Sunday, October 4, 2020

Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula

I signed up for a continuing  education course at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and decided to do a little sight-seeing both before and after. Judy decided to meet me at the end of the course and join me in some of the sight-seeing.

Friday, June 24, 2016, I left Los Angeles (LAX) at 10:45 p.m. on United. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016, I arrived in Milwaukee at 6:46 a.m. after a layover at Chicago O'Hare. I rented a car at Payless and immediately set out for L'Anse, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, 302 miles north. I drove north on I-43 to Green Bay, then Hwy 41 north to Abram, Hwy 141 north to just south of Pembine, Hwy 8 east to Dunbar, Hwy 2 north to Crystal Falls, Hwy 141 north to Hwy 41 and Hwy 41 north to L'Anse which is on Lake Superior's Keweenaw Bay.  I ate lunch there at The Hilltop Family Restaurant: a salad bar, beef soup, cod and a sweet roll. After lunch I set out for Mount Arvon, the high point of the State of Michigan, about 15 miles east of L'Anse in the Huron Mountains. To get there was a circuitous 24 mile drive, starting north to Huron Bay, a fjord separated from Keweenaw Bay by the Abbaye Peninsula, then east and then south into the interior of the Huron Mountains, much of it on dirt logging roads. NPR was broadcasting emergency alerts forecasting 70 mph hurricane force winds and hail the size of silver dollars that could damage a car. They were naming towns and locations that I knew were nearby, but had no idea where. The sky got very dark and it was raining extremely hard and I considered turning around. But I pushed on and by the time I got to the parking area for Mount Arvon, the worst of the storm had passed. It was about a 100 yard walk to the "summit" which was not more than a little hill. I drove back to L'Anse, then took Hwy 41 north, then northeast, on to the Keweenaw Peninsula 58 miles to Phoenix. Then I took Hwy 26 to Eagle Harbor and the Brockway Mountain Drive to Copper Harbor near the end of the peninsula. I drove around Copper Harbor, then took Hwy 41 back to Houghton, on the Keweenaw Peninsula, about 47 miles, where I spent the night at the Super 8 Houghton. 

Sunday, June 26, I set out for Timm's Hill, the high point of Wisconsin, 176 miles south. I was on Hwy 26 through Mass City and Rockland, then Hwy 45 through Bruce Crossing, Paulding, Bonifas, Watersmeet, Land O' Lakes (just over the Michigan state line in Wisconsin), Conover and Eagle River. In Eagle River I visited a home/business advertising fish. I was shown a bunch of fish cuts in a refrigerator. I pointed out the one I wanted and he put a label on it in a sealed bag. It was smoked lake trout and so moist it fell apart in my hands. It had a smoky flavor, but was not overwhelming. Incredible, some of the best I've ever had, if not best ever. From Eagle River I drove west on Hwy 17 and then south on Hwy 17 through Sugar Camp to Hwy 8, then west on Hwy 8 through Rhinelander, Woodboro and Tripoli, then south on Hwy T to Spirit Falls, then west on Hwy 86 to Timm's Hill County Park. In the Park there is a quarter mile hike to the high point. At the high point are two towers, a 22 meter high tower of steel with an exposed ladder to the top and a 15 meter high tower of wood with a wood staircase to the top. I hiked up the latter. From Timm's Hill it was 207 miles to Madison. I took Hwy 86 east to Tomahawk, then Hwy 51 south through Gilbert, Irma, Otis, Granite Heights and Wausau, then I-39 to I-90 to Madison. I stayed at the AmericInn Lodge and Suites Madison West. 

Monday, June 27, I had lunch of veggies with rice, potatoes and tofu at a food cart called Filipino Fusion. For dinner I walked down to State Street and ate at Parthenon Gyros, having a vegetarian gyro and a small Greek salad. 

Tuesday, June 28, I had a better lunch consisting of kimchi and vegetarion mapo tofu at Dragon 1 - Asian Fusion on State Street. 

The tofu was soft, mellow and spicy, but not anywhere near as spicy as the dish we had in Beijing, China. 
I also took a quick trip over to the Henry Vilas Zoo. The badger, mascot to the local university, seemed particularly popular. I find I particularly like animals I've seen in the wild or that come from where I live. I noted rock hyrax, colobus monkey, lion, reticulated giraffe, alpaca, ostrich, desert tortoise, gila monster, bison, alligator, prairie dogs, grizzly bear and blue and gold macaw. 
For dinner, it was back to State Street to the restaurant Kabul. I got lamb sabsi chalow with creamed spinach and very soft and tender lamb. I asked to add some sweet to it and they brought a salad dressing with some apple in it which helped a lot. I also had soup with chicken, lamb, kidney beans and chick peas which was okay. 

