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Author Topic: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012  (Read 34880 times)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #90 on: September 21, 2012, 12:05:59 AM »
Dean and Linda, I'm glad you enjoyed the Nat'l. Eagle Center in Wabasha.  Here I thought I was going to have a chance to meet you in person.  I read your post early this morning from my hotel room (Hampton Inn) in Tomah, WI.  Right across the street from the WalMart! 

I packed up for my work day and drove across the street at 7:45 a.m., but you were already gone!  Only a Class C and a 2008 or 09 Winnebago Destination sitting in the parking lot.  I hope you enjoy the remainder of your trip.

We were there on the night of the 18th, and we left on the 19th.  We are such sleepyheads, actually slow starters.  The earliest we have left anywhere on this trip was 8:40, which we celebrated because it was so early.  I suspect you looked for us on the morn of the 20th, and we missed each other by 23 hours.  I would love to meet you.  You helped make our trip through Minnesota so enjoyable.  Contact us if you ever get out our way in Southern California, and maybe we can do the same for you.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #91 on: September 21, 2012, 12:13:43 AM »
Billy Bob, Margi, and Ardra, thank you for your kind words and thoughts.  It's nice to feel like I have friends along for the ride--and for the travails. 

Margi, the pickles we've gotten into have all been joint efforts so far.  I will learn from your experience and be more timid about shortcuts because I would feel so bad if I got Dean into a big jam.  Sometimes those roads look so good, and peter out into dust.  I'm going to be more cautious.  However, it's nice that we have managed to keep from putting our RVs into the drink, so we must have decent problem-solving skills.  Someone above is watching over us.

Happy and safe travels,
Linda

Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Bonnie Lawrie

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #92 on: September 21, 2012, 12:13:19 PM »
Hi Linda,
     I just loved your interesting posting about eagles! Being a fan of fine feathered friends, I am always eager to learn more about them. Thank you so very much for sharing your trip!
     Space shuttle Endeavor is flying into Southern California today on the top of a huge airplane. I hope to catch a glimpse of it as it crisscrosses the Los Angeles/Orange County area on its way to LAX.
                                                                   Happy Trails,
                                                                              Bonnie

Lorna

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #93 on: September 21, 2012, 03:52:01 PM »
Linda,

When you were in Necedah you were just south of where I was born and raised.  That is a huge cranberry area.  Ocean Spray has a plant Babcock.  My father worked on his cousin's cranberry marsh during his early married life besides running a farm.
Lorna
Better to drive thy closet than pack thy suitcase
Want to know where we are?
http://whereis.nedreiter.com
Follow our trip of the USA at http://blog.usabyrv.us

Billy Bob

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #94 on: September 21, 2012, 04:00:13 PM »
Dean & Linda your commits on Whooping Cranes on your Sept 19 post reminded me of the ones that winter here on the Texas Gulf Coast. Hope you don't mind I posted a few photos of them here. These were taken on TX 35 4 miles west of West Columbia, TX and about 5 miles from my home. We are 50 miles southwest of Houston, TX. The pictures were taken in Jan. 2012

Bonnie Lawrie

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #95 on: September 23, 2012, 10:22:12 AM »
Hi Folks,
     Linda just called me from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She asked me to let you know that she is unable to get WiFi, due to the large trees surrounding the RV park, where they are staying. She will be posting again soon.
                                                                      Happy Trails,
                                                                            Bonnie Lawrie

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #96 on: September 25, 2012, 05:33:57 PM »
Being a fan of fine feathered friends, I am always eager to learn more about them.
     Space shuttle Endeavor is flying into Southern California today on the top of a huge airplane. I hope to catch a glimpse of it as it crisscrosses the Los Angeles/Orange County area on its way to LAX.
                                                               

Bonnie, thanks for posting the note re my lack of WiFi.  I, also, love to see any raptor--even the turkey vulture excites me.  One of my Top Ten Most Thrilling Life Experiences was getting to see bald eagles close up as our RV neighbor tossed out fish in Valdez, Alaska.   This went on for about 20 minutes, and I had chills from the excitement the whole time.  They were coming within 20 feet of me!  The next night the City Council enacted a law making it illegal, so it's not an experience I can repeat.

