July 15, 2008
I am camping in Ashland, which is near the Apostle Islands.
Yesterday morning started the same with the bright and cheery innkeeper lady. I knew I was headed to this area, but again, had spent my time the nite before writing my email. Again, she came at me with both guns a’blazing. Again, she had great suggestions.
I left Wausau and took the scenic route out of town. Then the scenic route along the river. I stopped to pick strawberries. Since I’m on the road, with no refrigeration, I bought what I thought I could eat. Still, it was probably more than a quart. Came to $1.75. The strawberry patch didn’t look too big. The kid working said that they’ve been thru it picking 7 times, then they open it up for people to pick their own. He says that the farm is making money. Nice to know that they can keep afloat and have what I consider a small patch of strawberries.
About a mile down this scenic road, I see a bear and two cubs cross the road about 100m from me. Remember when I was hiking at Lands End [Quebec] and thought I spotted a bear, but it was really a fat porcupine or something? Well, this time I was correct. It WAS a bear and her baby cubs!! I am having a blast!
I then went to the Concrete Park. This is an outdoor park with almost life size people and animals re-creating scenes. The figures are made out of concrete and adorned with broken glass and marbles. Kind of fun and goofy.
I think I’ll be saying this a lot the next few days, but it’s really pretty here. Lots of green, trees, rolling hills, lakes and rivers. However, hardly any places to pull over and picnic.
I had a late lunch and thought this café looked cute. But in the window it said that they also sold nite crawlers. So…I moved on down the road.
I seemed to have lost cell service, but it came back again when I arrived in Ashland. Unsure how much longer I’ll have that and thus my internet.
I went hiking in the National Forest to a waterfall [Morgan Falls] and to a lookout area. Well, I should say I attempted this. I went way out of my way to drive to the trailhead. The hike to the waterfall was very easy and short. And the waterfall was a disappointment – hardly any water. Then I set out to hike to the lookout.
The problem…bugs. Oh my. Unsure what all there were – black flies, mosquitoes, gnats and others. But there were buzzing around my head and ears. I could literally see them orbiting my head around and around and around. And for some reason, they seemed to want to get into my ears. They weren’t bothering the rest of my body…they just liked my ears. And it was driving me insane!! I wondered if I wore ear plugs and couldn’t hear them, if that would bother me…would I still know they were there [besides the ones orbiting me].
After about 45 minutes, I realized that I am NOT having any fun. I am being tortured. They say the noise that will “break” a person being tortured is a baby crying. Well, I can think of #2.
So I turned around and went back to my car. I sure hope this isn’t how being outdoors for the rest of my time here will be. If so, then it will be short.
The innkeeper highly suggested I make Ashland my home base while exploring the area. It is on the water, and has great paths along the water and the view is simply beautiful. However, the town itself does nothing for me. I’ll be moving on…up to Bayfield which is right there next to/near the Apostle Islands. Unsure if today I’ll kayak or will take a ferry and ride around one of the islands. Probably kayak since I can’t do that every day.