We did not do as much camping in 2013 as we had done in the past but we sure had some great experiences. We had relocated to Minnesota at the end of 2012 and spent the first few months of 2013 looking for a house. We finally found a house and moved in May. We didn’t let that stop us from enjoying the outdoors though. Our kids love the outdoors and love new outdoor experiences. They get just excited about new adventures and experiences as I do.
This is a list of some of our new experiences or places visited in 2013:
Moving to Minnesota, of course, meant that we had to get in to ice fishing. The kids had a ball pulling fish through the ice. The kids say they like fishing in the winter better than summer because we don’t have to paddle the canoe out.
Both boys were able to catch a fish out of my kayak for the first time. I have been kayak fishing for about 5 years; I took the boys out one at a time in the kayak this summer while camping at Wilson State Park on Budd Lake in Harrison, MI. Each one of the boys caught a large mouth bass.
We also took a few fishing trips with the canoe this summer catching quite a few bluegill and sunfish. Reid (youngest) also caught a nice bass that he still talks about because he remembers it getting wrapped up in some seaweed making it even harder to reel in.
Both of my boys got rid of their training wheels this summer at the ages of 3 and 5 years old. They are now 4 and 6, but it was great. By the end of the summer, Kyle (oldest) had put in a couple miles on a few different mountain bike trails. Reid even did a short trail ride before turning 4. They can’t wait until this summer to do some more mountain biking.
I personally raced in the Chequamegon 40 Fat Tire Festival in Cable, Wisconsin and also rode in the Copper Country Color Tour put on by Michigan Tech’s Copper Country Cycling Club.
In addition, we (sometimes just me) mountain biked on 10 new trails in 3 different states this year.
Even though we did not do a lot of camping last year, we did manage to camp at 3 new campgrounds:
Pioneer Trail Park in Gladstone, Michigan
Wilson State Park in Harrison, Michigan
Perrot State Park in Trempealeau, Wisconsin
We are thinking about doing another camping road trip this year, but we will see if plans work out. We spent quite a bit of time out in the back yard this year with our own backyard campfires. The boys love cooking over the fire.
We did not get a bunch of hiking in during 2013 as we tended to go biking instead. We did get some new hikes in while camping at Perrot State Park in Trempealeau, Wisconsin. We also visited Interstate State Park in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin for some short hikes
We, of course, did the typical marshmallow and hot dogs over the first but we also cooked our Thanksgiving Turkey over the fire. It turned out pretty good even though the skin was a little charred from a couple of flare ups. I cooked the Thanksgiving turkey over a fire in 2012 and 2011 as well. I’d say it turned out the best in 2011.
We found some rhubarb growing in a small garden area out back when we moved into our house and had our own home made rhubarb pie for the first time.
We were a little late getting a garden in this year because of moving, but we did manage to get a small garden going. We had some success with snap peas, green beans, yellow beans, radishes and carrots. The boys really enjoy helping me plant the garden and pick the vegetables. We still need to work on pulling weeds.
Outside of the garden, but still related; we found an apple tree and grapes growing in the backyard of our new house. We made a whole bunch of apple sauce and apple butter from the apple tree. From the grapes, we made our own grape juice and some wine.
We generally see all sorts of wildlife such as Turkeys and Deere, but I had to mention a couple new wildlife sightings as it was the first time the kids saw a wolf or bear in the wild. We saw the black bear in northern Wisconsin while traveling to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We saw the wolf in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on another trip. The boys thought it was awesome. It was good to for them to see how real these animals are.
Visited the Brule River Fish Hatchery in Brule, Wisconsin so the kids could see the trout being raised.
We stopped along Highway 2 along Lake Michigan and went for a swim at one of the roadside beaches. We have driven by these beaches for years and never had the time to stop and swim. It was great!
We also stopped and hiked down the steps at the Cut River bridge on Highway 2 along Lake Michigan. If you ever drive by there you should stop and take the walk down the steps. There is a great view of the shoreline.
2013 was a great year year for us and we are looking forward to what 2014 will bring us. Stop back and see what adventures that 2014 brings us. What were some fun outdoor activities that you did in 2013?