Day 349: A Farmers’ Market, an Old Growth Forest, a Touristy Town, and a Fish Fry

A day full of delights!

Brandon wanted to go to the Minocqua Farmers’ Market so we did. I bought some delightful jelly and jam (including thimble berry and gooseberry) and some vegetables for a salad I was planning on making. Rupert and Chum posed with a large cabbage.

Later that afternoon, while down a rabbit hole of websites about trees I wondered if we were near an old grown forest so searched for it. I found one about 90 minutes away (at first I thought it was less than an hour, but I didn’t have the right location). Dean had free time so we drove to Cathedral Pines/Woods, part of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. This 40-acre grove has trees that are nearly 300 years old. It was highly delightful! Rupert and Chum were quite impressed!

On the way back from the old growth forest we stopped in Wabeno, a delightfully touristy town where we toured the Wabeno Logging Museum, visited a schoolhouse and walked along a small river.

That night we had fish-fry at the Hazlehurst Pub. The fish was delightful, but being at the pub, in my opinion, was asking to catch Covid. Brother had no interest in sitting outside.

Day 347: Escape to Wisconsin*

We drove the 5 hours to Hazelhurst this morning and arrived around 3 pm. At 4:30 we went to a supper club in Minocqua — not the most delightful supper club I’ve gone to, but not the least. Dean and I masked up to go in.

Some delights included**

  • Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks I saw on the feeders at the cabin house (including one male)
  • Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds by the dozen
  • Pileated Woodpeckers in the trees and at the feeders
  • The smell of pine trees

*For those of you not in the know, there was an “Escape to Wisconsin” tourism campaign in the 1980s (and apparently a business-centered one in 2011). There were even bumper stickers. One year, as a prank, we bought an “I escaped from Wisconsin” bumper sticker as a prank and put it on Kevin’s bumper.

**I know this is supposed to be a blog of delights, but the first words out of my brother’s mouth were unkind, and later he said something else unkind (both times pointing out visible ways that I’d aged). I didn’t point out his beer belly or his lack of helping us with our luggage. In addition, later that night we discovered that neither he nor my nephew were vaccinated.

Day 346: A Huge Cow, Tiny Donkeys, a Cemetery, and Broasted Chicken

Andrew and Alex took off for Minneapolis this morning and I had a lazy day, talking to Carol, doing some laundry and packing for our next visit.

Dean needed a break in the afternoon so we went to the Brier Hill farm so I could see Moose the very, very big cow, and Ginger and Henry, two miniature donkeys. I was delightfully impressed with the size of Moose.

After that we stopped at a cemetery where some of my ancestors are buried. Delightfully, I found a few graves, but I think my great grandparent’s grave markers are gone.

For dinner that night we had a delightful treat, broasted chicken from Chick’n’Dip.

Find a Grave info

Day 345: A Walk to the Pond, Lunch With Cousins, and Another Farm

I woke up excited about having lunch with Beth and Pam, two cousins (actually Beth was my mom’s cousin) I spent a lot of time with when we were growing up. Andrew and Alex invited me to join them at the pond at the Jones’ farm so I took a delightful walk there and sat with Alex where we talked and watched the water.

Lunch with the cousins was delightful at first. Beth’s house is amazing (it even has a bomb shelter). Lunch itself was delightful. We ate at a favorite of mine, Elgin Public House. Alas, we forgot to take a group photo! The not delightful part was the feelings I was sensing from Pam when the subjects of vaccination and covid came up. She would either walk away or change the subject*.

That afternoon (farmers eat early!) we went to Sue and Dennis’ for dinner and took a delightful walk around their farm later that evening. Tracey, Shane and Will stopped by later and chatted with Andrew and Alex. At that point all Dean’s relatives had met Alex.

*Days later I found out that she follows Mike Lindell, the My Pillow guy when she sent us a link to sign up for his seminar. When Beth said she wasn’t interested, Pam responded with “What is going on is a spiritual battle of good and evil, not republicans and democrates [sic]or black and white, or whatever else they are trying to cause divisions with.
I think what Mike Lindell is doing is worth listening to. How can you call what he is saying a conspiracy if you don’t listen to him for yourself and not from the media. Please give him an honest listen for yourself.”

Day 344: Old Friends, Alpacas and a Party

We cannot go to Illinois without stopping by Rivendell Alpacas and visiting with Jill and Gordon. Jill was a longtime friend of my mom and, in a way, a second mother to me. Gordon is an all-round wonderful person. So after exploring the farm at Danny and Carol’s, showing Andrew and Alex our old haunts (Kitty Farm, Elgin, Heine Street) and having lunch at Culvers, we met Marissa and her niece at Rivendell Alpacas.

Jill and Gordon gave us a full tour. They are as amusing as always. We started in the house and had a sort of impromptu memorial service for my mom while we stood around the “rug” she painted on their upstairs bathroom floor. Then we visited the alpacas, walked in the “wilderness”, petted Freya and had a delightful conversation with Gordon and Jill.

After spending the afternoon with Jill and Gordon we drove back to Carol and Danny’s where a party was just beginning. Carol brought together her family so they could all meet Alex. What a delightful and kind thing to do! Seeing Leanne was as delightful as always and we had a couple good belly laughs. Oddly no photos were taken at the party, but I did take several of the sunset.