Thursday, November 2, 2017

WisconSippin

Bavarian Bierhaus
Breweries abound in Wisconsin. Besides the older big brew boys like Pabst and Miller, there's seems to be a new brew around every corner and lots of Sippin to do.

During my Halloween visit to the eastern part of Wisconsin we had a couple breweries to visit.



Sprecher alternative Brew


Our first stop not only does Beer but a Hard Root Beer too! Located in my old stomping grounds, Sprechter, bottles (not cans) beer, soda and a few hard varieties of your favorite pop. (For those not from Wisconsin that's local slang for soda).

A quick tour for a nominal fee and you got a generous tasting of 4 choices.



Brewmaster at the Bierhaus


Had to leave with some Hard Root Beer for an adult ice cream float.




Next stop, still in the city of Glendale, was the old Bavarian Inn turned into the Bavarian Bierhaus.  A free tour of the scene behind the bar. These huge containers are just for Sippin at the Bierhaus, besides some growlers they sell to go. Now that's a lot of brew.

The big hall was filled with Friday night Fishfry diners and the live polka music kept the waitstaff hopping.

We finished off the evening with tickets to Twisted Realm, their onsite haunted house. not so scary for those of us who've seen it all, but the two young ladies we were paired with decided they needed to hold my hand on our venture.

Lots of things brewing at the Bavarian Bierhaus


Cheesy Times

Swag courtesy of Wisconsin Cheese

Saxon Creamery in Cleveland, WI
You can't experience Wisconsin without some cheese.

We had the ultimate experience of cheese tours, with out host Wendi from Wisconsin Foodie,  going to Saxon Cremery, Sartori and Widmers Cheese Cellars.








FYI Wisconsin Foodie is an award winning show, celebrating the states cuisine culture. Check them out at www.wisconsinfoodie.com






Sartori Cheese, manufacturing in Plymouth, WI
Widmer's in Theresa, WI
We felt like VIP's, with special presentations, gift bags and tour experiences.

I especially liked going into the caves of Sartori and applying the ground pepper to big cheese wheels.

Each stop was tasting time and a chance to meet the cheese makers. 















Widmer's cheese production







Horse & Plow restaurant











Craverie at Kohler for chocolate
To add to the day we refreshed out palates at the Horse & Plow Restaurant at the American Club in Kohler. Chocolate treats of their signature Terrapins (like a turtle) and tasting their recently released chocolate brandy (only in Wisconsin).















The fun wasn't over, when we returned to Larry's Market in Brown Deer, Pattie did some Wisconsippin.

We were treated to a presentation by Island Orchard Ciders from Door County's, Washington Island, with hard ciders and perry plus a cheese paring.


I found my new favorite, Dunbarton Blue from Roelli Cheese Company in Shullsburg, Wisconsin. I guess I need to plan another road trip.
 

A Walk on the Wild Side



A trip to the east side of the state during Halloween always offers more than I expected. Just north of West Bend, Wisconsin is the Shalom Wildlife Zoo.

The zoo remained open for the evenings, just in time for a moonlight walk. This gave us the opportunity to enjoy and see nocturnal animal being more active.




To compliment the experience they had several campfires along the way to get toasty or toast marshmallows. The path was lite just enough to see our way through.







You can get close up and feed elk and unusual deer as well as see the Grey Wolves and Cougar wide awake.

 Check them out next time you're in the area, the experience doesn't disappoint.
www.shalomwildlife.com






We also had an afternoon to view the migrating Sand Hill Cranes at Horicon Marsh. Just love watching them take flight.

www.horiconmarsh.gov


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Grit Your Teeth Fellow Phobics

Brady's Bluff Shelter
I'll let you know right away this blog contains photos of snakes. For those of you with Ophidiophobia, I understand the shock factor of photos popping up on your phone. It can be very disturbing, mine is spiders.

This photo was from a fellow phobic. How she manage to stay composed for a shot at this unusual event is beyond me. At the top of Brady's Bluff sits the shelter built by the CCC. A lovely comforting resting stop when you reach the summit. While seated and taking in the views, she felt safe retreating to the shelter only to find a family of snakes, slithering through the logs.

