Washington Island 2014

A couple of weeks ago, Sofie and I headed to Washington Island for our annual weekend getaway with Bella and Charm. To sum it up, it was amazing. We had 3 nights and the most of 4 days to relax and explore.
Here are some of the highlights…

• We hiked Rock Island the first day and walked/jogged the 5 mile trail, of course exploring the shore or whatever else caught our eyes along the way.

• What made this trip extra special was that some friends who frequent the island were there with their horses. Because of this, we were able to explore off the road and really see the land.

• We rode about 24 miles total on the road, in the water, through fields, meadows and along the shore. We also happened on trails through the woods with ferns and even hidden sand dunes in the middle of the island.

• We went to the annual Death’s Door BBQ Competition. We rode the horses there and tied them to trees while we sampled some delicious food. Then, we rode over to Main Street and got a couple of beers horseback.

• We picked about 6 pounds of wild blackberries. After eating our fill, I was able to bring home enough to make blackberry jam to enjoy in the months to come.

• When it comes to bugs, there are only butterflies and dragonflies on the Island, or so it seemed.

• The most frequently asked question of the weekend was, “Do year hear that?” To which the other would respond “I hear nothing.”

• We ate a lot of good food and drank some good drinks.

• We enjoyed our traditional Black Velvet at the Fiddler’s Green.

• The horses behaved like old pros. They were patient, went through anything and everything we asked them to and did not tire (except for some ouchy feet on the hard road). Charm in particular was totally in her element. She was happy and forward.

• I ended up selling my saddle on the Island. I’ve had it for sale since February and now it’s gone! Who could have guessed that would have happened?

• One night we laid out a blanket around midnight and looked at the stars all while enjoying some gourmet popcorn.

• The weather was perfect. Low 70s, mostly overcast but not dreary. Ideal when you’re riding all day!

• We had this ridiculous giant white truck for the weekend. The thing was so loud people would make comments about it to us … oops. We named it “Great White” for the weekend. Totally redneck.

• We had no schedule!

• And lastly, we became experts on Snoants and Cincolizards. I will tell you all about them sometime…

Till next year!

Here are some of the pictures that sum it all up…

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Cave Point • Before the Thaw

This past weekend I was able to spend a night away in Door County! It was a much-needed break from the daily grind. On Sunday, I was able to shoot Cave Point. I’ve been wanting to get up to the Apostle Islands to experience the amazing ice caves, but it just didn’t work out this year. So Cave Point was a good alternative. I was happy to be able to play around with my fairly new Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8. I am still getting the hang of this lens and I feel like I got some good shots. Also, I used the 50mm for a few too.

This has been the coldest winter on record in North East Wisconsin. I’m not sure when we’ll see ice like this again.

Kiteboarding Death’s Door

I was on the ferry traveling from Washington Island to the mainland and noticed two kiteboarders taking on the waves. It was really windy and the waves were a good size, so good that it was hard to take a decent picture with my telephoto without bouncing around. I got a few and then got back in the truck to avoid falling over on the ferry deck.

Notice the lighthouse in the background.. kinda cool how that turned out!

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We Love Door County

The past few days we’ve vacationed in Door County.

Door County is a very special place. It’s Wisconsin’s thumb and surrounded by Green Bay on the west side and Lake Michigan on the east side.

Door County is full of beautiful sights. There are many small towns up and down the winding roads and each has its own Marina. There are countless shops, galleries and speciality boutiques. Also some awesome restaurants. There aren’t any chain restaurants allowed north of Sturgeon Bay, which keeps with the integrity of the area, supports the small business, and also lends itself to a quaint atmosphere.

We like to go there.

There are also several state parks and places to camp and hike. You really can’t go wrong!

My dad and I went out early the first morning to get some shots. The dock shot has to be my favorite. As soon as it was lined up in my viewfinder I knew it was going to be special. Then some of the others were taken in Sister Bay around sunset.

Thanks for looking!

Cave Point this Early Spring

The whole family took a trip to Door County this weekend for a quick overnight stay. While the weather wasn’t as nice as last weekend (high 70s/low 80s.. unheard of!!) it was still above our March average which is around 40˙. So I really can’t complain.

Since the skies were mostly overcast and dreary, I didn’t venture out to take as many pictures as I would have liked. But, I did go to one place that is always impressive: Cave Point. You really can’t take a bad picture. This County Park faces Lake Michigan and when the wind is coming out of the east, it can be extremely cold, and impressive with fantastic wave action on the exposed rocks. Today wasn’t that windy, but I was still able to capture some decent photos.

I’ve been having a lot of fun processing my pictures into Photoshop from RAW format. It allows me to make “corrections” since I am always experimenting in Manual mode on my D5000. Learn as you go? Right?

Which process do you like the best? I experimented with the black and white version of the shoreline since the colors are a little on the bland side this time of year. I kinda like how it turned out.