Summer Staycation Series: Madeline Island


Summer is slowly beginning to wind down, and I’m sure there were many more adventures and road trips planned than actually occurred. We’re launching a short summer series of ideas designed to help you take the most of the weekends that are left! When was the last time you took a local adventure? Simply going to a familiar place with a different lens or purpose can make it feel new. Get dressed up for dinner, walk or bike instead of drive, go to a different beach than usual. To see the first installment of a local highlight, scroll on. 

Madeline Island: A place known and visited by many, but always worth the trip. Estimated budget for 1: $60/person or less for a day. $15 round trip for an individual on the ferry, and the rest for fun, games, and food!

Get prepared! A trip to the island means you want to look your best, so stop by the store to see our summer-wear options, from button-downs to wicking dresses to sandals. We’ve got great hiking-appropriate clothes that can take you from trail to meal. Recommended items would be a sling bag (like the ones by Patagonia or Kavu), Chaco sandals, Kavu or Patagonia synthetic dresses, and Outdoor Research men’s shorts with a Kavu button-down.

A trip to the island is perfect to get new family, couple, or Instagram photos, so make sure to bring a camera or clear some space on your phone!

Time needed: 5+ hours total.

Time to go: wake up early, grab a cup of coffee in Ashland at The Sandbar, and hit the road! Driving along the coast is beautiful in the early morning, and there’s less traffic. During the week, the first ferry leaves Bayfield at 6:30am, and while I recommend the one at 7:30am or 8:45am, if you want to get a start on the day, go for it! Getting to the island on the ferry takes 20+ minutes, and bring a sweater--the wind gets cold! Enjoy the stillness of the morning, birdsong, and the pastel colors. 

On the island: we recommend coming hungry! The island is home to some fabulous eats, including Farmhouse Restaurant, Cafe Sieche, Jody’s Foodtruck, and the Beach Club. Come for breakfast or lunch, and there will be something delicious available. Getting a breakfast or brunch bite and then hitting the trail or beach is our ideal day.

Once happy hour hits, Tom’s Burned Down Cafe is, of course, the quirky place for drinks and photos! 

Before heading to Tom’s, why not go by Big Bay State Park, which boasts one of the nicest selfie spots in Wisconsin. Enjoy over 10 miles of hiking trails, a beautiful shoreline, and beach relaxing. See what Travel Wisconsin has to say about Big Bay here:

Big Bay Town Park is equally nice for beach relaxing, and without the entrance fee, which definitely helps keep the cost of the day lower. 


Simply taking a few hours to relax on the island, or in any new setting, can be as rejuvenating and as fun as an out-of-town vacation. We hope this first post inspires you to take a mini-vacation of your own! Check back in a few weeks for more ideas.

Skhoop, Osprey, Smartwool...just a few of our favorite things

This holiday season we’ll be featuring our staff’s favorite items (hint they make great gifts). Kyleleen’s areas of expertise: Skijouring (skiing with dogs) and alpine skiing

Favorite 3 things in the shop: Osprey, Smartwool, Skhoop skirts

Favorite 3 things in the shop: Osprey, Smartwool, Skhoop skirts

Osprey Daylite Plus, Smartwool 250 Baselayers, Skhoop Insulated skirts


Why are they favorities? Smartwool baselayers because they're the best for outdoor layering, and provide a ton of warmth. They're also comfy against skin, which is key! The Daylite because it's the perfect size and has a great amount of compartments for dog treats, snacks, and water. Skhoop skirts because you can throw one on over some baselayers and go out for a pint! Kyleleen recommends South Shore Brewery.

Spring. Coming soon.

This past weekend Phoebes were chirping while we were out putting in maple syrup taps. Surely, it’s a sign of spring. The sun is warmer, the days are longer but the snow and ice still remain. This time of year we anxiously await the melting of winter and the departure of ice in Lake Superior's Chequamegon Bay which makes way for spring rains and mud season. Mud season could at times be considered the fifth season in the northern Wisconsin where the transition from winter to spring is often times drawn out. Some years there’s still a few chunks of ice floating in the bay around mid may. Will this year be the same?

