Sunday, August 3, 2014

On The Road Again - Chippewa Falls

Lake Wissota State Park

Chippewa Falls



Learned another lesson today. I know you can’t believe everything you read on the internet, but I also learned that my Garmen GPS is not always right. It told me it was 204 miles and would take three hours. We only stopped for gas and a rest stop and it took closer to 4 ½. Yes I did the speed limit almost the whole way. Only got stuck behind one old person, older than me, in a Buick with Iowa plates that either wanted to only do 40 in a 55 or could only do 40 in a 55. No schedule when on the road so we never hurry. 

Nice large sites with enough trees and bushes that we can’t even see the camper next to us. With just electricity and no sewer or water we have to be more conservative of how much we use. Lucky for us one of the two bathrooms is within a quarter block of our site, but it is a pit toilet, can you say outhouse?  The nice regular bathroom with shower is on the other side of the campground and there is no privacy for taking a shower. They only have these two facilities for 116 sites which doesn’t seem like enough.

Tuesday, our first full day here, we decided to visit the Leinie Lodge, the home of Leinenkuge’ls Brewery established in 1867. We took a one hour guided tour that explained both the history of the brewery and took us through the process of making it. I now have a greater appreciation of the Leinie’s Honey Weiss that is my favorite beer. At the end of the tour we sampled four 4oz glasses of our choice of their beers. I started out with creamy dark and now have another one of their beers that I would have no problem drinking. They also mix their beers together to create exciting flavors like the “Bumble Bee”, 50% Creamy Dark and 50% Honey Weiss, two of my favorites. The other one that I like was 50% Honey Weiss and 50% Berry Weiss.

After shopping in the gift store, that was as big as your local Walgreens drug store, we each had a couple of shirts, a cap for me and two pint glasses that were on sale two for one. I even got a free tote bag for being a lodge member on line. If that wasn’t enough they had coupons for about a dozen places that would give us a free Leinies if we bought something to eat. It was now 12:30 pm and time for lunch anyway so we decided on “The View Restaurant” that overlooks the bridge that separates Lake Wissota from the Chippewa River. Enjoyed a perfect four topping medium pizza for only $13. and got two free pint glasses of Honey Weis.  The view from their outside deck could have been on a post card. Just enough breeze to keep the bugs away too. A perfect end to our tour and our day. Make sure you get to The Leinie Lodge if you ever get to this area.
Woke up this morning, Wednesday, to very cloudy skies and temps in the low 50’s. Believe it or not the weather prediction is for a high of 80 with a chance of showers in the late afternoon. We’ll see how that works out. It was a good excuse to cook and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. One of my VFW brothers, Maynard, suggested that we could not visit Chippewa Falls without going to Irvine Park, so that was our plan for today. What a treat, a 318 acre park in the city of Chippewa Falls including a zoo, hiking trails, many picnic areas, many with shelters for groups and even individual tables with canopies over them. They also had a baseball diamond, tennis courts, sand volley ball courts, horseshoe courts and a splash pad. We got there at 10:30 am, walked around for two hours, enjoying the zoo and a very beautiful view of one of the falls on the river. We found a picnic table in a quiet spot where we enjoyed the lunch we had packed along. It reminded me of a song by Peter and Lou Berryman. If you haven’t heard their music bring them up on line and listen to the words very carefully, especially one song “Pack Up A Picnic”. This is a picture of Chippewa Falls.

After lunch we drove a short distance to the cities rose garden which was a disappointment, but it was right next to their community vegetable gardens where I checked out the square foot garden plots. Thinking now that square foot gardening may be the way to go next year at home. Tired of walking around so we made a stop at a local restaurant and had cones with homemade ice cream. It was as good as advertised. All of a sudden it was 3pm already so we decided to call it a day for sightseeing. I dropped Lor off at the trailer and then fished from one of their fishing piers for an hour and a half, but the only thing biting were the flies and they were biting me.  Just as I was about to start the grill to cook some hamburgers I heard thunder. Turned on the TV and there was rain headed our way so the weather person was right, nice weather all day, got up to 78 and now the rain was upon us. At least the 50 mile per hour winds stayed north of us so we only had rain. Actually had to make our hamburgers inside. Well at least we have an inside to make them in. Lor’s disappointed because she will not get a camp fire in tonight. Tomorrow’s supposed to be a really nice day so we will decide while having breakfast where the road will lead us next.  

Thursday already and it looks like it will be another beautiful day followed by rain again around 5 pm. We decided to visit three nearby towns, Stanley, Boyd and Cadott.

We went to Stanley first because it was the farthest away and we would work our way back to the campground. It turned out to be just another small town but they did have a nice veteran’s memorial so we stopped and took pictures. They also have the Stanley Correctional Facility with 1500 inmates that employs over 40 people.  We have stopped during our travels at Veteran’s Memorials to take pictures with the thought of making a scrap book or perhaps an online post of some sort. No interesting or unique stores in Stanley to shop at.


