Thursday, August 30, 2001
August 30 -- Sept 4, 2001
Manly took a cab to O'Hare Airport with the duffel bag and I took the subway out after
work with my carry-on bag. With the help of our "Talk About" radios, we had no trouble
finding each other in the United Terminal. Our 7:50 United Express flight no longer
leaves from Gate 22 in the main United Terminal 1, but from a gate in the old adjacent
Terminal 2 building.
After an uneventful flight to Central Wisconsin, we rented a car and checked into the
local motel which is about the mile down the highway from the airport (this year it
seems to be named the AmeriHost Inn in Mosinee). The check-in woman informed us
that we had been "upgraded" to the a floor suite.
This was an odd shaped room with two
windows, plus a sliding glass door to a balcony overlooking the enclosed swimming pool.
We kept this door shut because of the chlorine smell. There was also a huge whirlpool
tub surrounded by mirrors, complete with moppers and really big towels, a refrigerator
with complimentary soft drinks, and a microwave oven. We just had a nice glass of our
own whiskey and water and went to bed.|
Friday, August 31, 2001
After checking out of the motel we drove partway down the hill to the Wagon Wheel
restaurant for breakfast. While waiting for Manly, I was looking at the flyers for local
attractions (including one for "The Hideout, Al Capone's Northwoods Retreat") and found
one for a
"Mullins Cheese" about 5 miles south of the airport. (Exit #175 off I-39, and
then following the signs for downtown Knowlton and Mullins Cheese). The "retail store"
is a very minor part of the operation in a poorly identified concrete block addition to the
factory, but they have about 50 kinds of cheese, including Cheddar aged 1-1/2 years as
well as 4 years. We have had a hard time getting truly aged Cheddar, so this is a real
find for us! We were told that the difference between the yellow cheese and the white
cheese is that artificial coloring has been added to the yellow/orange cheese. They don't
mail, so we bought a bunch of cheese.
We continued on to Wausau, doing the grocery shopping at the huge "29 Super Foods"
market. This time we got all of our meat at the specialty meat department which has the
advantage of better meat as well as no nasty styrofoam packaging. The store had a
special sale on Lindeman's Australian Merlot and Shiraz wines for $6.99 per bottle; we
bought one bottle of each. We also bought some Braeburn apples that turned out to be very
good, and some nectarines.
We arrived at our house in time to open up the house, unpack, eat lunch, take naps, walk
around, eat dinner, and go to bed. Manly reported hearing a great horned owl during the
night, but I missed it.
Saturday, September 1, 2001
Our morning walk included an inspection of our neighboring farmer Jeff's "landing strip"
in the middle of the cornfield east of the road into our place. It appears to be 30-40 feet
wide and about a quarter of a mile long. Now that the corn is about six feet tall, I really
wouldn't want to try to land a plane on it, but if the crop is beans or potatoes the width
shouldn't be a problem. We understand that Jeff wants to do the crop dusting off this
We also inspected Dick Weden's motorcycle course, hot-rod track, and deer-hunting
stand. Dick now has the camper part of a pick-up truck camper arrangement set up next
to his deer stand. We suppose that he plans to sleep out there during deer season so he
doesn't have so far to go at 4:00 in the morning. On the far side of the field from the
deer stand we found a big patch of short sunflowers in bloom. I suppose that they were
planted to be snacks for deer. Right now the huge Sandhill cranes seem to be keeping an
eye on them. We saw three of these cranes flying away from us, but we also found their
footprints in the dirt looking like something from Jurassic Park.
Our afternoon walk was "around the block" looking for blackberries. This has been a bad
year for berries because the rains have come at the wrong times. However, between the
two of us we gathered over a cup of berries to have in blackberry pancakes in the morning.
While we were near the river, we heard people and boat sounds. There were a bunch of
people in four metal canoe-type boats, three red and one green, trying to get between the
rocks and on down the river. One large man was wading in the water getting things
sorted out. I was glad to see that the small child was wearing a life jacket. A short time
later we hear more commotion from then when they reached the major rapids, but by that
time we had left the river area. I am sure that eventually they got down to the Dells of
the Eau Claire.
Sunday, September 2, 2001
A beautiful sunny day, which we started with blackberry pancakes. Someone was target
shooting in the Weden dump we assume it was Dick but we did not go out to find out!
Later, while I pulled/cut trees and other plants from places I didn't want them, such as
around the LP gas tanks, Manly went fishing.
Manly reported that the fish didn't want to
play, but eventually he caught a six-inch shiner with a piece of mushroom (small red
boletus) on his
hook. He saw a great blue heron flying up the river; it circled once to look him over and
then continued on its way. Later he saw a couple of wild turkey hens near our gate.
During the afternoon we cut and sawed off some the limbs of the big basswood tree just
north of the house so that we can see into the forest better. I finished by removing much
of the ground cover of small trees and lower branches of the taller trees hindering the
Monday, September 3, 2001; Labor Day
After our breakfast we heard the cranes whooping it up down by the river. Manly went
fishing in the morning, using bacon as bait, rather than mushrooms. All but four little fish
still didn't want to play. I had a chat with Dick Weden and his cousin who had come out to
inspect the track; he reported that the sunflowers were a result of casually disposing of a
10-pound bag of sunflower seeds someone had given him.
In the afternoon Manly took a walk and I "liberated" the northeast corner of the house
from maple and cherry trees, raspberry and blackberry bushes, and assorted other greenery
which made going around the house difficult. Altogether, in this area, I must have
cleared about 500 square feed of unwanted plant life.
Tuesday, September 4, 2001
Morning cleanup to get the house ready to close up, followed by pulling out a few more
trees. After lunch we really did close the house.
On the way to the trash dump/recycle bins in the parking lot at the Dells of the Eau
Claire Park, we stopped to see Florence Weden. She had three guests with her, including
a cousin from Houston and her "sister-in-law," another Mrs. Weden, from Wausau. Our
visit was short.
We took the scenic back county roads to the airport, discovering some roads we had never
been on before. Our plane was on time and we landed in Chicago in time for pizza at
Rinalli's, that used to be the Belden Corned Beef Center.