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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Evening on the River.....................

We had plans with very good friends for tonight, but they had to be cancelled this morning.      As fate would have it, we got a call about noon from Kathy asking if we wanted to go out on the river.     Perfect!

We are in the back waters of the Mississippi River north of the I-90 bridge.





The water was so still.    Love the reflections.





This is the spillway.     The water is very high from recent rains.     The water above the spillway is Lake Onalaska.




We were taking sides as to whether a large white object by the island was a bird or kayak.     It was a very large bird.




The red flowers on the shore  (albeit submerged with the high water) were beautiful.     They were a very vibrant, clear red.



This photo was "borrowed" from Don's FB post.     It was a very fun evening.     Thank you Don and Kathy for the invitation!







Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Pictures from the Past...........

RJ and I have been busy visiting friends and family before we take off again.    Our August has been busy:     several days in Door County, I took a bus trip to Mpls to see Lion King, off to Bob's brother "up north",  couple days in the Dell's visiting Dick and Sue, off to Chicago to the horse races with friends and this past weekend we were in Iowa to my brother's big barbeque and family reunion.    It's only the 23rd - who knows where we will go next.

I thought I would share some of my favorite "back when" pictures with you.    These were from 2010 and 2011.    My external hard drives are packed away, but I am taking these from my camera club entries, thus the writing on the pictures.    Hope you enjoy them!



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This was on a boat trip in the UP of Michigan at Pictured Rock



Pinel Island in Ste Maarten



Scott Falls on the UP of Michigan.




Wednesday, August 10, 2016

U.S. Open Chainsaw Sculpture Championship


We were visiting family north of Eau Claire this week-end and had an opportunity to go to the U.S. Open Chainsaw Sculpture Championship competition.    Everyone starts out with a log and have free rein to do their creations.       They started working Thursday morning and judging will be Sunday afternoon.     We were there on Saturday afternoon and it is amazing what they have been able to accomplish.



There are 11 contestants, two from Japan, one from Italy and one from England.     The rest are from the U.S.    Two women are among the U.S. competitors.






2nd Place went to Chris Kuehn of Minnesota.     The detail in the moose and the underwater roots was incredible.




They used chainsaws of all sizes - some quite small for detail work.    




3rd place went to Dave Parsons of Minnesota.    His eagle was majestic.        This also gives you an idea how large the original log must have been.      Each sculpture has their own scaffolding so they can work on the higher parts of their creation.



If I were to go back, I would like to see the beginning stages of cuts.     It's not like a mis-cut can be glued back on.     Actually I couldn't find a site with the rules, so maybe they can.     The opossum in this creation was a separate piece of wood and the tail slides onto the extended arm.




A close up of the artist working on his award winning Moose.






This one was my favorite.    Can you find all seven animals?




It took me a while to figure out he was was working on the lower body of the giraffe.









And the winner is:    Takao Hayashi of Japan




It would have been nice to get back on Sunday to see their finished works of art, but I was totally impressed with their works in progress.






Friday, August 5, 2016

Can't go to Door County without attending a Fish Boil.......................

We had gone to a fish boil back in the 70's, but my memory wasn't too favorable.     Tonight we went to The Old Post Office Restaurant fish boil.      It's a beautiful evening for an outdoor performance.    I arrived early to get the only bench where the sun was at my back.  

Our Boilmaster was named Torch.     I rather doubt that is the name on his birth certificate, but he definitely earned the name tonight.      In addition to tending the fire and food, he is a great story teller.    We learned much about the process as well as his heritage in Door County.    He was very entertaining.

We started out with a pot of boiling water and a healthy fire.  




The potatoes are added first and are left to boil for a while.



There's a sizeable stack of firewood off to the side.    He informs us that in the off season they cut and chop wood, making a stack the size of one of the rental cabins nearby.

It's time to add the onions.    We are told they are the only fish boil that uses onions for flavor.




Finally, the star of the show, the white fish.      These are caught by a local fisherman who cleans them and they arrive ready to boil the very next day.       We are told that the fish get bigger as the season progresses as they prepare for the spawn in October.




It's time to get the "show" on the road.     I'm not sure what he adds to the water at this point, but the result makes everyone gasp!










At this point you can see the water boil over, thus the name "Fish Boil".




Torch and a buddy quickly remove the baskets of food which we will be eating a bit later.






There are 110 of us here tonight, so Torch will need to "boil" a few more fish.      Most of the people left immediately to get in line.      A few of us, however, felt no need to stand in line rather than enjoy the rest of the evening.      (After all, our tables were reserved just for us.    Doesn't matter if we are first or last)

Torch proceeds to give us more tidbits of information, including the fact he feels the fish he is cooking now is better than the earlier fish because they are gently simmered rather than going through the hard boil that produced the majestic fire pictures.

We finally decide to head to the buffet and then our table.    



Our Server promptly arrives to debone our fish.      He does a good job, but there are still all those erratic bones to watch for.

The food, however, is much better than I remember.    Maybe it's the melted butter I've poured over the potatoes and the fish.    Maybe not, but ?????




I can't believe how lucky we have been with table locations.    We are again given a front table so that we have this incredible view right across the street.      Have to love Door County!




Only one more day in this beautiful location.      I'm sure there will be a few more pictures!







Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Exploring the area............

Today was a day of side roads and stops to view Green Bay and Lake Michigan.     A plaque says that Green Bay (the bay not the city) got it's name because of all the trees and the green shoreline.



We decided to do the "less visited" northern area which I always find more interesting than shops and traffic.

This old pier is actually a busy fishing area, mostly local commercial fishing.    None of those fancy fishing boats and slick buildings.    Function is the name of the game here.



This  road was part of our many side trips - apparently preserving trees was more important than a slick road.     You just drive around the trees.




Back to Bailey's Harbour and civilization.     Doesn't this rescue boat remind you of "Jaws"?






I thought this mast was more interesting than another row of pretty sailboats.



Next up - a Fish Boil...............






Tuesday, August 2, 2016

On the Road Again ... Door County is calling!

We are spending a few days in Sister Bay on Door County.     My first stop has to be Pipka's shop.     I have been collecting their Santa's for many years.   ( www.pipkas.com )    Most of mine are ornament size, but I must have a hundred of them.     Each is only available for a year or two, so they entice you to visit their website every December (or year round if you plan ahead).    Plus, you get free shipping on St. Nicholas Day.    




There is a Swedish Restaurant in town, complete with five goats munching on the roofline.



Our choice for this evening, though, is a place called Fred & Fuzzy's.      It's a bit hard to find, although you wouldn't guess so based on the crowd size.     It's all outdoors, including the kitchen.    Our wait was only 25 minutes, just time to sit back and enjoy the view.



Our appetizer was a smoked salmon plate.    It was incredible!     Wish we had ordered two and skipped the perch, which was good, but......

We stayed for sunset as we had a waterfront table - just lucked out on that one!      A young girl was concentrating very hard on mastering her paddle board.



This sailboat made many trips back and forth.



A perfect sunset to cap off a fun day.




Tomorrow, more exploration on this fun peninsula that we first visited in the mid 70's.