I'm glad you got to see the Endeavor on its flyover, and I'm sorry I missed it.  It would have been a thrill.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #97 on: September 25, 2012, 05:43:15 PM »
Dean & Linda your commits on Whooping Cranes on your Sept 19 post reminded me of the ones that winter here on the Texas Gulf Coast. Hope you don't mind I posted a few photos of them here. These were taken on TX 35 4 miles west of West Columbia, TX and about 5 miles from my home. We are 50 miles southwest of Houston, TX. The pictures were taken in Jan. 2012

Oh, my goodness!  Mind?  Feel free to post anything anytime.  I LOVED THEM!  I've been asking every naturalist that I have met where they go to winter, and all they tell me is "The Gulf Coast".  That's a huge area--bigger than the whole Pacific Coast of California, Washington, and Oregon.  I am so glad to have an exact location where they were spotted.  Then I can call that area's Audubon and find out what's happening this year.  We are tossing about doing a 2-month Texas trip in the winter to see your "snowbirds".  So, this information is really helpful.  Thanks, Billy Bob.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #98 on: September 25, 2012, 05:46:55 PM »
When you were in Necedah you were just south of where I was born and raised.  That is a huge cranberry area.  Ocean Spray has a plant Babcock.  My father worked on his cousin's cranberry marsh during his early married life besides running a farm.

Lorna, the Necedah area is rich in wildlife.  I picked up a Sunday newspaper in Milwaukee, and they have a whole page on Necedah, but I haven't had a chance to read it.  But, you can be sure that we will carefully avoid all cranberry marshes if/when we return!  We will relive that experience every Thanksgiving when we see the cranberry sauce.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #99 on: September 25, 2012, 05:56:31 PM »
Sept. 20      Day 34      Madison, Wisconsin

I read about the International Crane Foundation a decade ago, and it was on my Bucket List. We paid our admission of $8 each ($2 off for being seniors), and walked outside to the pens.  The first thing we noticed was that the walkways sparkled.  They are made 75% of recycled tumbled glass from bottles and are 25% granite and glue.  To construct paths in one exhibit, they used 160 tons of glass and created a market for recycled bottles.  Pavement usually sheds water, but these paths absorb the water while recharging groundwater and reducing stormwater runoff.

We first met the wattled cranes (Picture 1).  These South African cranes need for rivers to rise in the wet season and flood the plains.  Flooding protects them from predators during nesting.  They nest at the peak of flooding and then follow the receding water with their fast-growing chicks.  Recently, dams have been built which altered natural flooding.  Cranes stopped breeding, the grasslands dried up, and farming and fishing communities collapsed.  ICF has been helping local governments and dam operators find new solutions, such as timed water releases, to restore flooding.  Wattled Cranes are the most wetland-dependent, largest, and most threatened of the African cranes.

I think the black-crowned crane is the most beautiful.  They live in the Sabel, a savannah in the middle of Africa.  Human populations have greatly increased there, and over-grazing and climate change have caused the Sahara Desert to encroach upon it.  These gorgeous cranes and people compete for a decreasing supply of water and land.  ICF is working to protect the wetlands, a critical resource for local people.  In the U. S. we use 200 gallons of water per person per day.  In most of Africa, they use less than 20 gallons.

They have the world's only collection of all 15 species of cranes in 4 outdoor exhibits.  Three of the cranes, including the blue crane that I really was looking forward to seeing, chose to be inside where we couldn’t see them.   Most of the cranes had pens with thick wire, which made it impossible to get photos, so we just enjoyed their beauty.  Every sign stressed the measures ICF is taking worldwide to maintain and increase cranes’ numbers.  The Education Building had many interesting, interactive exhibits.  I learned that it is illegal to have any endangered birds feathers.  At ICF they bury all the feathers that are molted.

We drove 50 miles to Madison.
   
We arrived at Olbrich Botanical Gardens on the shores of Lake Monoma just as the 50-ft.-high glass conservatory had closed.  So, we went to the outside gardens (free admission) that are open from dawn to dusk.  Wow!  They were very pretty and tranquil.  They had some pretty and unusual flowers, and the bees were loving them.  They had many very tall beautiful trees, some of which are turning colors.  The Japanese Garden was small, but very well done and tranquil.  (Picture 5) We may need to hurry up to see the Michigan leaves.

Through a joint effort of the U of Wisconsin, the Thai community here, and private donors, the only Thai Pavilion & garden in U. S. was donated.  There are no nails or screws in it.  The people who build it in sections flew in from Thailand, and they were on one of the last planes to land in Chicago on 9-11-2001.  I couldn’t believe the amount of gold leaf, and it’s just out in the open air.   There was a lot of symbolism in the pavilion, including crowns to honor the Thai king.  The lion on the front law is a sign of good luck and protects the Pavilion. They placed a large planter pot in front of the temple that reminds the Thai of the pot of water in front of their homes that welcomed visitors in their hot, humid climate.(Picture 7)   There is a miniature representation of a mountain landscape composed of stacked boulders, conifers, and other dwarfed plants.  They also had some traditional Thai topiary.  Surrounding the temple is a forest or jungle reminiscent of the Thai forests.

We didn’t make it back to the enormous glass conservatory.  There were lots of squirrels, chipmunks, cardinals, hummingbirds, robins, and other birds.  The gardens were beautifully maintained and had a wonderful serenity.  I’d give this site an “A.”