I'm  sure glad it wasn't me. But I was curious to see the photo and so are you if you're still reading this blog.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Seeing is Believing

Every trip we sightsee in a town nearby. Necedah not to be confused with Neenah was our destination.









First stop was the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge to see the migrating birds. We couldn't believe our eyes. We had a chance to see two Whooping Cranes and a family of Trumpeter Swans while hiking the trails.










We toured through town and saw a sign for a Polish Deli. It was like stepping into another country. The cashier had a thick polish accent, labeling of items was a bit off like beacon (bacon) and they offered an array of groceries that needed translation. It was a feast for the eyes as we looked around and gathered soups and candies we'd never heard of. I hope their ethnicity doesn't get diluted, and is cherished by all that visits.


Our last stop was by far the most unusual, a shrine. Queen of the Holy Rosary. A lot of effort went into displays and an unfinished chapel remains to be seeing it's completion. A local women is said to have been visited by the Blessed Virgin Mary back in the 1950's. A 100,000 people came out to witness a reappearance. It still has followers but lacks the Catholic's churches blessing.















I suggest you go see these unusual sites for yourself.


Friday, October 6, 2017

Buckhorn O' Plenty

Sunset at fishing pier
The last of the season trip for HaRVey, a fall outing to central Wisconsins' Buckhorn State Park. At the bottom of an ancient glacial lake, the modern facilities were greatly appreciated.  Sand and water surrounds the park, a unique landscape of oak barrens and sandblows. The Wisconsin and Yellow Rivers converge forming the reservoir Castle Rock Lake so we hoped for some fishing fun.  Shallow waters and sandy bottoms were ideal for swimmers but fishing was less than ideal at least for us novice casters.






Sunrise at campsite







We were able to launch our boat on the canoe trail but the open lakes were a bit too windy for our little boat. Many great campsites for tents on the waters edge. The park provided sunrise and sunset views. What more could you ask for.



Sandblow vista



















Big Bloody-32 oz, all you need is one
Nearby our site we found a service road to walk a half mile to a local bar aptly named Buckhorn Grill & Bar. On our last day we opted for an sunny afternoon with some Bloody's and Beer enjoying all their outside fun and games. We enjoyed the last of their season pig roast dinner and had a bloody good time visiting with the team of staff members.


Every Sunday Pig Roast


Outdoor bar and playground





Thursday, August 17, 2017

America the Beautiful

With just less than three weeks left my husband turned 62, in time to purchase his lifetime pass to National Parks for only $10.

This is what we've been waiting for, a retirement with lots of time to finish visiting all the National Parks with HaRVey. Maybe even work in one.

The pass will increase in price to $80 on August 28th. Still worth it, but I sure like $10 more. I won't qualify for mine until December. They are also now offering annual senior passes for $20.

The pass gets a vehicle into a National Park and even some discounts on camping fees.

This will also include US Army Corp of Engineer, US Fish and Wildlife Service and Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management and Reclamations properties.

Locally you can get your pass at the Upper Mississippi Wildlife Refuge office on Brice Prairie.

Sure hope America can stay Beautiful!

What's in your wallet?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Roche-a-Cri

We made a quick stop on our way back from Door County to another State Park.

Located smack dab in the middle of Wisconsin is Roche-a-Cri, once an island in Glacial Lake Wisconsin. The 300 foot rocky outcrop stands out in the surrounding countryside.
















You can climb to the top or just stop and admire the early Native American petroglyphs and pictographs.



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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Ye Olde Fish Boil

Dinner and a Play- Dating Door County Style.


 
 
We got tickets for the Northern Sky Theater right in Peninsula State Park. This outdoor theater had several difference summer performances we chose Oklahoma in Wisconsin. The story about a  family owned Fish Creek Hotel searching for a way to attract more customers. They begin offering the areas first Fish Boil, a tradition of area fisherman. And the rest is history as they say.