Fifteen minutes later we arrived in Boyd which was even smaller than Stanley with a population of 600.  It’s listed as “The Friendly Town”. I was amazed at what 600 people could donate to put up a very respectful and impressive memorial for their service men and women. Once again no stores that enticed us to shop. Good news, we’re saving money. Flagpoles are at least $200. a piece.

Another 15 minutes down the highway and we were in Cadott which was the largest of the three towns. It is noted for being half way between the equator and the North Pole. The Veterans memorial in Cadott was amazing. I’m always impressed by the way these small towns honor those that died, those that served and those that continue to serve. We spotted one of those small town bakeries and stopped to get lunch. At 67 we can get away with desert for lunch and not feel guilty. Enjoyed our coffee and bakery at a small park at the end of town overlooking another pretty waterfalls.  It was still early in the day so we decided to visit Chippewa Falls one more time and get a couple of more small glasses even though it meant sampling some more Linies. The things we do to supply our new trailer with juice glasses. We had planned on grilling out, but once again Mother Nature had different plans for us. The weather pattern this week has been beautiful days followed by rain beginning about 5 pm. We did manage to get steaks grilled on our gas grill but settled for microwave baked potatoes.  Weather person says more of the same tomorrow.

We had heavy rain at about 12:30 pm that woke us up and I asked Lor if she closed the overhead vents. She couldn’t remember so I got up to check. Got to the first one, looked up and told her through the water dripping on my face that they were not closed. Got a towel and dried the floor and went back to sleep until we were awakened again by heavy rain at 4:30 am. Some nights are like that.

Slept in after all the rain last night and decided over breakfast to go to Jim Falls just because of the name. Got on the road about 10:30 am, but made a wrong turn and ended up in Cornell where they have the only remaining pulp wood stacker. I’ll include a picture because you really can’t appreciate how big it is until you see it. Small Native American museum, but not worth the stop. We decided to head to Bloomer, about a half hour away, because they were having their local fair. Only enough to keep us there for a half hour, but the Knights of Columbus stand had strawberry cream cheese cake that we couldn’t pass up. I know. I know. I have to start eating healthier at lunch. Hey, it had fruit and cheese in it. How bad can that be?

Finally we were on our way to Jim Falls our original destination. Only 2:30 pm and rain clouds were already rolling in. We were planning on going on the dam tour, no it’s really a tour of the dam there, not a dam tour, or maybe it is. We decided with the weather closing in on us we would go back to our campsite, only 15 minutes away to get our screen tent packed away before it got wet again. Rain drops started hitting the windshield just as we pulled into our camping spot. Sun is out and it is pouring rain. Only rained for 15 minutes so we hoped that it would hold off until the tent dried out and we could pack it away. Just as we were questioning if it was dry enough to pack up, you know what happened. It rained again. It finally dried out enough to pack it up about 7:30 pm, but we will have to put it up again when we get home. There are those that question our sanity, but everything that seems like more work out here really isn’t. The joy of seeing new places and meeting new people makes up for any extra work.
Last night we talked to our neighbor who was from Canada. This young 70 year old has a trailer similar to ours and has traveled 16,000 miles already this year. He’s been on the road since April and plans to keep up this life style until he can’t. We have to be out of here by noon tomorrow so we plan to leave even earlier and travel by way of Niellsville, and stop at “The High Ground Veteran’s Memorial” on the way home.

Saturday was another beautiful day, but once again they were predicting rain storms by late in the afternoon. We were packed up and on the road by 10:30 am planning to be in Niellsville by noon. Just a warning if you go there with a travel trailer or motor home the closest parking is about a half mile walk. We made it without any problems at all. Nice straight flat country road. We first heard about this memorial when we attended LZ Lambeau, the welcome home for Vietnam Vets held in Green Bay in 2001. It was everything they said it would be and more. We’re walking around taking pictures and reading about the individual war memorials when a Wisconsin National Guard Unit Convoy drives past on Highway 10 all blowing their truck horns. How fitting is that? Once again thought about my dad and uncles, all Navy during WWII, my father-in-law, Army Air Corps WW II and a friend, a Marine, killed in Nam. If you are in that area make sure you stop.

Spending four days at home, but it will go quickly. Wash clothes, pay bills, one of us getting her hair done, Church on Sunday, Mallards baseball game on Monday night, last one of the year for us, weed garden on Tuesday, if I can find it in all the weeds , National Night Out in town with the and VFW Meeting on Wednesday night. Then it’s “On The Road Again” to Hudson Wisconsin.  Main road trip will be to Still Water, MN. I was hoping to visit with a Navy Lt. that I served with in Taiwan, but unfortunately he is out of the country.

Hope everyone that is following us on my blog is enjoying my rambling about our camping adventures. Also hope that all of you are having as much fun this summer as we are.


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