It’s a rainy Wednesday afternoon and we are currently at Amnicon Falls State Park in Northern Wisconsin. We have come here to camp for a few nights before continuing on to the Apostle Islands. Kyle used to come to Amnicon Falls with his family a couple times a year growing up and he has been wanting to take me here for quite some time.
I completely understand why he was so eager to share it with me as it is a unique and beautiful place. There are about 30 or so campsites which each have fire rings, picnic tables, and nearby water and facilities. Throughout the park there are numerous waterfalls of different sizes and strengths. The river runs through the park and provides endless views and hiking along its edge. We arrived on Monday evening towing Solvi behind us. Within an hour of setting up camp and making dinner we were off to go swimming. The Upper Falls is a waterfall that is really quite strong and you are able to swim in, behind, and around it. I must admit I was a bit hesitant to get in at first because the strength of falls is intimidating. When you get in you have to keep your legs out in front of you so you can push yourself off the rock ledge. We then swam around the waterfall and went behind it- it was awesome! I have been behind waterfalls before in Utah and North Carolina, but never one of this strength. The water surged passed us as we leaned against the wall behind the falls. I found myself giggling with excitement because it was pretty incredible how much water was all around me. Kyle enjoyed jumping through the falls and getting pushed to the ledge at the end of the swim pit. After watching him do it so many times I decided to try…it didn’t go so well. I went feet first for some reason and put my head back just as I was going under the falls, so needless to say the pressure from the falls rushed right up my nose, mouth, and throat. I came up spitting and coughing while Kyle held on to me, once I caught my breath and got all the water out, we laughed. I didn’t try that again 🙂
That night we had a fire and enjoyed the sunset over the treed valley behind our campsite. It was a clear night and we sat in our camp chairs watching the dusk slowly turn into dark. Every once in a while we’d look up and notice more and more lights shining down on us until suddenly the night sky was scattered with the luminous balls of gas that are stars. The next morning we awoke and made some breakfast and packed lunches before heading off for a day of swimming and hiking. Kyle was going to take me to a place that he and his family call “secret falls.” They call the falls this because getting there takes some navigating. First we hiked down the river to a little tributary which we then waded up, Kyle holding our backpack above his head. We arrived at some rocks and once we climbed over them we were greeted by a big swimming pit created from the strength of the falling water. No one else was there and it seemed really secluded and a bit serene. We went swimming right away and it was just beautiful-we swam, ate lunch, laid in the sun on the rocks, and enjoyed our private little falls. We then spent the rest of the day hiking around the river, took a snow shoe trail through the woods, and ended our evening with some food cooked over the fire and a game of chess.
As I mentioned earlier, today is a rather rainy and gloomy day that we have spent doing boat stuff to get ready for the Apostle Islands. I spent my morning going through all our gear and playing Tetris in order to get it to all fit in the boat, while also being aware of the weight of the gear as to not mess with Solvi’s balance. Kyle is doing some sanding and final fittings with the changes we made to the rig in order to lower the sail’s height a bit.
We are listening to Johnny Cash and feeling rather excited about our adventure that starts tomorrow. Our plan is to drive an hour to Little Sand Bay where we will launch Solvi. We will then spend anywhere from 3-8 days exploring the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior (depending on weather and how we’re feeling about Solvi). If you have never heard of or seen the Apostle Islands definitely take a minute to Google them. We are using this trip as a “shake down cruise” for the Mississippi trip because we have brought every piece of gear we will be bringing on the Mississippi, even if we don’t need it for this trip, in order to figure out where things should go, how we like them, and if we need to change anything. Stay tuned for pictures and updates of our trip to the Apostles! Cheers.