We had a wonderful dinner at Joey’s Seafood and tried cheese curds.  Everything, especially the tiny corn muffins, was delicious.  The halibut and chips reminded us of Alaska.   Service was outstanding.  Prices were fair.

Then we went to Costco, which had huge aisles and much less product than we’ve seen anywhere else.   We were pleased that the post office had drive-through mailboxes.  It was a busy day. 

Staying at Lake Farm Park, 50 amps, no water/sewer @ site, but available, quiet county park, near Wal-Mart, roomy, pull-thru or back-in sites, good phone & satellite signal  $25, $2/night discount for seniors, $10 reservation fee, extra fee for dogs.  They have a wildlife observation deck that I would have liked to use if it weren’t so cold and rainy.  They also have a bicycle trail, fishing, boat launch, and a variety of sports areas.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

ArdraF

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #100 on: September 25, 2012, 06:25:46 PM »
Ooooohhhh!  Lovely.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Billy Bob

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #101 on: September 25, 2012, 09:37:01 PM »
Wow what great pictures

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #102 on: September 25, 2012, 11:33:35 PM »

Sept. 21      Day 35      Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

Having a checkout time of 3:00 (we have discovered that all WI state parks have this policy) gave us lots of time to see the capitol.  It was in the low 50’s and raining, and we had problems finding parking because not even the Capitol Police know what their parking signs mean.  We couldn’t get a picture of the capitol because of the rain.  We got lucky and had a wonderful guide, Jerry.  We were given a private tour—just the two of us.

The current capitol was built in 1917 and was updated in the 1990’s.  The first capitol was in Belmont, the lead mining center.  In its 45 days of operation in 1837, it made only one decision—to move the capitol to Madison.  Madison was named after our 4th president who wrote the Constitution. They built the new capitol quickly—of wood that was green (not cured).  As it aged, it developed leaks and huge cracks, big enough to put your hand through. They built the second capitol from 1850-1860 of sandstone.  They had outgrown it, so they weren’t too unhappy when it burned down.

In 1906, they started the new capitol.  It cost $7.2 million and had its own power plant, which is still in use today.  It is shaped like a + sign with four wings, an unusual design.  In the 1980’s they added central air-conditioning and improved the electronics.

George Post, the architect who designed the capitol also designed the biggest building in the world for the Chicago World’s Fair and the New York Stock Exchange.  He was 69 years old, and he wanted for the Madison Capitol to be his crowning jewel of his career, and he succeeded.  Dean and I have seen lots of capitols, and I think this one ties with Frankfort, Kentucky for #1.  Dean says it is #3, behind Frankfort and Charleston.  Post paid a lot of attention to details and really thought it through.  He used glass tiles in the floor while allowed light to be reflected from the domes above to the area below.  There were many different types of marble throughout the capitol—all were beautiful.  And, all the marble columns are solid.  Gold leaf is used throughout the capitol.  The ceilings are so varied, symbolic, and amazing, they could do a whole tour based just on the ceilings.  They could also do a whole tour just on the beautiful paintings.

We started in the Conference Room, where this painting impressed me. (Picture 1)  It represents transportation in the past present, and future.  The train dominates the background, and there is a ship and a car.  But, there is a tiny PLANE in the sky!  The Wright Brothers had just made their first flight in the same year, but the artist realized that planes were the transportation of the future.

The first wing we visited was the Supreme Court (Picture 2).  Every sign was of the same marble and gold leaf—really quite striking.    They choose about 75 cases that have the biggest impact from 750 petitions submitted annually.  They work from September through June.  They hold court 3-4 times per month, and they hear 3-4 cases per day.  Each side gets only 30 minutes to present their evidence.  If they want to rebut, they have to save some of those minutes.  The afternoon that the case is heard they hold a preliminary vote and select the judge who will write the opinion.  Currently there are 4 women justices and 3 male justices.  The historical, formal, ceremonial chairs are shown here, but behind them are the comfortable chairs that the justices actually use. (Picture 3).  The painting of the “Signing of the Constitution” (Picture 4) shows Washington behind the table.  In the right is James Madison with a cloak on his arm, and he is talking with Alexander Hamilton.  Near Washington stands Thomas Jefferson who is talking to another delegate whose back is turned.  In the group of four men standing to the left is Benjamin Franklin.  However, Thomas Jefferson was in Paris in 1878 performing his duties as minister to France, so he couldn’t have been there. Picture 5 is of the “Trial of Chief Oshkosh” who was accused of killing a Pawnee tribal member.  Chief Oshkosh has folded his arms, with trappers, voyagers, and tribesmen watching.  He was acquitted because he acted in accordance with tribal law.  It established that the spirit of the law is more important than the letter of the law.  Picture 6 is “The Signing of the Magna Carta.”

