Sunday, March 1, 2015

Oh what a day it was!

As you could probably tell from yesterday's post- I needed to get the hell out of Dodge.  And I was not disappointed with my day from beginning to end.  It was sunny, even if cold.  I was properly dressed, I had the right amount of cameras with me- that would be 3.  We had good traffic, and I think I only blew by 1 or 2 slow drivers!  We chose the exact right trip, at the exact right times in the exact right places to avoid crowds and clutter and snow (it is snowing today) and we got the seats we wanted at the coffee shop and the cafe!

Yesterday's adventure began with me scooping up the Mad-English teacher, my partner in all things travel north and photo taking!  And turns out to be alternate driver extraordinaire, because I needed the help.  COULD I have driven all over (except not over the ice road)??  Yes. Was I happier to be resting the elbow that I said I would not complain about, and for the most part did not until we were driving home?  OH MY GOSH yes.  But we are not complaining, so....  I can NOT thank him enough for having mercy on my soul- or at least my- um, never mind.  You get the idea.  :)

Copper Falls

There is a story to this...... Lol another time 

View of the side of the falls

We headed north and our first stop was Copper Falls State Park.  By the time I got there I was giddy with excitement.   We drove into the very familiar driveway to me, except everything looks sooo different in the snow.  And somehow we ended up in a place that eventually made sense to me, but the MET, who had only been there once, seemed to know right what we were doing.  Of course paths led to where we needed, but there have been more than one time I drove or walked the wrong direction.  And there was no cell service.  Lol. If you ever go somewhere new with me, be prepared to be the person to tell me what to do!  HAHAHA  I am no longer embarrassed by this!  It is my way of perceiving things and that is the way it is.  Thank heaven for my map functions on my phone!  But that is another story.
Part of the river bed

Copper Falls was COLD, y'all.  SO VERY COLD. 0 in the sun- way colder in the shadows of those evergreens.  But it was still beautiful and breathtaking.  The falls are frozen and covered with snow, so you can't see them super well.  We were there a smidge too late for the good warm morning light, but that is ok. The trip there was worth it.  We strapped on our Yaktrax and I had a snowshoe pole (I forgot mine on the kitchen table.  **eyeroll** But we only really needed one)  It was a great hike and up and down hills and it felt so damn good to get outside and in my element.  So that was awesome, and then I was STARVING.


Gulp down a banana and a piece of dark chocolate and we set our sights on Bayfield.  We, of course, drove through Ashland, which was fetchingly beautiful.  We reiterated that we probably would have come up and partied for the Book Across the Bay, but in reality would NOT have done it since it was a negative double digit windchill.  We may be crazy, but we are not stupid!  (My apologies to anyone who did the BATB)  After making ourselves feel better about THAT subject, onto the north we went.
First quick stop was round one of Coco's to pick up bread.  We have a littttttle problem with the Cheddar Potato bread and the Rosemary asaigo bread and their SOURDOUGH, so we always get it fresh on the way through so it isn't gone when we get back.  We may have pressed our noses against the dessert case and left some drool marks, but that could all be a vicious rumor, too.  Then we headed up to the bestest little coffee shop ever- the Big Water Coffee Roasters coffee shop where I literally raised my hands in the air as I walked in and exclaimed a big old YAY I"M HERE!!!  I did and I am not ashamed and the baristas were amused!  We had the last 2 blueberry scones of awesomeness and some coffee/hotchocolate and sat by the window and watched the world go by- and probably posted stuff on twitter and facebook.  Had we been there 2 hours earlier, it would have been packed. So yeah, perfect timing.

Latte and scone in the sun
Our favorite spot to sit!  We missed you Laurie!

So my nervous excitement was about to come to a fever pitch as the MET took over the wheel and drove ourselves to Madeline Island.  The thought of driving over there when we take the ferry all summer still freaks me out.  And LAKE SUPERIOR!  I can't help it and I do not know if I will ever drive it myself.  Maybe. FREAKY clear ice, little snow cover but it was a gorgeous day.  We headed to the Parks, because I had been clued in about this from photos my FaceBook friend, Linda, had been posting online.  It did not disappoint!

