Deer Path Trail In Hartman Creek State Park, Waupaca, WI

Everyone who visits Waupaca,WI will have been told to check out Hartman Creek State Park and the Chain O Lakes. Without a doubt these two places are two of the fine treasures of this area. If you do anything that involves a paddle you must make a trip to paddle the Chain O Lakes.

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However, since our first visit here a few years back I have been wanting to hike this area and never seem to find the time…that is until now. I made the trip this past weekend for a solo hike on Deer Path Trail in Hartman Creek State Park.

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Deer path trail was about a mile long and I would easily rate this as easy. One of the shortest hikes in the park but one I found to be very nice and peaceful.

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This trail loops around Allen Lake and the trail head and parking lot are easily located by good signage upon entering the main entrance of the park.

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I did print off a trail map before leaving home, however, for this trail it was well marked and easy to follow without needing the map. You basically follow the lake around.

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Kids could have so much fun hiking this trail. There were so many places to easily access the lake to search for critters and such and many benches for mom and dad to sit and let them explore while hiking.

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Terrain on this trail changed a few times. It starts out with a small trail which was not pleasant for me since I prefer wide trails for the simple reason it’s easier to see snakes. However, it widens and narrows throughout the entire mile and brings you through a pine forest, up a few hills, and one big trail hazard I had to climb over but I am sure the park employees will take care of this in the near future.

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If your looking for a nice, quick hike in this area and don’t want to spend a lot of time researching a trail, this would be an easy one for anyone to do. Or if your camping in the park and need your children occupied while you relax, this is perfect. Bring some little nets, a bucket, and maybe a magnifying glass and let them explore while you relax.

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Bonus Freezer Meals, Big Decisions, and Bad Luck For Someone All Rolled Into One Week

After a fabulous Easter dinner last Sunday with my husband and son we had, once again, tons of food left over for the week.

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Which meant I had to come up with ideas to use up the leftovers. From ham soup to ham and hash brown egg bake…we enjoyed ham for a few days.

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I also needed to concentrate on restocking our freezer meals so I planned the weekly menu around doing this. We enjoyed no boil lasagna one night and sloppy joes another. Both meals leaving plenty to package and freeze for fast lunches to send with my husband for work.

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Workouts this week were pretty good. I am still dealing with a sore middle back….but foam rolling has been offering some relief. I think some of it may be stress which I am trying to figure out and deal with.

Easter Sunday: 2.5 mile hike with my husband

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Monday: another 2.5 mile hike on the same trail….only much, much colder and windy today and upper body weights at home

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Tuesday: gym: 30 minute elliptical, abs and legs workout, and foam rolling my back muscles

Wednesday: 3 mile evening walk and upper body weights at home

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Thursday: gym : 30 minute elliptical and stretching

Friday: rest

Saturday: solo hike on two different trails for a total of 4 miles

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Some weeks it helps to try and find the positive and not focus on the negatives. Not that it was that bad of a week but there are some decisions I am struggling with and I know I have to deal with them soon. Losing sleep over things I cannot change is one thing but losing sleep over things I can change is another. It’s not good for anyone since I really need my sleep. So I need to get on this and soon.

On the positive side of things….at least I am not this guy with this dilemma!!!!! Mother Nature and her fury won again after a windy ride on the Bay of Green Bay, this guy had his sail ripped right from his hands and thrown up into a tree. Talk about bad luck….Yikes!!!!

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Wisconsin Is Once Again Coming Alive After A Long Winter

My husband and I took a chance this weekend and visited a trail that we thought would be very wet and mushy after the long winter…..but to our surprise it was very nice and had very few wet spots.

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There is nothing better than seeing wildlife and individuals out and about coming back to life, shall we say, after being cooped up all winter protected from the snow and cold.

We walked for maybe a bit more than an hour on this trail and we saw and heard so much it was literally music to our ears.

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It was so peaceful and such a wonderful relaxing walk. That is until…..I almost stepped on two of these just before heading back to our vehicle.(Pics are courtesy of my husband since I did not hang around to capture the moment)

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There is something to be said about a leisurely walk through the woods after a long winter.

****Just in case your all counting since I seem to attrack snakes….the snakes are winning so far this year. I have gone on two spring hikes and have seen 4 snakes total so far. It looks like it may be a stressful year of hiking for me.

 

Weekend Recap….REI Garage Sale Deals, BBQ, and a Trail

We had a fantastic weekend….I can’t believe it’s over with already.

Our weekend started with an early morning rise and shine wake up at 4a.m. to leave and hit the road by 5a.m. and travel to our nearest REI outdoor store for a “garage sale”. This is something we do about twice a year and this time we brought our son and his friend along for their first one ever. Even though it was cold(very cold) and very early…it sure was nice to stand in line and talk with individuals that have done we we do. Many of us have seen the same places and have experienced the awwww that we have experienced in our adventures. The way that we can all understand each other and the need to be outside and in nature is something I cherish since many people don’t understand the meaning behind what we do. Anyhow, this is always quite an event. We have seen breakfast prepared in line numerous times.

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It’s sort of like Black Friday for outdoor lovers since there is always people that camp out overnight.

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However, this time we really were quite chilled. I ended up sitting in the vehicle twice to warm up in two hours of waiting in line, all while the guys kept our spot.

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In the end it was all worth it. I found my next pair of Keen hiking boots, my first pair of Chaco sandals, my husband found some treasures, and so did our son. Well worth the early wake up call, the chill we had for the rest of the day, and the fun we had chatting with others.

