Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Cabin 2012

Last weekend we headed up to Hackensack again for our annual cabin weekend. This time we were actually all able to leave at the same time, so we did a little caravan up north. Nick even had some old school walkie talkies that we used to communicate with each other. Way cooler and quicker than cell phones.

Saturday morning was kind of rainy on and off, so we weren't in a huge hurry to get to the cabin. When we finally arrived at the cabin, the weather cleared up and it ended up being a great afternoon and evening.

This year we were able to see a gorgeous sunset every night. I think this one with the pink sky is my favorite.

Jachin and Erin Canoeing

Sunset Night 1

Sunday morning Ty made us eggs and Kasie cooked up some bacon. We then spent a majority of the rest of day relaxing. Some in the hammock and some in the water. A few of the guys took a trip to Walker to hang out. We did have a small interruption in our relaxing when had to send out a search party to find Nick. Luckily he decided a nap on the football field sounded like a good afternoon activity.

Hanging out in the Hammock

Ty and Jachin Playing Bags

Pine Needles

Night 2 Sunset

On Monday morning Heather made us pancakes before our big football game. This year the teams were Team Commando and Team Medium Rare. For some reason this year we ended the game in a tie. My accomplishment this year was I actually had an interception and a touchdown. Those stats even surprise me.

Team Commando

Team Commando

Team Medium Rare

Team Medium Rare

And before Elysia and Nick left we got a group photo.

The Group at the Cabin

After lunch a group of us headed to Itasca State Park to do some hiking. The park ended up being more of a driving thing than a hiking thing. We did stop to see the Headwaters of the Mississippi. Patrick, Heather, Erin and I had all been before, but this was Jachin's first time.

Itasca State Park

We also saw Itasca's largest white pine.

Itasca State Park

Itasca's Largest White Pine

And here is the former largest red pine in Minnesota. A storm came through in 2007 and took out part of the tree. Kind of weird this is still a site to see.

Itasca State Park

Our final stop on the loop around the park was at the Fire Tower. We climbed 133 steps to the top of the tower. It was kind of freaky to be up so high.

Climb to the Fire Tower

Climb to the Fire Tower

Climb to the Fire Tower

We got back to the cabin and watched the sunset, made our hobo dinners, ate some smores and enjoyed time around the campfire with great friends.

Night 3 Sunset

Making Hobo Dinners

Shanna's Smore

The group at the fire

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Door County, Wisconsin

Last weekend I had a wedding in Appleton, Wisconsin. Since it is a five hour drive to Appleton we decided to make a weekend of it and make the trip to Door County. My college friend Krista (who also got me the wedding gig) lives in Appleton so we stayed with her on Saturday after the wedding. Krista and her husband Jay recently added an addition to their house that includes an awesome new basement. The basement is sports themed, which makes sense since this is the girl who had the wedding with the basketball hoop at the reception. The basement is complete with astro turf carpet imprinted with a Packer end zone, official green end zone pads to practice your Lambeau Leap, a full sized bar, a comfortable couch and not one, but two televisions. I wish I had photos, but I am not sure they would do it justice. Needless to say, Patrick was ready to move in.

On Sunday morning Krista suggested that we get donuts at Mom & Pop's in Kimberly. Krista and Jay live on the river and the donut place is across the river so we ended up eating them at a park directly across the river from their house.

After the donuts we were on our way to Door County. A couple years ago we went on a four day trip to the area and spent two days in Door County. This time we had less than 24 hours, but we still managed to do some fun things.

We arrived in Fish Creek and planned to set up our tent at our Peninsula State Park campsite. Unfortunately, the people who stayed the night before hadn't left yet so we went back into town to find lunch. We ended up eating at Cooper's Corner. We shared cheese curds, a club sandwich and a couple Bloody Mary's.

Lunch at Cooper's Corner

After lunch we walked around Fish Creek for awhile checking out the shops and the beach.

Door County

When we got back to our site, we were both exhausted so we took a nap in the car before we set up our tent.

Door County

A short walk from the campsite was a awesome view of the lake. I spent some time taking some photos while Patrick read up on Peninsula State Park.

Peninsula State Park

Door County

Peninsula State Park

We then headed to the Skyway Drive In Movie Theater. We saw two movies Madascare 3 and The Dark Knight Rises.

Door County Drive Through

In the morning, we packed up our stuff and found a legit coffee shop in Fish Creek.

