Saturday, July 20, 2013

July 20, 2013

Lambeau Field

North of Two Rivers is a small city called Green Bay.  Yes, that Green Bay. 


One part of a major marketing/promotion makeover by the Packers is a tour of the stadium. 

Even before going in the stadium there are several notable things.  The first is the location.  It is in the middle of a residential/light commercial neighborhood.  A block away you would not realize there was a stadium nearby.  The second is that from the outside it doesn’t seem that large but it holds 80,000 people.  The third is the parking or lack thereof.  The lot around the stadium is pretty small.  Seen much larger lots on medium sized malls.  Game days must be a zoo and a half.



Field from VIP box. Boxes along rim of stadium are surround sound.


Tunnel from locker room to field.  For tour they play recorded crowd noise as you walk through the tunnel to imitate game day feel.

New scoreboard

On the field.


One of these will set you back nearly $20.

Tour was very interesting and informative.  Glad we did it.

July 19, 2013

Back North in Wisconsin

North again.  Lots of farm land with crops of all kinds.  Still have not seen a dairy – something generally needed to make cheese.

About mid-morning we went through Beaver Dam, WI.  This is the home base of Nancy’s Notions.   Sort of a Mecca for any serious sewer or quilter.  We spent a while wandering the retail store.  Large, well stocked sewing/quilting/embroidery store with several class rooms.  Much/most of their business is through the mail as evidenced by the very large warehouse/distribution center that the store is attached to.  I guess their catalog is quite extensive.  Sue said everything she saw in store is in the catalog and we saw a LOT of stuff.

Leaving Beaver Dam we went northeast to the town of Two Rivers on the west shore of Lake Michigan.  Visited several local interest spots including a large sandy beach.  Beach as big as many ocean beaches with very fine sand.  Perfect spot for recent heat wave.



Reverse sunset from campground.  Setting sun is behind us shining on clouds to the east.

July 18, 2013

Illinois for a day

We drove into northern Illinois for a night so we could visit The 3G Store.  This is an online store that sells wireless connectivity items.  Thought by going to actual place of business I could get exactly the parts needed to amplify weak signals when we come to them.  Already had some parts but needed proper adapters.  Receptionist greeted us and then put us on phone to customer service rep.  Weird sitting in lobby ordering on phone.  Rep. determined what we needed then had receptionist get parts from stock.  Did get to try everything hands on for fit and then ‘ordered’ parts over phone with rep.  Receptionist printed receipt for parts purchase and we left.  We did save on shipping. Smile

RV park we stayed in had a quirk.  They were decorating for Christmas.  Big park with lawn ornaments and lights everywhere.  They put more up while we were there.

Friday, July 19, 2013

July 17, 2013

Wisconsin Dells 2

The lady who checked us in at the campground suggested that get a feel of what the Dells is really about we should take a river boat trip to see the actual dells.  Good advice.

We took the first trip of the day on a two hour trip on the upper river.  Very informative and nonstop views of amazing geology and action of wind and water – mostly water.

Dells is a shortening of original voyager French name for the area – Dalles.  Like city in Oregon on Columbia River.  Both named for same reason.  Dalles means a rapids or narrows on a river.



Profile of face.  Named for local native American chief.

The boat trip makes two stops.  First stop is to walk up a slot canyon called Witch’s Gulch.  So narrow in spots you have to twist body to fit through.


Second stop is at Stand Rock.  This spot and the ingenuity of a photography pioneer opened interest in the Wisconsin Dells to the world.  Don’t have name of photographer in my head.  Easily researched.  He developed camera and technique that allowed instant photography.  Prior to then subjects had to hold poses for up to five minutes.  Stop action photos were now possible.  People did not believe his pictures were real.  They thought jumping  subjects were suspended by hidden wires.  To prove authenticity of stop action photos the photographer took his son to Stand Rock.  Son had to jump over and back seventeen times before his father could get proper picture.  Hard to claim use of wires here.  This picture is now in the Smithsonian. The rock still looks the same today.  The tree is taller.


Today they use a German Shepard to demonstrate the leap.

This is what first brought people to visit the dells, thanks to the informative efforts of a few individuals.

The touristy stuff came much later and thankfully is not visible or hearable at all from the river.


Aptly named formation.



