September 22-25, 2016
They are rare, those fine gifts of friendship. The people that can travel together and have the times of their lives.
These friends; we are refreshingly candid, laugh till tears run, pray together, thrive on adventure, and don't want to go to our respective homes for at least one more day. Recent travels took us to the north shore and the Lake Superior Barn located in Maple, Wisconsin.
The deciduous trees were not changing much yet in mid-September. Still the north shore is always rich with pointy pines and rock face and paper birch. Places to explore and hike.
We stayed at The Barn.
Like Phil described, "It's highly unique because it comes off as an old barn that's actually new. It's warm in the regard of feeling like a home big enough for many yet cozy." It is the vision of Tom and Nicole Wolfe, built from red elm, white elm, white ash, black ash, hard maple, red oak, white oak, hemlock, southern white pine, heart pine, tamarack - a patchwork of lumber from six different barns. Rough suspended beams and barn doors included. With all that wood there are some spaces such as the bathroom and shower areas that felt too dark. The main living areas have the advantage of large windows and most of the bedrooms have great corner windows.
We somehow managed to fill the downstairs and main level large refrigerators....imagine that with all the good cooks in the group. Plus going out to restaurants wasn't on the agenda this trip. We all liked that aspect of the space; a full kitchen with quality appliances(that dishwasher was a blessing!) plus a washer and dryer that was used given the muddy clay trails.
Saturday was misty grey so a road trip was perfect. We indulged in Betty's Famous Pies on the way to Gooseberry Park and Palisades Island. Strongly recommend sharing the butterscotch pie at Betty's place!
At Palisades, Amy spotted rock climbers. Of course I needed to shimmy out on my belly to see what was going on. Capturing all those colorful carabiners and that fab ponytail on climber Ben and his nearly identical brother was fun.
We felt the accommodations were good but it's the views and terrain that made this long weekend with best friends one of our favorites so far.