Wandering Wisconsin Weekend (MaKaJaWan, Wausau, Pepin, Wabasha(ok it's MN), Middleton)

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2010/08/11 17:17:55 (permalink)

Wandering Wisconsin Weekend (MaKaJaWan, Wausau, Pepin, Wabasha(ok it's MN), Middleton)

Midway through our Son's Boy Scout stay there is a special evening they encourage parents to attend called the Order of the Arrow Campfire. 
So we trekked on up to North Central Wisconsin (about 30 mi north of Antigo, near Pickerel) for a camp visit.
Now every great road trip to WI starts with one thing for us, and thats....Kopps!
Flavors of the day were :

and Butter Pecan.  Here is the Red Velvet Cake, smooth and strangely chocolate with ribbons of sweet icing on top,
and the amazing butter pecan pecan on the bottom, the cold sweet custard counterpointed by the crunchy salted pecans- awesome!

We drove on up the Green Bay route to try out a new BBQ place I had heard about in Green Bay, Bates City BBQ.
We arrived about 2:30 for a late lunch... 

It sure smelled like smoke when we drove up, and a wood rack is a good sign.

Inside there was an open kitchen:

and a whimsical buffalo sign:

Hubby had a pulled pork sandwich, which wasn't exactly bad, but was hard to exactly taste given all the sauce.

I ordered ribs and burnt ends, and it was a pretty dissapointing plate. 
Very dried out and tough, it seemed like it had been held too long and came pre-sauced, which is never a good thing for me, If the meat can't stand on it's own, don't serve it. 
Or at least ask me if I want sauce, plus they had a big sauce bar, so it would have been easy for me to add it....

The beans didn't have a bad flavor, but they also were overcooked and mushy, pretty close to being frijoles...

All in all, unless I read some strikingly different reviews in the future, I'll back at Titletown Brewery on my next trip thru Green Bay.
So you all know my fondness for weird signs (hello Carolina Bob!)
so when we stopped for Gas I had to snap this one:

and nearby WAS a rather rather large rocket....

we also saw this cool old gasoline sign going thru Shawano:

After going through Shawano, I saw three Sandhill cranes on the side of the road, very exciting!
But then even more exciting, what did I see right on the side of the road but a BEAR!
A small BLACK BEAR! It was just hanging out on the side of the road!!!!
I was completely amazed! I have NEVER seen a bear so close (except in a zoo).
OK enough of that....
We got to Boy Scout Camp, and my little boys were SO happy to see their folks...
The Troop looked very sharp as they lined up for dinner, in fact they were first dismissed, which is an "honor" because then they get to eat first...LOL

After dinner we all trekked about a mile up to the OA Bowl where the GINORMOUS Campfire was prepared.
The Order of the Arrow is like a Boy Scout Honor Society where the Troop elects you, and the Scoutmaster approves you, and then you have to go through an "ordeal" to be confirmed.
Out of 300 boys, about 2 per Troop are chosen by Brother who are already in the Order dressed up as "Indians"
The Campfire is Huge, and you can feel the heat from 40 feet away:

I am very proud to say that one of our sons got "called out" and was inducted into the Order, so it was kind of cool to be there for that. SO we got lots of 1 on 1 time with the other son, which was really nice, too.
While he was swimming and we were on the dock,
a nearby Dad who was fishing caught this amazing Northern Pike which measured 43 3/4" !!!

This weekend was turning into Wild Kingdom Wisconsin!!!
While up at Camp we stayed at a little family run Motel in Pickerel called Jardines Trailside Inn.
The folks were very nice, and I'd recommend it highly if some unknown reason you are ever in Pickerel WI!
They also had a restaurant attached call Ducklings Inn, with a very friendly bar, and we had an appetizer of Walleye cheeks in the Bar that was off the hook delicious! (or maybe it was the 3 vodka tonics....)
Anyhow, our visit with the boys done, we took our leave, and headed west...
We stopped for some lunch in Wausau at this place:

Here is the owner taking orders:

We had LOTS of time to admire the decor while waiting and waiting and waiting for our food to come.

