Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Journey

I think I see the Pot o' Gold
On my way to Perrot State Park, anticipating the showcase of autumn colors along the Mississippi river, I was awestruck by a double rainbow from end to end.

The hard part was finding a spot to pullover on the side of Hwy 35, that long 8 mile stretch from Holmen to Trempealeau. It was my lucky day indeed as when I found a safe pullout the rainbow had increased to a double.

Here's a few pictures to share, it again doesn't do it justice. A reminder that getting there can be just as rewarding as the end result.

Left side
Right Side

Double Rainbow

Friday, October 17, 2014


Whooping Crane
We finally made it to the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, WI.

Here is the only place in the world where you can see all 15 species of cranes which are among the rarest birds on earth. These graceful birds are a delight to see and hear.

Cranes the largest of all birds.
We saw the endangered whooping crane, a native to Wisconsin and hear about the work the foundation does to hatch and reintroduce them to the wild.

Wattled Crane

Pair of Blue Cranes

Grey Crowned Crane

Complimenting these beautiful creatures were amazing murals, a welcoming gate and sculpture in the gardens.

Enjoy a short video of some Sandhill  Cranes.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Glens to Gorges

Drop dead Gorgeous of course.

On our camping trip with HaRVey to the dells area we visited three Wisconsin State Natural Areas. Unlike State Parks they are undeveloped and protected areas of natural significance to Wisconsin.

The photos will hopefully explain everything. But I know they don't do it justice.

 Parfrey's Glen-located east of Devils Lake State Park.


Parfrey's Glen
Rocky ravine of Parfrey's Glen

 Dells of Wisconsin River-located north of the WI Dells off of Stand Rock Road.

View from Dells of Wisconsin River

Dells-Cambrian Sandstone Cliffs

WI River

 Pewit's Nest-located west of Baraboo, WI off Hwy W.

Pewit's potholes
Pewit's Nest-waterfall gorge

Pewit's stream

Pewit's Gorge

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Ishnala viewed from Echo trail
Hidden away in the Dells is an old supper club once owned by the Hoffman Bros. It's specialty is the view on Mirror Lake.

Ishnala- meaning By Itself Alone.

I doesn't get any better for old world ambience, as this rustic restaurant. We first dined here on our honey moon and since have come back several times to admire the view.

Bridge walk

The long road in, is now flanked by land owned by Mirror Lake State Park. Preserving it's solitude from the expansive development of the Wisconsin Dells.

We were also pleased to discover the addition of a bridge and walkway along "Echo Rock Trail" which took us on a half mile walk from our camp site directly to cocktail seat. How cool was that.

Cocktail Decks of Ishnala
Dining room 

Ishnala Lounge

Ishnala viewed from the beach.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mirror, Mirror

Whose the fairest park of all.

One state park and three state natural areas this past weekend and we conclude HaRVeys camp excursions for 2014.

We began the season in April with Perrot State Park, May- Goose Island County Park, June-Black Hawk Park, Sept.- Merrick State Park and finished the season in peak autumn color at Mirror Lake State Park. The cooler fall temperatures made hiking and kayaking very pleasant. No bugs, quiet campers and crisp evenings for a camp fire.

We camped at he Cliffwood Campground at site 139 but now know site 137 would be the perfect spot to have for some sunsets.

Mirror Lake State Park is ideal for exploring in our blowup kayaks. The calm waters and picturesque rock formations with fall colors are a dramatic backdrop for easy paddling. The only drawback to an otherwise perfect setting was the sound of traffic from I90.

We enjoyed the parks nature programs with Ranger Ryder and Naturalist John for our own personalized tour and history of the park.

We also learned about it's celebrity status in "Public Enemy", which featured one the parks buildings as a hideout and Echo Rock Trail as part of the action scenes.

Going to have to view this movie again, it won't be difficult since I'm a big fan of Johnny Depp.

What campers do to decorate their sites is always amazing. Here's a family campers that really got into the spirit of the season. We are still trying to decide our camp look.

During our weekend we also visited Parfrey's Glen, Pewits Nest and Dells of the Wisconsin River all State Natural Areas, in addition the International Crane Foundation and Ishnala Restaurant for some reminiscing.

