Tag Archives: camping

Wisconsin Trout Unlimited Youth Fishing Camp 2015

One more year of our WITU Youth Camp under our belts, and one more graduating class of educated angler citizens.

This year’s group was thoughtful and funny, sassy and naughty, insightful and competitive. Basically, they were typical teenagers (and pre-teens). The camp is held at the beautiful Pine Lake Bible Camp, and it is a wonderful facility!

We started with knot tying…

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…and fly casting.

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I was the counselor for two girls, and here they are! Natalie and Katie. Two totally different personalities and two different experience levels, but the three of us meshed flawlessly and we all had a great time. 🙂

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We had many fabulous volunteers, who drove out to the middle of nowhere (Wild Rose) and donated their time and talents. I love my TU friends!

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We went on a field trip to visit our local DNR fisheries guys and they demonstrated how they do fish surveys on our streams.

When it was dark, we came inside and the kids learned about fly tying. Some of our older kids from last year came back and helped us out as junior counselors. They were fantastic! Even though I think this stuff is awesome, it means more to the campers to hear it from other kids.

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Here are my girls with the grownups that they brought- one had her grampie, and one had her dad.

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We had a lesson from past WITU council chair, Henry, on what TU does and why we do it.

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Those lucky kids even had a chance to make their own spinners! Too cool.

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The camp is on a lake, so we were able to swim and fish out there in between classes. It was a hot week- in the 90s every day. We made extra break times for a dip in the lake, and I made a couple popsicle runs.

Despite the heat, I found a little break to go for a run on the trails through the camp. It was beautiful!!

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Early mornings were spent soaking up knowledge from these TU members (and total fly fishing experts!)…

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…and drinking tea on the deck. Those kids stayed up way past “lights out,” probably studying their fishing books, I’m sure, so they slept in until the very last moment each morning. It was nice to have a few minutes of peace!image5 (2)

Our final day included some stream fishing, and my girls did a fantastic job!

Bob, who is one of the organizers of the camp, came out to our stream section and captured this image of Natalie and I. She did a great job! I was so proud.

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Girls on the stream: Linda, from Wisconsin River Valley TU, came out to help guide!

We had a wonderful camp this year. Congratulations, campers! You learned a lot of new skills, and you taught us all a lot, too. Thank you for the great week!

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I headed out immediately after the kids were picked up, because I only had one day at home before I had to leave on my Colorado adventure. One day is not nearly enough time to do all my laundry, snuggle my pup and my mustachioed husband, and charge my camera batteries.

That trip (and the insanity of my day at home) is up next! As always, thank you for reading!

Miles this year: 335.4


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Mom’s Wedding + Oberstadt Family Reunion

While my mom and Bill had their wedding ceremony on Valentine’s Day up at St. Therese, they planned a big reception and party out at Wildlife Campground this summer.

It was a wonderful time: our friends and family came from near and far…

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…Mom (and her sisters and friends) decorated with flowers from the farmer’s market, she had her peacock feather themed cake, and her life-long dream: a giant processional of bridesmaids to “Prince Ali” from Aladdin…

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…and we danced all night long!

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We finished the night by releasing a few lanterns.

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Congratulations, Mom and Bill!

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The thing about weddings (that no one tells you about) is that after the dust has settled, and everyone has been fed, and people are happy… someone needs to clean up! We stayed up late cleaning and helping to put away all the gifts and decorations. We were camping right at the campground, so we didn’t have far to go, and it was a fun adventure with our little pup. She loves camping! We slept soundly, and woke up early so we could head out to the Oberstadt family reunion at Lynn and Jerry’s house.

We were tired, but we put on a good face, brought store-bought cookies, and played hammerschlagen.

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They always have photo albums with really old photos of the family members and newspaper clippings. I love reading about family history! This year, they had a whole new series of “old photos,” including this embarrasing capture from a time in our lives when we thought dressing alike was a good idea.

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I’m tired just writing this post- we sure know how to pack our weekends full of adventure! 🙂

Up next? A week full of photoshoots before my all-time favorite holiday. ❤

As always, thanks for reading, friends!

Miles this year: 302.1

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My Big Horn Mountain Adventure (Part II)

Of course, we took time to fish.
This was the first time that I really felt like an independent angler. Brian and I didn’t know what streams to fish, or what flies to use. We looked on a map and drove around until we found some water, which turned out to be the South Fork of the Tongue River.

I read the water, and explained the differences in this type of stream compared to the Midwestern beauties that he’s been on, and I picked flies that matched the hatch. The result? Rainbows, and cutthroats, and my first cutbow.





We fished on both the North and South fork of the Tongue, and a tiny little stream a couple miles from camp.
Brian caught his first fish in a stream!!


