Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Weekend day trips to the north

It snowed this past week, and though everyone said it would be gone by Saturday, it was indeed NOT gone.  But that did not stop the Mad-missing-English teacher and I from striking out on both Saturday AND Sunday for points north! 

Now living where we (I guess, I, now) do, one wouldn't think that we would need to strike out farther north, and yet we do.  There are waterfalls to be found, and lakes to be listened to, coffee to be consumed, and breakfast to be enjoyed.  Among other things, you know.
A slam on the brakes moment that needed to be captured

The Chippewa River north of Glidden
 We set off bright and early to head north to our favorite place to eat- possibly in the world- Coco's in Washburn.  After the proper amount of nourishment, we set off on Hwy C towards Cornucopia to a water cascade area called Siskiwit Falls.  We'd never been there, and we are always up for something new- Always.
There was a lot of water in this river and it was quite exciting to be so close to it.  We had done a little research and we knew that there were several areas that could be looked at.  We went as far as we could, slipping a little on the leaves and pine needles- and the afore mentioned snow, but the problem was, for this location,  a gigantic tree had gone down effectively stopping us from getting over to the best vantage point for both our viewing pleasure and for photos.  Sort of a bummer, but you so couldn't get there, so....  on to the next place.
Part of Siskiwit Falls
Our next stop was a planned trip to Lost Creek Falls.  We had been there last spring right around the spring thaw- but there was not nearly as much water then as there was Saturday!  All the rain and snow we have gotten filled the creeks and made a really great show for waterfallers such as ourselves.

The path to Lost Creek Falls

Lost Creek

Through the trees 
The Falls- a lot of water here!
As we needed to ponder our next move, we decided to go to Meyers Beach, as we were very close anyway!  Wow was this ever a great idea.  The pictures don't really show the amazing waves that were occurring- they were huge and rolling.  When you looked out at the lake, it didn't look that rough, but as the waves came to shore they broke in beautiful rolls spreading along the shore.  wow!  The cool thing was that every point that we saw the lake during the day had a different look.  It was so interesting.
again, these photos can't show the power, rhythm and sounds that were present Saturday.  

Flotsam and jetsam on shore

Looking towards the sea caves

lovely driftwood pieces artfully arranged by Mother Nature and Lake Superior
 We decided that we wanted to explore a few places that we had seen signage for, but had never ventured off to look at ..... so off we drove to the north.  Our first stop was Little Sand Bay Campground waaaaaaay up to the north, but there really wasn't too much to see there.  So we decided to try to find a "rustic campground" called Point Detour.  Apparently Point Detour is the farthest point north in Wisconsin, which we decided was worth getting out of the car to investigate.  Rustic it certainly was, by the way, we can't even comprehend how anyone in a camper could possibly even get their camper in that place. But maybe this is a campground that people don't drag more than a tent.

The lake definitely had a different look here.
We had to stop at the top of these stairs as there was a board across them- because there were about 8 steps out in the middle.....  and upon further investigation from the bottom, the entire thing is more than a bit rickety.  We had to shimmy down the side of the stairs, which was quite an adventure to say the least.  Leaves and pine needles and snow added up to some interesting footing this entire weekend.

After hanging out on this rocky landing for a while, and you will notice that the lake has a totally different look than at the beach, we decided to head on over to Bayfield.  We of course landed in the coffee shop for a while, and then walked on down to the docks, where our favorite ferry the Madeline was coming into town.

We ended up in Ashland at supper time, and I had one of those (almost) tire screech moments where I had to pull off the road to one of the lakeside parks to take some sunset photos.  The colors were just too compelling and the lake was so gorgeous and calm.

The Mad-English teacher and I went waterfalling Sunday as well.  After a nice pancake Sunday breakfast we headed on up to Iron County and visited Potato River Falls.  We had also been there earlier this year, but it was nothing like what we saw that day.  It is unfortunate for the picture taking that we had to be there in the morning, as the sun was really difficult.  But oh well.  The fall were STUNNING.  So much water, so loud, so fun to see.  The footing here and at Copper Falls was terrorizing in many places.  The wooden stairs and boardwalks were very slippery in spots and I had some really bad flashbacks.  I will over come this I promise!