There are 33 senators who are led by the President of the Senate.  Above his chair are three murals, which together form “The Marriage of the Atlantic and Pacific.” (Pictures 7, 8, and 9)  In the center panel, America is sitting on the throne and is blessing the union of the two oceans through the building of the Panama Canal.  The Atlantic, symbolized by Neptune, places a ring on the finger of Pacific.   

Each senator represents 165,000 people, and serves a 4-year term.  The minority gets to sit in the front of the Senate.  They have to be recognized to speak, and they are not addressed by name.  They are called to speak as, “The Senator from the ___District may speak.”  The President of the Senate, Fred Risser, is the longest serving state legislator ever in the United States, having served 50 years and is still going strong.  In the Senate, they still do a voice roll call.  The governor has line item veto power.  Two-thirds vote of the Senate is necessary to overturn the governor’s veto.

In the Assembly, the third wing, there are 99 assembly members, each serving a 2-year term.  Republicans sit by the windows, and the Democrats sit by the doors.  They vote electronically.  In fact, in 1919 they were the first legislature in the world to have electronic voting.  I think that makes it even stranger that the Senate votes by roll call.  The governor gives his State of the State speech here, and they set up extra seats for the senators and Supreme Court justices.

Above the speaker’s desk is the painting “Wisconsin.”  (Picture 10)  A female figure, who is named Wisconsin, appears throughout the Capitol and other governmental buildings—in fact, there is a huge 284-foot gilded bronze statue of her atop the Capitol dome.  In this painting, she is sitting on a rock surrounded by women symbolizing Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and the Mississippi River.  Sometime after the painting was hung, a beaver magically appeared in the lower right corner.  Hmmm…

The Governor’s Reception Room is truly palatial. (PICTURES 11, 12, 13)  It has more gold leaf than all of the rest of the Capitol combined, and that’s a LOT!   The whole room, from the ceiling to the paintings to the carvings is just so elegant.  It’s where the governor holds his press conferences and meets with important people. 

The guide had to leave so we became “voyagers” and found the statue “Wisconsin and Old Abe”.  (Picture 14) This is a TRUE story.  Chief Sky, the son of an Ojibwe chief, noticed a treetop nest, with two fledgling bald eagles, and to capture them, he cut down the tree.  One eaglet died from the fall, but the other became his pet.  A few months later when he and his father were on a trading expedition, they sold the eagle in exchange for a bushel of corn.  Then some young men from Wisconsin were going to enlist to fight for the Union in the Civil War pooled their money from a trader who wanted $2.50.  They needed just a little more money, so they asked a civilian, who declined to contribute, so they gave him 3 lusty groans.  He laughed and paid for the total cost, and he returned the quarters to the donors.  After that, he received cheers instead of groans.  The young soldiers’ leader, Captain Perkins, named the eagle “Old Abe” after President Lincoln, and his quartermaster made a special perch on which to carry the bird into battle, and a young soldier volunteered to take care of her. They became the regimental color company and were named “Eagle Company.”  Old Abe was carried, perched upon a banner, through the din and smoke of 36 battles.  She always got excited by battles, and she would spread her wings and scream.  When she passed by great generals like U. S. Grant and William Sherman, they would doff their hats.  In 1864, Old Abe came back to Wisconsin with several volunteers who did not re-enlist.  She was famous and went to expositions and conventions, and she lived in the Wisconsin State Capitol.  She died from smoke inhalation in a fire at the State Capitol in 1881.  She became the insignia of the 101st Airborne Division, who are known as the Screaming Eagles.

We went back to the center rotunda, which is spectacular.  There are 4 beautiful paintings.  The colors in the paintings were so vibrant, as if they were alive.  My favorite was Liberty (Picture 15.)

We went looking for the state seal, which we have seen in the other state capitols.  They are usually in a display case or mounted in the capitol’s rotunda.  Wisconsin’s is in a hallway ceiling off the center rotunda (Picture 16).  Dean lay on his back to be able to shoot this picture.  I thought the badger was the state animal because they have so many of them.  They were important in the fur trade, but Wisconsin became “The Badger State” because the miners were so busy making money in the lead mining boom of the 1830’s that they didn’t take time to build houses.  They lived in mine shafts and makeshift burrows, like badgers.  The triangles on the seal represent lead ingots.  I think the rest is self-explanatory.

We drove to Babcock Hall Dairy Store to purchase highly-touted University of Wisconsin cheese and ice cream.  The campus is huge and, unlike any university I’ve ever seen, it is interspersed with other buildings along major city thoroughfares.  Students use bicycles and scooters to traverse the long distances between classes.  It was the oddest campus I’ve seen. They had several blocks with only university departments and lots of greenhouses.   There was no close parking to Babcock, and it was cold (50°) and rainy, so we took a pass.  I’ll look for another cheesemaker.  I wanted to see it at U of W because they offer a Masters of Cheesemaking, which I thought was an odd masters program.

