Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy New Years

That time of year for resolutions and revolutions.

From issues to resolve to revolting and breaking out of old patterns. As the years go by we rush to do those things we've dreamt of and take more risks to find happiness. Okay so I'm going through my midlife crisis phase. We all get there sometime and hopefully in time to take advantage of our insights.

My next phase definitely has an RV in it. As you can see RVing must be in my blood. This photo was found among my grandparents photo collection. I don't know the story behind nor will I ever be able to find out since they have all passed. So my mind is left to wonder on who the people are and what fun they are having. Notice the leg barely visible at the end of the wagon.

Looking for leads on an RV motorhome. Thinking of something less than 22 feet, must have a bathroom, prefer a queen size bed. Only needs to sleep 2. Diesel engine would be nice.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mrs. Sippy's

Gotta love the name for a local cafĂ© in Trempealeau. Campers and bikers will find a friendly cup of coffee or an utterly delicious meal for breakfast or lunch. Keep in mind they are closed Monday and Tuesdays.

I finally had a chance to sample some of the local fare at Mrs. Sippy's right off Hwy 35 next to the gas station.

Salmon Omelette

Crawfish Eggs Benedict

Choose your seat according to the different salt and pepper shakers. Each booth or table has a unique set. You'll just have to stop in to see them all for yourself. They are adorable.


For Breakfast
For Breakfast

Here's a look at their current menus and a lovely note from the Chef. It' always nice to know where they are coming from.

For Lunch
For Lunch

Note from Chef

For those of you with a sweet tooth and love of ice cream, be sure to check out the gift shop at the back of the building. They have some yummy flavors.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Kids Stuff-Geocaching

Okay it's not just for kids, this any age scavenger hunt is popular around the world. Perrot State park has it's share of sites around the park.

Over 40 geocaches can be found in the park, that should take some time and a lot of hiking. A great way to engage kids of all ages, big or small.

It easy to do with any GPS device, many people already have them on their phones or when available you can check one out at the park headquarters. When you stop into the headquarters pick up the list of site coordinates and enter the location you are wanting to pursue.

Now you're off to seek and find the special cache hiding place. Keep in mind they are often at places of interest so your search leads you to some great scenic look or end of a trail. The caches come in many shapes and sizes and vary in appearance, designed by whomever has placed them.

Upon finding the site you sometimes sign a log proving you've been there or maybe take some treasure with you. The code of conduct is if you take something from a cache that you leave something behind. Please remember it never should be food and needs to endure the elements. Another rule on etiquette is never move geocache.

Geocache placement is approved by the park before being hidden. This is to limited intrusion of searching on protected areas and prevent any dangerous activities.

Enjoy the fun.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Kids Stuff-Get Outdoors

Get Outdoors!Get Outdoors- a Wisconsin State Park initiative aimed at kids to get them to spend more time outside.

More Green Time, Less Screen Time is there motto. At the Parks you'll find nature programs and events. Go online to the Wisconsin DNR site and you can get updates on where programs are being held.

Typically at Perrot State Park naturalist programs are from May, beginning around Memorial weekend through Labor Day weekend in September. Learn about frogs and tadpoles, go on a night hike, get some canoeing tips. Last summer there were many special events including learning to cook in a dutch oven, bluebird box building, and a s'mores extravaganza that finished off the summer season.

Read and Explore is another program for young nature lovers. Suggested reading list is also available at the DNR "Get Outdoors" site. One book about owls is "Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night" by author Joyce Sidman.

Wildcards-collect them, trade them and by all means read them. Offered at many of the parks you'll find these handy pocket sized cards fun to review before you go on a hike. They have cards for everything from rare plants, invasive species, to mammals and fish you might need to identify in the park. Enjoy reading some of the fun facts.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Kids Stuff-Wisconsin Explorers

Here's an interpretive program designed for Wisconsin State Parks, from the generous support of the Natural Resources Foundation.  Kids have fun exploring nature through games, hiking, crafts and numerous activities. After completing the free Exploring Extremes booklet they earn a very cool patch.

There are three different booklets each year for a period of three years, so kids can collect up to nine patches. They are age appropriate ranging from ages 3-5, 6-8 and 9 and up. Get the whole family involved you'll be surprised on what you learn.

See if you're smarter than a...

3-5 year old learns--
From "Under Your Nose!"
Did you know that a cherry trees stink? Flowers smell differently when the sun goes down. You can smell better after it rains.
Do you know how a luna moth smells? By it antennae.

6-8 year old learns--
From "Find A Worm"
Stop Global Warming-Worms are good for gardeners and crop fields. but worms are not good for forests. Worms eat fallen leaves too fast, leaving the forest floor bare. If you fish with worms, don't dump your left over worms on the ground. Save them for your next fishing trip or throw them in the trash.