Have not yet seen a fly this large but the trip is young yet.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 16, 2013

Wisconsin  Dells

Today we drove east into Wisconsin and on to a very nice RV campground a few miles south of Wisconsin Dells.  After setting up we drove up to check out the Dells.  Incredible!  Disneyland, Universal Studios, Branson, Coney Island, every boardwalk you’ve ever seen, and some mall elements all thrown together.  Will try to get some pictures from Sue and take some tomorrow.

Water ParkWhite HouseMotel in Wisconsin DellsP1020521P1020531

July 15, 2013

Southern Minnesota POIs

We started the day heading south.  The land changes from deciduous forest to prairie.



Some of you might recognize this guy.  We drove through his valley.  Ho Ho Ho.

His ‘valley’ is pretty large.  Southwestern and southern Minnesota is farm land.  Miles and miles of crops of all kinds.  Probably several thousand square miles.  Lots of corn but also many other row and field crops.  Peas were being processed at the plant currently.

From The Green Giant  country we headed east to see another American icon.


Austin, MN, Spam Museum


We spent an hour touring the SPAM museum at the Hormel international headquarters and chief processing plant.  Pretty interesting.  Their gift store is amazing.  Didn’t know SPAM could be printed on so many different things.  Smile


Several thousand SPAM cans



Hormel (and SPAM) is all over the world


Austin, MN, Spam Museum

Austin, MN, Doors into Spam Museum

July 14, 2013

Mall of America

Layover day.  We drove back to Bloomington to check out the Mall of America.  Supposedly the largest mall in the country. 


Pretty impressive.  Picture the floor space of the Roseville Galleria.  Double it.  Add some more.  Now add three more floors.  Two six or seven story parking garages each the size of half the Galleria floor space.  Mall is laid out in rough rectangle anchored on three corners by huge department stores – Macys, Sears, and Nordstrom.  Each three stories high and massive floor plans.  Forth corner has three story aquarium.  Forth floor is theaters and upscale restaurants.  Other floors have stores and stores and stores and ….  Some stores are repeated several times on different floors.  Large Apple store.  Large Microsoft store.  Many typical mall stores.  Full sized Best Buy and a Best Buy Mobil. Even a Dollar Store. 

Wedding boutique and Chapel

Want to get married?  You can do that in the mall.

Grill a pig?

How about a barbeque that looks like a pig?  It’s in the mall.

The middle of the rectangle is a three story amusement park.  Several roller coasters, carnival type rides, mini golf, bumper cars, small train, carousel, modified ropes course, log flume ride, and more. 


There is also a Lego store where you can buy Legos by the piece. Never seen that before.


Today we walked between seven and eight miles – most of it at the mall.

July 13, 2013

Judy Garland, Mississippi Headwaters, and Back East

South on the lower part of the North Shore Road to Duluth and then west to Bemidji (means ‘river runs through lake’ in some native tongue) with a stop in Grand Rapids, birth place of Judy Garland.



Where she lived until she moved to Hollywood (as young teen).


Actual carriage pulled by ‘horse of a different color’ in movie.  Little known fact:  this carriage was made for, owned, and used by Abraham Lincoln.


Precursor to blue gingham dress worn in movie.



Judy Garlands first stage.  Stair landing used by Judy and her sisters as girls to put on shows.


Bemidji is central to Paul Bunyan country.


Stayed at a nice resort on Fox Lake north of Bemidji.

From Bemidji south along Great River Road (we have been on several parts of this road further south) to a nice campground just outside the north entrance to Itasca State Park.  First state park in Minnesota and home to Lake Itasca.  the outflow of Lake Itasca is the start of the Mississippi River.  The outflow is shallow and slow.  There are stones across outflow so one can walk across Mississippi River without getting wet or can wade across a few feet down.  Less than knee deep.

Headwaters of the Mississippi

Headwaters of the Mississippi

Headwaters of the Mississippi


Lake Itasca in background.  Sue standing in Mississippi River


Mississippi River not far from outlet.

We drove the roads of the scenic park and checked out the historic buildings.


Saw this nest in one of old resort buildings.  Mama kept worried watch on us the whole time.

For dinner we drove 20 miles south to a lumber camp style ‘restaurant’ that I had made note of several years ago from internet info.  All you can eat of a wide variety of meats and sides.  Served family style at long tables covered with red checked oil cloth.

Dinner at Logging CampDinner at Logging Camp

Ribs for two with a taste size of chicken

Today we headed south and back east to Twin Cities area.  We are several miles south and will go back tomorrow to see Mall of America and tour some.