I enjoyed this capitol so much that bought a book about the history of the capitol and its symbols

Staying at Oak Creek Estates (Thanks to Lorna)---FHU, 50 amps, no satellite Internet because of tall trees.  It’s a bit short (we stick out a foot into the road), but I think it’s the best in Milwaukee.  I feel better because they escorted us, and it’s their road.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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  • Posts: 1195
Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #103 on: September 25, 2012, 11:36:10 PM »
More pics...
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

  • ---
  • Posts: 1195
Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #104 on: September 25, 2012, 11:38:01 PM »
More pics...
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

  • ---
  • Posts: 1195
Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #105 on: September 26, 2012, 07:34:27 AM »

Sept. 22      Day 36      Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The Milwaukee Public Museum is expensive at $11 per person + parking, which for us was $11 (about 5 hours).  It is such an outstanding museum that I feel I could spend 2 days here and never be bored.  However, after 3-4 hours in a museum, my interest wanes, so if I lived here, I’d buy an annual pass and do it over several days. They had an IMAX Theatre, a planetarium, a conservatory that we never found, and a butterfly pavilion.  99% of exhibits were behind glass, so we didn’t get many pictures, except of butterflies.  (Pictures 1, 2, 3, and 4)   

 The third floor was the most fascinating for both of us because it had more information that was new to us.  They had extensive, intriguing displays and dioramas on the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions, Polynesia, Indonesia, Latin America, Africa, Asia, South America, Egyptian mummies, and Australia, and we learned so much.  Their displays included a lot of information on day-to-day life, but sometimes I was left with questions.   Most items were real, but the Easter Island head (moai) was a replica (Picture 5).   They told the story of how they have disintegrated and been destroyed.  I learned that originally they all had bodies.

The second floor has great exhibits about Native Americans.  They are only the second museum of maybe 50 displays I’ve seen to tell at least a small part of the whole story of  the Kwakiutl culture’s ugly side.  (They were very brutal, sometimes cannibalistic, and enslaved captives.)  I didn’t share this with my students when we studied them in 3rd grade because I thought it was inappropriate.  This museum did it by talking about the 3-4 performances the Kwakiutl did each winter, each lasting several days.  They had a couple of sentences about the “cannibal dance,” which young men entering adulthood performed under the guidance of a shaman and 4 female assistants.  They shared that the performer bites people as he dances.

There were displays about Wisconsin wildlife and plants on the second floor, also.  I spent so much time up there than I never saw the first floor, and Dean only had a brief overview.  It was about Old Milwaukee, the butterfly wing, insects, dinosaurs, rain forest, Greek warriors and pottery.

I’d grade this an “A”.  The only negatives for me were the lunch in their café (bring your own), and the signs.  They would speak of several things in the same sign, but did not identify by a numbered map on the bottom or a description, so if you didn’t know which was which, you didn’t know what they were talking about.
 
Staying at Oak Creek Estates (Thanks to Lorna)---FHU, 50 amps, no satellite Internet because of tall trees.  It’s a bit short (we stick out a foot into the road), but I think it’s the best in Milwaukee.   $40 cash/check
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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  • Posts: 1195
Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #106 on: September 26, 2012, 07:39:47 AM »
Sept. 23      Day 37      Milwaukee, Wisconsin

This morning we went to The Domes, Milwaukee’s indoor botanical garden, which cost us only $9.50 (multiple discounts—handicapped, senior, and AAA).  The Domes consist of 3 glass domes (Picture 1).   The Show Garden Dome, which I believe has rotating themes, currently has a theme of Don Quixote.  There are 4 statues with scenes from the book surrounded by colorful flowers (Picture 2).   “Enya” was playing subtly in the background—very nice touch!

The second dome had the Arid Garden. I really enjoyed its warmth.  The temperature outside was 52°F.

The third dome, The Tropical Garden, was the best.  One of my favorite plants was the Queen of the Night. (Picture 3)  It has fragrant flowers that can grow as large as a person’s head.  It only opens for one night, and that’s why it looks so droopy now.  It emits a sweet scent, luring bats as pollinators.

When I taught, one of the stories in our reading book was about the calabash.  My daughter married into a Hawaiian family, and they refer to their close friends as their “calabash family”.   So, I was pleased to see a real calabash for the first time.  (Picture 4)  These are not edible, though sometimes islanders dry them out and use them as  canteens or a percussion instruments.   These also have night-blooming flowers, which are produced along the trunk.  I can’t think of any other plants that do that.  Bats also act as pollinators for these flowers.  The wood is hard and is used for tools and tool handles.  The fibers from the tree are twisted into twine and ropes.