The food was good, I had this pretty salad, Frank had a Denver egg sandwich, which was good, but on the rather small side.  We also got a tray of pecan caramel rolls to go (for next days breakfast -they were amazing).

Leaving Wausau behind, it was on west Chippewa Falls, the home of :

and the Leinie Lodge:

We took a Brewery tour, and admired the Historic Buildings:

But what we really admired were the creative mixes that were poured at the tasting bar!
My favorites were the Black Bear and the Sunny Bear which were both delicious,
just the little hit of berry flavor was great!

So after that it was on to Pepin, WI. (Is this all really the same day??? )
Pepin is famous for being the Birthplace of beloved children's author Laura Ingalls Wilder,
and if I've read one of those Little House books, I've certainly read them all, after raising a girl named Laura!

We enjoyed an amazing dinner at the Harbor View Cafe in Pepin, over Lake Pepin, (which is really a wide spot of the Mississippi River).

The menu changes daily and is written on the chalkboard, things were erased and added as we ate.
I'm pretty sure I got the last portion of Lamb Shanks, and as I saw one of the desserts erased,
I pulled a Buffetbuster, and asked the waitress to put a aslice of the pie aside for us....
Apologies for the blurry photo- I didn't use flash...

Frank had the mixed grill: Buffalo, beef, chicken, pork, bacon, and kidney!

As mentioned, I had the lamb shanks with aromatic mash (potato, parsnip, carrot, rutabaga (OMG)
The Lamb was falling apart tender, in a delicious silky reduction sauce that was incredibly rich and yummy.

AND THE PIE!!! Peach-Blueberry ala Mode , it was SOOO Amazing! Tart-sweet, and not soupy at all...

The next day we started off by heading to the National Eagle Center(NEC) in Wabasha (MN), and saw this on the way...

We also had seen wild Bald Eagles flying on the thermals the night before and in the morning,
adding to the Wild Kingdom theme of the weekend...
The NEC is really worth a visit if you are in the area, it's wonderful to see these amazing creatures close up,
and they give a fabulous educational presentation as well.

So after leaving the NEC, we walk out on their terrace, and look at the river, when we see this ,
 like an apparition out of the mist...

Turns out these boats are replicas of the Nina and they dock at Lake City MN. 
At any rate, it  was very cool to just SEE them sailing up the river

We stopped at Stacy's Kitchen in Wabasha to have a bite of lunch:

They had a nice, fairly breakfast-centric menu:

Cute decor, which we had almost no time to admire because our food came lightning fast!

We both had a grilled club sandwich which was crispy and delicious!

Headed home through Middleton, WI, Home of Capital Brewery.
We tried calling, and got no answer, so we decided to stop and see if they were open for tours.
We met Marshall, who was super nice, and was taking inventory, and walked us around.
He gave us a taste of their newest, Supper Club, which was very nice, and lighter.
Then he showed us the fermentation tanks which are all labeled with the names of Frank Zappa Songs!
He gave a taste of the Oktoberfest right out of one of the tanks, which was very cool!
Super nice guy, really great beer!

Our next stop was around the corner at the new location of the Mustard Museum-
Much more centrally located with better foot traffic than Mt. Horeb, although the trolls in Mt. Horeb were really cute.

After checking the flavor forecast, we decided to go home via Brookfield, and snagged a pint of Kopps Boston Creme Pie OMG OMG and a pint of Cookies and Creme, wonderful, but the Boston Creme Pie......
(Forgot to take pix..I guess MY batteries were run down LOL)
We also saw deer and red tailed hawks of course
But I guess the subtitle of this trip report could be
Anyhow I hope you enjoyed it!
post edited by irisarbor - 2010/08/12 09:57:36

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