I am so proud. We had an awesome time exploring and learning about the local water! I even found a sign put up by some TU members. 🙂

We wore waders sometimes, but I prefer to wet wade when I can 🙂

One of the days, we all went out on a long ATV ride to the Upper and Lower Paint Rock lakes, and caught a few trout in still water.

I don’t have any photos to prove this, but I shot my first gun while we were out there. Brian brought his pistol, and I learned how to shoot it. I hit both of my targets, the beer can AND the other beer can. Sure, they were only ten yards away, but I did it. Woo!
It was hard to leave- we had such an amazing time. All the fresh air and playing outside wore us out! We stopped at Mount Rushmore on the way home.


My alternator started to go bad on the way home, but we made it, and the alternator has been replaced 🙂
I left the mountains and came home to a mountain of paperwork (and photo editing!), so that is where I’ll be for the next few weeks.
Thanks for reading, friends!

Miles this year: 355.25

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My Big Horn Mountain Adventure (Part I)

Monday morning rolled around, and Brian and I did as much laundry as we could, unpacked from Lifest, and repacked for the mountains. It took us about 18 hours to get to the mountain, so we drove the first half on Monday and stopped in Mitchell, SD for the night.
Once we entered Wyoming, on Tuesday, we had to take our kayaks through the watercraft checkpoints.

It was a pain since I was anxious to get there, but it is for a very good reason, and they gave us an awesome keychain…

The closer we got, the more different things looked. Permanent snow drift fences and hills, then bigger hills, then mountains.

We took turns driving, which helped a lot!

I was so excited to get to the mountain and meet our friends, John and Carmel. They had an awesome campsite set up and we spent the week with them and John’s three boys.

When I stepped out of my tent, this was the view. Insane.

I loved seeing all the mule deer! So cute.

Carmel and I went for a few runs up there. There’s nothing like attempting to run five miles at 9,000 feet to humble a person.

We did a lot of fun things- one of my favorites was visiting Porcupine Falls. We hiked down to the water, then climbed up on the rock cliff and jumped in the pool! It was a balmy 53 degrees.




We took a day and drove down to Yellowstone. Kayaking Yellowstone Lake has been on my bucket list for a while, so I was just thrilled to get to play down there. I have also read a lot about Yellowstone as I’ve gotten more involved with TU, so it was exciting to go visit on my own. We had to get watercraft licenses for the park and go through another inspection, then we were happily paddling away. 🙂









We even found a couple little caves to check out.


It was a fun day on the water, but we saw a storm rolling in, so we headed back.

We’d bought fishing licenses, but when the storm came, we weren’t sure if we’d have time. I grabbed my rod anyway, strung it up, and popped over to the closest fishable stream.

Three casts in, and I heard the first clap of thunder, so I packed up. It started to rain, so we headed back, but stopped for a couple photos. Picture it: I had B drive, so I could jump out of the car and shoot, then it started raining harder, so I rolled down the window and shot through the opening, then it started hailing. I still wanted to play outside!











It was an incredible day. Neither of us had been there before, and one day wasn’t nearly enough time! We are already planning a longer trip back next time. For those of you who have been to Yellowstone, what would you recommend?
It took us almost four hours to get back to camp, and we were about four miles away when my brakes started making that signature grinding… That sound that means, “Ooh, girl… You should have checked your brakes before taking a long road trip to the mountains!”
So. This happened. Adventure in a photo?

John took Brian into town (Sheridan) the next day to pick up brake pads and rotors, and B installed them right there on top of the mountain.
I’ll leave you with a sneaky picture B grabbed of me doing yoga in the morning. Any inversion was made infinitely more awesome by seeing the upside down mountains in my view.

Part II of my adventure will share all my fishing fun. 🙂
Please come back for more! As always, thanks for reading, friends.

Miles this year: 352.25

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Jill and Breck, Father’s Day, and a night in Marinette county

Love. I love love.

Those of you who have met me know that I cry at every wedding I shoot. My friends usually make fun of me!
I cry harder at weddings when I know the couple, as with Jill and Breck. There was a several month period a couple years ago when Breck and Brian worked together, and they looked like twins, and even I mistook Breck for Brian from behind. 🙂 These two had a dream wedding in their hometown, Waupaca, Wisconsin. Take a peek!


































Congratulations, Coopers! Thank you so much for choosing us to capture your wedding day. We had a blast with you!
PS the homebrew was awesome, Breck! Best. Wedding. Favors. Ever.
We love Waupaca, especially the cute little downtown area. We stopped over there and Brian finally got me the book I’ve been dreaming of…

We also took my father-in-law, Greg, to Freckled Frogg for a Father’s Day lunch. Happy Father’s Day, Greg… Thank you for raising three incredible men.