Potato River Falls- Upper Falls

We decided to head to Copper Falls as well, which I have to say people around here take this for granted.  It is a gorgeous place and the falls are just spectacular.  It was fun to be there during the off season where there were no other visitors....  However, I did miss the concession stand's ice cream cones.  haha.

Brownstone Falls I think.

Interesting patterns on the ground
We had a nice time climbing around and investigating the various places around the park.  Again, the Falls were spectacular.

This was a great GREAT way to spend a weekend!  Seeing the glory of the scenery that is northern WI gave me more than my share of joy, and spending it with my partner in all things adventure completed the experience.  

Friday, November 6, 2015


A couple days ago I sort of quietly did something for the 1000th time.  That thing is an activity on Runkeeper, which is an app on my phone that I installed quite a long time ago, really.  I have covered a lot of ground, really, and if every one of those thousand posts was for walking or moving forward in some way, I would have covered a lot more ground.  I keep track of my weight lifting on it too.

So let's say that I am not a big numbers person, which I am not.  I can fiddle around with numbers in my head and have some success, but I still have to set up percentages by using the whole numerator/denominator thing, and things like that.  I CAN do the math, but seriously I just don't want to.  Hahaha.  I got through trig in High school and then got out of math as a second semester senior with my life and gradepoint intact.  I prefer to leave that sort of thing to - oh, I don't know- let's say an accountant who is comfortable with that stuff.  :) I have said for years, that is why God gave me an accountant, so I don't have to ever  EVER in my life worry about things like tax forms.  shudder.

However, if you REALLY know me, you know that there is definitely a geeky person that lies deep within.  If allowed to rise to the surface this person likes to play around with things like computers, and know scientificky thing (yes that is a word, shut up) and gasp- enjoy interacting with mathematics..... PLEASE do not tell the "MadArtTeacher" that, she gets a little antsy and her eye starts to twitch.  This person can get carried away and wants to live in a world full of numbers that used to make so much difference to her, and she did find out recently that they really don't matter...

Anywho, back to Runkeeper.  #1000 activity.  I find it pleasing that I did a walk on that activity, because it is certainly the way I began.  It seems like something cool like a kayak would have been in order but it is November, though until this morning, November forgot what she is supposed to be acting like.  No, it was just an ordinary walk, that I shoved into the period of time between school and sunset, which is getting distressingly shorter and shorter.  But we do all know that will change in about 6 weeks, so its all good.

Numbers to go with the free version of Runkeeper- I have fought off the urge, successfully, to pay for the Runkeeper elite that will tell me all sorts of cool things, that I really do not need to know and really, again, do not matter.  My first activity was only a 2 mile walk, or else I did not finish the walk or had some sort of issue with the app- idk.  It was in June of 2011, and I was way worried about all sorts of numbers.  Since then I have traveled 3,239 miles, burned 373,000 official calories, have gone through at least 8 or 9 pairs of really expensive shoes,  overtrained myself into: an ouchy knee, carpal tunnel and possibly a broken limb or two; plus gained a lot of confidence and entered into some really fun events and activities that include hiking, biking, and kayaking.

I do not use Runkeeper for the numbers anymore, I use it to keep track of where I have been through posting the event and taking pictures.  I have referred to the app several times to remember what adventure I went on and when.  Fortunately or not, I almost never venture off on a walk or hike without the app running, I hope that didn't annoy too many people.  I have it totally muted now, except if I decide to use music.  I do not have the pace cues, I do not have a trainer in my ear telling me to do whatever, I only have it to mark where I am via satellite for future use.  It is a relief to not be worrying about whether these calories being burned are enough for the food that I ate on any given day, because it just doesn't matter.  I am not my weight, nor do I reward or punish myself with exercise.  I am me and not a number.