This garden had pretty orchids, such as Picture 5.  Brightly-colored birds flitted between the branches.  Dean tried and tried to get a picture, and, giving up, he said, “I can’t find any now.”  A bird was within a few feet over him, and squawked a reply, seemingly saying,  “Here I am!”  After teasing Dean and having him running around several times, now he just sat there posing, allowing Dean to take Picture 6.

We went to an indoor farmers’ market to eat at St. Paul Fish Company.  They had fresh cheeses, wines, frozen custards, gourmet chocolate candy, and many places to eat.

We headed to the gorgeous Milwaukee Art Museum (Picture 7) which is right on the shore of Lake Michigan.  The wings on the roof open at 10:00 when the museum opens, are closed and re-opened at noon, and are closed at 5:00 when the museum closes.   We watched these hardy Milwaukeeans on their WaveRunners playing on the lake.

We paid $5 to park, and entered through the Veterans War Memorial.  We took the elevator down ½ floor to the most beautiful long, shiny white marble hallway and lobby.  It was really elegant, almost palatial.  Admission was $12 each.  I was really surprised when I entered and all the walls were plain concrete.  Talk about a contradiction!

They had some pieces I really enjoyed.  I have long admired Frederic Remington’s work, both his bronzes and his paintings.  He lived only 48 years, which is our loss.  “The Bronco Buster,” his first sculpture, portrays a struggle between man and beast. (Picture 8) Theodore Roosevelt was given a cast of this by his Rough Riders, the men of the First U. S. Volunteer Calvary that he famously led up San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American War.

 “Entrapped Otter” by John James Audubon was also a favorite.  He went to England in 1826 to find a publisher for his 7-volume The Birds of America.  Like his drawings of birds, he based this painting on close study of killed specimens.  This violent composition of an otter that is caught in a trap is so different from the cheerful bird pictures that I have seen.  It was done with oils on fabric, whereas his other paintings I’ve seen were all watercolors or pen-and-ink.  It also has a reflective paint around the mouth, which is unique.  He painted this same subject at least 6 times.

The explanatory signs by the paintings were excellent.  However, overall, I was disappointed.  I felt that the building’s exterior was awesome in its beauty, but the artwork inside was not of the same quality.

Staying at Oak Creek Estates (Thanks to Lorna)---FHU, 50 amps, no satellite Internet because of tall trees.  It’s a bit short (we stick out a foot into the road), but I think it’s the best in Milwaukee.  $40 cash/check
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #107 on: September 26, 2012, 07:42:39 AM »
More pictures...
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #108 on: September 26, 2012, 07:47:11 AM »
Sept. 24      Day 38      Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Today was full of bumps in the road—literally and figuratively.  We went into Joliet, Illinois, to have a few hours of fun at Harrah’s.  They have a road game which ends on Sept. 30.  If we visit Harrah’s properties in different geographical areas, they give us $150 each, which did give us a net profit (their money was more than our losses).  But, there is no way it was worth it.. 

We have encountered frequent, massive construction everywhere on this trip.  However, never before have we had the big drops as pavement changes.  We encountered bridges that were out, detours, about 6 toll booths, and only one-lane traffic.  The trip that Mapquest told us would take 2 hours 11 minutes took over 3 hours of jarring, unpleasant travel. 

We also did enjoy all the trees, many in their fall colors.  It reminded me of a statement in my students’ social studies books that said that though there have never been monkeys in the US, if there had been, in the 1700’s they could have swung from tree to tree all the way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River, without ever touching the ground.

I also felt ripped off by the Wisconsin and Illinois.  We paid almost $10 in tolls, which was OK, but I hate paying double because we aren’t able to get their transponder.  We would pay $1.60 in toll, and we saw signs that said that transponders only had to pay $0.80!  I felt gouged.

Staying at Oak Creek Estates (Thanks to Lorna)---FHU, 50 amps, no satellite Internet because of tall trees.  It’s a bit short (we stick out a foot into the road), but I think it’s the best in Milwaukee. $40 cash/check