After this it was one more retail store….Trader Joe’s….oh boy, did we find treasures here and then it was time to eat lunch. We were all very hungry and I had been told of this BBQ restaurant in the near by city of Grafton from a friend. Which was also on our way home so we decided to give it a try. What a nice little city this ended up being.

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We found this restaurant easily located off the highway.

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The atmosphere was clean, friendly and welcoming.

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The menu was huge….so much to choose from and so many great entrees.

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And when our food arrived I was in heaven. And remember, I am not a big meat eater and this was some of the best BBQ I have ever eaten. I ordered the brisket reuben and its was fabulous.

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It was so huge I hardly touched my fries. They offer six different style BBQ sauces at the table for you to choose from and numerous different sides to replace the fries if you wish.I highly recommend visiting this place if your in the area of Grafton, WI and love BBQ.

Sunday consisted of meal prep, chores, and a solo trail walk since the hubby was off doing his own thing and our son was working.

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I came across the first snake sighting of 2017 that I could actually capture a picture of since he had no hope of moving anytime soon. If you know how much I LOVEĀ  despise these creatures, you will also know this was the best way for me to see them….dead!

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I also witness a boy catch a very nice northern pike on the Bay of Green Bay ice fishing.

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All in all it was a wonderful weekend. Lots of family time, some alone time, and some much needed fun all wrapped into two days.

First Hike Of 2017

We decided to forgo the gym on January 1st. and hike since the sun was shining and I came down with some sort of nasty respiratory bug which made working out difficult the day before. Plus, my husband was dying to try out his new GPS we bought him for Christmas.

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We headed to my favorite nearby trail to see if the construction signs were removed yet and the trail had reopened. Upon arrival, I was thrilled to see it open….it had been closed for at least the last 6 months. We wasted no time making tracks in the snow since it was too cold to stand around.

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The temperature was about 20 degrees when we arrived but the winds were quite low which made this hike fairly tolerable for this time of year. The trail did have varying depths of snow cover but was still easy to maneuver through.

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It felt so good to be outside and soak up some natural sunshine. It has been weeks since I have ventured onto any trail in the area.

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Even though my toes were cold by the time we were finished, it was a great way to start the new year.

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Today we hiked the first 3 miles(almost) of many more to come this year.

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Did you do anything special on January 1st?

Back To Normal Life Once Again

Well, this week meant it was time to return to normal life again. Which meant back to work, errands, appointments, cooking and a little fun thrown in here and there. If only we could stay on vacation forever…..but then I believe it’s called retirement….right? And I am not even nearly close to that yet!

One thing I did not miss this week were those steps we had been training on for weeks prior to this trip.

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Yes, they made my legs feel so strong but they also took away my gym time which I love. The gym is my place to go for mental health treatment….a good workout is great for the mind. As of next week, by the time I get done working and dinner is over it will be dark, which means we plan to return to the gym on a normal basis.

Sunday I came down with what I call “plane plague”….you know…the every time you fly you get sick kinda thing. Which really put a bit of a kabosh to any big workouts because my head, throat, body….well let’s just say everything hurt.

So here is what I did manage for workouts this week:

Sunday: 4 mile hike with my son on an area trail

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Monday: floor weights/stretching, 3 mile walk with all the ghosts and goblins in our area

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Tuesday: 30 minutes on the recumbent bike, and weight lifting

Wednesday: 30 minute recumbent bike, floor workout, 3 mile walk

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Thursday: rest

Friday: floor workout with weights and stretching

Saturday: 4 mile hike with a friend

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As for meals this week…..I made a big batch of veggie soup and a big batch of slow cooker beef stew. This way we could eat a meal off both and freeze the remainder for quick, grab and go meals for lunches since our freezer meals were running a bit low.

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And to top off the week, I was treated to an awesome dinner of hibachi/sushi with my brother. WOW, was it fantastic!!!!

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Hiking Terrell’s Island

After a great suggestion from a fellow reader I finally found time to get out and hike Terrell’s Island near Omro, WI.

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This trailhead was fairly easy to find and offers ample parking and of course the most important part….a port a potty.

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Upon arrival you will notice many signs of what is allowed and what is not allowed at this area. There are trail maps and information boxes with a lot of information nearby.

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As you can see this trail is mark handicap accessible which is so wonderful. Not many long trails are so accommodating to persons with disabilities.

We decided to actually begin this trail backwards since the wind was strong and in the direction of blowing us backwards if we would have began at the #1 trail marker. Here is where we began our hike.

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This trail is actually a breakwater path that leads in and around a large area of Lake Butte Des Morts, which means we were almost always surrounded by water.

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There are ample opportunities to sit on provided benches and rest if needed.

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Eventually, I would say about a mile or so, from the end of this trail you will leave the waters edge and enter into a marshy area.

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At trail marker #4(remember we are going backwards) you will see in the distance another port a potty.

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You will finish the trail at the parking lot you began at, almost 4 miles later.

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We really enjoyed this hike. It’s long enough to offer a good walk, it’s on the water which is a plus for us, it’s well cared for by the club that owns it, and offers many different sights along the way. My advise to you would be, if it’s windy or cooler make sure you have a jacket. On the day we did this hike it was about 50 degrees and 15-20 mph winds which made it quite chilly.

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I would highly recommend this hike to anyone.

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