I had set my intention this year to travel and have as many adventures as possible. Since January 2016, I have traveled to Costa Rica, Marco Island, Florida, Asheville, NC, South Padre Island, TX, and took a long road trip across Tennessee through the Great Smoky Mountains.
I was seriously thinking about going out west and taking a rafting trip down the Colorado River, when one day a friend suggested that we go on a kayaking trip to northern Wisconsin. I immediately rejected the idea, thinking, no, I want to explore further horizons, but then I saw pictures of the Apostle Islands and thought, I have to explore these beautiful caves.
I have always loved kayaking and had purchased two kayaks the previous year, often spending days on nearby lakes and rivers. I had never kayaked on one of the Great Lakes before, but I knew that it would be different, more challenging, with possible strong winds and large waves, drastically different than the calm rivers and lakes that I was used to in the Midwest.
My friend and I decided to drive four hours north, through the Northwoods of upper Wisconsin and booked a one-day kayaking excursion through Living Adventure, Inc., out of Bayfield, WI. The trip included tandem kayaks, experienced guides, wetsuits, and a prepared lunch on the beach, vegan for me. Prior to going, I neglected to read the entire instructions or list of what to bring. In fact, I didn’t read anything. Ok, so I just show up in life, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t! My friend informed me before our trip that we were both sharing a tandem kayak. I said, “No, I’m a solo kayaker!” I later emailed the organization to ask about using a single kayak but was informed that I had to share. I had had to many bad experiences in the past with beginner kayakers who usually fell into the lake immediately or got stuck in trees along the shoreline. For me kayaking came natural, it was as if I had been born with a paddle in my arms. I took a deep breath and thought, ok, I can handle this.
After a four-hour drive, we arrived in Bayfrield, WI, which is a quirky small town on Lake Superior. We checked into our hotel and found Living Adventure, Inc. the following morning. The weather was dark and raining but relatively calm. We understood that if there were strong winds or storms that we would not be allowed to go to the caves of the Apostle Islands.
Our group consisted of 11 people in total, with two guides. They handed out wetsuits and explained that we would kayak approximately three miles, one mile out to the Apostle Islands and into the caves, weather permitting. They also showed us a map of the islands and said we would be having lunch on a deserted beach. Again, explaining that the weather there was unpredictable and could change quit quickly which could alter our plans for the day.
We arrived at the beach, lined our kayaks up at the seashore, and excitedly gathered around the guides to learn how to steer and paddle. The guide explained that the person in the back would steer the kayak. Me being the experienced kayaker, made the mistake of insisting that I sit in the front because I wanted to take photos. I told my fellow kayaker that all she had to do was push on the right peddle to go right, and push on the left to go left. It was simple…
(The complete article is in the process of being published. A link will be provided soon so that you can read the entire adventure.)
I later found out that Living Adventure, Inc., offers camping trips where you can kayak to the different islands and camp overnight or for an entire week.
Overall great experience where I learned about myself, kayaked one of the Great Lakes, and explored the beautiful rugged seashore of northern Wisconsin. I can’t wait to go back for further exploration!