times for business lunches but I have only visited once with a friend for coffee. Wow, what a fabulous lunch we had. They have an enormous menu, indoor and outdoor seating(with blankets provided since it’s always cooler by the lake), and some wonderful desserts which we did not indulge in sadly.

IMG_8179

IMG_8180

After lunch we visited the Algoma pier which waves were crashing over so hard that we were also not able to walk to the end. Although, the view was quite spectacular and it was much colder…..87 at home….64 in Algoma! BRRRRR!!!!

IMG_8213

IMG_8214

IMG_8217

Even the pelicans seemed to be struggling in the high winds.

IMG_8221

IMG_8219

Our last pier of the day was Sturgeon Bay. This is always my favorite. It’s so beautiful.

IMG_8189

IMG_8204

IMG_8188

IMG_8192

While here we even got to witness a “not so wise” family attempt to take on the waves with their boat and quickly decided it was too much to handle when the turned back around shortly after.

IMG_8207

Thankfully, the coast guard boat never had to leave the dock and rescue them. However, whether they know it or not, on shore they had quite the audience watching them attempt this crazy stunt.

IMG_8190

And that was our Saturday…..still spent outside but at times I did have to wear my jacket.So if your looking for a break from the heat and humidity you can never go wrong heading to the lake shore and exploring the area. It has so much to offer… just don’t forget a light jacket.

As for Sunday, much of the same weather was expected so I stayed home and did some things of my own and my husband and son headed out for a quick fishing trip. Successful fishing trip it was…..here is what they brought home. WOW!!!!

IMG_8231

IMG_8228

 

Some Of The Best Places Are The Places You Never Planned To Visit

While on road trips we have stumbled upon some of the greatest areas in our state. On our way home from camping recently, we visited Big Falls county park that really made me want to dust off my kayak paddle and relive 5 years ago in the whitewater rapids.

IMG_7777

Instead, I settled for dipping my feet in for awhile since it was freezing cold. It’s also been awhile since I have tackled any sort of rapids with my kayak. Although, we may give it a try this summer since our son may have the time to join us and be the chase vehicle.

IMG_7774

At this county park we visited it was lined with huge rocks along the river and offered hiking, fishing, and even pothole excavation for treasures.

IMG_7770

IMG_7773

IMG_7783

IMG_7769

I can only imagine this place in mid summer being packed with people with all the sand, swimming, and fishing that could happen here. We can definitely add this to the list of one more amazing place we have stumbled upon while we escape the big city where we live.

IMG_7764

***There is a $3 fee to park and enter this park.

Interstate State Park -St. Croix Falls, WI/Taylor Falls, MN

Hi, we are back from our extended weekend adventure to Interstate State Park located on the border of WI and MN.I had been looking forward to this park for quite some time and in all honesty, I was quite disappointed. Not so much in the park itself but in the hiking trails.

The park itself was gorgeous….but if you are looking for a good hike, distance is not to be had here at all. Most hikes seem to be over before we even started. Even the hard rated hike of Summit Rock was quite easy. A beautiful hike but not difficult by any means.

IMG_7649

IMG_7652

IMG_7655

IMG_7656

IMG_7690

IMG_7661

IMG_7664

We also combined the Echo Canyon trail since they basically intersect. This brought us low and right next to the St Croix.

IMG_7667

IMG_7665

IMG_7674

IMG_7679

After this we then added the River Bluff trail and the Lake O the Dalles trail to make our total hike a whopping 2.65 miles of hiking. However, we did find a few geocaches along this trail which added to the adventure.

IMG_7697

IMG_7698

Like I said, someone could easily do this entire park in a few hours since nothing is very long. All these trails were accessed from the Summit Trail parking lot.

IMG_7700

After these we headed to another parking lot to do the most popular trail in the park according to the park ranger I spoke to before leaving home regarding hikes and fishing regulations. By this time, I was pretty much hoping for a spectacular hike since so far I was not thrilled. We arrived knowing it was a short hike(less than a half mile round trip) but apparently there are some amazing pot holes to see. Which there were when we got to them but nothing I would call amazing. At least not on the WI side of this park. Here is one picture I took of our friend standing inside one of the potholes.

IMG_7704

We then packed up and headed across HWY. 8 to the Minnesota side of the park and took the small hike of 8 city blocks to see their Pothole trail. This was much more impressive even if it was only 8 blocks long.

IMG_7705

IMG_7711

IMG_7713

IMG_7716

IMG_7724

The guys even resorted to making there own fun by doing pull ups on a pine tree branch.

IMG_7718

IMG_7720

All in all both sides were very short, nice views but short. And by far if you are looking to see potholes in the rocks make your way to the Minnesota side since it is much more impressive.

