Fat biking on the beach.

Before the snow came, we took our new fat tire bikes to the beach for a quick test run. We ride our bikes to work every day. This is just another excuse to go outside. There are quite a few fat tire cyclists here. It is a great way to wait for the days to get longer.

Bakeries, Boats, and Buskers.

One of the things that I love about vacations is being able to spend time looking for the perfect bakery. We spent one morning visiting a few and trying their baked goods. The best pastries seemed to come from Door County Bakery. They also had the best flowers outside.screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-7-27-39-amWe also had to explore the area by bike to find the best beach. I think that we all agreed that Ferdinand Hotz Park was the best place to have lunch. This is the view of Lake Michigan from the beach.screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-7-28-00-amThis is the view of the beach from Lake Michigan.screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-7-28-17-amFrom our apartment, we walked down to the barbecue overlooking the almighty Green Bay where there was live music. The small figure on the bottom left is a guy playing a guitar and singing. What a way to end vacation days!screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-7-30-39-am

Headed North to Door County.

“Door County” is mentioned a lot when you are in the Midwest. We left Milwaukee and headed north. We were going to the famous Door County. Door County is known for its camping, beaches, and cherries. Also, true to midwest style, everyone is very friendly there.

The blue skies were tremendous as we sat in the air conditioned, cruise controlled truck loaded with bikes and luggage. The countryside was better than I expected. Corn fields and dairy farms were everywhere.

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We rode bikes into and through Peninsula State Park. Peninsula State Park has 460 campsites, an 18 hole golf course, a theater in the summer, big sandy beaches, and miles of bike trails.Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 7.15.46 AMNicolet Beach as a storm rolled in.Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 7.14.11 AMWe made it up to Gill’s Rock in the very far north of Door Peninsula. The weather continued to be perfect as we mingled with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins while eating, drinking, and watching the sunset. Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 7.14.48 AM

Moving to Alaska – Day 3.

We swam, we found waterfalls, we fished. We paddled around in our canoe and swam when we felt like it. We found leeches. We found rainbow trout. We found it relaxing. We stayed another night.

Here is the sunset before my battery died.

Lando in panorama mode.

Appropriately name Turquoise Lake just up the road.

Amanda at Turquoise Lake.

There were a few fish rising every evening.

Good night!

Long, beautiful sunsets every night.

Obi Wan vs squirrel.

Everyone loved this campsite.

Amanda's new bikini.

Swimming every day.

The family in the canoe.

The canoe was a great thing to bring on this trip.

Suns out...

Fun fooling fish.

Moving to Alaska – Day 2.

We woke up without an alarm and saw our campsite for the first time since we had arrived at night. Sorry to our neighbors that had to deal with us inflating our air bed as soon as we arrived. The spot was nice enough and we decided to stay for another couple of nights. The person in charge of the campground informed us that every spot was booked for the whole weekend. We decided to head north. I guess we wouldn’t be climbing at the world famous Chief after all. Oh well. This was a fun vacation with only loose plans so we couldn’t be too disappointed when things didn’t work out perfectly.

The town of Squamish was cool and looked like very other town that had a big time outdoor feel. We stopped at a bakery (probably vegan, gluten free, fair trade, overpriced) for lunch and I saw a guy in a Mountain Sun t-shirt. I started to realize that the thing that makes these towns (Boulder, CO) feel so fun/cool/outdoorsy is actually replicated in quite a few places in the world. We stopped at the fly shop in town and it seemed to be geared more towards people taking guided trips than DIYers like us. We picked up some unnecessary flies and headed north.

We stopped at Brandywine Falls because our guide book told us it was beautiful. The Milepost is the bible. (Sorry Kim Davis.) Anyone driving to Alaska will hear this over and over again. It is very useful. Stopping at visitor centers turned out be pretty good as well.

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The next stop was the Disney like “town” of Whistler. Giant dirt lots of pay to park areas combined with the fact that I knew everything was over priced and nothing special helped me convince Amanda that we didn’t need to see anything there. It felt like Vail, Aspen, or any other ski town except that Wanderlust was about to happen. I kinda wanted to check out their bike park and see the place, but we left there and moved on.

Don’t stop in Pemberton unless you have to. We stopped for lunch. It was hot and uneventful.Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 3.08.52 PM

We were getting sick of driving and decided that the next campground is where we would stop for the night. Just off the main road was a campground between two lakes. Now here is where I should mention the weather. It was hot in Seattle. You know like upper 80s. In Seattle, that is hot enough where people start getting whiny. We didn’t think that it would be getting hotter we went north. Turns out, we were headed inland as well. We were close to a small town called Lillooet, in British Columbia. This area has the record for being the hottest place in Canada. We were trudging uphill in our decade old car and the thermometer read 103 degrees. That was about the time the thermostat starting moving up. The one that never moves. The gauge in the car that normally stays as still as the horizon was pointing up higher and higher. This wasn’t good. We pulled over to let the engine cool down. Unfortunately, it was over 100 and wasn’t cooling down. We poured a little water in the engine coolant container, turned on the heat, and proceeded to the campground. The check engine light came on and my patience was gone. I figured that this would be the beginning of the end. But whatever, we found a campsite between two lakes. We limped in, set up our amazing tent, our jumped in the water. The old crusty sweat turned into a slime and slowly came off of us. I tried to forget that the car might be dead and just enjoy the water.

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Smells like low tide.

Ballard LocksThis is low tide at one of my favorite places. Just a few minutes from the ever popular Hiram M. Chittenden locks in Ballard is a tiny little beach that some berry pickers, bud light drinkers, and myself know about. The fish swim by in large numbers, but the people have their noses pressed to the windows at the fish ladder at the locks. Today, I saw some huge Chinook Salmon and it got me pumped for the future. Mostly my fishing future. When I first moved to Seattle and lived on a  boat in Ballard, I would walk down to this beach with Lando and let him run around off leash. He loved it when the geese were visiting.