Monday, May 7, 2018

Perrot Coloring-not just for kids

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Perrot State Park their Friends group has come out with a special publication featuring 4 coloring pages. Here's a sneak peak and a few of my own creative results.

Berol Prismacolor Pencils
Prairie Pollinators

Prairie Pollinators-
A bouquet of native blooms and a variety of pollinators, to remind us of natures special relationships. Each pollinator seeks the prairie plant designed with them in mind. Hope you find peace and harmony while contemplating which colors to choose. There's a range of possibilities.

Trempealeau Bay

Yasutomo Pearly Water Colors
Trempealeau Bay-The Bay forms at the convergence of the Trempealeau and Mississippi Rivers, isolating Trempealeau Mountain. An attraction for modern park visitors who like to paddle and past traveling voyageurs banking on some new found land. Local aquatic inhabitants gather around the voyageurs canoe pondering what kind of new log has washed ashore. Whether it's sunset or moonset, it's the colorist choice.

Perrot Post
Pen and pencil-with a splash of red

Perrot Post-This designated landmark highlights one of the parks original hosts, Nicolas Perrot a French Fur Trader, who hung his hat and coat near this historical marker. Resident woodland animals reveal themselves, hidden among the hardwood trees, curious to see the new comer. Evidence of the area first known inhabitants are also seen among the mounds that once filled the park. Acknowledging the attraction of this place we call Perrot State Park.

Bradys Bluff

Brady's Bluff-Reaching the highest point in the park begins with Horseshoe Falls part of a State Natural Area. Hikers journey up the west side retracing the quarried stone footsteps of the CCC. The strong men who toiled together created the original path to the summit. Along the way woodland blooms and driftless wonders transform into goat prairies, showcasing the diversity of natures wonder. Be sure to bring your binoculars for a birds eye view  at the top of Cambrian stone cliffs.

Still one more page to color. Saving it for a rainy day.

Wait there's addition to the four coloring pages are historic photos, fun facts and activity pages for all ages.

They sell for $4.00 or buy three for $10.00 at the park headquarters and share the fun. Makes a great souvenir, gift for mom or an activity for the whole family.  

Friday, May 4, 2018

Knot what you'd expect.

4-row Pan Chang knot with cross knots
Opening up a package from amazon is becoming quite common as we order more online. It's just easier shopping at home, instead of running around wasting gas. We've returned to "let your fingers do the walking" or in this case tapping on the keyboard. How many of you remember that old saying.

You may think it becomes less personal, not interacting with people face to face. We got a surprise in our last package, in this case it was from China. Whomever was processing our shipment added a little more to the box. It was truly not what we expected, a beautiful red knotted tassel.

It was a real delight thinking someone one was making an effort to connect. After looking up online I learned a few things about our neighbors on the other side of the world.

Did you knot know:

Red Knot Tassel activates good fortune.

Knotting goes back to prehistoric times.

In the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) knotting in china transcended folklore status to higher art form.

Red is the color of luck in China

I'm knot done.

Today you might remember the art of tying knots known as macramé. Another ancient art inspired by the designs made by sailors. Brought to it's higher art form by hippies in the 1960's. Maybe I'm making this up, maybe knot. A tribute to my friend Sylvia in Ashville.


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Ready, Set, Burn

Today at Perrot State Park I had a chance to see part of a prescribed burn. I know it benefits the woods but my heart still raced as I saw the smoke appear and then the flames.

Prescribed burns are really well controlled and needed since we suppress wildfires. The area around Perrot Ridge was the target and should rebound with beautiful native blooms by next year and helps reduce invasive species.

I had this image of animals racing out of the woods to escape but the fire goes fast and they just have to hide out for a few moments or fly away as the case maybe.

The area was prepped for several days creating barriers and removing extra debris. Closed signs are put up and then the team with the Burn Boss begins the process.


Time for a different kind of water break.

Enjoy the video for the sound of the fire.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Happy Earthday

Beautiful Bakery for BBBB

It finally felt like spring with temperatures in the 50's. For Earthday we had a chance to get out, and enjoy some of the best of our community events.
Bakery Sale Fundraiser by the Beer By Bike Brigade (BBBB)
at Myrick park shelter. Delicacies were going fast as the event started at 9am and before 10am items like baklava were sold out.

Happy Bakery gets to go home early. Sold Out

Spring Eggrolls, the right season

Then it was off to the Hmoob Cultural and Commmunity Centers Spring Eggroll Sale. Freshly made pork or vegetarian rolls at 12 for $15.

They even have a place to sit and delve in before your ride home. They freeze well if you have any left. Hopefully 2 dozen will satisfy us until next falls event.

Minnesota view of Perrot State Park

We ventured up river to Winona with a few stops along the way to get the other view of Trempealeau Mountain and Perrot State Park.

Zooming in on Brady's Bluff

Zooming in you can just barely see a couple at the top of Brady's Bluff. A great day for a hike.


