Monday was a day off for me, so I decided to grab my new SUP and head up to southern Wisconsin for some stand up paddle boarding and camping. Better yet, my littlest opted out of Kindergarten for the day and joined me. After a relaxing morning, we headed out, looking for adventure and some bonding. First stop was Bigfoot Beach State Park on Lake Geneva – I had participated in the Bigfoot Triathlon many years ago and knew the “beach” (about 3 feet of sand on the edge of the road) would give us a place to launch from. Driving through the campground, however, neither of us was excited to stay there, so we moved things along. My littlest is pretty chill like me, happily, and can go with the flow.
Knowing that Ottawa Lake was an ideal place for what we wanted, we turned in that direction and were soon there picking our campsite. It turned out to be one of my favorites from past visits, on a bluff overlooking the lake. Since we were car camping (literally, we slept in the back of my Xterra), we backed the car in so our last and first views from bed would be of the lake. This campground is also the site of The North Face Endurance Challenge Series Wisconsin, which we’ll be part of come mid-September. (Thinking about racing Wisconsin, or maybe Utah or Ontario? Use TNF15LOCAL69 for 15% off on any race distance!)
Camp set, we headed to the beach to try out our new SUP. It was very windy and the water was cold, so our session didn’t last long. The littlest didn’t want to get on the board and I didn’t want to leave him on the shore solo, so we packed it in pretty quickly and headed back to the campsite for dinner. A post-dinner hike to the playground was a great way to end the day.
It was more comfortable to sleep in the Xterra than I expected, and we woke up feeling pretty good. We got packed up, made coffee and hot cocoa, and headed out for a morning hike, into an area of the campground we’d never seen. Discovering two hike-in campsites, we decided we’d come back specifically to try them out. Back at the car, we made the decision to find a hot breakfast in lieu of the granola we’d brought. Bellies full, we then headed over to the Forest Headquarters to check out the museum and spend some money in the Gift Shop. A hike along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail filled us with appreciation and a desire to get out more often, always a good thing.
Lake Geneva was also our stop on the way home, this time to wander the lake front, charming downtown, and get lunch. If you’re ever visiting the area, we can highly recommend Simple for lunch, a restaurant that strives to source locally and create relations between the restaurant and the providers. This is a beautiful little town that can get crazy busy during the Summer, but on a beautiful Spring Monday, it was just right.
Agreeing that it has been a fantastic road trip, we knew we’d be doing something similar again, hopefully soon.