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.

 

Enjoying The Little Things

I have been really concentrating on enjoying the little things during this hectic time of year. With rude holiday shoppers, crazy drivers rushing from one place to another, and everyone stressed about the upcoming holidays it’s sometimes hard to find happiness. That’s why for me, I just concentrate on the little things to bring me happiness.

Lately, I have been feeling this need to come up with some new recipes for my family. I feel as if I have been stuck in a rut preparing the same old dinners and felt the need to change things up a bit. So I have been concentrating on making one new recipe a week….so far we have tried shredded brussel sprouts and glazed pork loin.

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While we are on the topic of food, I have also been enjoying the colder temps because I can make as much soup as I wish and everyone is willing to eat it. This is something that does not happen in the summer months.

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Along with good old comfort food, like roasted root vegetables and casseroles which are always a favorite at meal time and oh so easy to prepare.

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As the weather gets colder we find ourselves doing more short hikes around the area than longer ones. This is hard for me since I could literally walk forever on a dirt trail but at the same time, I am so thankful we have been able to still get out. We see so much wildlife when we hike here in WI and this is something that always brings a smile to my face.

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This last hike we did was cold….like really cold. And in one week the ponds have froze over and this means my hiking days are coming to an end fast here.

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This is not something that brings me as much joy as it brings my little kiddos that show up at my doorstep every morning for daycare but it is something special. Every year during one of the first snow falls my husband will get all dressed up and go outside and build a snowman that greets them bright and early in the morning. And that first snowman has been built already this year….and it brought such joy to so many people from neighbors to friends and family.

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Last but not least, let me show you our second jig saw puzzle of the winter. Normally we redo our stack of puzzles because let’s face it, there is no way to memorize where every piece goes in a 1000 piece puzzle so they really never get boring. However, once in awhile we will see one that just screams from the store shelf…..”buy me and put me together!” which this one did…..it’s so summer like that who could resist….right.

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What brings you joy in a hectic time of year?

Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary Trails

I have been a life long resident of Green Bay for 40+ years now and I am ashamed to admit, it took me this long to hike the trails that are practically in my own backyard. Maybe that is exaggerating a bit….they may not be in my backyard but they are located about 15 minutes from my home and at a place I have visited numerous times throughout my life.

I am sure if you have ever visited Green Bay there are two places you have heard about….Lambeau Field and Bay Beach Amusement park/Wildlife Sanctuary. And rightfully so….they are two of the best places to explore when in the area. We are going to concentrate on the Wildlife Sanctuary today. Across the grassy lot from Bay Beach Amusement park you will find this treasure that offers so many things for families. From places to explore nature, places to feed the ducks and geese corn kernels, to places to hike. However, if your looking for somewhere a bit more secluded and peaceful to hike you may want to venture down past the main entrance about a half mile to the trail entrance. You will see a gated lot with ample parking and the entrance to the trails. NOTE: there is no bathroom at this entrance!

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Make notice of the hours posted on the fence as they seem to be strictly enforced at every gated entrance. So unless you can climb a fence really well, I would suggest you watch the time while hiking.

Another thing to note is that there are no dogs allowed on the trails along with no snow shoes either. And according to staff, once the trails are groomed for skiers no hikers are allowed again until spring.

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Within this gated wooded area there are quite a few trails and they are very well marked.It is very easy to add a few together to make a few hour hike or just do a quick little hike since most single trails are not long at all.

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There is one hill overlook that will offer a bit of a challenge if your looking to break a sweat but other than that, most of the trail is flat or has very little incline. The hill lookout is optional and does not need to be climbed to continue down the trail.

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Terrain can be anything from grass, wood chips, dirt or wooden boards in some areas that cover water.

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You may think being in a fenced in area that the trails would not have much to offer but even I was amazed at this area. You would never know you weren’t hiking in the forest somewhere. We came across deer scrapes,

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bald eagles,

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and deer all in a few miles.

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I am sure soon enough there will be snow covering this area if you wish to ski this trail in the winter months, but for right now, we will be making this a repeat hike as much as possible. There is a lot to see here and right now the ponds are still not frozen and neither is the trail.

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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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A Quote From My Husband….

After this past weekend my husband stated this to me in these exact words,”I need to go back to work just to rest and recover.” Ahhhhh, a little tiny part of me felt bad for him but a really big part of me was thinking, what in the world is he going to do this coming weekend when we have three days to play outside?

It all started when I decided about 10 a.m. on Saturday morning that I was done with that boot! The sun was shining, it was hot, and I was determined to have some fun. However, I had another type of anchor(my husband) that stuck pretty close by the entire weekend to make sure I did not over do anything and reinjure that ankle.Quickly we did our chores around the house. He cut the lawn and I washed our car and my boot to be able to pack it away for next time.(Did I really just say there would be a next time? Gosh, I hope not!)

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With all our chores done, it was time to have some fun. We started with a two mile walk on a trail.

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It felt so good to have a shoe on again:)

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We saw so much wildlife and so many wild flowers. All the trees we walked past were in full bloom and the scent was amazing.

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After our walk, we headed home for some dinner and then I told him I was not quite done. It was still so beautiful outside that I wanted to savor every second. So he agreed to play a quick game of disc golf with me.

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We then returned home once again and he was done. Nothing I suggested he was willing to do or let me do alone for the matter. So the day was over. However, my mind was already working on Sunday plans.

Sunday brought a little sun and some clouds with the possibility of storms in the afternoon. So we put it in high gear, we needed to get in some fun and exercise before the rain. We wasted no time. He loaded up our boat and I packed the cooler and we headed to the water.

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We returned from fishing/boating to originally take a hike along the Bay of Green Bay. However, after checking the forecast we decided it would be better just to walk in the neighborhood. We left with the mind set that I would try and make the three mile route we normally walk. I amazed myself by actually completing it without any pain in my ankle at all. This was a great sign for me. This is the same walk that use to put me in pain for hours afterwards due to my ankle injury. I was pretty happy to be pain free.

Upon our return home the rain started and continued for awhile. Which also meant our day was cut a little shorter than planned but we still had fun. I missed my jammed packed weekends of adventure and I am so happy to have them back.

This week will be a week full of walking with my kiddos during the day and working on making my ankle stronger with my therapy exercises and workouts. My hope is that I can possibly attempt my standup paddle board this up coming long weekend. Although, regardless of whether this happens or not, we have enough other events planned that I will not be disappointed either way. Let’s just hope that my husbands employer does not have a lot on his to do list come Tuesday……he will be ready to rest and recover for sure after I am done with him for three days!

Do you prefer relaxing weekends or busy fun weekends?