Laughing Whitefish Waterfall/State Park-Michigans U.P.

Another one of our stops while in Michigans U.P.Labor Day weekend was Laughing Whitefish State Park. Apparently, this is one of Michigans tallest waterfalls and it is located on some rock that many people find it fun to walk on.

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Upon arriving you will need to pay a $9 daily fee to view this waterfall and use this park. It’s on the honor system so make sure you have the proper change and a pen to fill out the paperwork. Ample parking is available and a bathroom at the start of the trail is available but is quite disgusting….or at least it was when we visited.

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The trail to the falls is fairly flat crushed gravel/dirt.

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This is the one waterfall that had, by far, the most steps of every one we visited the entire weekend. Layer after layer of steps and platforms you had to climb….and what goes down must come back up!!!!

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For me personally, the caves that you could view along the way were the best pa of this waterfall hike. They were quite amazing and made for a cool view along the way.

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This was not my favorite waterfall but more because of the people than because of the scenery. However, it is not one to pass up either, so give it a try you may get lucky and have a better crowd than we did when we visited.

 

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Wagner Falls-Michigans U.P.

Wagner Falls in Michigans U.P. is easy to miss since you come upon it right on the side of MI-94. Parking is very limited and many people we found later in the day parking along the actual highway itself. We lucked out and actually got an actual parking space since we arrived early in the morning hours.

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There are no restrooms here, no fee is charged, and most of the hike is on a wooden platform path.

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Again, as at most Michigan waterfalls, you will come to the end of the path and have to climb stairs to the viewing platform. Although, here there are not many at all and the falls can be seen a bit from the end of the path without climbing the steps.

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Our son and his friend even braved past the viewing platform since it was early and no one was here yet to try and capture a closer photo of this waterfall. Being a mom who believes rules are meant to be broken I told them to go for it…..mom fail…. I know but it is what it is.

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The falls were beautiful in the morning hours, the walkway was slippery due to the morning dew that had covered it, and the actual walk in was short and easy.

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Miners Falls-Michigan U.P.

One of our favorite waterfalls in Michigans U.P. is Miners Falls.

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Parking here is ample when it’s not the busy season…..we visited on Labor Day weekend and it was packed!!!!! Bathrooms are available right in the parking area and a few picnic tables are also in this area to rest or have a picnic.

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It’s an easy hike into the falls with a crushed gravel/dirt path through the woods.

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That is until you hit the stairs that lead to the actual viewing platform for the falls. There are a good number of steps so strollers/wheelchairs will have problems from this point onward. And no, you cannot see the falls without taking the steps.

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This waterfall is quite magnificent….with a thunderous roar and a mist of spray while viewing. Many have trouble photographing this waterfall due to this mist…..as I did also while here.

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This waterfall/trail is free along with free parking.

 

 

 

Signs Of Autumn Are Everywhere

Oh my goodness…..are you feeling what I am feeling here in WI? Although, I am not by any means feeling the gloom and doom of winter quite yet, I sure am feeling the signs of autumn.

Leaves are beginning to change colors on the tree branches.

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Some have already fallen from trees.

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And some are just starting to change. Fall is quickly approaching for sure.

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This is the time of year where summer is trying so hard to last just a few weeks longer.

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Iced coffees are no longer my preferred morning beverage…it’s now a big cup of hot coffee to take the morning chill off.

Soups are making a come back on my weekly meal list with no complaints from my husband or son.

For us here, we are living everyday like its the last. Fall is a great time of year to hike here in the midwest with much less bugs. We spent the entire weekend hiking waterfalls and with camping plans right around the corner….blogging is really going to have to take the back burner for a bit until I have more time. So just know that I am collecting photos and fun outings to share with all of you when time permits. And I can only hope you use what I share to get out and try something new and be inspired to enjoy the great outdoors as much as I do.

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As for now, I will be back as soon as possible….first I have to savor every moment before the snow begins to fall.