Wednesday, June 29, for lunch I had a veggie panini at the Panini food truck, then visited the Chazen Museum of Art on campus. 

Madonna, by Dali.
Judy flew into Milwaukee about 3:30 p.m. and rented a car at Enterprise to turn in the next day in Madison (I rented my car for the whole week plus). It was cheaper to do that than take a shuttle to Madison. We went to dinner at Graze near the Wisconsin Capitol Building (very good) and mingled a little bit with a large crowd that was enjoying a concert outside the Capitol Building. 
     Graze - Madison, WI  (Bob) 

Thursday, June 30, we visited the Wisconsin Capitol Building and the State Historical Museum during lunch. 

I like this badger, part of the decoration inside the capitol. 
We went to The Old Fashioned restaurant, across the street, for dinner. I had a walleye sandwich with onion strings and we shared beer-battered fried cheese curds with both paprika dip and horseradish dip. Judy had a grilled vegetable sandwich with potato salad. It was all excellent. 

Friday, July 1 was only a half-day for my seminar. Afterwards we took a tour of the Unitarian Church in Madison designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, which was also the church he attended. Then we drove toward Milwaukie, 79 miles east, and stopped at the Milwaukie County Zoo along the way. I noted the North American animals I really liked, including moose (there are only 12 zoos in the world that exhibit moose), elk, caribou, dall sheep and black bear. We also drove by the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Wauwatosa which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Unfortunately it was closed. That evening we ate dinner at Kegel's Inn in Milwaukie. I wanted to try a "Friday Fish Fry." We waited in line for 40 minutes to get in and it was very, very noisy. I had walleye with tartar sauce (which was dry and horrible), rye bread, clam chowder (not enough cream or butter) and potato pancakes with apple sauce that were good. We spent the night at Hyatt Place Milwaukie West in Milwaukie which we really liked.
     Kegel's Inn - Milwaukie  (Bob)

Saturday, July 2, we visited the Basilica of Saint Josaphat (a ministry of the Conventional Franciscans) in Milwaukie and the Milwaukie Art Museum, downtown, on the Lake Michigan waterfront. Afterwards we walked a ways and ate at Buckley's Restaurant and Bar and had excellent truffle fried artichokes, shishito peppers, pretty good grilled octopus and beet salad and horrible clam chowder. We drove 20 miles north of Milwaukie to Cedarburg, a mill-town that is now mostly art galleries, shops and restaurants. The highlight was Amy's Candy Kitchen which had an assembly line of four women making variations of caramel apples. I got an apple smothered in Belgian milk chocolate and cashews that was about a half-inch thick. Amazing. We drove 100 miles north to Green Bay and stayed the night at Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Green Bay.  

Sunday, July 3, we visited Lambeau Field in Green Bay, home of the Green Bay Packers. 

Then we did part of the Walk of Legends, a self-guided tour of 24 statues celebrating the history of football in Green Bay. I got to see the statues for Bart Starr and Jerry Kramer, two of my favorites from my youth as a Green Bay Packers fan. 

We drove northeast of Green Bay (the city) onto the Door Peninsula, which juts into Lake Michigan forming Green Bay (part of Lake Michigan). We went to the end, about 87 miles. Along the way we stopped at Renard's Cheese Store in Sturgeon Bay and bought several kinds of cheese which we snacked on and we visited Cave Point County Park, on the east side, and walked about for a bit. 

Then we drove back to Milwaukie, which was 197 miles from the tip of the Door Peninsula. We ate at Kim's Thai Restaurant in Milwaukie which included egg drop soup, Massaman curry with tofu and drunken noodles. 

We spent the night at the Crowne Plaza Milwaukie. 

Monday, July 4, we flew from Milwaukie at 10:25 a.m. on a United Skywest flight to O'Hare in Chicago. From there we split up. Judy arrived at LAX at 6:03 p.m. after a layover in Oklahoma City. I arrived at LAX at 6:02 p.m. on a direct flight. 

1 comment:

  1. I like Wisconsin. It feels like middle-America, a nice blend of country and city. I'd love to go back and see a few things we missed.