Ice falls along Hwy 61

As the snow melts so does natures ice sculptures along highway 61. Always a favorite site during the winter.

MN Marine Art Museum

A free Saturday talk by artist Thomas Paquette at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum.

His work from a three year project include scenes of the Mississippi River from it's beginning to end. There's a book about his work but it doesn't do it justice.

Beautiful oil paintings with a lot of palette knife work and textured layers. I fell in love with all of his work so I strongly suggest stopping by. The show just opened. 
Painting-View from Buena Vista Overlook by Alma, WI



 A stop at Jefferson's Pub and Grill in Winona for my favorite treat, a Bloody Mary.

It's located along the riverfront in Winona but alas no direct views of the Mississippi.
The return home wouldn't be complete without a stop at the Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge. Caught a fish with my camera surfacing near the observation deck. He was really quite big, maybe a catfish.

I think will have to finish off the day by grilling some salmon.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Ready, Set, Snow??

Really!! More Snow?  It's mid April already, Tax season is over and so should winter be over.

Snow covered entrance
It's a hurry up a wait for spring to arrive. In anguished anticipation we have been preparing for the warmer weather. Bringing out the wind chimes, setting out some chairs and pots. Getting those chores done so when the golf courses open, the campsites dry out, we'll be ready already.

My new wheels
The old sage advice about don't wash your car it will rain, I broke the code and purchased a new bicycle. Excited about my new wheels, I tripped it out with a rear wheel rack and front basket. Ready to roll to the grocery store or even a ride to work. Got my Wisconsin State Trail pass giving me 100's of miles of vehicle free riding. Even put on my bell I picked up at an Amsterdam rummage sale 6 years ago.

Along the road in Perrot
Anticipation is driving me mad. Just a plug for River Trail Cycles of Onalaska, great service and close to the Great River Bike Trail.

The snow was actually quite pretty, highlighting the curves of the bluff.

Lots of notices that the birds are suffering from lack of access to food during these early spring storms. Here's another creature searching for a meal.


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Trials and Tributes on Travel to Texas and Back

Timing can mean everything when traveling with an RV. We lucked out returning the day before another 6 inches of snow fell on our home in Onalaska, Wisconsin. Thanks to travel apps and weather reports. We found we could drive about 250 miles or 6 hours with breaks, which ever came first is when we were ready to call it quits for the day.

Now to reflect on things we learned.

Sanders Cove ACOE Park near Paris Texas for $9.00 night
We learned about the toll ways by accident. The one from Kansas City through Oklahoma cost us $18 and the one around Austin we couldn't figure out how to pay for. So we asked some locals and found out it's unmanned and we'll receive the bill by mail in about 6 months with a souvenir photo that will probably run us another $15.00.

Cedar Breaks ACOE Park each site had it's own shelter

We really can't live without WIFI, but fortunately almost everywhere has a connection, except Army Corp of Engineer Parks. The great thing about ACOE parks is the cost when you have the Lifetime Senior National Parks Pass. Camping fee with electric and water hookup ranged between $9-$13.00 per night. We'll worth the $10 sign up fee, or $80 now if you missed the birthday deadline.

Ready to cook from HEB
Finding local grocery stores really offered a unique and inexpensive way to savor the local cuisine. These easy to make packets from the HEB stores were great. I've got to try and duplicate the Armadillo Eggs.

Texas is full of wineries, dead skunks and the only Armadillo I saw was road kill.

Since a month only covers a small bit of Texas we hope to go back and visit Big Bend National Park.

Other unusual finds pictured.

Water, water everywhere.

Texas Trail Blazing-see below
Unusual Sites

Buy it when you see it-great garden ornaments

Olive  Company in the middle of nowhere

Back to reality

From Tars to Feathering Texas Style

County Court House in Georgtown, TX
Our stay in Georgetown, just 30 miles from Austin gave us a look at small town Texas. Their town square focuses on the massive brick and limestone courthouse that has stood for over 100 years. We took in a historical tour (free) which revealed a very important past.


Shortly after it was built it became the site of the first successful prosecution of KKK members. Probably due to the fact they had tarred and feathered a white couple, that were also good looking.  Dan Moody, the young bright District Attorney, was the key to success in making the charges stick. As we heard about the trial we got to sit in the jury seats that are a lot like the "To Kill A Mockingbird" courtroom. Still today they reenact the event with a mock play in the courtroom. Based on the book "You Can't Do That Dan Moody!"

Ginny's Longhorn Saloon
On the lighter side, we got to play Chicken Shit Bingo at Ginny's Longhorn Saloon on the north side of Austin. Outside on the tarmac they release the hungry bird into a chicken wire cage with squares marked by numbers on the floor.

Chicken shit Bingo Star

As the chicken feeds on scattered seeds, it pecks around until it's full and needs to relieve itself. Then, what ever number the shit hits is the luck winner. We bought a couple of tickets and tried our best to cluck and lure the chicken to our number. The crowd was fun and it all went to a good cause.