 

 

 

 

Most Memorable Moments Of Our Minnesota North Shore Vacation

It’s not often we get to spend time as a family anymore with our son being an adult, working two jobs and usually going separate ways. However, when we do, we waste no time making memories that will surely last a lifetime.

dad is never far behind when capturing that picture from the cliff’s edge

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experimenting with new campfire treats IMG_4976

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very sketchy bridge to cross

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family pictures just as I prefer them….dirty, hot and sweaty

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family picnics

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breath taking pictures of my husband who works so hard to make my dreams come true

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 feeding our meal time visitor out of our handsIMG_4761

organic fly swatter made while sitting by the campfire (the flies were SOOOOO BADDD)

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beach time

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many, many waterfalls

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Minnesota’s North Shore Family Vacation- Summer 2016

Hello, hello….we are finally back from our family vacation to Minnesota’s North Shore. And what a vacation it was.

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I stressed for days if we would be able to fit all our camping/hiking supplies in my SUV to make this adventure happen. My goal was to bring everything including all our food for the week so no stops at any grocery stores would be needed and I happily accomplished this goal. We had just enough room to sit and breathe but we made it.

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The morning we left Green Bay it was humid and very hot. We knew we would be traveling through some storms to our final destination but I could have never imagined how terrible these storms would be. Here is a link if you would like to view the damage we traveled through. Thankfully, we were headed two more hours north and arrived to find all was well at our campground. IMG_4623

Our plan was to hike and explore the many Minnesota State Parks in the this area. I had high hopes of hiking some of the Superior Hiking Trail, our son wanted photographs of waterfalls, and my husband just wanted a break from work where there are no walls surrounding him. All of this was accomplished but not quite how I had planned it to happen.

Let me just say that we are not big crowd lovers. And taking nature and outdoor photographs is not easy when there are tons of people at easy to reach viewing platforms at given waterfalls. We made it through two parks on the planned lists and then I had had enough of the paved walkways they called trails in the research I did on these parks. My boys clearly could see mom was not having fun and we needed to change things up a bit and venture our own way. I wanted to HIKE, do some boulder climbing, and get my feet dirty and that was exactly what we did. Here is a bit of what we found.

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We did visit all the parks on our list which were from Duluth to the Canadian border briefly, however, if you are looking for more of a backcountry adventure my advise to you would be to stop along the scenic highway and take advantage of the Superior Hiking Trail parking lots and venture the trail leading from these areas. You will find so much more than the parks have to offer in my opinion.

We did climb one mountain/bluff peak during this trip and made many family memories during this week which I will share in the upcoming days. However, right now I need to tend to my numerous laundry piles and my very dirty vehicle that needs a good washing.

More to come……

 

 

Exploring The South For A Week

The past week my husband and I spent exploring the south in temps that were spectacular compared to what we experience in WI during the month of March.

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Life down south is so amazingly different that I can only imagine how it would be to live somewhere where I could “play” outside year round. I love it hot, sunny and dry.

We did so many things in a matter of a few days that I don’t even know where to start. So maybe sharing pictures will be the easiest.

We ate so much BBQ which made my husband VERY happy.

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We fell in love with a new to us flavor of soda we found. I am not a soda drinker but this was fantastic. Thank goodness we don’t have this here in WI or I would have a problem.

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The first thing I noticed when we arrived were flowers and blooming trees everywhere. HA, our trees aren’t even close to flowering here in WI.

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We hiked some amazing trails in the area we visited. We hiked into a canyon to reach a gorgeous waterfall,

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we hiked to the top of a mountain to enjoy the view of the entire area surrounding us.

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(top of the mountain picture courtesy of my husband)

We visited the local zoo,

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we had table side guacamole made for us and margaritas to celebrate my birthday, IMG_3570

we found our first geocache in this state and shared lunch on Lake Bailey with some feathered friends.

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All in all, we had a wonderful time. In my condition, being 6 weeks post op, I don’t feel I did too bad considering. Travel went smooth, hiking was slower than usual but made me feel normal and back to my old self again. Plus, having sunshine and warmth could never hurt anyone in my opinion. I may not have made it to the top of that mountain but that is not to say I am disappointed. My husband finished and took the pictures from the top to share with me which is good enough in my eyes. I do plan to return and complete this hike, but for now, I am happy.

I will be updating the trails page in the next few days/weeks with all the hikes we did and some pointers for each one. Until then, here are a few more pics of what we experienced.

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