A Summer Glamping Trip

This past year has been crazy! Especially crazy for someone who had a hobby of writing a travel blog, because quite frankly, we haven’t really been able to travel much at all this year! 

I tried to keep up just with writing bucket list posts (and I do plan to get back in that habit), but it got tiring writing about all the places I wanted to go, and couldn’t! But my fee is up for my blog, so now seemed as good of time as any to hop back to it and put that fee to work! Ha!

So I will be headed back into finishing my Wyoming Bucket Lists this week, but did want to intersperse in a few things we got around to doing this summer and fall! 

The camp I grew up attending as a kid, and where my family still has a cottage time share, was unable to have their normal youth camp programming this year. This meant their outdoor “villages” were going to be left unused. But then they got creative! They let family units rent out these villages for “glamping.” If you are unfamiliar with that term, glamping is a lot like camping, but with several nice amenity perks involved. For us during our week at camp, it meant a nicer shelter than a tent, meals provided in their dining hall, access to their many activities, and the shower house!

Our stay took place in their Treehouse Village. Here’s a photo!

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We absolutely loved out time out in nature! We actually stayed in the smaller unit on the right. We slept in the upper portion which had a set of bunks, of which we actually moved mattresses to the floor as they were a little creaky anytime one of us rolled over! The lower portion also had another bunk set, but that’s where we kept our clothing and all our gear. The shower house was just a quick walk away which was handy as we always showered in the morning and evening. We did have quite a hike into main camp for meals, but check out this food! It was so worth it! And it was in their brand new community center they just built as an update from the old dining hall!

Main camp was also where most of our activities were. Since we went in July, we spent time at the beach almost every day. Our routine usually went something like this: Wake up, shower, grab breakfast, disc golf, go back and change into swim gear and grab our beach chairs and supplies, read by the beach, maybe kayak or play shuffleboard, have lunch, spend time at the beach, read, go back and change, disc golf, have dinner, disc golf, go to devotions, head back to the village, shower, hang out, sleep. It was a pretty cush life for the week!

It was so hot the week we were there that we didn’t often feel like enjoying a camp fire at our treehouse, but towards the end of our stay we did enjoy a few. We had nearly perfect weather all week long (minus one scary night of severe storms in our treehouse), so overall we can’t complain!

2020 may have taken a lot of travel opportunities from us this year, but it also opened the door to one amazing once-in-a-lifetime glamping trip that we will forever cherish! Thanks so much to Camp Luther for making this a possibility and bringing some joy to our summer!

Feltz Family Farms and Dairy Store ~ Stevens Point, Wisconsin

As you may remember from a previous post, growing up in Wisconsin I’m very partial to cheese shops, Dairy State Cheese in particular, as this is the place I grew up buying all my cheese and watching cheese be made, but in recent years, my parents have introduced me to another nearby dairy store, Feltz Family Farms.

The farm itself has been in the family for five generations, and now has two robots who help with the milking process. Within the store they have a viewing window into the barn where you can sometimes watch the milking process, but always be guaranteed a view of the cows!

The Dairy Store portion opened in 2017 and offers a variety of local goodies. One thing I like about their store, is that it’s not just cheese. You also can find a variety of local meats, olive oils, milk, and even enjoy some ice cream.

On our particular visit in December, we chose to also indulge in the fresh deep fried cheese curds they will offer. Simply ask at the counter and they will get an order going for you. They have a view tables inside where you can enjoy your curds, and if the weather is nice, there are also some benches outside the shop.

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I loved the batter flavor on the curds, but I do prefer a smaller curd generally speaking as you get the perfect blend of batter and cheese. That being said though, they were still very delicious as most cheese curds are when deep fried.

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Misty’s Menu ~ Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin

A few days after Christmas found us visiting my parents in my hometown of Wisconsin Rapids. One morning they offered to take us out for an early brunch at Misty’s Menu.

Misty’s is a small little cafe located off one of the main highways in town. It’s clearly popular with the locals as we had to wait just a little bit for them to clear a table for the four of us. My mom told us they loved the Skillets but said you really couldn’t go wrong with anything.

I love a good sausage biscuits and gravy, so that’s what I went with. Andrew opted for the French toast and my parents each ordered a skillet.

Being in Wisconsin, my mom’s skillet was called Green and Gold and my dad went for the all meat option.

I feel like the pictures don’t give it full justice, but as you can see you get your choice of egg with the skillets, along with hash browns and then then other mix ins. In my dad’s case it was lots of meet and my mom’s had broccoli.

The food was all very filing and everyone except me had leftovers to take home. We definitely would not mind stopping by Misty’s when in the area again!

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45 x 90 Geographical Marker ~ Poniakowski, Wisconsin

Little did I know, but I grew up just an hour south of the 45 x 90 Geographical Marker, and would have continued to do so if it hadn’t been for my friends over at No Home Just Roam. (Check them out! They are on a 5 year, 50 state road trip and it’s awesome!) Thanks to them writing up a little post about this marker during their time in Wisconsin, Andrew and I knew we’d need to stop and check it out on the way back down to my parents.