The rest of the day we spent fishing on the WI side of the park and then headed back to camp which I will share this part of our trip next….when I have time to type it. Let me just say, camp was much more fun and we had some great laughs that’s for sure!!!!

IMG_7736

IMG_7738

IMG_7744

*****Yes, to answer the first question I will surely receive by many people looking to visit this park….you do need to pay on both sides if you do not have a WI state park pass and also a MN state park pass.

***** Yes, fishing rules are different on WI vs. MN sides so do your research and make sure you know what you can fish for and how to transport them over the state line if you plan to keep your catch.

Geocaching, Disc Golf, Fishing, Hiking….Just Not Enough Time In One Weekend

Do you ever feel like you never have enough time in one weekend to do everything you wish to do? We do quite often…this past weekend was one of them. However, we did fit in quite a bit of fun along with some chores that needed to be done also.

First off, Saturday morning we wanted to cross off a few things on the to do list so we made a trip to a local retailer to buy 8 bags of mulch.

IMG_7338

While I spread mulch around our house my husband prepared the boat for the 2017 season and also pressure washed outside toys, tables, chairs, and high chairs from the long winter. This always brightens up everything and is so easy to do.

IMG_7339

Add in a few loads of laundry and some bedding that was cleaned and hung outside to dry and it was now time to have some fun.

We finally went geocaching. In case you missed our new goal announcement, we have decided to section hike the entire Mountain Bay Trail and while doing this we also plan to search and find all the placed geocaches along the way.

IMG_7348

IMG_7342

We searched and found all but two in a 4.5 mile section.One was not even attempted do to the width of the ditch of water that would have had to be jumped across and one was simply not located. The trail was quite quiet in this section and offered us some well deserved peace and quiet time.

IMG_7344

Oh, and without leaving out the best worst part of the whole hike, I can now add four more snakes to the list….these things literally make my heart skip a beat. I have a feeling it’s going to be a bad year for these little critters….or maybe I should say, a bad year for me since I seem to be the one to always find them.

IMG_7347

That sums up Saturday…. a productive, yet fun day.

Sunday I woke up later than my husband to breakfast prepared for me. How wonderful was that….I have the best husband ever, in my opinion.

IMG_7357

After breakfast we went fishing for a few hours on a local river. I am not the biggest fan of fishing but sometimes its fun to give it a try. Today was not my lucky day….I caught nothing!! My husband was the lucky one and caught two, both of which he threw back, but its the catch that is the exciting part not cleaning and eating of the catch.

IMG_7360

IMG_7362

After this it was a quick trip home for lunch and to pick up our son after he was done working. We had made family plans to hit the disc golf course for the first time this year. This is always fun since we normally are pretty rusty at first. Although, to my surprise I did much better at this than fishing. My first basket I achieved in two throws….with disgust from both my husband and my son. Ahhh, it sure felt good to throw a disc again.

IMG_7365

18 baskets later and it was home for dinner and relaxation time before the week once again.

 

I Am Ready To Hike Mountains Again… Plus Some Weekend Snapshots

Another summer weekend with sun, fun and family has come and gone. With a bonus being I had a three day weekend which I wasted no time enjoying. First, let’s catch up a bit on last weeks big news.

Last week was a little nuts around here. I decided that after our family vacation to Minnesota’s North Shore and no real issues with the hiking/rock bouldering that we did during this vacation that maybe I was ready to go bigger once again. My husband knew I was watching flight prices the past year for a trip back south but then January happened and all was scrapped until I felt better again. Well, I believe that time has come and I am once again ready to hike some mountains. This time our destination is Arizona…..and I am over the moon excited to experience life elevated once again. Tickets are purchased, hotels are reserved, and permits have been applied for. Let the planning begin…..

That all happened Tuesday-Thursday….then Friday rolled around and one of my daycare dad’s surprised me by keeping his son with him for the day which meant I had the day off. BONUS!!!!! With no hesitation I made plans from sun up to sun down literally. My Friday started by getting my husband off to work bright and early as usual. Then I ate some breakfast and headed to the gym for a morning workout…..my absolute favorite time to work out.

IMG_3784

Then I called to see if any eye appointments were open yet that day. And another bonus….they had a 10:45 still open…..I took it. I really, really needed to get new prescription sunglasses.

IMG_5032

While waiting for my glasses to be made, I ran some errands and stopped at home to do some laundry. Then my husband returned home and both my boys headed back out for a night of fishing together. I had made plans to have dinner with a friend, do some shopping and walk a recreation trail.

IMG_3328

I finally returned home at 8:15p.m. to quickly make some dinner for my boys when they finally returned home and I went to bed.

Then Saturday rolled around and I was moving pretty slow. I was tired but ready nothing a cup of coffee wouldn’t fix. We had made plans to paddle Sawyer Harbor in Potawatomi State Park. This was our first time here and it was very relaxing. We arrived to find the parking lot was very large, your park pass includes your launch fee, restrooms are on site, fish cleaning house is also on site, and kayakers are very familiar with this area. Here are some pics from our day at Sawyer Harbor.

