Tag Archive | Devil’s Lake

Fall Color Tour 2014- Baraboo Area


Our travels had us all over Wisconsin this year, but we didn’t make it up to Baraboo the whole summer. We finally made it for fall. We knew it wasn’t peak yet but still knew we would find some bright colors since the trees don’t all change at once. We had to leave the house at dawn to get an errand done in north Sun Prairie and caught a beautiful sunrise there. I think sunrises in fall are the prettiest!

Sun Prairie Sunrise Corn Harvest

Our errand done, we headed toward Baraboo, the farmers were up and harvesting their crops by the time we got on the road. Here is a shot from the window of harvesting corn, probably field corn for the animals. We  approached  Portage and saw Cascade Mountain on the other side of the highway. We remembered our visit there last winter and hoped to go there this upcoming winter.

Cascade Mountain in Portage

Country house in Baraboo


Baraboo Hills house

Cabin in the woods

We saw many country scenes like these on the way. We had reached the Baraboo Hills and saw an explosion of color!

Fall trees in Baraboo


Our first stop was Ski-Hi Fruit Farm, now open for the season with apples and other fall produce. You can’t miss the Apple sign guiding you there from highway 12.  We got there in time to see them sorting and bagging apples for sale. We bought a bag of Courtland apples.


Ski-Hi Fruit Farm

Apple processing at Ski-Hi in Baraboo

The colors were brilliant in the hills near the orchard.

Ski-Hi Fruit Farm fall view

Baraboo Hill fall color


We headed out, turning right toward Devil’s Lake State Park. What a view!

Country road in Baraboo


We decide to visit the North Shore first, there is often brilliant color in this area. We weren’t disappointed!

Devil's Lake sign


Orange tree at Devil's lake

Trees at Devil's Lake in Baraboo

We walked around to near the other shelter and boat launch area, what a view of the west bluff side of the lake.

Al and Laurie joined pic DL

Devil's Lake lodge

After exploring here, we went hiking at nearby Steinke Basin, one of our favorite hikes that is fairly flat and beautiful. It is outlined in green. Bright colors here too.

Steinke Basin Trails

Steinke Basin fall color


We call this “The Enchanted Forest” because it is so beautiful.

Enchanted Forest at Steinke Basin

 We wind our way back towards our car after such an enjoyable hike at one of our favorite state parks.

Fall Color at Steinke Basin at Devil's Lake

Fall color at Steinke Basin


We enjoyed our outing and have enjoyed coming here all seasons of the year.

Hike Steinke Basin at Devil’s Lake State Park

Devil’s Lake State Park has a great many hiking trails, not just ones within view of the lake.  One of our favorites is the Steinke Basin Loop (green outline).  This trail is a mix of grassland and woods.

Steinke Basin Trails

We visited there in early spring and fall and hiked the loop, beautiful in both seasons.  It was an ancient glacial lake thousands of years ago.  We began our hike off of Hwy DL, the view from the trail head showed us surrounded by hills  with pretty fall trees all the way to the top!

Steinke Basin trailhead view

Some friends joined us on the fall hike, they had never hiked here before and they were in awe of the beauty here. We heard a bird in the tree and were trying to find it.

Steinke Basin hike

Alongside the trail were many boulders, made of very hard material that wears down VERY slowly.

Ancient boulder

We approach my favorite part of the trail, what I call “The Enchanted Forest”.

Steinke Basin Woods

And further in…I love the light here 🙂

Enchanted Forest

We met some other hikers on the trail and they took our picture for us, thanks!

Friends at Steinke Basin

As we made our way back to the car, we enjoyed discussing all the interesting things we saw on the hike.

Steinke Basin Parking on DL

We had a great time, come and explore year ’round!

Taking the Plunge! – Our Underwater Wedding 7-24-99

July 24, 1999  14 years ago….

Our two years of courtship have come to an end, today was our wedding day. We met on July 9, 1997.    Al and I dated for two years and were ready to begin our lives together as husband and wife.  We enjoyed an 8-month engagement and lots of planning.   We are scuba divers, and we had planned an underwater wedding at Devil’s Lake in Baraboo.  (Some) people thought we were nuts, but we stuck to our guns. THIS was the kind of wedding we were bound and determined to have. The day dawned bright and hot. We had spent the night in a cabin nearby, too excited to sleep much.  We arrived at the lake,  our guests were arriving also.  We got suited up in our gear.. Al and Laurie Kutil wedding 1 We were ready to dive!  We headed to the water excitedly. We had spent the last 8 months learning our vows in American Sign Language to “speak” them underwater.  The diver who performed our ceremony was a judge, a friend of ours.  He had previous experience performing an underwater wedding, the year before in Door County for my diving Instructor.  We all descended to the bottom, about 20 feet deep.  Here is our diving Judge. Scuba Diving Judge

Al, do you take Laurie as your lawfully wedding wife?  I  do 🙂 Al and Laurie Kutil vows

The ceremony went off without a hitch! We surfaced and signed our Marriage Certificate.  We headed back to Madison for our reception at the Sapphire Ballroom, we had around 100  guests who didn’t see us at Devil’s Lake. Here is our family portrait.  Our photographer was from Creative Images by “Cal”.  They did a great job!Al and Laurie Kutil Family

Time to cut the cake.  We had a water design for our cake since we are divers.      Cutting cake The wedding was wonderful,  now it was time to go on our honeymoon.  We went to Florida for a week.  Part of it in Kissimee and the other part in Cocoa Beach.  We had our first ocean dives ever, and the water was beautiful.  One of our dives was a shore dive from Ambersand Beach Access. Ambersand Beach Access On our honeymoon we also took a Deep Diving course given by Joe Bartoszek  of Cocoa Beach Scuba Odyssey, who is still an active Scuba Instructor today, and our friend. It was out of the Fishing And Diving Center in Cape Canaveral.  A favorite restaurant we went to was Old Fisherman’s Wharf in Cocoa Beach. The attraction was their catfish, you could feed them from the pier that the restaurant was on.  I don’t think they are there anymore, I am sure glad I got a t-shirt from there.

Old Fisherman's Wharf shirtOFW catfish

On the last full day in Florida we went to Kennedy Space Center. What fun to see where the Space Shuttle took off and all the other space artifacts. We also had our first “crazy character” picture there 🙂 Kennedy Space Center Kennedy Space Center Astronaut

We had a wonderful time in Florida, and looked forward to many more adventures, the ones you are reading about now 🙂  Thanks for joining us on life’s journey.