While the log book you can sign after finding the marker is located at the Wausau Visitor Center, you actually have to drive about 25 miles west of there to reach the unincorporated town of Poniatowski. It is there that you will find the 45 x 90 geographical marker. Technically there are four 45 x 90 points in the world (these being the points halfway between the geographical poles, the equator, the 180th meridian, and the Prime Meridian), but this is the only one of the four that contains a marker and that is able to be accessed by all people. Two of the other points are located in the Pacific and Indian oceans, respectively, and the other is located in the mountains of China.

Out among the farm fields, lies the 45 x 90 marker. There is an area to park with a sign containing details of the 45 x 90 marker. It used to be that that was as close as you could get to the actual location, but there is now a gravel path that you can walk along further out into the field that will take you to the marker and the actual location of the 45 x 90 point.

It was an especially hot day the day we visited, so we just took our few photos and then went on our merry way back into Wausau to sign the guestbook, but they do have benches both along the path and by the marker itself if you’d like to spent a little longer there, although I’m not sure why you would need to!

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Upon arriving at the Wausau Visitor Center, simply ask to sign the 45 x 90 guestbook. When you do they also give you a souvenir token that looks similar to the actual marker. It’s a great way to remember the time you spent at the marker!

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World’s Largest Penny ~ Woodruff, Wisconsin

Those who know us fairly well know that we can’t turn down an opportunity to visit a weird roadside attraction. After all, we had our first date at the World’s Largest Buffalo in Jamestown, ND and were engage under the shadow of Salem Sue in New Salem, ND. That being said, when we realized we could head back to my parents by traveling through Woodruff, we knew we needed to stop by and take a photo op with the World’s Largest Penny.

Unlike many large roadside attractions, this giant Penny actually has a pretty neat story for how it came to be that is much more unique than just providing an entertaining pit stop along the interstate or highway.

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It is really cool to have this penny just across the street from where the current hospital sits, since that the reason all these pennies were collected in the first place. After reading that bit of history, it was time for our grand photo op before hitting the road again.

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Copper Falls State Park ~ Mellen, Wisconsin

Following a night in Ashland, we began to make our way down to Wisconsin Rapids to be reunited with our pups who had been enjoying a stay at the kennel near my parents house. However, we had a few pit stops we wanted to make along the way. The first was to Copper Falls State Park. Our phone GPS was a bit spotty on the way there, but as we got closer there were plenty of signs pointing us in the right direction. You do need to pay the state park fee to enter the area.

There is a large parking lot near the waterfall trail (Doughboys Trail). There also is a shelter that contains rest rooms as well as an area that sells concessions and small gifts, at least in the summer! We made our way across a small bridge to begin our time on the Doughboys Trail which is 1.7 miles in length and gives overlooks to 3 waterfalls located within the park. The trail is a loop, but if you take the trail to the right first, instead of left like we did, parts of it are handicap accessible.

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Very early on in the trail, we had the option to take a side hike to the Observation Tower. We opted to not as our legs were sore from hiking the day before and felt like it would be a lot of extra steps climbing to the top and back. It also seemed like we would just see a lot of trees rather than a nice overview of the area.

It wasn’t long before we reached the overlook to Copper Falls.

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We continued on our journey along the trail and next reached the overlook for Brownstone Falls.

Next you reach another bridge that takes you over the area fondly known as Devils Gate.

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On the other side of the Devils Gate bridge, the trail has a lot of built in rock steps as well as some boardwalk area that gives you another overlook to Brownstone Falls. From there the trail gets less strenuous as you approach The Cascades.

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There is another small bridge to cross at the edge of the Cascades. Then you stroll through a bit of wooded area before reaching the parking lot again. Along this portion of trail, there is yet another overlook towards Brownstone Falls from a different angle. We also met some friendly wildlife on the way back to the lot!

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The Doughboys Trail was a nice rewarding hike that gave plenty of opportunities to view the various waterfalls located along the trail. It wasn’t quite as impressive of falls as those we witnessed in Amnicon Falls State Park, but this could be due to all the rain Amnicon had experienced prior to our visit.

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Pizza Pub ~ Ashland, Wisconsin

While finishing out our North Shore trip, we decided we’d try somewhere local for some pizza that night. We had 2-3 places to choose from that were local pizzerias that we wouldn’t find anywhere else. After perusing a few menus online, we opted to try Pizza Pub located on the far east side of town.

In hindsight, somewhere else may have been better only because there was road construction completely surrounding Pizza Pub. It took us 3 times around the block before we finally found a way to park in the gravel lot across the street.

Pizza Pub is actually quite a large establishment. The door we came in opened into a large dining room. Looking online it appears that they also had another dining room area that also contained a bar. We were able to seat ourselves at a table in that first dining room.

They had a salad bar set up along one wall that several people were using during their meals. We are not salad eaters, so I didn’t check it out.

We both decided to get a small 6 inch pizza seeing as how I’m more of a just cheese person and Andrew loves meat pizza. I ordered the Quattro that contained 4 cheeses and he ordered the Meat Lovers.