Discounted tickets are available for campers!







We finally attended one of the Fish Boils in Fish Creek. They begin with a large pot of salted boiling water, toss in potatoes and onions then finish off with fresh caught Whitefish and ignite the whole thing on fire. Very dramatic. It was tasty but there are a lot of fish bones since these are not filets.

















TTTo finish off our park date we tried catching some of the Perseid showers but the night sky was often overcast. So we made our own starry nights with the holiday laser light I got for my birthday last year.

Maybe a little hard to see in a photo, but very impressive in person.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Harbors, Bays and Shores, Oh My!

The Peninsula of Door County, Wisconsin is more than just parks. Instead of hitting the trails we got lots of steps in wandering the sidewalks of all the quaint little towns. Here's a list of our favorite stops along the way.















Bailey's Harbor-for a beer and lots of cheer. Door County Brewing Company has a new building with lots of charm. We joined a table with two seniors of UW. We enjoyed a tasting flight and some delicious Truffle and Parmesean Fries form the Chives food truck while we assisted them in a game of Cribbage.







Fish Creek-for frozen custard and Ducks. A short stop for an afternoon cone at Not Licked Yet. We rested at the creekside chairs and enjoyed the ducks.












Sister Bay- for goats and goat cheese. The famous rooftop goats on Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant are always fun to see. Another stop when in Wisconsin is for the local cheese. Door County Creamery had lots of tasting items and we left with some fresh Chevre with smoked Whitefish.













Egg Harbor-pottery and art along the way. Plum Bottom Pottery is just one of the unique countryside stops for inspiring art. Another stop was for a sculpture garden at the Edgewood Orchard Galleries. Just to name a few. We even had a chance to stop at the Peninsula School of Art for the Plein Air exhibit.











Sturgeon Bay-ships and shipbuilding are everywhere. Stop at the Door County Maritime Museum for a history lesson. Who knew a state in the Midwest built so many ships, even submarines. When you look at a map you'll see why, we connect to the St. Lawrence Seaway.













Ephraim-a tour of The Clearing. Established by Jens Jensen a famous landscape architect. On weekends they have a free walking tour of the folk school campus and we gained a new appreciation for his legacy.










Along the Way
Can't miss the cherries of Door County. Lots of Wineries too!





Sunday, August 13, 2017

Peninsula Parks

Surrounded by Green Bay and Lake Michigan the Door County Peninsula of Wisconsin is a popular getaway for city folks from Milwaukee to Chicago. You won't find chain restaurants or big box stores more like lighthouses and rocky shores. Some say it feels like Cape Cod.

We had our fill of parks to visit with four State Parks and many County Parks. I've highlighted the best of each park.

Potowatami State Park


Our first stop in Sturgeon Bay and the water views are great. Enjoyed watching sailboats and skipping rocks. This is also the beginning point of the Ice Age Trail which demarks the edge of the last continental glacier across Wisconsin.


































Pennisula State Park

Just outside of Fish Creek we stayed at Weborg Campground in Peninsula State Park, only a dozen sites adjacent to a nice pier on Green Bay, great for early fishing with breakfast and sunsets or viewing the night sky.


















Whitefish Dunes State Park

On the Lake Michigan side is a sandier side for beaches and dunes. This park also displayed a recreated village of woodland and Oneota people, the areas earliest inhabitants.








Newport State Park

Another Lake Michigan Park at the tip of Door County offers a  beach and rocky shore. A wilderness park and recently designated by the International Dark-Sky Association. One of only 48 in the world for best places for night sky viewing.




Cave Point County Park

One of my favorite stops for lots of wave action. The shoreline  and caves are a favorite of kayakers.

The unique landscape is part of the Niagara Escarpment a 1000 mile long cliff running from Wisconsin to New York.














We can't forget to mention Rock Island State Park. We didn't visit this time, but we've camped several times years ago and enjoyed the Perseid Meteor showers with friends. It's a long journey to get there with a ferry to Washington Island then the Carfi to Rock Island. Walk-in campsites only and no showers except in the sky of course.