Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fallen for the Midwest

A long weekend off and lots to do. 

We headed off to the Trempealeau Wildlife Refuge for the first program in their new building, Outdoor Wonders Learning Center. The Friends group sponsored Ellen Kolbo McDonah, an artist, teacher and kayaker, who became the first women to paddle the entire Mississippi River. In 2014 she accomplished her solo journey of 2300 miles in just over 100 days.

She recounted her "Adventururism Art Movement" with photos, artwork and stories of the people (River Angels) she met along the way . If you missed it you can attend another presentation at Myrick Parks' monthly Nature Series sponsored by WisCorps and Friends of the Marsh, on Wed., Nov. 2nd at 7pm. Or you can buy her book "One Women's River".  More information at www.ellenmcdonah.com

Next it's off to Minnesota's Eagle Bluff Skills School. As a real Wisconsin women I felt I needed to learn the art of Creating Cheese. Instruction included Farmer's cheese, soft cheese and a Monterey Jack. Our award winning cheese maker Dave Sefton showed us how easy it is to do it at home on the stove top and inspired us to be creative. Just a few ingredients to get going and I know what I'm doing this winter.

The Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center in Lanesboro, Minnesota, will connect you to the natural world through everything from High Ropes challenges for team building to making amish noodles. To learn more www.eagle-bluff.org.

Farmers Market Flowers

Since I had Sunday off, it was time to visit the local farmers market. Lots of produce still left and with colder temperatures on the way, local growers were harvesting the last of the crops in the fields.

Trempealeau Roadside Stand

View North Overlook
We also took advantage of our Minnesota State Park sticker with a drive to Great River Bluffs State Park to enjoy the view of the Mississippi River. The park offers several overlooks on short trails and a small campground, but no electrical service for HaRVey.

Taking photos fro orbs!
The long weekend  wrapped up with Moon Family Psychic Experience at the UW-La Crosse Campus. Maybe just a coincidence that we were experiencing a super moon too.

After a presentation on techniques and spirit etiquette we searched for any ghosts on campus to talk to on the spirit phone. They even had chakra and tarot card readings.

If you need to reach out here's the link www.chrismoonpsychic.com

The only ghosts we saw!

I don't need a fortune teller to let me know what fun is instore for next year. We already have plans for two Minnesota State Parks, Whitewater and Forestville Mystery Cave. Plus we may take the next big step in RVing and go south for a winter break.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Mineral Point, WI

Cabinet Shop
We enrolled in Intro. to Torch Welding at Shake Rag Alley School of Arts and Crafts.

Blacksmith Barn

It was a blast to cut through steel with the acetylene torches. Our creative side was sparked learning how to weld metal.

As with all skills the more you learn the more you yearn to use them.

Bent Willow Chair

Shake Rag Alley is a community of local artists that offer a variety of classes, along with accommodations and stage performances. www.shakeragalley.com

Recycled Art Objects

The setting utilizes historic buildings from a miner's cottages to blacksmith barn renovated for workshops.

Other programs include making rustic furniture to jewelry and objects d'art.


We were challenged towards the end of class to put our new skills to use. We joined forces and created a stand for our new camping toy, a laser light.

We've taken the art of decorating our camp site to new levels, using laser holiday lights to create a starry effect among the trees. It really can't be appreciated in photos.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Last Camp of the Season

Stephans Falls and Lost Canyon Trail
Our finally days for the camping season included a trip to southwestern Wisconsin for Governor Dodge State Park. Located in the driftless region of the state, the 5000 acres offered two beautiful lakes for paddling and fishing plus 40 miles of trails for hikers, bikers and horse back riders.

Enee Point-sandstone outcropping

Even though it's already October the park was busy. The campground caters to family groups with many shared sites. The grounds were noisy with kids making it difficult to enjoy our natural surroundings. It became more restful on Sunday night when the retirees started arriving.

Cox Hollow Beach

Spring House

Fishing Friends

Bobs' Bitchin BBQ

We did a little hiking and feed the fish (aka fishing).

We ventured into Dodgeville to shared a sampler platter at Bobs Bitch' BBQ restaurant. They really got creative on the sauces with rootbeer, raspberry and chipotle creations.

Besides camping we chose this area to attend a class in Mineral Point. You'll never guess what for!