IMG_5102

IMG_5075

IMG_5037

IMG_5067

IMG_5045

IMG_5069

IMG_5043

IMG_5072

IMG_5062

IMG_5065

It was a great day spent doing what we all love. The boys did some fishing, I paddled and tube floated for awhile, we shared a family picnic and later in the afternoon we even managed a hike at this same park.

More on that hike coming up……

 

 

The Good, Bad, and Ugly

****If you are squeamish refrain from reading this post.

This week I have handled it all….a bit of good, bad and ugly.

My week started out with a very good walk with a friend. We walked, talked, enjoyed wildlife, and felt great by the end.

IMG_4100

A bit of bad this week was that our son bid farewell to his Jackson Karma kayak. He had decided to sell it about two weeks ago and the person buying it came to pick it up this week. Life is changing here at our house very quickly. We are looking at it as we are aging gracefully…..all of us. He is planning on purchasing more of a touring kayak for his photography purposes and we are not sure what that means for my husband and myself as far as kayaking goes. We have always struggled to find paddlers to join us. And honestly, after talking with the gentleman that bought our son’s kayak, he has always had the same issues. For now we are keeping our river kayaks but our eyes are open to other opportunities in this sport. We plan to attend a kayak demo in the area and see what they have to offer but for the time being, we just aren’t ready to give up the flow of a great river.

IMG_4113

I also handled a bit of an ugly situation that was not expected this week. I was typing away in another room when I heard my husband arrive home, enter through the back door and our son say, “OMG what did you do???” to his dad. I immediately knew to go have a look. I entered the kitchen to see my husband with blood all over his sweatshirt, down the leg of his jeans and his hand wrapped up with his own sock. IMG_4109

As a wife of a very accident prone husband, I could only hope some of this blood was from a fish he caught since he was fishing while this happened. However, I knew in my heart, this was not the case. He had been wader fishing and fell on some slippery rocks puncturing his hand quite deep, cutting his wrist, and palm.We immediately assessed the injury, cleaned it up and debated if we needed to take a trip to the emergency room. We opted to take care of things at home, since we have had our fill of hospitals this year so far. Nothing was broke and the bleeding had, for the most part, stopped while he drove home from his favorite fishing hole. Needless to say, once he was cleaned up, wrapped up and medicated a bit, he was done for the day. But, he did catch some awesome fish!

IMG_4110

Along with some good days filled with sunshine this week, a really bad list that made me even sadder to live where I live, and a really ugly week at the gym with only one visit all week. I am just happy to finally have a weekend with sunshine and warmth upon us. We have a list a mile long….some fun, some work, so I better get at it.

See you all next week.

Get outside and enjoy some sunshine!

 

 

Work Before Play

We had the best weekend here in our area. It was sunny, warm, and just plain beautiful. I have been known to be energized by sunlight which drives my husband and son a bit bonkers at times, but this past weekend it paid off. We got so much done it’s crazy but so worth it. Every year around this time we all want to get out and have some fun after being locked up in our house all winter long. Although, I am a stickler to the rule of work before play. Which is exactly what we did this weekend.

Our chore list consisted of:

go to the laundry mat to wash all rugs and big comforters….done!

IMG_1851

shred cheese to freeze….done!

IMG_3679

swap snowblower and shovels for lawnmower and rakes/clean out the shed….done!

IMG_3675

wash curtains throughout the house, vacuum out both vehicles and get car washes….done, done, done!

place the order for wine slush to be prepared for summer…..done!

IMG_2725

laminate workout diagrams to hang in my home gym for future use…..done!

IMG_3677

Our Play List Was:

Ahhh, all the work for the day is complete. Now it was time to do something fun. Originally my husband and I were going to do something together but it was so nice outside that we decided to go separate directions for a few hours. He went fishing to one of his favorite fishing holes IMG_2671

and I went for a solo hike to one of my favorite trails.

IMG_3689

I had been hoping all week that I would arrive at this trail and it would be dry enough to hike the entire distance. Thankfully when I arrived it was exactly what I was hoping to find…dry. It was also so alive with Spring, from eagles flying overhead, IMG_3701

to geese looking for open water,

IMG_3692

and caterpillars coming to life again after a long winter.

IMG_3697

It was so great to just be outside, feeling good, and breathing fresh air that I even sat on the bench near the end of the trail for awhile and just listened to all the life around me.

IMG_3696

It was quite the weekend. We accomplished so much, each had our own bit of fun, and even found time to relax and enjoy life before another work week begins.

What is your favorite thing to do when Spring weather comes?

Do you work before play or play and then work?