Monday, May 4, 2015

Bayfielding and waterfalling at its finest

The urge to head north is really strong at the time of year.  The weather has gotten mercifully warm, the now has gone and the bugs are not out yet- it seemed like a perfect time to go for a day trip.  And it was!  Perfect for going on a Bayfield and waterfall adventure.

The Madeline getting spiffed up for the summer season

The Mad-English teacher and I began our journey on Saturday morning, and was I ever excited to be getting out of town.  The MA, now that apparently the new deadline of April 30 has passed- (Idk what the heck is going on.  Always the working late stopped on April 15, but not this year... this year it has mysteriously stretched out a few more days.  Mmmmkay) - is firmly entrenched in his yardwork clothes.  Meaning, he isn't going anywhere far from home.  So, I have to find partners in adventure and I have a few to count on!

The statue of liberty in Bayfield

The lake was so clear 

It was cool to see these sailboats out of the water- SO BIG

We drove on up to Bayfield for some luscious rhubarb/ginger scones and coffee/hotchocolate at the always amazing Big Water Coffee Roasters Coffee shop.  It is the best way to start one's adventure on a Saturday morning, I only regret that it is not about 60 miles closer so I could get there every Saturday.  The last time we walked onto the Bayfield City Dock and looked out onto the lake and watched the ferry (actually the ice breaker boat) it was REALLY cold and was the first or second day that the ferry was running to the Island.   SOOOOO much nicer in May!  A little adventure on the dock, and then a walk along the beach and to the other dock area and off we went (after maybe a short stop at a store front for a new Bayfield hoodie!!  :) ) to Houghton Falls.

The primary reason (other than the obvious coffee, scones and lunch at Coco's) was to get in some good hiking and see some water falls.  Mission accomplished!!  The first water fall area was Houghton Falls north of Washburn.  I was there for the first time when the ice breakup had just begun.  It was much more scary for me, as there was all the ice and snow and slippery and yikes!  With the proper hiking boots footwear and less slick underfoot, it was a good hike!  I had a great time climbing down the sides of the dells area and got to get down to the cave that I had seen last time. There was actually still ice in a couple parts of this dells area!  Pretty cool---- get it!!  HAHAHA
The ice left in the darkest part of the Dells area

Got down to the cave!
Anyway, we ended up sitting out on the rock that overlooks the big Lake and my compadre shimmied down to the lake.  I knew that I would never make it back up if I went down- I could tell that my height, or lack of it, would cause me problems.  So being an intelligent being, I stayed put.  HOWEVER, on the way back, we discovered another way down to the lake and I did get myself there.  I went and stood in the lake for about 30 seconds- long enough for photo proof- and then got out of there.  THAT is some cold water.  The "falls" part of Houghton Falls is sort of secondary to the rest of the experience.  I LOVE sitting on that rock landing overlooking Lake Superior.  It is just beautiful!
OH that was some cold water

Part of the overlook at Houghton Falls

After refreshing ourselves with lunch at Coco's (YAAAAAY), we headed on over on Hwy 2 to Hwy 169 to Potato River Falls.  Now THAT, boys and girls, is a waterfall..... 2 of them actually.  And if you want to hike, there are two trails and both of them involve a lot of steps.  There are several flights of stairs to the lower falls, some of them a little sketchy, and there was quite a bit of erosion here and there.  A water fall website said that you can cross the river below the falls--- they were not there in the spring, obviously.  We did not cross the river.

Lower Falls at Potato River Falls

After going and hiking around, and then regretting our decision to go down so many stairs when one is in rotten post-broken-arm shape, one finds out, we stopped at the car for some water (yeah, we left it in the car.  We are not too bright sometimes) we moved along to the upper falls area.  Well, now that was worth the trip down even more stairs.  Magnificent.  Just magnificent.  Lots of photos were taken, oooos and ahhhhs were said and then totally tired and happy we drove on Hwy 169 (wheeeeeeeeeee!!!) to Hwy 13 and then home.

Upper Falls

Not sure what this little yellow flower is. 

Beauty about to burst

These are the days that recharge my batteries and make me truly appreciate living in the place that I do.  And is also leading to more research for waterfalls in northern WI, and planning a few more trips north, and the next time (the day after school is done, you bet your life) it will involve a ferry and a car and a picnic on the beach...  And summer will be here at last.  And we have been waiting for it for such a long time.

Gorgeous Potato Falls

What a  joyful day it was!  Hope you can find your joy in what ever adventure you are embarking on!

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