If The Bears Are Ready, I Should Be Too

Did you hear the bears in Yellowstone National Park are starting to come out of hibernation already? The officials feel it’s because of the recent warm weather in the area. I suppose that means I need to start thinking about crawling out of my den too.

Last week was the first time we took a walk outdoors in months and actually enjoyed it. It was about 32 degrees and the sun was still shining after work so we went with it and gave it a try. I did need my big winter jacket, hat and gloves yet, but I did not shiver one shake.

I’m also on a mission to seek out a double stroller to purchase. As soon as it hits a comfortable temperature we will get back to our daily walks and I can’t wait. With two infants in tow, I will need to make an investment in one of these two seaters real soon. However, my luck of finding one so far has not been good. The search continues…..

We have also started stocking up on some of our favorite snack foods for our trail and river journey’s. We have a box we keep fully stocked for our active months. This way I can avoid running to the store every time we get the urge to just pick up and go. I plan to do a post on all our favorites, especially since the epic Pop-Tart fail of 2015. You can watch for this post in the upcoming week or so.

As for the upcoming weekend, we have a few options on the list to take advantage of. It’s my birthday and I am hoping to spend a portion of it outside. We may attempt snowshoeing for the first time this winter if the temperatures cooperate. We could also give ice skating a try since our son just purchased new skates last weekend. Although, I am not an ice skater, I don’t mind watching. I also have a new restaurant picked out for us to visit for lunch on Saturday. All this should be fun and something to look forward to. I  overheard my husband mention that the end of ice fishing season is getting near, so he is hoping to spend Sunday on the ice. This is something he is on his own for. I am not a fan of ice fishing…..way to cold, and neither is our son. Again, we’ll see if all this actually happens. We are really good at over planning and for some reason we run out of hours on the weekends.

With all this and many plans already made for the upcoming months, I feel that it may be time to start poking my head out and getting a little glimpse of life again. What about you?

What is the one thing you can’t wait to do when Spring arrives?

 

 

 

 

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My Countdown To Spring Begins…

Every year about this time I start counting down the days till Spring.

Easter is usually the goal for me. It is my favorite holiday! It has nothing to do with a family gathering, the food, the pastel colors in every store you shop or Easter egg hunts. It is simply because this is normally the first real outing we take as a family into the outdoors and share Easter our way. After being cooped up in the house for months with freezing temperatures outside and snow everywhere, I look forward to Easter more than anyone I know.

So what do I do until Easter….I wait patiently (well, sometimes not so patiently, but I try). After the Christmas and New Year holidays is when winter really sets in for me. Although, as a family, we have so much to look forward to come spring that I do really try and prepare. Spring is when the ice turns into water again, which means our rivers start running, trails start thawing out and my kayak and stand up paddle board hanging on the garage wall looks more and more appealing every day:) We have in the past been known to paddle next to ice chunks in the river. Although, I will admit, I am not a big fan of this. You want to know what cold is, try paddling in March.

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In preparation for all this, I really concentrate on my workouts. You cannot sit around all winter and expect to just jump back into whitewater kayaking,standup paddling or hiking long distances without some pain. Which is why I work hard all winter to stay conditioned to do what I wait to do all winter long. I find it so rewarding to hike up a cliff without even a thought of, “can I make it?” Or paddle our first river of the year and wonder, “will my arms hurt when we get to the take out point?” Typically, I worry more about whether or not I will do something stupid and flip over into the ice cold river…but we don’t need to discuss that.

Another way we prepare is by attending our favorite expo that is held every year in Madison, WI. Canoecopia  2014 is at the beginning of March. It is the one place where we can go as a family and actually fit in with the crowd and have a conversation with people that do what we do. Since we have started kayaking, we have seen more and more people with the colorful floating vessels atop there vehicles on the highway. Sadly, they are used mainly on lakes a time or two and then left to collect dust hanging in the rafters. And even sadder, very few are whitewater kayaks, which is what we enjoy. Who knows, maybe it’s just Wisconsin, but the lack of inactive people always seems to amaze me.

As far as our Easter outing goes, we typically will plan a hike, praying that most of the snow and ice have melted away. Believe it or not, a few years ago Easter was when I consumed my first freeze dried meal. We hiked up a cliff up north and prepared our Easter meal from atop looking over the horizon. One year we packed a picnic lunch, loaded our packs and headed to one of my favorite lookouts, Devil’s Lake.

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Another year we hiked Rib Mountain in Wausau.

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Another year we had the best Easter on the books so far. We snowshoed into a yurt on lake Superior for the Easter weekend. Now this was an adventure. We even had company join us one of the mornings. A whole pack of wolves were a little too near by for my liking.

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This year we have not decided quite yet where will celebrate, all I know is as long as it’s outside it will be a fabulous holiday.

I would like to just point out, we do invite our family to our Easter celebration every year but so far not a single one has decided to spend Easter with us. They just don’t know what they are missing….

So for the time being, I will continue to mark off every day until Spring arrives. No one will be waiting more for the days of ice cream cones,

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picnics

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or some fun filled days of paddling more than I will.

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Until then let the sun shine and the days get longer…

Looking Back ….

Did you all have a great holiday? We did. Looking back, I can’t believe everything we did in just a few days.

It all started with my first night geocache, where you use a flashlight and follow reflectors strategically place in the woods to find the actual cache. VERY fun, EXTREMELY cold (8 degrees) but I have high hopes to do this again when it’s a little warmer. (I have no pics because I was shivering too hard to even try and hold the camera steady, sorry)

Let’s see, we also moved our son back home because he has decided to transfer schools back to our hometown.We hosted Christmas Eve with my brother and his family, then went to my in laws and celebrated with my husband’s family. Christmas morning we had a wonderful breakfast.

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Then proceeded to open gifts in our jammies. I love celebrating with just the three of us, in jammies, with no where to go, no time restraints or worries. After gift opening we decided to do what we do best, head outdoors for some fun. We went snowshoeing for a couple hours.

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We saw some beautiful winter scenes.

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Arriving back at the truck with some hot chocolate waiting for us.

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After this it was back home for some relaxing family time. Our son even took a nap for two hours!

Thursday brought a day to celebrate our son’s birthday. He chose a great pizza place to visit for dinner.

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Then he ventured out later that night with a friend from high school to do something I think is just crazy. They went kayak sledding. Yes, that’s right, sledding down a snowy hill with their whitewater kayaks!!!! Dad would have normally joined in on the fun, but they left too late and he had to work in the morning so his fun will have to wait until next time. Myself on the other hand, will not do this. I like my water unfrozen, warm and the sun to be shining brightly in the sky.

The weekend brought ice fishing for my hubby that went very well. He caught his limit of fish which we enjoyed for lunch the next day.

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I was able to get in two wonderful workouts, which always makes me happy.  I also was able to get all the holiday decor put away.

Finally, as of today our normal routine is back and life will once again have some order to it.

I am working on a challenge for the New Year that I will post Wednesday. Not so much a New Year’s resolution but a “gift” I think we can all give ourselves for the New Year. So make sure you take a quick peak on Wednesday and see if your interested in challenging yourself.

Until then…