What’sa Wissota?

After leaving the scene of the Camporee, we started out towards our kid’s place in Minnesota.  We figure being retired gives us the right to only travel a few hours per day… So we spent a quiet weekend in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin on the way.  We didn’t see any falls, but did spend some time at the Lake Wissota State Park.

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The lake was created in 1917 when a hydroelectric dam was completed at the confluence of five rivers.  One of the engineers on the project took the first syllable of Wisconsin and the last two of Minnesota and came up with a name for the lake they created.

A small village was built nearby to house the 700 or so workers that would build the dam.  It was complete with water and sewer systems, houses, bungalows, bunkhouses, a central dining hall and a school.  In 1918 the dam was producing electricity at a rate  equivalent of 1,120 tons of coal per day.  Today that’s worth about 16,000 homes.

 

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A surprising amount of the State Park is prairie.  Very pretty and makes for nice bike rides (Level!)

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Our campsite in Chippewa Falls was quiet and peaceful.  We’d requested a site with full hookups, and when I showed up the camp host wanted to show it to me in case I wanted to choose a different site.  He was afraid, with our big rig, it would be too difficult to back into.  I assured him it turns sharper than one might think, and that I would try it.  It involved a reverse U-turn, but with my faithful wife on the wireless radio to guide me, we made it in one seamless turn.  He had left, but was watching from a little ways down the road.  He then came up and said I needed to give him lessons on backing up; he was very impressed.  He talked about that to anyone who would listen all weekend.  Funny.

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