A few weeks ago, Connor and I drove to the Northwoods of Wisconsin with his two sisters for a family camping trip. I think Connor was a tad worried about how I would hold up considering my version of camping was when I was seven at girl scout camp!
We stayed at Wildman Resort which was a beautiful camp ground right on the Peshtigo River. Connor's dad and his girlfriend graciously gifted us the weekend, so we could all spend time together as a family. Kevin, his dad, knows how to do camping right! When we arrived, both tents were set up along with the picnic table and cover, and they were preparing lunch. It definitely beat my college float trip and "camping" that included doritos and s'mores.
After lunch, the the eight of us white water rafted down the Peshtigo River. I was a little nervous at first since I've never done white water rafting, but quickly realized that it was going to be a lot of fun. The first day of rapids were at the highest a class three. We were each in individual rafts, and it was fun rafting down the river. I did fall out once, but actually found it pretty exciting!
We got back just before dinner, and it started to rain a bit. I actually really loved it. It was nice to just sit with everyone and chat without all of our phones. The rain, for me, was super calming. After awhile, it died down, and we had a delicious BBQ for dinner. Kevin and Kathy even made apple pie on the fire for dessert! Connor was definitely in heaven.
The next morning, Connor and I enjoyed hanging out by the river before breakfast. The weather was seriously perfect, and the water felt wonderful. I always enjoy getting out of the city for a bit of time as it helps me clear my mind and remember what's really important. Again, Kevin and Kathy made a feast for breakfast: pancakes, eggs, fruit salad and more.
After breakfast, I read by the fire a bit, and then we headed on our next adventure. I was way less nervous about the second day of rafting than I was about the first...until we got on the actual river.
The second day we rafted on the Menominee River which is the river that divides Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. While the first day had the highest of rapids at three, the second day had rapids of almost five. Hard to imagine? Click here to watch the video . Because the rapids are back to back, you get to raft them three times. Over and over, the guide kept telling us that it's very common for people to fall out. Since I fell out the day before, I wasn't super nervous...until we went through the rapids. As we approached the rapids, our guide goes, that's a ten foot drop coming up. We dropped and went into a series of five rapids. I was grinning ear to ear when we were done, and then I realized we had to do it two more times. All of us successfully stayed in the first time, but now we were trying it again!
Again, we made it down the rapids in one piece. Everyone could tell I was starting to get panicky. On the second trip, Connor's dad's group did not make it down all in one piece; in fact, three of the four fell out. As we started to walk the trek back to the last raft, my mind went crazy with what could happen on the last trip, and I went into a full blown panic attack. The scariest part for me was if you fell out during the first rapid, you had to float through the rest. There is no way for you to climb back into the raft because of how the rapids move. Connor, being who he is, talked me down my ledge of fears. As we walked back up to the raft, Kevin lifted up his shirt to show us the massive bruise and scrape along his stomach from falling out. Talk about bad timing! Thankfully, we all stayed in the raft through our last rapid. Phew.
That evening, Kevin and Kathy made pasta for dinner, and we topped it off with s'mores. We had a great fire going, and it was the perfect sweatshirt weather. Connor and I spent a bit of time hanging out with his sisters after everyone went to sleep, and it was nice to have a whole weekend of bonding with them.
The next morning, we had a feast for breakfast AGAIN, and headed off after packing up the campsite.
On the way in to the campsite, we noticed the most gorgeous field of yellow wild flowers, so I made Connor promise we would stop by it on the way home. We hopped out the side of the car, and landed right in the flowers. It was such a beautiful sight, and the pictures don't even do it justice. It went on for acres and acres, and reminded me of my favorite childhood book: Miss Rumphius. If you've never read the book, it's about a woman who decides to scatter lupine seeds wherever she goes to spread beauty all over the world.
The timing of seeing the yellow fields was perfect since we got back to cell phone service we heard about the Orlando attacks. I think I'll be implementing Miss Rumphius seed scattering soon, and doing my best to make the world a more beautiful place in light of all our tragedy.