Sunday, August 30, 2015

Bayfield, Wisconsin and the Apostle Islands

While on our rest day after returning from Madeline Island, we decided to check out the local orchards and farms.

We haven't had TV, phone or much internet service since we left Hinkley, Minnesota. We find places like the Fat Radish for lunch and use their WIFI or a local library that is a cute old home.
Erickson's had two white haired ladies selling apple cider donuts and apple cookies with raisins, nuts and maple frosting that were so big we bought one to share. Then we spent the next day wishing we had another.

Mike thought that we should bike thru the country since it was only 10 miles. I suggested we drive and check it out in case we wanted to buy something. Good thing. The hills reminded me of those in Seattle. Up and down then up again. This was supposed to be a rest day.

Apple picking doesn't start for another week. I bet we find some along the way.

We had seen the ice caves that people walked out to in the winter on the news last year and decided to check it out. There were only about 10 days last winter that people could get out to them.  Parking would be backed up so far that they had to walk 5 miles before reaching the path for 1 mile to the caves after reported by the  national news. Locals started shuttles to haul people out and make a little cash.

The rain cleared and fog lifted so we could paddle but the wind was 15 mph and water pretty choppy.


We had a guide, Stephanie, that took good care of us and another couple for the day. Lake Superior is way over our heads.  
The eagles would fly over our heads when we came out of the caves.


After paddling 10.5 miles and hiking 2.5 miles (I thought we signed up for the 4 miles trip) we were tired people and glad to be back.

Some of the caves were so low you had to bend down and push to get thru. I didn't think we could get thru oone since it was so low that we went around.

We made it to Sand Island

It was a nice shady walk to the lighthouse. Our guide said the bugs had not been bad this year but were usually quite bad.

The blueberries are fuzzy in this picture but quite tasty.

After hanging out at the light house and enjoying our picnic that Stephanie brought, we headed back to our kayaks.

We had to check out the caves again on the way back.

We were glad that it was a cool start to the morning since we had wet suits and spray skirts that got pretty warm on the way back in the afternoon.
We heard this was the place for brats and cheese. We got the award winner and were smiling after we grilled those puppies up.

So glad we drove over the Ashland to check it out. 

This evening when we got back home,  our neighbor had his guitar out playing some nice tunes. We enjoyed just watching the sunset, listening to him. Maybe the raccoons will stay off our grill tonight. They leave such muddy footprints.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Jay Cooke State Park, MN

We love Minnesota State Parks. They are a bit different. Many  have internet service at the visitor or interpretive centers and checkout is 4pm.
The fireplace is usually lit when we check our emails in the evening after dinner,
You have to love a state that makes fixing you bike easy.

There were quite a few people here on Sunday but when we took a walk after dinner on Monday, no one was here and so peaceful.

                                                  Superior hiking trail for all seasons.

Dinner after visiting the farmer's market. They are back on Tuesday!!
The maple trees are starting to change. I didn't expect it so early.

Had a great day of mountain biking some nice rolling singletrack. We got to a black difficult marked trail and thought no problem. Won't do that again. I like the blues.

Interesting fungi growing on the trees.

Mike hit a muddy bog and did a nice tuck and roll when he hit the ground. It seems like a good idea to follow him. I always say that I don't want to hold him up when he is rolling, that too.

It was a bit chilly with temps in the 50s and a misty rain at time, the perfect temperature for mountain biking. No bees out to sting me like the one that got me in the clavicle a couple of days ago. I now make sure my top is zipped all of the way up.
A nice ride to finish our time in Minnesota. We are excited to check out Wisconsin next.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Duluth's Canal Park and more lighthouses

Seemed like a good day to head to Canal Park in Duluth since it is another rainy day. Even with  the winds it was great.
We watched a barge full of grain was leaving the inner harbor as we arrived.

This was a new type of draw bridge for us. The lower road raises just enough for the size of the ship to leave. It included a path for walking or your bike.

A foot traffic draw bridge

We had some great food at Grizzlies that is known for it's roasted chicken. The waitress was glad to have temps in the 50-60s again. No air conditioning for the 90s.

Driving here is a bit strange. There will be no traffic coming on a county road. We are behind 3 cars and each one comes to a complete stop and looks both ways before going when it is their turn. A little weird after driving in Colorado Springs.

Cuenca, Ecuador

An Expat Destination The morning after returning to Quito we boarded an hour-long flight to Cuenca. Driving up the winding roads would have ...