Hogarty, Wisconsin
August 30 -- Sept 4, 2001

Thursday, August 30, 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 landing strip.

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 view.

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.