5 Best Places to Visit in Wisconsin

Soon I Was Standing By Myself On The Shore Of Lake Superior Gazing Across At Sand Island. I Would Have Only One Day On The Island And Wanted To Make Sure I Knew Exactly Where The Old Growth Was, So I Stopped At The Visitor Center. The Volunteer At The Desk Called For The Ranger In The Back. “You Will Land Here,” He Said, Pointing At The Map. “The Trail Starts Right By The Camping Area. It Is Two Miles Long. Just Follow It Toward The Lighthouse And You Will Pass Through The Heart Of The Old Growth.”

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Early The Next Morning, I Met The Rest Of The Group At The Outfitters: Two Women My Age Who Were Avid Kayakers And A Father And Son Team From Chicago. We Shivered Around The Picnic Table While Introductions Were Made. Then The Guide Informed Us We Had To Go Through Safety Training Before We Could Paddle To The Island.

Safety Training, We Were Not Happy To Learn, Involved Intentionally Flipping One’S Kayak Upside Down In The Freezing Cold Lake, Removing The Skirt (Which Normally Keeps Water Out Of The Boat) While Upside Down In The Water, Wiggling Out Of The Narrow Boat, Swimming To The Surface For A Breath, Blowing Up A Float That Slips Over The Paddle, Climbing Up The Paddle And Back Into The Kayak, Pumping Out All The Water, Controlling Your Shivering Enough To Get The Skirt Back On, And Then Flashing Everyone A Smile As If To Say, “No Problem.” (Ok, I Added This Last Part Myself.)

We Did It Because We Had To. We Did It Because Otherwise We Couldn’T Get To Sand Island. When It Was Over, We Paddled To Shore, Changed Into Dry Clothes, And Loaded The Kayaks With What Seemed Like A Mountain Of Gear. At Last We Set Off For The Island.

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