Cheesy Fun in Wisconsin

In our last episode, video footage documented a large family biking through the woods… in a park outside Minneapolis.  If you look closely at that video, you will notice Peter had a bike with no pedals!  It is called a “Strider.”  Peter hadn’t graduated to a bike with pedals… but the very next day he practiced hard and got the hang of it!  He then rode like a champ, and here is proof:

 

 

Wisconsin Dells

A very beautiful campground:

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A fun evening with neighbors… and a crazy Tiki Tornado or something like that… Hollow in the middle, eyes and mouth cut into center so smoke and fire erupt everywhere… Hot Stuff!

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We rode bikes into a cute little part of town.  OK, Ripley’s isn’t too quaint with the huge animals escaping the roof.

 

Mac’s

I was drawn to Mac’s because
1. That’s my Dear Old Dad’s name
2. It had to do with macaroni and cheese – a whole restaurant themed around it!

 

 

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It wasn’t too crowded, so we tried it out.  I loved it.  Others must have seen how happy I looked, because later they all came in too.

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They had several Mac Facts posted… here are a few:

Fact #1. Some cheeses are stored for a year before they are ready to eat.
Fact #3. Remains of cheese has been found in Egyptian tombs over 4,000 years old. (ready to eat yet??)
Fact #4. A farm in Sweden makes moose cheese.
Fact #6. It takes approximately 10 gallons of milk to make one pound of cheese.
Fact #7. The world’s largest consumer of cheese is Greece. (Per Capita, perhaps?)
Fact #9. Wisconsin and California are the top two cheese producers in the United States.

 

 

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We took the kayak upriver and had a great time looking at the great cliffs along the shoreline.  The first time we’ve ever kayaked under trees!

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN MN

Dignity

She stands 50 feet tall, and represents the Lakota and Dakota cultures that previously thrived in this part of the world.  She moved into this site near Chamberlain, South Dakota in 2016.  The diamond shapes in her quilt shimmer in the wind “like aspen leaves.”

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National Grasslands Visitors Center

Closed. Sigh. And after I went to all the bother of parking.

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Badlands National Park

After we left the legendary Wall Drug, we headed south into the Badlands.  Many Bison were on hand to welcome us.

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In addition to flowing grasslands, there are amazingly eroded canyons.

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There were a few places we saw other people, but it was really uncrowded.

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Corn Palace

“Prairie Palaces” were all the rage from the 1880’s through the 1930’s.  Designed to encourage tourism, and showcase the great crops grown in the prairies, each one tried to one-up the others.  Every year, the buildings were redecorated with fresh corn, and a new theme for that year.

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The interior is used for selling souvenirs when there is not a game or show going on.

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Huge murals, composed of a variety of colored ears of corn, adorn the walls.

 

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Corny stuff is everywhere!

 

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The biggest “Corn Palace” was built in 1887, in Sioux City, Iowa.  They renewed it every year, but in 1892 Sioux City was hit with a huge flood.  A six foot high wall of water devastated much of the city, and it was impossible to create a corn palace that year.  In fact, with the financial difficulties prevented them from ever rebuilding their opulent palace.  Below are a couple of pictures of the palace in its prime.

 

When the town of Mitchell, South Dakota, realized that the Sioux City Palace would not be rebuilt, they created one of their own.  Here are a few pictures of the palace with its many revisions over the years.  It is now the only “Corn Palace” in the world, and has been entertaining guests for over 128 years!

 

Mitchell, South Dakota

Our campsite was pretty close to a nice lake, but unfortunately we needed to press on, and didn’t get the kayak out.  Next time…

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Elm Creek Park in Minnesota

An afternoon spent with kids and grandkids on bikes was fabulous!

