Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Saturday, October 7, 2017

And We're Outta There

Hi All,
 Not that we plan it but looks like we are down to our once a month blog post. I find it difficult to blog about being home in Wisconsin getting family and friend visits in. Time goes by quick and we just don't do as many interesting things.
 We did enjoy our time back home and got in many good visits. We always come up short on a few and are sorry we just couldn't check em all off. But that is a good reason to come back so we look forward to seeing you next year.
 We are also bad that we visit, have fun, and then kick ourselves for not pulling out the camera and getting the pics.
Our high school gang! 40 years getting together!!

My dad in his favorite spot watching the birds and drinking coffee.

Apple picking with grandsons Lukas and Isaiah

Halloween Campout with Nate, Colleen, and grandkids

A little Bon Voyage thrown for us by Ray's side
 We have now completed our 5th full year of full time RVing. Always a nice time to reflect back on the good times we have had and friends along the way.
 We headed out on Oct. 2nd, our plans pretty sketchy only knowing that we will be wintering down by Amanda and Pat's farm in Live Oak, FLA. We want to drive slow hoping to enjoy some fall colors. We plan to keep the drives short in the less than 200 range.
 Days one and two were spent driving through Illinois a quick overnight stop at Hickory Hollow Campground Utica ILL. Then to Peaceful Waters Campground in Bloomingdale Indiana. We really wanted to spend time here as there are 31 covered bridges in the area. But the all rain forecast has made a return trip to this area a necessity.
 Day 3 we have stopped at Lincoln State Park just outside Santa Claus, Indiana. A very nice state Park with Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial just across the street.
 This is a memorial to Abraham Lincoln as he spent ages 7 to 21 on the 160 acre farm. The memorial features some very exquisite relief sculpture works, a small museum, along with recreations of the original homestead.

 And yes it is Santa Claus, Indiana. Looks like a booming place if the Holiday Worlds Entertainment Park is operating. Off season not to much of a stop unless you need that one hard to find Christmas ornament. But a picture of the post office is a must.
What Wendy didn't sell was left at nephews flowershop for resale. Time to restock.)

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Enjoying time with family

Hi all,
 Things just keep rolling along. We completed our mini vacation to Michigans Upper Pennisula. This is one large area that one needs to give themselves plenty of time to explore. We just covered the central area and easily could have spent more time. It is just such a great area when the hot days of July and August are stifling in the south.

Bond Falls

Lagniappe Cajun Creole Eatery in Marquette

Lakenenland  Sculpture park
Upper part of Bond Falls
 Meanwhile back at Wendy's folks we are having nice visits. Colleen and the grand sons came up and we enjoyed a weekend with them. The following week Nate and a buddy came up to do some fishing on the Petenwel Flowage. Weather wasn't to great so I bowed out on that.
 We got in a visit with Marilyn and Bill from our Excel camping club. They live in not to far in Marshfield so we joined them for a nice lunch and chit-chat.
 Wendy and I took a little ride one day and ended up at Stevens Point Brewery. This is the second oldest brewery running in the original location. It began in 1857 one year before the town of Stevens Point was founded. It was a nice little tour although we hit at cleaning and maintenance week so no production was going on. They had a neat sampling area where good sized samples were available. Good thing we could use our sample tokens on some of their brewed soda so someone could drive home.
 It is nice getting to spend time with Wendy's parents, at 85 and 87 they get along pretty good. Her dad is actually going to work again and assist with the cranberry harvest. He has done this in the past and though he doesn't need the income he just has to stay active. He surely is something.

Isaiah and great grandpa celebrating

 Our next plans are to head down to Mukwonago (our old home grounds) and get more visits with family and friends there. We will hang there until the end of September and then begin a slow drive back to Florida, route not planned yet.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Enjoying Upper Michigan

Hi all,
Hows it going eh?? Seems the lingo here is a cross Minnesota and Canada, yes I'm sure I fit right in. We have been having some great weather with sunny days and cool nights and the mosquitoes and flies are behaving themselves to.
 I think late summer is the best time to visit although fall during color change I'm sure would be stunning. We have even seen a few trees with outer limbs beginning the transformation.
 The jeep has been getting a good work out. Not on to many trails but some of blacktop roads here are worse than many of the dirt roads we have driven, but that just makes it fun to me.
 We took a short ride to Fayette Historic State Park on one day. It lies on a peninsula with Lake Michigan and Big Bay De Noc on its sides.
 Fayette was a bustling community that centered around the iron smelting industry from 1867 to 1891. There are more than 20 buildings that have been restored to show what life was like in a nineteenth century company owned town.