Ice ROAD!!!

The first park was the Big Bay Town Park, and that is flat on the water.  I had walked up these beaches a few times this past summer.  It is so beautiful and a wonderful beach with really good grounds.  And eventually I will be sea kayaking there, because- well- kayaking.  Anyway, the ice was fabulous.  I will let the pictures speak.

Canoes and kayaks in repose

Love the starkness of this

Big Bay Town Park- beach

NEVER saw anything like it before.  I was stunned.  It was SO windy at times, and just biting cold when one has on one's flip top mitten/gloves and one takes so many pictures that the fingers don't get a chance to warm up.  THAT did  not keep us from walking on the ice chunks a good long way down the beach. The elbows NEVER entered my head- for good or for bad.  LOL.  In other words, I was walking around on all that slippery without the cleats and mostly paid little attention in my excitement.  Until I turned around to go back and then there were all these oh shit moments.  This is pretty typical for the Mad Art Teacher!  Part of my charm, ya know?

Blue shelf Ice

Blue Ice
After getting our fill of that magnificence, we headed over and around to the Big Bay State Park. We had already paid our state park fee for the day, so we were good.  The look of that Park is way different and we hadn't been in that one before.  I mean, during the summer, you don't need anything more than the 2 miles of beach.....  This one had cliffs of red stone- maybe sand stone?  Anyway, it was breathtakingly beautiful.  The set up was such that I didn't get too many waves of fear of height terrors.  Unlike Copper Falls, where I got lots of them.  I said to Adam on the way out of Copper Falls how my life has gotten way more fun since I started doing things that scare me to death. SO true!

English teacher in his element

Big Bay State Park
Like a puzzle of ice

Again, amazing photos, a great little walk, recharge our selves with a piece of chocolate and off we drove down the Island to the Ice road and over again.....

Bayfield from the frozen lake

We were THRILLED to get to Coco's as starvation had set in.  We had their outstanding dal and roasted potatoes and did not even have room for dessert.  If you have never been to Coco's while in the north, do it.  There are so many options for everyone, and the food is fresh and homemade and downright awesome.

I could eat this for lunch almost every day!  YAY FOR COCO'S!
The last step of the trip was to hit up the Chequamegon food coop and we picked up a few yummy things that can't be found in Park Falls.  Whew!!  We had to try to keep the conversation going and the radio loud, as we were so tired on that drive home.  We did fine, fussing around with the radio station, cussing out slow drivers  (oh wait, I think that was me- lol) and generally zoning out until we got  back to Park Falls.

Still bundled up from the day!  And so tired
When I got home I began editing these pictures, I just couldn't stop myself.  I left a lot of photos on the SD card, it is so hard to choose. I need to clear a lot of pix off my computer and free up space as well.  I posted some to facebook and to the Wisconsin Photographers facebook page and had a fun time talking about the day through the pictures.  I was so surprised to see over 200 like on the Photographers page last night!  That is truly an honor, as the talent in that group is spectacular.  I am a rank amateur next to some of the things that they do.

AND I sent some pix into Channel 9 and after a 5 week hiatus I had a pic on the weather again last night!  YAY!!  What a nice way to end the day.

clinging to the overlook at Copper Falls

More ice road ice!  eeek

SEESTER ROSE!!!  We walked on this beach- right here!!!!

I needed that day to be normal again.  I needed that to begin to trust myself again, without some one watching me all the time.  Asking me if I should be doing that.  Not that I don't appreciate and really like the fact that people are worried about me, but I need to be in control and in charge.  To make my own decisions, decide on my limitations and do really stupid things if it makes me happy.  Which it frequently does. And to spread my joy in the best way I know how.  And then go outside and go for a hike!  Happy Sunday everyone!

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