north woods therapy...

Every summer my family gets together with the Schaetz clan for a little R&R in the northern woods at North Twin Lodge in Phelps, Wisconsin. It is perfect therapy for the soul. Family, the best kind of friends, and cool crisp northern air. I can never say enough about the Shaetz's, and I am always thankful for all the good times and laughs we share.

^The atmosphere is always festive, including some icicle mood lighting.

^The evening bonfire is a north woods tradition that I absolutely love. I love smores too! Guilty.

^Jon, Sally, Dave and Bobby Shaetz all gathered around the fire. The stories and nostalgia are always so thick around these fires.

^The fierce baggo games are about as strenuous as our days get up here. It is all about the chill on this trip. That is exactly what the doctor ordered for this skier's beat up body. Some good natured shit talking and sunshine can go a long way towards a lighter heart.

^Evelyn is the first grandchild of the two clans so naturally she is the subject of a lot of photos. Daddy and Evy here taking a break between go-kart races.

^The slick track is always a scene of debauchery. Here my big brother, Tyler, is lining our Dad for a big spin out. "Gotcha Old Man!"

^Mike and Evy getting strapped in for a rip ride around the track. Soon enough Evy will be driving her own kart, and probably putting me into the wall. Just like her Daddy does.

^The boys are watching the madness in this photo. I think at this point my brothers fiance, Nicole, is sizing up a 12 year old boy. The poor kid made the mistake of getting into a slick track race with a bunch of Robinson and Shaetz women. I am not sure he knew what he was getting into. "Good luck Kid. Your gonna need it." We sure enjoyed watching the carnage.

^Lynn and Evy wanted no part of the slick track mayhem. Smart move, that is just good parenting. Your supposed to protect your kids from that kind of harmful situation. I even worry about my own well being, and I think I am tough.

^Nicole is stuck in a Tyler and Stacey sandwich. This was the first time Nicole made it up north with all of us and we felt like we had to initiate her. I am still pumped that I spun her out on the speed track on the last lap. Set'em up and knock'em down.

^A nice sunset finish put a euphoric ending on the evening. Even the cutthroat driving was overshadowed by the overall atmosphere of jubilance and appreciation for family and friends like these folks. Much love and a big "whisky" cheers.