A Simply Perfect Getaway to Copper Falls - Ron Lutz II ~ Photographer

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Site 21 - Our Camp, Her Office
A Chance to Recharge & Reconnect


My wife & I took a rare trip without the kid. We'd planned on a family camping vacation to Copper Falls State Park for the three of us. When my mother in law suddenly arrived from California to stay for a while we realized we had a unique opportunity. Leaving Freja with her Oma for a few days so that just the two of us could escape together seemed just what we'd needed. After weeks of her traveling around the country for work and plenty of child related activities, plus just the busy day-to-day of the household, we'd drifted apart. I can't begin to tell you how excited we were to take this chance to relax and have fun with just the two of us. From the long, cross country drive with the Jeep's top down to relaxing around a quiet campground, on to canoeing, strolling along trails, and playing around with camera gear it was all simply perfect.

In Search of the Lake's Namesake

Where Loon Lake Gets Its Name

Where Loon Lake Gets Its Name

There's a family of Loons on the lake in Copper Falls State Park. You can hear their haunting cries during the night. There were two adults with one chick and they seemed very unthreatened by us as we drifted by on our canoe. This is the female and their single chick. Water drips from their bills as they'd just lifted their heads up from under the surface. They were gliding along dipping their heads under searching for prey.
Common loon

Play Amongst the Flowers


On our first morning there my wife had to get onto a conference call and work on a proposal as part of her job. While she was doing that I spent some time scouting out locations for us to do portrait sessions. I'd just added a number of new flashes to my toolkit and I was excited to experiment with them. Also it'd been a while since my wife & I had a photo session together where we just relax and play around a bit. I found a hidden little field of daisies with limited access to it. I could easily see where the light would be eventually hit it, and so we planned out a time to be there. Arriving just as the sun began to peak over the little field I quickly set up my equipment as she enjoyed a chance to sunbath while working on her company emails. I wish I could share the entire series as I perfected how I lit her figure, unfortunately (for you) they became quite provocative so only I will be able to see them.

A Romantic Surprise


When we had planned this trip it was specifically due to there being waterfalls. I have to admit though that the concept of seeing waterfalls as being something to do was sort of overshadowed by the simple fact that we were ALONE! It wasn't even on our radar to try and go see them as we were enjoying just being together. Alone. Just the two of us.

After a nice lunch in camp we thought we'd take a casual hike along the looping Doughboy Trail just to say we had seen a waterfall outside of our tent. I even left my camera gear in the car. Once we reached the very first vista I found myself jogging back to grab said gear. It turned into a very enjoyable stroll and while we did see a number of people on the trail it never felt crowded. In fact, it was a very romantic stroll.

Eastern View of Copper Falls from Doughboys Trail

Eastern View of Copper Falls from Doughboys Trail

Doughboys trail loops around a very scenic section of the park. There are nice overlooks of both Copper Falls & Brownstone Falls, plus plenty of cascades as well as scenic vistas overlooking portions of the Bad River and Tyler Forks River. The water appears dark from the tannin leaching into the waterways from a variety of composting vegetation. The trails are well groomed and though busy you never feel crowded. You're also restricted to staying just on the trail, so there's no climbing down to the bottom to get better angled photos, which I totally understand. Maybe I can secure a photo gig with the DNR someday and get access? Who knows? One can dream...

No, I'm NOT Tarzan...

No, I'm NOT Tarzan...

While on a camping trip, just the two of us, we both had some fun with my camera gear. I'd recently added a number of new flashes and modifiers to my took kit. It was simply just a lot of fun to set up portrait shoots. I'd intended for this to be a setting for another series with Teri but she talked me into being the shooter instead. Our campsite was right next to some very steep cliffs that ran along a bluff above the Bad River. With the sun going down I thought it offered some great natural textures to play around with as far a lighting them. As for me, well, I guess my age is showing and my hair is once again growing all crazy. Must be the summer heat...

My Wife Relaxed & Happy

My Wife Relaxed & Happy

Seeing her like this, so relaxed & happy makes all the effort it takes to organize and execute a trip like this. It's been ten years for us and my goal to see this same expression of her face forever. It can get hard at times due to the stresses of life any two people encounter but I believe we can do this. I love you Wife.

The Milky Way Over Loon Lake

The Milky Way Over Loon Lake

I woke after midnight and went outside of our tent. Looking up through the trees I could see how bright the stars where here in the North. After unsuccessfully trying to wake my wife to join me I grabbed my camera, lens and tripod and went for a walk. Roughly over a mile away I came to the beach on Loon Lake. There's only a little color distortion from town lights to the south of where I stood, which was practically nonexistent to my naked eye. As I shot photos I'd also watch meteorites fall and I even got to see the space station pass overhead. Occasionally the loons on the other side of the lake would make those eerie cries. It was a very rewarding experience.

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