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Tandem Bike

My Dad bought a very cool Gitane tandem 10 speed bike back in the early 70’s, in the hopes that Mom would ride it with him.  She didn’t like it…  So Cherryl and I rode it a lot while visiting with them, and they finally gave it to us as a wedding present!  It is really set up for racing, with rather tall gears.  That was great for Southern California, but it wasn’t so much fun in the mountainous areas of Colorado.  Mountain bikes seemed far more relevant, and so the beautiful old tandem hung neglected in the garage.  We eventually gave it to our kids, who managed to neglect it just as we had been doing!  While visiting them now, we got out the bike, and cleaned it up.  It still needs more cleaning and tuning, but it rides pretty well.  I think it looks pretty good for an almost 50 year old bike!

South Dakota!

Crazy Ukulele

Cherryl has been playing Ukulele since she was a kid in Hawaii.  When we lived in Denver, she was in the Rocky Mountain Ukulele Orchestra, under the direction of Gary Jugert.  At the start of this Virus junk, Gary started doing internet ukulele lessons. I decided I’d like to try it too, so I got a cheap uke in Arizona.  While in Denver last week, we both got upgraded instruments. I have had a lot of fun and a lot of frustration trying to learn how to play!  If you are somewhat crazy too, you can go to jollyrogerukulele.com and join with tons of folks having fun learning ukulele…

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Devil’s Backbone

Friday we met up with dear friend Giny, and explored a bit a place called Devil’s Backbone.  It was pretty hot, so I can’t really say we hiked… from where we walked, it was very pretty, but we didn’t see the “Backbone” well till I launched the drone.

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Campion Academy

Friday we moved to the campus at Campion.  We have stayed here many times over the years, when Becky and Kevin were in school here, but also when there were camp meetings, pathfinder outings or music programs.  The campus is very quiet, being summer and of course our virus pandemic.  It was fun to look around.

The following picture shows the peaked roof addition we’ve done to our motorhome. (NOT!)

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Fort Collins City Park

We had a picnic with our friends Giny and Joe, and his mother Janet. We then explored a bit of  City Park – a nice park with a pretty lake.

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Lusk, Wyoming

Ever heard of Lusk?  We hadn’t either.  Don’t worry too much about it… we spent the night there on the way to Rapid City.  Some interesting clouds; the campsite not so interesting.

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Rapid City, South Dakota

Our campsite was next door to Fort Cody, where they do sightseeing tours of Mt. Rushmore, serve up chuckwagon dinners and shows, and have a lot of exhibits to peruse.  I found a few old cars worth looking at.  There was also an old Ford Falcon Pickup… I’m told it was a factory car, built before Ford started making the Ranchero.

 

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Here’s a very short view of the land around our campsite.

 

We also spent some time with Cherryl’s niece. Crista and Josh Few have moved into a beautiful house in a gorgeous area.  I flew a bit over their home, and then a couple minutes trying to chase a Bobcat.

 

Wall Drug

If you have driven across South Dakota, you have probably seen several of the roughly 18,000 signs advertising Wall Drug.  In the little town of Wall, (Maybe the WHOLE town), is this self proclaimed world famous store. In 1931 Wall had all of 326 residents, and Ted Hustead bought a tiny run down drug store.  They started offering free ice water in an attempt to drum up business, and started growing dramatically.   It now covers at least a whole city block, and they sell all kinds of souvenirs… We have driven past this place many times, and now we’ve stopped and seen it.  Good for us.  Next time I can drive past easily.

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Fun @ the Fort

We moved from Denver to Fort Collins, Colorado.  A KOA campground was surprisingly beautiful!  A nice walkway circles a small but picturesque lake.

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Near the start of the lake walkway, I was surprised to see a bear!  OK, only painted on a rock…

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But along the path were many other exotic animals – painted on dead trees.

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There were even beds of herbs growing that we were free to help ourselves to.

 

Thursday we got the kayak out of our basement.  This is what it looks like folded up…

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And here are a few pictures of it in use at Horsetooth Reservoir.  Supposedly Horsetooth valley was protected by a giant, to keep Indians from hunting game there.  Long ago, a Chief killed the giant with an axe from heaven, and the giant died and turned into a giant stone.  We never saw the stone, but did have some fun on the water.  Since the valley has been turned into a reservoir, I’m thinking the only game caught now is fish.

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Here is a video of our time on the beautiful Horsetooth Reservoir.