All are featured in upcoming blogs.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fall Time

I've been abstaining from screen time for the last month due to a concussion. Doctors orders after a Fall and Drag episode. Now I hope to resume blogging (getting back up on the proverbial horse).

So I will segway this Fall to Autumn at the park. September was a gorgeous month of 80 degree temperatures bringing many campers and day users to the park. They were welcomed by staff and a series of extended Nature Center programs on Saturday nights, with evening kayak and canoe tours of Trempealeau Bay.

The unwary visitors to the park were also welcomed by mosquitos. There was a mutant batch that wasn't suppose to hatch. The blood sucking females were suppose to meet their demise by a frost in September but the warm tropical temperatures released the hungry buggers on unsuspecting hikers and campers.

FYI-scientists and researchers report the eradication of mosquitos would not have serious ecological consequences.  I suppose it's just the methods to do such a favor to humanity that poses the problem. In my brief study I did discover Iceland does not have any mosquitos, you'd think they would put this in there tourism brochures.

Well anyway, happy fall (not the stumble kind) now that we've had some frost on the pumpkins. The air feels a little lighter, the night skies a little clearer and the leaves are so lovely this time of year. Enjoy.   

Monday, September 15, 2014

Dream Catcher

Last weekend we took Harvey out to Merrick State Park and attended the Dakota Gathering in Winona, MN. We enjoyed fry bread tacos, some competitive dancing and crafts.
Harvey's newest accessory is a Dream Catcher-The Plains Indians say: You hand them by the window or at the head of your bed. The bad dreams get caught in the web. The good dreams work their way through the hole in the center, rest on the feather like dew drop, and evaporate to the Great Spirit in the morning cun. The prayer beads n the Dream Catcher trap all the bad dreams that are left on the web. The prayer beads then burn them up.

Dance Competitors

Unity Park-Winona
Decorated Teepees

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Off the Grid

We took Harvey on its first camping excursion without power. Being Off the Grid required some planning and figuring-out how things work without electricity. There's propane gas backup for the refrigerator and we have two deep cycle batteries to run water pumps and lights.

What doesn't work when Rving without electricity is the microwave, air-conditioner and television. Easy enough to plan meals without the microwave and the weather has been cooling off to make day and night temperatures comfortable. however it was a bit more of a sacrifice for my husband who likes to connect to the outside world with some TV news and entertainment. We couldn't receive any wifi or phone signals either. But fortunately the charging station in the Rv did work so our cell phones were ready and willing should we find any connection.

We found ourselves amid other campers on this outing, to a friends property. Everyone gathered around an outdoor wood fired pizza oven for some delicious food, sharing stories and homemade drink concoctions. It was easy to forget what we were doing without, with such good company.

So we survived our Gridless outing.

Oak Log pillow also comes in Birch
One note to others, when depriving yourself of modern day conveniences it's wise to compensate with creature comforts. Here's the newest addition to Harvey's interior. I think I now know were I'm going with the decor theme. This pillow just spoke to me, kinda like in "Twin Peaks"

Friday, August 29, 2014

Isle be Back

There's never enough time to do everything when visiting great places. Unfortunately we probably won't make it back because there are so many more National Parks to visit on our list. I've made it to 20 parks not including monuments, forests and historical places.

But I would like to come back for this sweet little item. It was only $3500. Maybe I'll win the lottery.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Isle Sites


On Isle Royale there are 165 miles of trails. Here time is measured in footsteps.

We trailed about 15 miles. It's all doable paths, but slow going because of uneven surfaces, lots of rock and roots. Along the way we could pick thimbleberry and blueberries.

We also canoed and rented a motor boat to get to some of the sites.

Here are some of the views we saw along the way and the exquisite plants.
Rocky shores

Bearded Lichen

Bunch Berry

Tobin Harbor-great for night sky

Coral root

Pitcher Plant on Raspberry Island Bogs

Rock Harbor Light House

Edisen Fishery

Scoville Point
Lookout Louise, Canada on the horizon 15 miles away

More helpful signs

Only one more Isle post to come