Tuesday, September 8, 2015

North Woods Weekend

Did all my readers have a good Labor Day weekend? Saturday Travalon and I drove north with Rodney, stopping at Rib Mountain to take a hike on the top. According to my phone, we went up the equivalent of eight flights of stairs! As we drove through downtown Minocqua, we saw two storm troopers – no lie! There was a group of people walking by a lake, and two of them were in full storm trooper costumes. We drove to Sisters Saloon, one of the taverns from Bottoms Up, and had lunch there. It was a beautiful, rustic tavern, and the proprietress was very friendly and signed our book, “Love, Cher Bear.” That was just outside of St. Germain.

Then we drove to the Black Forest Tavern in Three Lakes, which was designed by a professional baseball player (Cy Williams) who got a degree in architecture. He was asked to make it look like a Bavarian tavern, and we thought he succeeded marvelously – it was also very beautiful. We stopped in Rhinelander to admire their beautiful domed courthouse and statue of the Hodag, a mythical creature somewhat like a dragon, then we waded in Sugar Camp Lake.

We drove to Manitowish Waters and went to Little Bohemia, yet another beautiful tavern from the book. This one is most notorious for being the scene of a shoot-out between John Dillinger’s gang and the Feds, and there are supposedly still bullet holes left from that, but we didn’t see them. We sat out on their beautiful patio overlooking a lake. It was such a wonderful day that we could have stayed there forever, but we preferred not to drive in the North Woods after dark, so we hurried back to our hotel in Minocqua before the sun had totally set. (My phone will NOT let me text the word Minocqua – it kept changing it to “mini qua” and “mini cause.”) To our horror, the online booking agent Travalon had used had not actually booked our room, even though he got a confirmation number, and the hotel was full. Fortunately we did find a hotel in St. Germain that allowed pets, and it was lovely and rustic with a saltwater pool that Travalon and I played around in like big kids.

Sunday morning we went to a coffee place called the Red Canoe before Mass, then we drove west, through the Lac du Flambeau Indian Reservation, trying to get to another tavern from the book. We didn’t actually find it, but we did go to a restaurant Travalon had gone to years before (now under new ownership) where I had a beer-and-cheese omelet – so good! We stopped at a county park on a peninsula for a walk, and I heard a loon in the distance. As far as wildlife sightings, we saw lots of deer and wild turkeys, but you can see those in Madtown too. We went to the zoo in Marshfield and tried a Chips cheeseburger, then Travalon took me to what he claims is the dumpiest bar in the whole state, in White Creek. There was junk piled up in half the space, and you’d expect the Health Department to condemn the place, but it just keeps going. We drove through the Dells on our way home, and it was crazy busy, as I’m sure you can imagine. If I’ve forgotten anything about our trip, maybe Travalon can remind me in the comments.

Yesterday Travalon and I went to Short Stacks for brunch, then we went to my adoration hour together, and then we drove to his friends’ house so we could all go to the Randolph Corn Festival. They let you have up to three ears of corn for free, and then there is all kinds of other food for sale. There was a polka band playing that included a guy playing a garbage can bass, and I tried to take a picture, but you can’t really see it very well so I’m not going to bother posting it. Maybe I will change my mind if there is much demand for it. In the evening we stopped by Rich’s house, and we weren’t very hungry, but he made us small steaks so we did have a little dinner with him. He also made brownies – the last thing I needed! But of course I indulged anyway. We might as well celebrate (?) the end of summer, right?

Famous Hat

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