My wife and I both love weekend getaways, especially outdoor recreation. But often is just doesn’t happen because we’re too busy to plan it all out. But with Joel Taylor and Vertical Adventure Guides, we had a full blown action-packed weekend and Joel handled all the logistics. And it truly was a variety packed weekend.
It started out at Bult Airport, in Chicago-land’s south suburbs. And that was convenient for us living in Orland Park. We packed our bags into Joel’s Piper Cherokee plane and off we were. While I’ve flown in single prop planes before, it was a first for my wife. Not having to drive was a great start to the weekend, flying out late on a Friday afternoon. The flight was smooth sailing and cool views from three to four thousand feet. We checked out landmarks along the way, while I was viewing exactly where we were on my google maps on my phone.
In less than a couple hours we were up near Joel’s cabin., northwest of the Devil’s Lake Wisconsin area. What was interesting was the grass field landing. I expected a bumpy landing but it was smooth as butter.
As we got out of the plane, it seemed a bit odd because we didn’t see a cabin, or anything at all other than the forest lining the grass air strip. Joel and his wife Diane then disappeared into the woods. We then heard engines fire up as the rolled out on two four wheeler ATVs. Next we’re loading our luggage and coolers onto the ATVs and heading up a big hill on a trail, that soon brought us to the top and to the cabin.
The sight of the cabin was a pleasant surprise, is it’s a beautiful Amish style log cabin. And the Army Hummer in the driveway was a nice touch too. That would be our weekend ride. The cabin is beautifully appointed, modern enough yet rustic. There even games in the basement, so I had to school Joel in a couple games of pool.
The next morning we got a fairly early start, enjoyed breakfast at the cabin, then headed out to Devil’s Lake State Park for a day of Devils Lake rock climbing. The park is truly the gem of rock climbing in the Midwest. There’s all levels of climbing so it’s ideal for anyone from beginner to a well seasoned climber. While my wife and I have experience climbing, Joel was instructing a couple of first-timers. He’s great with beginners, teaching them what they need to have some success on their first climbs and truly enjoy the day. The best Devils Lake Climbing Guides.
After about four hours of climbing, we headed to the beach for a dip in beautiful Devil’s Lake. A nice way to kick back for the rest of the afternoon. Then it was back to the cabin, fire up the grill, and enjoy a well deserved meal on the deck of the back of the cabin, overlooking the woods and hills beyond.
Day two we also got a fairly early start after a big breakfast at the cabin. Then off to the Wisconsin River for some Dells Kayaking on the Wisconsin River. This was with another group of ten people. There are channels off the river that are real gems, with emerald green waters. Almost surreal, how beautiful it is with emerald green waters and huge sandstone bluffs at the waters edge.
This day was a longer day with lunch prepared by Joel and Diane off the side of the river. It was a nice break from the paddling, at a beach along the river. From there we continued on the trip and finished mid afternoon. It was a fun day of exploring.
Later, back at the cabin, there was yet more action to be had. I set up a slackline which Joel and I enjoyed. Then Joel packed up some rifles and a hand gun onto the ATVs, and off we went to a shooting range off the air strip. I would not consider myself a guy into guns, or hunting. In fact, I’ve never shot a gun other than my Red Ryder BB gun. It was a cool experience and something definitely different to do. Not a bad way to spend a day.
Sunday late afternoon we flew back. It seemed like we did a ton and were gone for much longer than a weekend. From flying, riding ATVs, climbing, kayaking and shooting, we were never bored. Late in the evening we simply enjoyed a fire at the cabin, some beverages, and hit the hay early because we pretty much exhausted ourselves.
Again, one of the greatest things is other than picking and locking in the date, we didn’t have to plan a darn thing. It was all booked quickly and easily on-line! Can’t beat that!