Wine in Wisconsin?

When you are in Wisconsin, there seems to be a bit of drinking going on. When you are on vacation, there seems to be a bit of drinking going on. When you combine the two, it gets fun. We stopped at Wollersheim Winery and Distillery for a tasting and tour. It was fantastic. The grounds were beautiful.screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-6-23-01-pmThe history of the place was fascinating to me. From their website, “In the 1840s, the Hungarian nobleman Agoston Haraszthy discovered the sloped land where the winery sits today, and planted it with grapevines. During his short time in Wisconsin, Haraszthy also incorporated the state’s first town, Sauk City.” What a busy guy. I also like where his head was. He eventually gave up Wisconsin for a different wine growing area, California. Turns out, it was a good move.

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We made it out of the winery, even if we wanted to stay, and found our way (barely) to a farm. It was a beautiful space with chickens, a cat, a dog, some kind of farmers, and an old farmhouse. It was a great way to be introduced to the next part of our adventure, the Wisconsin Dells.

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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

Quick Trip to Kona.

We took a quick 4 day trip to Kona to visit my dad. Day one was mostly travel, but we got a beautiful sunset even from the plane. The moon could even be seen in the top left corner. We took this to be a good sign for the upcoming trip.Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 3.28.24 AM.pngAs soon as we arrived, we had to play with the dogs. My dad has the kind of relationship with his dogs like we have with ours.Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 3.30.32 AM.png

The  weather may have been a little wet, but the temperature was a bit higher than it was in Anchorage. The trip also included a lot of fruit. Papayas from the yard or lilikoi mimosas, fruit was a major part!Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 3.30.41 AM.pngScreen Shot 2016-05-26 at 3.32.13 AM.png

We threw in a quick stop at End of the World for some cliff jumping.Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 3.32.58 AMScreen Shot 2016-05-26 at 3.33.08 AM

What is a trip to Kona without Scandinavian shave ice? Ice cream, yes, azuki, no thanks.Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 3.34.17 AM.pngStandard Kua Bay Instagram picture? No problem:Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 3.35.31 AM.png

More fruit please. Sure let’s just grab mangoes from the yard. Complete with post beach sunburn.

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One day we headed to Kamuela on the way to Waipio. We needed roping and history lessons.Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 3.37.02 AM.pngScreen Shot 2016-05-26 at 3.37.54 AM.pngScreen Shot 2016-05-26 at 3.38.29 AM.pngNot enough beach time? Thinking that Alaska is chilly? Might as well get to Hapuna while it isn’t raining!Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 3.39.15 AM.pngThe last day, Dad dropped us off at the airport and we had another killer sunset all the way home.

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A hui hou.

The beginning.

52 hikes in one year. I could have waited until January 1. Or maybe the start of a new month. But why wait for anything? There are so many hiking opportunities, I really don’t want to waste any free time. We have been hiking quite a bit and exploring our local parks, but I want to keep track of which hikes I have done. Here is where I will do that. This hike to Ship Lake might get done this summer.

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A lot of people in Alaska spend their winter planning their summer adventures. We were out skiing, fishing, and skijoring, so we are a little late in the game as far as planning things. There are lots of ideas floating around however. A lot of my time is spent looking at things like this.

crowpassSo stay tuned for at least 52 adventures this year. There are some loose rules for what makes a hike. At least 3 miles. All off road. Well at least not paved. Runs totally count. Snacks should be eaten on the trail. Serious things like these must be considered for it to be a true hike.

Moving to Alaska – Day 9.

Happy Birthday Dad. We packed it up from Babine Lake and thought that we would really get started on our adventure. Our first stop was a place we saw First Nations using a dipnet to catch fish.

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It was time to get onto the Cassiar highway. This is where we turned north from Kitwanga and headed in towards the Yukon Territory. There are very few towns, no cell phone service, no wifi, and gas stations are only open during the day.

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This is one of the places where we saw black bears close to the road.

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There were lots of time where we didn’t see another person, but lots of beautiful scenery.

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Don’t worry, we were totally safe. Notice the bear spray on the belt loop at all times. We also found tall Fireweed. I don’t remember ever seeing Fireweed, but it is everywhere as you go north.

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There are different accommodation options all along the way. We found “resorts” for $150 a night, but opted for the free Bonus Lake Forest Recreation Site.

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I can’t get over how great these recreation sites can be. We are steps from Bonus Lake (which has many trout eager to take a fly).

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There is a composting toilet, picnic tables, and fire rings. There are only 3 campsites. When we arrived we were alone. It was starting to rain, so we set up our tent quickly. I met a nice dutch guy who stopped with his truck, camper, and three kids just to make coffee. He says that he stays in recreation sites 6 days a week while on vacation. He left after chatting for a while. He was headed to Smithers to stock up on Dutch things. He said that 1/3 of the town is of Dutch heritage so there are shops that sell Dutch candies and things imported from the Netherlands that remind him of his childhood.

The weather got worse and a nice Canadian couple showed up and sat in the pouring rain with us. They had a camper, but had a couple of beers at our table and discussed life. It was interesting to meet all kinds of people on this trip. The man was a hunter. Well he shot things. He told us stories of shooting animals that he never intended to eat that he would get a permit for after killing it and report it even after that. Seemed a bit like a “if it has eyes it dies” kind of hunter. He lived in his camper as he worked construction for things like oil and gas pipelines. He would be away from home for months at a time chasing work. Rough life up here.

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