Ice out.jpg

Although we love winter it’s time to think spring and everything that follows. Waves. Smelting. Migration. Fishing. Paddling. Sailing. Beach combing and days spent experiencing Lake Superior, the great inland sea,  transform from a solid mass of ice to a vast playground.

This year we’re going to track the ice out conditions and have a little fun while we’re at it!  

Think you know when the ice will go out and make way for open water in the Bay? Stop in to the shop and put your guess into our Yeti Hopper cooler or comment on our Facebook and Instagram pages with the date you think the ice will move out and we will have open water in front of the shop.

When the ice goes out and the waves are crashing on the beach, we will draw a random winner from all of the comments and entries. The lucky winner will be sporting a new Yeti Hopper!

Route 2 Road Trippin'...Montana Bound

In Northern Montana, just south of the Canadian border are over a million of the most spectacular acres in the National Park System. This a landscape of ancient western cedars and snow capped peaks.

Glacier.  The Park was founded in 1897.

Drive the Going to the Sun Road. It's a spectacular introduction to the park. Hike to Apikuni Falls and spend a couple of nights in the back-country. Rangers can hook you up with a nice route for a couple days. Reward yourself with a night and dinner at Apgar village lodge.

Don't forget to bring sturdy boots. Our pick is the Salomon Discovery GTX. And don't forget the bear spray!

Thursday Run Club FAQ's!

All of your run club questions answered right here:

Runners unite! Join us for Run Club Kick-Off on Thursday April 17th at 5:30 p.m. Join us for a run followed by some samples of nutrition products, a cook out, and a new “runners reward” program!

Despite the snow still on the ground, it’s getting to be that time of year: racing season! You may have seen some crazy runners out running all winter long. Yup, that was us. We have had so much fun together that we want to extend an invitation out to the community for more runners to join in on the fun! What is run group all about anyway? I’m glad you asked….

Q: How far do you run?

A: We run a variety of distances between 2 and 5ish miles.

Q: How fast do you run?

A: You set your own pace and there’s usually someone to run with that is at a similar pace. There’s a core group of regulars that usually run between 8:30 and 9:30 minute mile pace but we have folks who run 10:00 and 11:00 paces as well.

Q: Where do you run?

A: This depends on the season. In the winter we run main roads to include Sanborn, Maple Lane, and Beaser. In the summer we incorporate the 5th Street Corridor and Lakefront trail as much as possible.

Q: What if I don’t remember the route?

A: We have maps and verbal directions and you will probably be running with another person. Plus there’s always different distances on each route.

Q: I’m new to running, can I still show up?

A: ABSOLUTELY! Some of us were new runners when we started as well. We make every attempt to make everyone comfortable when they are new. We will introduce new people to everyone else and see what distance and pace you are comfortable with and try to pair you up with someone who runs a similar pace. This doesn’t always happen because it depends on who shows up but we make an effort!

Q: Is everyone training for a race?

A: Individually we all are usually working towards something but not necessarily as a group.

Q: I am interested in training for Whistlestop and want to join a training group. Do you have those?

A: Sure do. We team up with Ignite Fitness across the street to offer a Whistlestop 10K and Half Marathon Training Program. Check the website later in the spring for details. These usually start in July.

Q: Can I still run on Thursday nights even if I’m in a training program?

A: Of course! The more the merrier! Plus you can get a bonus group run in and meet new people.

Q: Can I bring a friend?

A: Bring all your friends!

Q: Can I bring my dog(s)?

A: We love dogs! As long as they are decent on a leash and don’t trip up the other runners! We have dog treats in the store for post run puppy refreshments!

Q: Are there human refreshments?

A: Sure are! We have water and a sport drink available after the run.

Q: Do I have to pay or sign up or anything?

A: Nope! Just show up, run, and be awesome

Q: When and what time again?

A: Thursdays 5:30 rain or shine

Q: Do you ever cancel for weather?

A: Great question – it rarely happens but if we feel it’s actually dangerous out there (ex. Lightening, freezing rain) we will post on Facebook that we are canceling. (Yes, some of the regulars run in snowstorms and flash floods)

Still have questions? Email