a  furnace used in the coal producing required for iron ore production

Home to the company supervisor

                          There is a campground and a small marina also run by the State Park.
 Drive number two was to the north to the Munising and Pictured Rocks area. Along the way we stopped at a couple waterfalls. There are so many waterfalls in Upper Michigan that one could spend all thier time checking them out. I know that from past experiences some years ago, this time we just wanted to hit a few.

 The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore along Lake Superior was the first lakeshore to be designated a National Lakeshore in 1966. It offers over 100 miles of fabulous hiking trails.
Many enjoy sea kayaking along the shores or you can choose one of the many commercial boat trips offered out of Munising.

Miners Castle
 Our plan was to enjoy some of the famous views as we jeeped along, stopping where ever we felt the itch. We had picked up some smoked fish and had an impromptu picnic on a beach.
Lifes a beach
 Another quick side trip while here was Palms Brook State Park and the Kitch-iti-kipi,(The Big Spring) The spring looked like many we had seen in Florida but at a year round temp of 45 not one you would want to dip in. It measures 200 feet across, 40 feet deep and 10,000 gallons a minute flow from its fissures in the limestone below.  The neat thing here is riding the man or kid powered raft out into the trout filled pool. It has a glass bottomed viewing area to view the sand being ever changed by the incoming waters.

       Next up for us is to relocate to the northwest a bit and do some more touring of the U.P.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Off to the UP

Hi all,
Nothing better than time on the road. After a quick one week stay at our old hometown we headed north to spend some time with Wendy's mom and dad.
 At 87 and 85 respectively they are doing pretty good. Wendy's mom sure hates to be idle long. She barely gets one meal done and she is prepping for the next. Meals are big here and we have a hard time to keep from gaining weight while here.
 Her dad stays on the go to, he spends a lot of time in his huge garden and taking care of a couple dozen chickens. In the past he hired on part time during the cranberry harvest, working in the processing plant. He hinted that he wants to do it again this year. He says when the garden is done he gets bored sitting around, he already has filled the wood shed for the winter. I guess this shows how to live to a ripe old age.
 So while here Wendy helps doing some of the things her mom can't do. We also helped by making some blueberry jelly. We sure have done our share of canning this year and tomatoes are just starting to ripen here.
 On one Saturday Wendy's sister Patsy planned a family reunion at her place in Pardeeville. It has been a number of years since the family has tried to gather.It was nice seeing many of the gang again. The turnout was fair as two of her sisters were unable to attend and many of the grandkids were missing.
Wendy's dad with the Great-great grandson Carson

Back left, Patsy, Peggy, Wendy, Rich front Donnie, Barb, Ed, and Randy
 They want to try it again next year giving better warning to some for a better turnout.
 Another day we got a visit from our son Nate and grandson Alex with Emily his gf. Alex also has a jeep so we took the tops off for a ride about. We drove the Sandhill Crane Refuge in nearby Babcock. We had a great weather day and Alex was able to get some cool drone shots along the way. Nice way to spend some time with the boys.

 So we don't get sucked in to all work and no play Wendy and I planned a little vacation. In the past we had taken a few vacations to Michigans Upper Penninsula and has been many years since our last visit.
 And almost on the way is Lambeau Field home of the Green Bay Packers. So a little twist of Wendy's arm and a stadium tour was in the plan. And when Wendy's sister Patsy heard of our plans they drove up to Green Bay and joined us.
 Luck had it they were holding practices and the public is allowed to attend. So we got to attend a practice, get a stadium tour, and enjoy a great day with Patsy and Sonny.
a neighborhood fence, all things G.B.

Sonny and Patsy and us

A Packer tradition area kids offer there bikes to players for a short ride.

Great way to end the day
 Tuesday we headed up to Indian Lake State Park just outside Manistique, Mich. We will camp here for five days and do some jeep drives. Then we will head to other parts of the U.P.