It doesn’t look like much when it arrives but it was quite tasty. We both easily finished off our pizzas while dining there. I’m not usually much of a thin crust person, but this one was done well without being too crispy.

One of their dessert items caught my eye when we were ordering our pizzas, so we asked them to put in a lava cake as soon as our pizza’s arrived. Since we both had eaten our whole pizza it was just right to share a lava cake at the end.

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If pizza isn’t your favorite thing, Pizza Pub also offers burgers, sandwiches, “below the border” options, and a select number of dinner entrees as well. Other people were enjoying some of the dinner entrees and they looked quite tasty.

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Super 8 Ashland~ Ashland, Wisconsin

Our last night of our North Shore adventure brought us to the Super 8 in Ashland, WI. This Super 8 was one of the nicer looking Super 8’s I had been to in awhile, which was nice given it was a bit more expensive than others given it’s in a more touristy area given it’s proximity to Lake Superior.

The hotel itself was 2 stories and had a nice large pool area that we enjoyed. You had to get towels at the front desk if you wanted to use the pool, but seeing as how the pool is right off that main lobby that wasn’t really an issue. Somehow I failed to get pictures of the pool area, even though we had the pool to ourselves the night we were there.

The Super 8 also provided breakfast with your stay, but we still had leftover breakfast from our time spent at Cascade Lodge in Minnesota, so we didn’t end up checking the breakfast out.

Our room itself was on the first floor, not far from a side door that we could use to bring our suitcases in, and just down the hall from the guest laundry area. The room had clearly been recently remodeled and had fun art on the walls.

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As you can see, Andrew really enjoyed the lounge chair they had in our room.

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Across from our bed was a TV stand with a large TV as well as the fridge and microwave located down below.

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The bathroom was just to the right when you came in the door and a small closet was just outside the bathroom.

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The bathroom was spacious enough, but as seems to be our trend with Super 8’s, it had horrible water pressure in the shower. That was the only downside though.

Most times, I’m sure it would be pleasant to take a stroll outside the hotel along the lake, but seeing as how the area had recently experienced flooding, the lake was rather brown, and the weather was quite cool so we opted to just stay in after dinner and take a swim.

Overall we were pleased with our stay at the Super 8, but wish they had much better water pressure for their showers!

Amnicon Falls State Park ~South Range, Wisconsin

After spending a few nights on the North Shore in Minnesota, we spent one more day in Northern Wisconsin. As we made our way to our hotel in Ashland, we made a stop to Amnicon Falls State Park.

The area had recently undergone a lot of flooding, so only the main road into the park was open. We had to drive all the way to the campground area to buy our park permit. Wisconsin State Parks cost more per day if you have out of state plates, which we did. However, a small sign on their desk mentioned an hour long pass you can purchase for half the cost. I inquired about that and found it to be the best option for us.

Due to all the flooding the main road to the falls was closed, so we had to park at the end of the road and walk along it to the bridge to the falls. As we reached the end of the road, we got our first glimpse at High Falls. The covered bridge crosses over High Falls and takes you to the trail to get to Snake Pit Falls.

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Before we crossed the bridge, we walked a little past the bridge to get a picture of Lower Falls.

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Crossing onto the bridge, we got a nice view of Upper Falls.

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A little ways around the trail on the island, you come to Snake Pit Falls.

Due to the flooding the area had recently experienced, several other areas along the island also seemed to have falls, but didn’t have any names. It made for some really neat photos though.

After crossing back over the covered bridge, we made our way across the road to view Now and Then Falls.

We loved how beautiful Amnicon Falls State Park was during our visit. I wonder how it looks when they haven’t had as much rainfall. The recent rainfall made our visit much more impressive.

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Super 8 ~ Superior, Wisconsin

As a last hurrah before Andrew and I moved to South Dakota for him to begin ministry at his first churches, we took a week long trip to Minnesota’s North Shore. Our first day of the trip brought us from my hometown of Wisconsin Rapids to Superior, Wisconsin for the night. We rolled into town around 7pm.

The Super 8 is a simple 2 story hotel. I don’t recall if it had an elevator, but most Super 8’s we’ve stayed in haven’t, so I’m guessing this one didn’t either. The check in process was quite simple. The lobby area was small and had a small breakfast dining area just off the lobby. One cool thing was that they had a giant light up attraction map on the wall of the lobby so you could see points of interest nearby. This map is actually what brought the Wisconsin Point Lighthouse to my attention for us to visit the following morning.

Our room was a simple hotel room that also had a small fridge and microwave. The bathroom was directly to the left when we walked in.

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One downfall was that the pressure for the shower in the bathroom was incredibly low.

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We did enjoy the perks of having a nice comfy chair to sit in if we didn’t want to just sit in the bed to watch TV.

Overall we had a peaceful stay, probably because it was a Sunday night when most people would be headed home and done with travels, and also because we were on the far end of the 2nd floor.

I will say that the price seemed incredibly high for the quality of the room and hotel in general. We did not eat breakfast on site, so I can’t be a judge on that factor. I have a feeling most hotels in the area will be just as much, if not more expensive, just given the proximity to Lake Superior. It made for a nice stay the one night we needed it.