I spent two weeks of July hiding out “Up North” at the lake with my family, absolutely relishing in the peacefulness of the north woods! It’s hard to beat a summer day spent on the lake, swimming, water-skiing, and paddle boarding, followed by an evening of cocktail cruises, grilling, and camp fires. If not for the elephant-sized mosquitoes, I just might call this my favorite place on Earth! Every summer, for as long as I can remember, my family travels up to the top of Wisconsin to surround ourselves with pine trees, lakes, wild life, and the only kind of quiet you can find in nature.
For those of us from Milwaukee, it’s a bit of a hike to get up there, about 5 hours to get close to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where our cabin is. We had a beautiful sunset to watch for a good chunk of the drive this time…
When you get “Up North”, every road you travel down is lined with vibrantly green trees.
One first look out the cabin over our little bay and the lake beyond, and we’ve forgotten the 5 hours we just spent in the car to get there.
This is my favorite place to be on the 4th of July, watching the fireworks on the lake and at the local airport. I’ve never seen such a big firework show – you can’t believe how many people “come out of the woods” to take it all in.
This year, my mom was very popular on the air strip with these bio-degradable Sky Lanterns she brought along. When, you light the base, they slowly rise up into the sky and drift away as far as the eye can see. We were as excited as little kids lighting these up!
My mom’s lifelong dream came true that night on our way home from the fireworks. Driving down the road about 50 yards from our cabin, we came across a black bear! It would be an understatement to say my mom was excited. She was crying. If I could reenact the moment for you, I would. The bear was so dark, that it felt like we were looking into a black-hole, only recognizing what was in front of us, by the outline of her body and the big paws padding across the dirt road. Needless to say, I started carrying my cell phone on my morning bike rides with mom after that!
There’s nothing quite like jumping in crystal clear lake water, it’s refreshing in no other way I can describe. Even though I know that amazing feeling of fresh lake water running through my hair, I always act a bit traumatized taking that first jump!
This summer, I mastered going in and out of the wake while slaloming, which was very exciting! Although truly, my brother Mike is the master, jumping the wake on 1 ski! He makes it looks so easy.
When you are up there, you see more wildlife than people. We have a family of bald eagles nesting and keeping watch on the island in front of our cabin, families of deer swimming back and forth from the mainland, and a pair of loons singing in our bay.My favorite time to be on the water is when the surface is glass, mirroring the sky and treeline.
Especially when you’re out on the boat with a fresh margarita in hand ;)
Or when the sunset paints the sky pink and purple
Contrary to popular belief, there is more to Wisconsin than cheese heads and beer…it’s a beautiful place to be!