9 and up kids learn--
From "During the Night"
If you see moths flying around, try this trick. Gently shake a ring of keys. If you do it just right, the keys sound like the clicks made by hunting bats. The moths will drop from the sky or fly away fast in all directions.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Kids Stuff-Smokey Bear

One of the longest running campaigns is Smokey Bear, the wildlife icon. He even has his own website. Check it out. Do not put in "the", the use of "the" was only used in lyrics for the song because it fit with the rhythm better.

Smokey was conceived in 1944 and will celebrate his 70th birthday this next year. His popularity and past letter writing campaigns caused him to even have his own zip code. It's 20252 for those that want to know.

Kids at the park can read about Smokey and take him camping overnight with there very own stuffed bear and knapp sack full of things for curious minds. The Smokey Packs can be checked out at the Perrot headquarters.

There is also a Forest Forever Park Pack where they learn by playing "Treevial Pursuit" and other fun activities.

If you want, you can just pretend you have a kid and check one out.

Tips to putting out your camp fire-
Pour on sufficient water until the hissing sound stops.
Stir ashes and pour on more water.
If it's too hot to touch, it's too hot to leave.

Remember - Only You Can PREVENT WILDFIRES

Some of you may remember it as "only you can prevent forest fires". It was updated in 2001. 

Kids Stuff-Silhouettes

One aspect of the park services is the educational side focusing on kids. There's so much for the kids. If you find the kids getting bored check into the nature center or visitor services for things for the kids to do. Many of these programs have been designed to engage the young minds about nature and peek their curiosity. I've seen lots of parents struggling with entertaining the kids because they have separation anxiety with their electronics.

So here it goes check out- Silhouettes in the Woods.

Pick up the work sheet at the headquarters in Perrot and begin the adventure. The idea is to find twelve cutout wooden shapes in black of different critters found in the park. I suppose if you see the actual real animal you can check it off too.

One of the clues to finding the shapes is to look for them where they might living in the woods. They are located in the general area of the park campground. So search on.

You'll be looking for-
Great Blue Heron
Pileated Woodpecker
Brown Bats
Wild Turkey
Ground Hog
Canada Geese

No bears are found in the park, except smokey and that will be part of the next blog.

Kids of any age can play and it's fun to hear the stories of their searching. Take note, the staff of Perrot are sworn not to divulge the where abouts of any of the silhouettes. Of course it may be because they don't know or the fact the silhouettes are moved occasionally.

While taking some photos at the park I thought I'd caught a Blue Heron at the waters edge and slowly approached it to get a better shot. I thought how stealthy of me the bird hasn't budged. Here it turns out it was one of the silhouettes perfectly placed.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Stocking Stuffer

It's the gift that keeps giving. A State Park sticker. Just think they can use it now through 2014 at over 60 Wisconsin State Parks and Forests. If there's a bicycler in the family opt for the State Trail Pass to access 35 trails in Wisconsin.

State Park passes are $25 for Wisconsin plates and $35 for out of state vehicles. Bike passes are $20 for anyone. Get a second sticker for the same residence for half off.

Stickers are available online or check your closest State Park and area visitor centers.

Just think they'll enjoy a year of hiking, bird watching, picnics and more.
2014 state park and forest vehicle admission sticker

 Happy Holidays Hannah

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bloody Well Right

This song by Supertramp always brings back memories, for many years on Sundays we'd enjoy brunch out, maybe a few Bloody Marys in the off season and if energetic a game of Bowling. The song always seems to come to mind when it's a Brunch-Bloody's-Bowling, kinda Sunday.

Liking old traditions, we started a new one of having breakfast at our new favorite place Brice's Prairie Pub and Eatery off of ZN. We happened on them while waiting for a program at the Upper Mississippi Wildlife Center on Brice's Prairie.

Guess what they had, a Bloody Mary bar. You're Bloody Well Right.

We were greeted by the hostess Cindy and she laid down the ground work for getting us hooked on breakfast and bloody's with their punch cards. Thanks Cindy.

Yes, sometimes that's all it takes. But after going back four times already we can say the food is tasty, the staff is friendly and they just wanna get to know you by name.

Details-open for breakfast 8am-11:30am Saturday and Sundays Only
Pub Breakfast Punch Card - Buy 10 at $5.50 or more get one Free up to $8.99
Have One Every Week on Us Punch Card- Buy 1st Drink-Have 2nd on us.

First bridge from Lytle's
To get some exercise for the day we went for a short walk on the Great River Bike Trail after breakfast.
We accessed the trail from Lytle's Landing, which is a mile or two from the Pub.

The Pub and Trail would be a great combination for hikers or bikers coming from Perrot or Midway to enjoy both of these locations for a great day. 

Had to swing by the Midway Garden I've been working on. It did pretty good this summer and now there's some winter interest.

Midway Garden