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Wandrin 2005

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by Lloyd Treichel





Dateline: August 11, 2005 -- Green Bay, WI

Future Travel... A couple of weeks of travel in Upper Michigan and Northern Wisconsin before returning to Green Bay.

The Harold Warp Pioneer Museum in Minden, Nebraska was a way to break up the driving along US Highway 34. Most of the historic material was poorly identified and lacked contextual information. However, there was an RV made in 1950 on a 1939 White truck chassis. The Turners built and then traveled in this early RV from 1953 to 1976. It has all the comforts of any RV home built today.

While wandering the grounds of the Museum, the Hobbies Building contained the most unusual item. There was the usual collection of buttons and salt and pepper shakers. However, this was the first time that I had seen a collection of ball point pens. Someone had took all those ball point pens from banks, insurance companies, etc. (You have a drawer full of them.) and made a case to display them. Actually, there were two cases -- each perhaps twenty feet long and six feet high.

Aurora, Nebraska ... was the stop where I stayed at City Park with water and electricity for a donation. A really good deal! While in town, I checked out the Plainsman Museum where the history and settlement of the west is presented in very broad strokes with a focus on central Nebraska.

The museum complex includes several buildings and items collected from many phases of living from home to commerce to farming. I passed up most of the exhibits in favor of the farm equipment. As usual with many of these farm museums, there was nothing to explain how the item was used let alone a picture or drawing. How many of a single item does a museum need? Better to have one item and explain it well. The most interesting collection was the wall display of cast iron implement seats. Imagine a long day of sitting in one of these seats and going to bed with the implement manufacturer's name embossed on your butt.

The most interesting item at the museum was the ninety-two year old gentleman greeting guests like myself. Soon I knew his abridged life history. He was raised on a farm, but found painting buildings much easier. He still owned crop land which was rented. However, he still liked to "play in the dirt" so he had ten acres which he farmed with a small ancient International tractor. Among the few crops he raised were sweet corn and potatoes. Most of that was given away. A widower for five years, he needs something to do with his time and the Museum needs all the volunteer help it can get. Regarding driving: stay in practice or you lose the skill. He practiced by driving 20 miles to Grand Island every day for coffee. Being concerned that he may have lost some of that skill he has been assured by his family that he drives well. I hope that I am as fit on my 92nd birthday.

A Windmill in Iowa was the next stop. With the largest concentration of Danish heritage in the USA, Elk Horn, Iowa celebrated the ancestry by moving a windmill from Denmark. The windmill was originally built in 1848. It was dismantled and reassembled in Elk Horn in 1976. The windmill is still operational and is demonstrated on special occasions. Also located in Elk Horn is the Danish Immigrant Museum with exhibits explaining the culture of the immigrating Danes throughout the United States.

1660 German Hausbarn... is located just 20 miles north of Elk Horn in Manning, Iowa. Moved from Offenseth in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany in 1999 the building includes a thatched roof. A common construction practice in the 17th and 18th century, the building would have been shared by families and their livestock. The pictures are a view from the barn end and house end -- respectively.


Effigy Mounds National Monument... is located in Iowa at the town of Marquette and just across the river from Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.  From Pikes Peak State Park in McGregor, Iowa, it was a short drive to nearby Effigy Mounds National Monument. The picture is an example of a conical mound which were first built by Woodland Indians about 3000 years ago. There are additional mounds throughout the monument of various ages and sizes -- up to an acre in size. The mound building seems to have continued until about 700 years ago. The interpretive center is quite thorough describing the mound building process and the archeology to learn more about them.

After my tour and hike through the monument, I headed back to the parking lot. That was where I met the bicycle rider with a small trailer who was crossing the country from Vancouver, British Columbia to Maine camping along the way and stopping to visit beautiful spots. Was he going to ride the bicycle back. Nope. He was going to sit in a plane with a drink in his hand for the return trip.

Wisconsin Dells... is a large "water" theme park. There are several water parks and every hotel seemed to have a water park of its own. I remember visiting Wisconsin Dells when I was a small boy long before all the commercialization. The only thing I remember were the rock formations of the Dells. So I took a boat ride on the Upper Dells to see what I may have seen almost 60 years ago. It was an enjoyable and scenic ride.

International Crane Foundation (ICF)... is near Baraboo, Wisconsin. Of the fifteen crane species in the world, most are in danger of extinction. The ICF maintains a world wide program to protect and expand the populations of the remaining cranes. The most endangered is the whooping crane of North America. Through a captive breeding program, the foundation works to expand a population of whooping cranes. A guided tour and other media presentations explain how the whooping cranes are kept wild. To cause the annual migration, they train the whooping cranes to follow an ultra light air craft from Wisconsin to Florida. Once the cranes know the route, they need no more training.

De Pere, Wisconsin... was the next stop where I stayed at the Brown County Fairgrounds. Newly opened this year with water and electricity, it is centrally located to visit the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame, Lambeau Field and the Stadium Bakery.

The Morrison Sesquicentennial... was the reason for the visit to Wisconsin this year. Morrison township is the farming area where I grew up. The all day event started with a morning parade and ended with fireworks. My genealogical material (can be found on this website) about the Treichels was on display. During the day, I met up and chatted with many people who I had not seen in 40 to 50 years. It was an interesting reunion. Everyone knew me since I wore a name tag. The cruelty of people was to guess who they were. I would stare into those faces and I was right most times, but other times my brain failed me or I simply drew a blank.

Hiking and Exercise... Walking around campgrounds provided some exercise, but most was done on bike trails. When parked near Wisconsin Dells, I biked several times on various sections of the "400" State Trail. While parked at the fairgrounds in De Pere, the Fox River State Trail was my destination. While parked at Point Beach State Forest, I biked the Rawley Trail to the nearby city of Two Rivers.

A few other photos....


Cinnamon Rolls...

Since I left Boulder, I have found several along the roads. However, none can top the cinnamon roll at the Stadium Bakery in Green Bay. It is snack sized and has great balance. Since I was parked nearby, I drove over each day to have one. That was in spite of the price of diesel fuel. I will do anything for a cinnamon roll.

Vanity Plates...

My license plate is "1ME 136". When South Dakota issued the plate, it was the next one in the pile. I didn't think I had a vanity plate, but a lady pointed out that there was only "one me". Seems there would have been 135 others who were also high on themselves.

SAVENRG -- On a VW Passat

DEEPSNO -- Hoping?

FUN CEKR -- Keep looking

WA2COOL -- The car or the driver?

BOB A LUI -- I don't think it is "Bobaloo". More than likely it is something like "Bob to you" in some other language.

Here's one I really like: GHERKIN -- on a small green car

I wonder what these are:


Some Latest Reads...

"Cod - A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World" by Mark Kurlansky. Five hundred years ago, cod was thought to be an inexhaustible resource of food and a livelihood for both the fishermen and their countries. Settlement of North America was based in part on the availability of cod so close to its shores. From then to the peak harvests of cod in the late 1800s to today is the usual story of greed where today it is difficult to find a cod -- let alone a fisherman who could make a living catching them.

"Bareback - One Man's Journey Along the Pony Express Trail" by Jerry Ellis. This is another of those books where the author is trying to find himself. It has very little about the Pony Express Trail. Find another book.

"Americana - Dispatches from the New Frontier" by Hampton Sides. This is a collection of short articles about the range and complexity of American experiences. People are at the heart of these stories and the author presents an honest and sometimes humorous look at this American world.

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