Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Past Connections

A day off for looking into our past, began with the sighting of the Nina and the Pinta.

These historically accurate replicas from the Columbus Foundation are traveling up the Mississippi this summer and I happened to be in the right place at the right time. Riverside Park in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

They left Davenport, Iowa to their next dock destination Winona, MN. Hopefully some campers at Perrot State Park got a chance to see them pass by Trempealeau.

These floating museums will be open for tours today through July 5 at the levee park in Winona. They will be making a return trip again sometime between July 26 and 28. So mark your calendars.

While at Riverside Park in La Crosse we attended a noon time series of talks put on by the La Crosse County Historical Society. This week featured the Native American Community in La Crosse County. Two women of the Ho-Chunk nation gave a talk and answered questions. They revealed exciting news about a long term project of a Ho-Chunk Museum with Pow Wow grounds and La Crosse gaming fields. Site location still to be determined.  

They will continue the series of Many Peoples, One Place: La Crosse's Multi-Ethnic Heritage programs through July. More details at

A walk around the area of Riverside Park took me past this La Crosse River Water Trail sign. If you're not paddling you can walk along the  La Crosse River from the Mississippi through the march on the Three Rivers Trail which further along connects to the State Trail system of the La Crosse River State Trail and The Great River State Trail.

It's amazing... everything is connected.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Digging it! Holey Ground.

Snapping Turtle Digs Nest in Park
King Street Dig in Trempealeau
Everywhere I look its holey ground. The turtles are nesting in Perrot State Park. A few cones are placed so drivers don't run over mother snapper.

More holes appeared in the Village of Trempealeau, this spring on  King Street, as another Mississippian culture home is revealed.

Ho-Chunk Drum above and Map Table

All this leads me to unearth the exciting news about the Nature Center at Perrot. A wonderful renovation is nearing completion that will focus on the cultural and natural history of the park. Expected to be completed by the fall of 2106.

Replicas of Pottery from past residents.

Here's a sneak peak at some of the new displays.

Ho-Chunk Nation Dress
The Nature Center is just one of three new exhibits that are the result of years of archaeological pursuits. TRIP (Trempealeau Interpretive Path) will connect visitors to the unique past of the region. From the first people 12,000 years ago to more recent 1000 year old temple mounds of the Mississipians.

The other venues are the Shirley Wright Memorial Library display and the Little Bluff interpretive trail which will complete the trio in the future. For more information go to

Friday, June 10, 2016

Norske Nook

Sour Cream Lingonberry Pie
Traveling home we stopped in Osseo, Wisconsin home of the Norske Nook Bakery.

Located at the North & South Forks of the Buffalo River we had to stop for their famous  award winning pies.

Death by Chocolate Pie 2015 award winner

It's hard to choose because they have combinations I've never heard of and they are so big you can only eat one.

They also offer a full menu from breakfast to dinner with a Scandinavian flare. We chose the Lingonberry and a Chocolate piece, both Ala Mooo since it was June Dairy Month and ice cream was free.

Osseo, Wisconsin

So if you are in the area be sure to stop in it's  Pie-fection on a Plate.

They also have locations in Hayward, Rice Lake and De Forest, Wisconsin.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Chippewa Falls

Our camping travels took us to Chippewa Falls to escape the thunder storms. Each town we've visited always has something unique to offer. We were not disappointed.

First stop was the Leinenkugel's Brewery. Our choice of beers for camping is their Creamy Dark. In the modern Lennies  Lodge we begin our tour. A modest $5. gets you five tastings and a souvenier chaser glass. Our new favorite is one of their Big Eddy Beers a very rich dark blend called Russian Imperial Stout.

After six generations of brewers many of the original buildings still stand and the tour takes you into several of them. Next year is there 150th anniversary, check them out on

64K RAM way back when
Our real surprise was the next tour to the Chippewa Falls Museum of Industry & Technology. The Technology part is what caught our attention since this is the hometown of  Seymour Cray. The founder of the Cray Research a global leader in supercomputing.

Our special tour gift

Although the water cooled supercomputer was loaned out on tour there was a lot to enjoy. Our docent was first class in her knowledge and enthusiasm. As she stated "she could make dirt exciting".

When gold was used. Inside a Cray

Super computer wiring in the past

The heritage of the Chippewa Community extended to many other businesses that are leaders in their fields. Mason Companies, the largest footwear cataloger in the world, Darley which builds fire fighting equipment sold internationally, Hubbard Scientific manufacturer of math and science teaching aids and exhibits, and the list goes on.
More details at

Thai dishes
We needed a break from all our new found knowledge and chanced on a Thai Restaurant for some flavorful dishes.

Thai dishes

Thai decor

Next blog stop Pie! Many of you know where I'm going with this.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Island Camping

Fisher River
Surrounded by water, Brunet Island State Park is a quiet park, well suited for canoes, kayaks and our little electric engine run, inflatable boat. We finally launched, for a cruise on the Chippewa and Fisher Rivers. We also attempted to fish, since it was free fishing in Wisconsin the same weekend. No bites.

Not many day users at this park, during hot summer days I'll bet it fills, up since they have a small beach.

view from campsite #12

Our activities were interrupted by several downpours from very active storm systems that came through on Friday and Saturday. We supplemented with movies and a trip to discover Chippewa Falls.

Campsite #12 suited us since it was very close to the mooring area and we left our boat for a chance to get back on the water when the weather cleared up. If we came back #22 would be preferred since you can see more of the water.

The south campground, with the electrical sites, was very open under a tall canopy of trees. Without plants between sites it was less private but also gave us the opportunity to meet more fellow campers. This is often one of the best parts of traveling since you  meet the nicest people. Sharing stories around the campfire was a sure way to finish off our weekend. It seems most campers coming in on Sunday nights for the week are retired folks who know how to chill and enjoy parks. 

Hiking was relatively flat and you could easily find access to water. The only thing we found lacking was wildlife. With all this water we were sure we would see more. Just a few critters.

Forget Ne Nots

Moss in bloom

Baby Canada Geese
Sweet Flag

Eagle nest, but no eagles

We also discovered this unusual
contraption left behind.

Any of you experienced campers have a
clue what it is for?