What I am, that is amazing, is a much fitter person than I was in June of 2011.  By fit I mean that I can pretty much do what I want to- I can hike where I want, including up any landform that I would be brave enough to climb on (granted that is somewhat limited by the terror factor), bike and kayak.  I am game for most any physical activity, and I can do it without a lot of whining..... though there are those that might argue that fact!  :)  Am I as in "good of shape" as I was at the height of my obsessing over numbers, why yes I am, I am just not as light!  And I am so so fine with that.  At any given time I may be a little heavier, lighter, stronger weaker, have amazing cardio-vascular endurance or not, but I am not worried about that at all.  Except for broken things, I worry these days about not breaking things.

Runkeeper has taught me many things, well sort of.  I am using it as a metaphor I suppose.  I have learned that I can walk literally all day long if I need to.  I have learned, though I knew it deep inside, that I am NOT a runner.  Running seems to be held up to all as the standard for all truly worthy people to be working on, but that is such bull shit.  ugh.  Save your knees people, unless you are one of those people who really ARE able to do it without constant injury, why abuse yourself like that?  If you are, yay for you, but if you are not, do what you like, not what the rest of the world thinks you should like.  I won't credit Runkeeper for making me realize that I am a really good weightlifter, I am going to thank my amazing friends from the former Triple B gym for that, and of course me, because I kept at it and still love it so much.

But you can not disregard ill-advised activities that you have gone through to get to where you are right now.  I have done many things that I will not do again, but that doesn't mean I wish I wouldn't have done them.  That is a bit of a waste of time, don't you think?  I am so glad, though, that now I am getting my activity doing the things I love to do.  Because beating the crap out of yourself for the sake of getting exercise, especially if you detest that activity (yes I am talking to you elliptical), well that is crazy and I won't do it any more.

I have deleted all of the "fitness", "health" and "weightloss" apps off of my phone.  They and their numbers are not important to me any more.  But I do hold onto my Runkeeper.  It reminds me of the journey I have been on and the people I have been with and the amazing things that I have done, and will record the cool things I plan to do in the future.  Book Across the Bay, I am headed your way!!

Find the joy  in your day today, and be a joy GIVER for heavens sakes, it is Friday after all.  Though I don't think you should wait for any particular day to give that joy away.  They all work equally as well.  Rock on every one and MWAH!

Monday, November 2, 2015

One of the best days of the year, for the most part

Yesterday, was one of my favorite days of the year. I probably have written this before, but I will say it again- the fall back day ending Daylight Savings Time is the best.  Right after my birthday, and Thanksgiving, and possibly Christmas and any day that I am riding on an airplane....  You get the idea- it is in the top 5 or so days.

I know that everyone whines about the time change in the spring, but there is something luxurious about having a day that carries on longer than you are used to, and that is in a good way. I am not referring to a day where you think it should be noon and for crying out loud it is only 8:35.  We've all had those days.  yikes.

I tend to fill that day with things that I like to do and for the most part, I did.  I did do a little cleaning, which is decidedly not my favorite thing, but it was fine.  I got in a walk.  I did a little photo editing, I did a little cooking because I wanted to.  I did a lot of texting friends!  I got to FaceTime with Ella and her parents.  And then I got a migraine aura.

THAT was a sucky way to end a good day.  I hate those things with such a passion, and I don't get them very often.  And I can count on one hand how many times I have gotten a headache after one, and last night was #3.  :(   Seriously annoying.  I ended up laying down on the couch and not getting up again until half time of the seriously sad Packer game (sigh) and going to bed- me. To bed.  At 9 pm.  wow.  I kept thinking that the Aleve would just kick in and I would be fine, but not last night.

Oh well, I feel pretty good this morning, other than being a little sleepy and my head feels tired.  Today starts a marathon session of getting my room tidied up for parent teacher conferences, and beginning new lessons in every freaking class I have this week, and all that kind of grand stuff.  So I suppose I should take advantage and get myself going here, but I do need one more cup of coffee to work on while I get ready.  I am glad that I will have a little more light in the morning, though, not going to lie.

Anyway, I hope that you all have a fabulous Monday and that you enjoyed the extra hour you got yesterday in some extra good way.  And somewhere along the way you found some joy! My best one was a hilarious IM exchange with the Mad- English teacher.  Makes me smile still this morning!  Have a super day and be a joy giver!!