Linger Coffee Shop

After some shopping we headed out of town, since we had six hours in the car ahead of us. So, it was a short trip but I am sure we will be back.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Building Bean Bag Toss

Before I get too far behind, I better recap last weekend. I had three photo sessions, but I managed to squeeze in a fun trip to Hutchinson to help make six sets of bean bag toss games for Erin and Jachin's wedding.

Upon my arrival I was greeted by their dog Pheboe. I am not a huge fan of dogs, but I really enjoyed having her around.

Pheboe

Patrick had gone earlier since I had a photo session earlier that morning. The board making was in full swing by the time I got there.

Patrick Cutting Boards

The bases for the boards.

Bean Bag Frames

Measuring for Bean Bag Game

Patrick cutting legs

Patrick and Jachin

The legs for the boards.

Bean Bag Toss Legs

Everything was going pretty smoothly until we tried to make the circle cuts. Neither Jachin or Patrick could keep the drill from spinning out of control.

Jachin

Patrick and Erin

Later that night we were still working on getting the legs attached to the bases and Erin's dad Mike came home. He asked us if the circle drill bit was working. We told him we couldn't get it to work, so Jachin and Erin were out buying a new jigsaw so we could use this other method. He told us he was going to try the circle drill bit and he was able to get it to work. He then went on to do the rest of the boards.

Erin's Dad Mike Rocking the Drill

Bean Bag Toss Tops

That night Patrick and I were able to stay in the barn. It was definitely the only and nicest barn I have ever slept in. Here are some photos of the barn and the rest of the farm. Erin's parents also own the Crow River Winery, which is why they are growing all the grape vines.

Boxelder Farm

Boxelder Farm - Wine Grapes

Boxelder Farm

Boxelder Farm - Table Grapes

Boxelder Farm

Boxelder Farm

Boxelder Farm

Here is Patrick watching the Olympics in our suite in the barn. Pretty awesome, huh.

Boxelder Farm

After I left they got some of the tops attached to the bases. They still aren't completely done with them, but we got a lot done considering there were six sets to make.

Building Bean Bag Toss

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Perot State Park

How does it always happen that by the time August rolls around we are booking up every weekend just trying to enjoy every last minute of summer. Well that is certainly the case for us. This year we aren't going on a big vacation, but we have plenty of camping trips scheduled to make up for that.

The first weekend in August we headed to La Crosse to camp at Perot State Park in Trempealeau, Wisconsin with Steve and Sandy. The last time Patrick and I had been there was in August of 2005.

On our ride south we discovered the Wisconsin Great River Road. In the past when we go to La Crosse, we almost always take Hwy 61 on the Minnesota side. Well we ventured to the Wisconsin side for some new scenery.

Wisconsin River Road

After our adventure at Lake Maria State Park the weekend before neither of us was too excited to sleep in a tent again. Since we were car camping this time though we brought our four person tent and a blow up air mattress. That combined with the cooler temperatures made for a really good night's sleep.

Tent at Perot State Park

We went really low maintenance on this trip. For dinner we roasted hot dogs on sticks and had some pickles and chips on the side. Then we roasted some marshmallows for dessert.

Steve Making Fire

Campfire at Perot State Park

Smores Perot State Park

Since we had gotten to the campground later in the afternoon on Saturday, we planned to do some hiking on Sunday. From our visit in 2005 I remembered that the trip to top of the bluff was a pretty cool view, so both Patrick and I really wanted to do that again.

We ended up doing the Black Walnut Nature Trail and part of the River View Trail with Steve and Sandy before lunch.

Hiking Perot State Park

Patrick and Sara

Steve and Sandy at Perot State Park

Hiking Perot State Park

Hiking Perot State Park

For lunch we headed to Ed Sullivan's Supper Club right outside of the park entrance. We had a nice table with a view. We all really enjoyed our sandwiches and bloody mary's.

Ed Sullivan's

After lunch Steve and Sandy had to go home, but Patrick and I headed back to the park to do some more hiking. We ended up hiking up Brady's Bluff and doing a majority of the rest of the River View Trail.

Hiking Brady's Bluff

Hiking Brady's Bluff

On the way home we took the Wisconsin Great River Road again and we attempted to stop at Nelson's Creamery for ice cream. The line was ridiculous so we ended up a Flat Pennies Ice Cream in Bay City instead. This is also when I discovered the insane number of bites on my feet. Later I found out they were sand flea bites. It looked and felt like I had chicken pox on my feet, it was awful. The first night I didn't sleep at all because I was itching my feet so much. Patrick used bug spray with deet in it and he didn't get one bite, so I guess that will teach me to use that in the future.