Brian and I had a free Saturday, which rarely happens, so we went camping! I love water, as I’m sure you’ve noticed with all my fly fishing and kayaking, so I was excited to visit some of the waterfalls up in Marinette County. We only spent one night, but it was a great time.

We found Waldo!

The waterfalls were beautiful. These are from Dave’s Falls.



We headed home, and stopped in at Central Waters for a beer with our friends, Aaron and Staush. They were in Point for a Wisconsin Conservation Congress meeting, so we met them for a cold one.

We were totally exhausted when we arrived home on Saturday night, but I had enough time to wash my laundry and pack for my next adventure… Details to come. 🙂

Miles this year: 332.5

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Fall is here! (Part I)

Happy fall, friends! I know it’s not officially fall until Friday, but the cooler temperatures have me thinking autumnal thoughts 🙂
Thanks for your patience in between posts- fall is a busy time for photos!
I’ve got a few fun photos from camping earlier this month- when we were enjoying the last weekend of summer 🙂

We even make salads when camping!








That trip was all about spending some quality time together with our pups, and it was wonderful.
Last Thursday, I had my monthly TU board meeting, followed by a quick trip to O’so for some photos with Joe for Hoopla.


Brian’s phone died on Friday, so we visited our friend, Devon, at the Sprint store…

…and Brian became an iPhone user. Yay! 🙂 We left the Sprint store and headed to New London to prepare for the beautiful Green Bay wedding of Rachel and Alex. Their ceremony was held on the St. Norbert campus at the Old St. Joseph church, and their reception was at Crystal Falls, in New London. Here’s a photo review of that gorgeous wedding!














What a beautiful campus!!

Rachel is Brian’s cousin, so I wanted to include a family photo of the Oberstadt clan, minus a few. What a big family!



Now that’s a kiss! Way to go, Grandma and Grandpa!
Sunday was a great day- we went to church at Appleton Alliance with my mother-in-law, Jean, then we did some thrift shopping. We even made a stop at DSW…

…new boots! We let the pups run at Jean’s house, then headed home just in time for the Packer game. 🙂
I started off the week with two great coffee dates- one with the new percussion professor at the University, and we talked about some repertoire. I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with my marimba when wedding season is over. 🙂 I also met with Kim, from Life is Art– I love talking with other young photographers. Kim is an incredible photographer and also a professor of web and digital media design- she’s an intelligent, artistic lady, and it was great to meet up! Thanks, Kim! 🙂
More to come, as soon as I can…

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Water photos, camping photos, oboe photos, and beer photos.

I have had an awesome opportunity over the last week and a half to go out with two different types of water people and check out the streams in our area. I went out with Jessica, from the hydrology department at the University, when she checked the flow of some of the streams that are suffering the most from the drought and irrigation. Here’s a few photos from that trip.





There was some really nasty algae on top of the water…






Now that’s what muddy waders look like!
We went up north to Northern Highlands State Park to camp for Labor Day weekend. I can’t believe that we finally had a wedding-free weekend! It was Misty’s last camping trip (probably) and Abbie’s first. They both did really well! We had perfect weather and all the comforts of home… I’ll post photos from that trip soon. 🙂 We came home early from camping so I could catch up on some photo work and Brian built me some shelves for my office and the laundry room.


I made Brian an amazing breakfast, complete with a latte!



I stuck with figs and granola in yogurt. 🙂

I was able to head over to Oshkosh with my friend, Bill, on Tuesday. On our way down to Paul and Nikki’s Illinois wedding, I saw a flier for an Ansel Adams exhibit at the Paine. I immediately thought of Bill and asked if he wanted to join me for a museum afternoon. 🙂


I came home from the museum and worked on a few more photos before Wednesday morning’s fish survey with the DNR. We went out on the Tomorrow River just off Rolling Hills road, and we found a ton of trout!







Tiny trout like that are a good sign for a stream or river. When the DNR stocks a stream with fish, they are bigger than that- so if you find little fish, it means that the conditions are right for fish to reproduce! 🙂



That’s a tiger trout! That’s what happens when a brown trout and a brook trout fall in love, date for an appropriate amount of time, get married, and make a baby fish. They’re kind of rare!



I left the river and headed straight for the gym to get my run on indoors. My ragweed allergies have been pretty bad lately, so after a whole morning outside, I thought I’d play it safe. I ran, showered, then headed over to the university to get some photos of Professor Stacey Berk, who is featured in an article about the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra for next month’s Hoopla. I know Stacey well- she was my instructor for an independent study orchestration course that I took in college, as well as the oboe professor. 🙂





Oh- speaking of trout… Someone should tell the beer companies that I’d rather buy a beer with beautiful brookies on it…

…than one called Trout Slayer.

