Wave Riding Lake Michigan/Stand Up Paddling

Today we woke up to some breezy conditions outside which meant Lake Michigan may or may not be rough. We took a look at the web camera, and oh boy, we could see whitecaps, but my boys were determined to give it a try. I, on the other hand, was hoping for a nice little ripple to finally get the stand up paddle board on the big lake. Upon arrival, I knew the board would never leave the truck.

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My son, upon entering the water, debating, shall we or shall we not?

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They have done bigger waves on this lake before, so I knew they were going to go and try it. It’s really a matter of wave spacing. Sometimes it’s perfect and sometimes it’s not.

Getting ready to paddle.

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Ok, let’s go.

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After a while of paddling to get far enough out to ride a wave back,

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they figured out today would not be the day for Lake Michigan paddling. So they caught a few good ones and made their way back to shore.

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Then they said it was my turn to get wet. We headed to a near by lake so I could paddle my SUP. Hurray!!!!

Upon arriving, there were a ton of kids and families having picnics and swimming. Summer has finally arrived here.

We took a short paddle around the lake, and then really wanted to try out what we had learned in our recent paddling class. My son went first, and tried his turn. First on his knees.

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Then standing, one foot in front of the other.

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This is extremely difficult, as you can see. He went swimming again.

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Then it was my turn. No pics of me, but I assure you, I went swimming three times from the standing position. I have the kneeling position mastered though.

Then my husband tried his handstand again, and this time I actually was out of the water with the camera ready.

Getting in position

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And up he went

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Very graceful I must say. He even landed it right back on the board, unlike last time when he ended up in the lake. Very nice honey!

After a few hours of paddling and playing. It was picnic time. You will all be so proud of us, we actually utilized a picnic table this time instead of the tailgate of the truck.

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So, for a Sunday, it was a fun relaxing day in the little town of Algoma.

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Until next time,

Happy Paddling Everyone

Paddling Class with an Expert

On our last day away from home, we had the opportunity to attend a class with a paddling expert from Werner Paddles. Danny Mongo was our instructor for a stand up paddle board maneuvering and bracing class at a popular paddle shop in Madison, WI called Rutabaga. We signed up for this months ago, before I even could call myself the proud owner of a SUP.

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We awoke from a very stormy night to very ominous morning sky. Packing the vehicle to make our way to Madison, was quite depressing, to say the least.

I really wanted it to be sunny, hot and beautiful for our class. My husband kept reassuring me that it could pass through and be done by the time class started, but I was not so sure. We arrived in Madison, visited my favorite grocery store, Trader Joe’s and stopped for lunch before arriving at Rutabaga. While eating lunch, the skies brightened and the rain stopped.To our surprise, we left the restaurant and noticed it had gotten much more humid and hot outside. HURRAY! Let’s go paddling:)

We were a little early, so of course, because they have whitewater boats, my husband and son just had to try two of them out. They honestly have quite a big selection of anything and everything that floats.

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This company, has a nice little lake which is connected to Lake Monona, where you can “test drive” anything in their store. How awesome is that?

So the Jackson Zen and Karma were brought out.

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The boys tried them out, each in there first picks and then they switched. They paddled around and decided one was better then the other, but neither was quite ready to part with their own kayaks yet. (Thank Goodness) We really haven no more room for another kayak.

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Then it was time for class. We were all introduced to Danny Mongo from Werner Paddles, and all given some basic paddling information before hitting the water.

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We took the third level class, because we really needed to know how to do some more advanced techniques before we hit Lake Michigan. I can not say enough about how much we all learned. None of us even knew you could turn quickly the farther back on your board you stand, and just pivot it around. Now, let me remind you, alot of us went for a swim trying this out, including my husband and son. I must admit, I never really mastered this, because I am not confident standing that far back on my board. Maybe in time, possibly.

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Danny even got creative and did a yoga standing tree pose on his board, which was spectacular. Then my husband decided to try his yoga pose and did a warrior II. Very nice. If that was not enough, my hubby even stood on his head on his board. Straight up, and then straight in to the lake. Good job honey!!!!!

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(In case your wondering, we even played in the pond fountain. Fun,Fun,Fun)

We all left wet and happy. A big thanks goes out to Danny and Amelia for some great fun on the water. Thank You!

If you ever get the chance to take one of his classes, go for it. It was very rewarding. Now we need to find time to get to the big lake and see what we can do.

Happy Paddling Everyone.

A Father’s Day Paddle

There were no gifts exchanged in our home for Father’s Day. My husband’s wish for today was a great paddle down our favorite river, and he received just that.

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Father and son side by side on the surf.

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Mother nature cooperated perfectly, blessing us with beautiful blue skies all day.

We even had the pleasure of introducing my husband’s work partner to the river we wanted to a week ago, but had to go else where because of high water levels. This is always exciting for us. Either they love it and try everything or they hate it and never return. He was very willing to try just about everything. From sliding down the big rock using my kayak,because it was just safer than his for this stunt.

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To getting his first surfing lesson. Instructions coming from our son, and the rescue boat being my husband. (I was just the picture person)

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Then it was boogie board time. This was the first time this year in the water playing. Temps had finally warmed up to tolerable,and it was terrific.

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We ended the day with a smiling kayaker, which for us means success.

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Then it was time for our tailgate Father’s Day dinner and the very tired drive home.

Hope you all had a great Father’s Day!

Another day of paddling and another pair of lost sunglasses…

Today was another day of paddling, just not as high adventure as yesterday. I finally got to take my new stand up paddle board out in a near by lake that we enjoy occasionally. Small lakes are not usually our first pick of bodies of water, but at this time of year, it is much warmer than Lake Michigan, which is where we would prefer to stand up paddle. So, my son and husband had the recreational kayaks to fish from, and I had my new board.

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When we exited the truck upon arrival, we all sort of took a deep breath, because this lake is located near Lake Michigan, and the air temperature, compared to when we left home was already quite cooler. I knew this would not be great, even with the sun shining but I was determined to enjoy my new board. I paddled first while the boys ventured off to fish.I was not nearly as shaky as the test run I took before purchasing it. It felt quite natural to tell the truth. I absolutely love it!!!!

After I was done, it was my husband turn. He took a tour of the lake on the search for fish, but did find much.

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Then is was my son’s turn. If you recall a past post when we went test driving the boards, he did not try one out. He was in charge of pictures, and besides, the river we had to test them out on is not a great river to fall into. He opted out, and took our word for it which board was the one we wanted. So, this was his first time on a board since last summer. He was somewhat shaky at first, but after he found his happy feet spot, he was off paddling like he was a pro. That is until he was coming into the beach area to end his trip. He flip the paddle to lay it on the board and hit his sunglasses and in they went. Right to the bottom of the lake.

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We usually loose one pair of sunglasses every year to a river or lake. I guess this year we are stating off quite early.

After boarding and fishing, we had a picnic lunch and decided to pack it all up and head home. I ate lunch with three shirts on and wrapped in a beach towel, I was so cold. Can you imagine if I was wet? Oh my, I don’t even want to think about being that chilly. So, we knew there was no hope of me going back for another paddle, at least not today.

Since I had been delaying grocery shopping because I knew we were going to be out most of the weekend, we did not have a whole lot of choices for dinner. So, we called it a night, found the take out menu for a local restaurant, made some margaritas, and relaxed on the front porch together in the sunshine.

We now have one day left of our long weekend. The first thing on the agenda early tomorrow morning will be grocery shopping. Then who knows. Maybe disc golf, maybe a hike or geocaching or maybe even some tennis. We’ll see what unfolds tomorrow.

I hope your all having a a great weekend so far.