Sept. 25      Day 39      Green Bay, Wisconsin

Today was a day of obstacles we couldn’t hurdle.  And, almost every decision we made was wrong.  Our first stop was supposed to be the Horicon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge.  I suspect it is an excellent site.  However, they have no big rig parking, and they suggested that we park at the Beaver Dam Walmart and take the Jeep for the 3.2 mile auto tour.  I knew it would be a lot of driving on county roads, but I thought that would be scenic.  After driving about 30 minutes from the freeway, we encountered a sign that said the road was out 2 miles ahead.  Our GPS said our turn was 2 miles ahead, so we hoped. (Mistake #1 of the day.)  The construction was just feet away from our turn.  We had looked for any possible detour, but all we encountered along the way were narrow roads that looked like they would be problematic.  At the detour, Dean determined that he couldn’t make a U-turn and would have to detach the Jeep (Mistake #2).   He took the Jeep to explore possible alternate routes and couldn’t find anything.  He made the U-turn without having to back up, so he didn’t have to detach the Jeep, plus he would have saved the time he spent exploring those tiny roads.  We decided to skip Horicon.  We backtracked to the major two-lane, striped road that we’d taken in, and we put our next destination in the GPS.  We found our way to a US highway and flew by the Beaver Dam Walmart.  He debated turning back, but we now knew that the Walmart was about half-an-hour from Horicon (Mistake #3—I should have asked how far it was when I talked with Horicon, but the ranger said, “Oh, everyone just parks down at the Walmart” like it was nearby.)

Our second stop was supposed to be The Bubolz Nature Preserve, which sounded like it was great.  I decided to give them a call because our day was full of troubles, and I found that they were doing some big educational all-day seminar and were closed for the day. 

We encountered lots of lengthy construction all day.  I breathed a sigh of relief when we got to this Sam’s Club at 4:00.  We chose it because we knew we’d have open spaces and could use our satellite.  After all, tonight many of our favorite TV programs are broadcasting their premiers.  I also wanted to re-connect with RVForum.

Staying at Oak Creek Estates (Thanks to Lorna)---FHU, 50 amps, no satellite Internet because of tall trees.  It’s a bit short (we stick out a foot into the road), but I think it’s the best in Milwaukee.

Staying at Green Bay’s Sam’s Club
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Ned

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #109 on: September 26, 2012, 07:50:50 AM »
Quote
Staying at Oak Creek Estates (Thanks to Lorna)---FHU, 50 amps, no satellite Internet because of tall trees.  It’s a bit short (we stick out a foot into the road), but I think it’s the best in Milwaukee.   $40 cash/check

What site are you in?  If you have a chance, take a picture looking down the east side road.  We want to see how they raised the flooded sites.  The only other place to park in Milwaukee is the state fairgrounds in West Allis, and that has some problems of its own :)

Oops, I see you have moved on from Milwaukee.  And Wisconsin doesn't have any toll road, just Illinois :)
 
« Last Edit: September 26, 2012, 07:54:17 AM by Ned »
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #110 on: September 27, 2012, 06:02:10 PM »
What site are you in?  If you have a chance, take a picture looking down the east side road.  We want to see how they raised the flooded sites.  The only other place to park in Milwaukee is the state fairgrounds in West Allis, and that has some problems of its own :)

Oops, I see you have moved on from Milwaukee.  And Wisconsin doesn't have any toll road, just Illinois :)

Oops on me.  Sorry, Wisconsin.  We really like you a lot, and now that we know you don't have toll roads, we like you even more.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

therealsimpsons

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #111 on: September 27, 2012, 07:03:28 PM »
You could have stopped at any of the Illinois tollway oasis' on your way to Joliet, and purchased an I-Pass transponder.  If you took I-94 to I-294 to I-55, you would have gone under three of them. I think they are $10.00 and would have saved you 50% monetarily, and lots of time by not having to stop at the toll booths.

I'm glad you liked Wisconsin, but its mostly a suburb of Chicago.    ;D
05 Beaver Monterey Laguna IV
400 HP C9 Cat
06 Honda CR-V toad with Blue Ox

Ned

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #112 on: September 27, 2012, 07:17:11 PM »
Quote
I'm glad you liked Wisconsin, but its mostly a suburb of Chicago.    ;D
Modify message

Only Lake Geneva :)
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #113 on: September 29, 2012, 11:10:21 AM »
Sept. 26      Day 40      Green Bay, Wisconsin

We came over to the casino in the morning, and we took Space 5.  We couldn’t get anything with our satellite, but we saw that others at the end had their dishes up.  We’ll watch for a vacancy.

First we went to Green Bay Botanical Garden.  I didn’t expect much because it’s fall and temperatures have been near freezing, but I was hoping to see some pretty trees.  Admission was $5 each.  They must have lots of garden-loving volunteers because we saw many blooming flowers.  (Picture 1)  They had some huge tomatoes growing, many herbs, rhubarb, and roses.  Everything was well-labelled.  There were many labels for plants now gone so I can only imagine what it would be like in the spring.  It’s not a AAA gem because it isn’t like a big city botanical garden, but it is charming.