SLAYER! I’m more like a trout catch-it-and-gently-take-it-off-my-barbless-hook-and-build-them-habitat-so-I-can-catch-them-again kind of fisherwoman. 🙂
After a busy day with headshots, more indoor running, photo editing, a TU board meeting, and a photo shoot at O’so (more to come!), this girl is heading to bed.
Good night, friends!

Miles this year: 461.5

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A Wisconsin heat wave

Hey there, friends! I hope that those of you in this heat wave are staying cool and hydrated. I haven’t been turning on the stove much this week- lots of salads in our home! 🙂
It’s the best time of the year for salad ingredients around here. 🙂 Tonight’s salad had fresh yellow beans, chives and basil!
On Tuesday night, I ran a race called the Heart and Sole race, in Pittsville, WI. The proceeds from that race went to support their firemen. I love small town races! 🙂 I told my friend, George, about the race, and we ran the five mile race together (almost). When we got to registration and bib pickup around 6:30, it was a balmy 94 degrees.


They had a trumpeter play the national anthem, which was a nice change from the usual vocalists. Can you see him playing over on the left?

I wore my Mizunos and pink socks.

It was a very Heidi-esque outfit. Running skirt, of course… And loads of sweat. This race was hot. In my mental plan, I was thinking I’d stick to 9:15s for the course. Around mile 2, I passed this guy.

He added new meaning to a small-town, down-home, farming-country race. Yikes.
It’s almost like I didn’t take into account the severity of the heat- I was nailing that pace for the first three miles, but then I got sick to my stomach. A few dry heaves later, it was apparent that I had nothing left in my stomach to puke up, and I heeded some sound advice: “Suck it up, buttercup.” it’s not like I was running to win, there was no prize money for me at the finish, and I wanted to enjoy some of the homemade granola and beer! I rolled in at a casual 51:40. The sweat was running down my legs, it was nasty. I kicked a few little kids out of the sprinkler and stood there with the cold water spraying on me to cool down.

I finished with a smile on my face, and George and I headed home.

Brian and I ran down to the river to do a little night swimming to cool off.
On the fourth, I woke up late and spent the morning with my pups and Brian.

Misty has been on an ice cube diet this week, to help keep herself cool. I love that old dog.
We did a lot of work up in the office, despite it being 95 degrees up there! We’re preparing it for an air conditioner- it should arrive tomorrow. It’s getting hard on me to do all my editing and photo work down in the living room. I can’t separate work and home, when it’s literally a shared space. I’m so happy that we got that work done quickly, so we could head to the beach!

Hello, Sunset Lake! It was packed, but nice and cool.


When we got home, we decided to take Abbie out for a run. I hadn’t taken her out for exercise at all this week due to the heat, and we were all going crazy on day three of no Abbie-cersize. We took our cruiser bikes to Belts, and stopped every mile or so to give Abbie a break and some water. She even got her own ice cream…

…and she got a ride, if we thought she was getting too hot.


Thursday brought a trip out where tractors are a mode of transportation… Lakeview Berry Farm!

They’re featured in an article in the August (inaugural!) issue of Hoopla, coming out soon. Until then, here’s a preview. Let’s go berry picking!




Those blueberries are huge! 🙂
Friday was the start of packing and traveling for our camping weekend! For the most part, clients of ours aren’t getting married on holiday weekends, so we get to spend those weekends doing whatever we want. We headed up to the Minocqua area to camp at Clear Lake. We encountered some hail on the way up.

And a serious rainstorm.

Since it was storming with lightning when we arrived at the campground, we couldn’t unpack the tent or cook dinner. Since I’m such a gourmet chef, I opened the box of wheat thins, pulled out a block of cheese from the cooler, and cracked open a couple wheat beers.

We know how to keep it classy. This weekend was full of swimming, skinny dipping in broad daylight, paddling, missing our pups, fishing, lots of sleeping, reading, trail running, hammock-ing, and cooking over an open fire. We also got to meet up with Jen and Josh (and Jen’s parents) in a feat of amazing scheduling on two vacations (Thanks for meeting up with us, guys! We’re SO excited for your MKE wedding!). Here’s the weekend in photos…




What is that? A pay phone?


George! We found cave ale!




Dark chocolate s’mores!










We’re home safe and sound- and it took me a day to wash all the dishes, do all the laundry, and catch up on some photo work while recovering from the weekend. I hope you’re all doing well!

Miles this year: 372.5

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