We only had an hour to visit the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary which closed at 4:30, but it’s free, so we can do it in two parts.  A cute bunny greeted us on the trail. (Picture 3)  I am thrilled by what many would consider commonplace because we don’t have much wildlife where I live.  Even though we were short on time, we lingered to watch this playful river otter and his buddy.  (Picture 4)  He seemed genuinely happy to have company and interrupted his slide to stop and watch us as we watched him.  Then, he scampered UP the slide.  It was like he enjoyed being photographed, and he struck a pose for Dean (Picture 5).  The cougar was beautiful (Picture 6).  We have seen chipmunks and squirrels everywhere dashing around preparing for winter, but this guy stopped for a moment to check us out.  (Picture 7)  A man came and told us we had to leave, but we will be back tomorrow for sure.

We went into the casino to eat dinner.  It also gave us a good chance to chat with locals, who strongly recommended that we tour the Door Peninsula.  I had looked at doing that, but I thought we were too early for fall colors.  In talking at the blackjack table, I learned that the leaves are close to peak.  I had a wonderful streak of luck, and forgot to eat dinner.  Dean also did well.

Staying at Oneida Casino RV Parking--$15, 50 amps, no water, sewer, or dump, beautiful trees, satellite reception in Spaces 8, 9, and 10 only.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #114 on: September 29, 2012, 11:50:39 AM »
Sept. 27      Day 41      Green Bay, Wisconsin

Hurrah!  This morning someone moved, and we now have satellite reception!

This morning, Dean went to National Railroad Museum Admission was $10.  He enjoyed himself, and he will do his own post about it.  I loved having downtime to be able to clean the RV.

When Dean returned, we went for Part 2 of the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary.  We started with the raptors, all injured but beautiful, happy birds.  The main purpose of this sanctuary is restoring birds to health or providing a safe refuge for those who can’t be returned to the wild.  Wild Canadian geese, which many around here consider pests, abound.  However, I think they are beautiful.  I bought corn and enjoyed feeding them.  (Picture 1)  The thick wires of the cages prevented pictures.  Dean’s favorite was the gorgeous snowy owl.  I loved them all. 

When we came back to the main building, a naturalist was changing the dressing on an elderly red-tailed hawk. (Picture 2)  His wink was infected with maggots when he was brought in, and he is slowly responding to the good care.   Chipmunks and squirrels abound.  This one took time out to pose for us.  (picture 3)  The sandhill cranes were working hard to preen their feathers. (Picture 4)

This is not a big city zoo, and that’s not its mission.  We really had a good time.  Admission was free, but these animals don’t eat for free, so we will be making a nice donation to help out.

Staying at Oneida Casino RV Parking--$15, 50 amps, no water, sewer, or dump, beautiful trees, satellite reception in Spaces 8, 9, and 10
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Bonnie Lawrie

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #115 on: September 29, 2012, 12:10:29 PM »
Hi Linda & Dean,
     I am enjoying your posts and photos so much! Thanks for sharing. When will you be in the U. P. ?
                                                                                      Happy Trails,
                                                                                                    Bonnie

Billy Bob

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #116 on: September 29, 2012, 12:35:00 PM »
I enjoy keering up with your travels in the N. C. US. I kmow that i would like to spend time in The Nat. RR Museum just love the trains. And we could spend a day or two at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary. Enjoy your photos and info on your trip.

therealsimpsons

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  • Stan & Becky & Moe the Cat
Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #117 on: September 29, 2012, 05:01:14 PM »
Did you get to see the Big Boy in Green Bay? Got to see two of them on our recent trip. One in Cheyenne, and one in Omaha. Magnificent!
05 Beaver Monterey Laguna IV
400 HP C9 Cat
06 Honda CR-V toad with Blue Ox

Lorna

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #118 on: September 29, 2012, 06:19:23 PM »
Hi Linda,

Glad that you and Dean are enjoying Wisconsin.  In Milwaukee you probably should have taken pictures of the outside of the Art Museum and then gone next door to the Discovery World which is wonderful.  They give a history of the Great Lakes, fish tanks that you walk through, under and on top of.  They have a mock up of a schooner and other nautical items.  I believe the Les Paul display is still there on the second floor.

Hope you decide to go to Door County because you can drive the area in a day.  Don't know if it is to late for a fish boil in Fish Creek but if they are still doing it it is very tasty if you like fish.  It is a beautiful drive.

If you live near a park or a beach in Wisconsin Canada Geese are a nuisance because of their droppings.  They are Canada Geese.
Lorna
Better to drive thy closet than pack thy suitcase
Want to know where we are?
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Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #119 on: September 29, 2012, 08:59:49 PM »

     I am enjoying your posts and photos so much! Thanks for sharing. When will you be in the U. P. ?
                                                                                     

I'm sure you know many of the places we've visited very well.  I am trying to do them justice.  We are having a wonderful time.  We just landed in Minocqua (outside Lac du Flambeau), and it is 21:00 Central Time.  We will probably be in Michigan Monday.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

 

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