Log Cabins and bears = oh my!

I am sitting here, trying to recollect when I started coming to the Log Cabin Resort here in Trego, Wisconsin. My daughter, Tanya, found this place first, starting in one of the smaller cabins (the Pine Cabin, an efficiency really) with no working television but at least electricity and water. The draw was always the Namekogan River, the resort staff and the surroundings. And my daughter and son-in-law love to go tubing on the river.

Namekagon River – Wisconsin’s Moving National Park

I would camp in Shell Lake at the Red Barn Campground while they would come and stay here at the resort. Always the weekend of July 4th. Then in 2014 they weren’t able to make it and to maintain our reservation I stayed here, and that was that. Tanya had put our name on the waiting list for a 2-bedroom cabin which we got in 2015. So this is my 7th year in the Bear Cabin here at the resort. The current owners purchased the resort 5 years ago (awesome!). This is just something my daughter and I love to do together each year. Relax and cook and sample surrounding restaurants. Mostly for pizza and cheese curds! The staff are friendly and watchful; the tubing and canoeing operations are well-oiled machines; and the beach is great for swimming (just need to be careful of the current). I plan on coming as long as I am able to drive and lug up all my supplies!

Camping | Trego | Log Cabin Resort and Campground (logcabin-resort.com)

Trego is a small SMALL town. Mom and Dad used to own a home on the Namekogan River flowage, just upriver of the dam. My siblings and the grandchildren loved to come and visit in the summer. Being so close to the dam, the current was much tamer and we loved to swim there. The water was cold, but nowhere near as cold as Shell Lake! We were very sad when they sold the house and moved to Florida full time.

What is there to do in Trego? It has a great breakfast spot (The Prime), the river and national park land. Not much else. But it is between Hayward and Spooner as well as on the road from Eau Claire to Superior, Wisconsin. During the fourth of July weekend you see a lot of license plates from Minnesota! It is a great place to stay and you can find a lot of wonderful spots to eat, hike and visit. I definitely recommend a stop at the Lakeview in Shell Lake and a trip out to What the Heck in Spooner for sure, I always stop at these two and go from there. The Shell Lake Arts Center (Home – Shell Lake Arts Center), Perlick Distillery (Perlick Distillery), Pine Brook Farm and the beach in Shell Lake are also great places to stop. To burn off your food, try one of the local hiking trails, such as the the Trego hiking trail; visiting the Wilderness Walk in Hayward; shopping in Spooner; fishing or sailing in Shell Lake; swimming; or floating down the river. Just relax and breath.

Vacation in Crystal River

So I have now been in Florida since April 22nd and it has been a warm, relaxing time to the very hot, very muggy day today. But, that is Florida. Spring is over and summer is here.

Today, my stay in Crystal River is the focus of my writing. In summary, I loved this quirky town. You have pockets of tourism mixed with the feel of a cute town with the more laid-back areas that lay outside of this sometimes overwhelming structure of “go, go, go” of tourism. This is a great place to vacation, but I wondered if it would be a good place to stay awhile too.

I had a great visit and I actually got to go swimming in the bay with some manatees! Something I have been wanting to do ever since I started coming to Naples, Florida to visit my parents over 20 years ago. I loved floating around playing “don’t touch me” with the manatees, twisting and turning to avoid touching them! They blend in so well with the bottom that all of sudden you are right over the top of them while they are floating up to the surface to breath in some air. But they are so cute! Saw a mom, dad and baby in one group. It was so sad though, the mom was very badly injured by a boat rotor (at least one). I wondered how in the world she survived to have a baby! In another grouping we say about 8 of them resting on the bottom of the bay.

The next day I want on an airboat cruise out to the gulf. Didn’t see a lot of wildlife (a manta ray, a turtle and some coral) but the ride was so beautiful! Wove through the river and the mangrove islands and out into the bay. I haven’t been on an airboat yet, so one more box checked off!

My last visit was to Three Sisters Springs for a walk, and to stop and eat of course! Lots of fun places to eat at around here. Beautiful place to walk at, but no access to the beautiful waterway for cooling off! Although you could see where a few walked around the signs. Definitely some of the most beautiful water I have seen here.

Homosassa Springs is a must-see spot in this area. Saw a couple manatees here, but it really wasn’t the season for them. Primarily it is the variety of local wildlife and all the birds! So pretty.

And of course, my last stop on the way Naples was visiting the Veteran’s Cemetery just east of Crystal River. It was a beautiful drive over here, through what would be called the hill country in Florida. So very glad I took the back roads to avoid the toll road!

Now, I am in Naples Florida until the end of May, visiting family, seeing my favorite, beautiful, smart, strong-willed niece get married to a wonderful man, and spending a lot of time with my Mom. More time than I have in years probably. It has been, for the most part, so relaxing and a great time. It just goes so fast! Too fast….

My Dad

I left my dad one of my pictures, I couldn’t help myself. But I love the picture with the flowers most. It is so sad to have him so far away from family. I have to keep telling myself, he isn’t “there”. I loved my dad and I miss him terribly so. Definitely cried a lot on this visit.

Veterans Cemetery

Christmas Snow

A White Christmas came to visit us with a roar this year. Nice pretty green grass one day, ice and snow the next. I was fine with warmer than average temperatures and green grass. I typically like the winter season, the white snow and sparkling skies are so very pretty. But rain/snow on a holiday week are not so fun. And it was a very busy season!!

Chex Mix Day is an annual event with my daughter and I, right before Christmas. We have been doing it so long I can’t remember why we started doing it! But we do love home-made Chex mix. The stuff in a bag just cannot compare! Every year it is a test to see if we can get the seasonings right, some years with more success than others. For a while we made enough for us, my sister, her friends and my brother if he was up visiting with his family. I think the record was 12 gallons? This year it was just myself, Tanya, and my sister Laura so we only made 6 gallons, loose gallons, but still a lot!!

My daughter and her husband came to visit on Christmas Eve and she brought my “granddaughter” Freya. Freya is a 6 month old Birman kitten that is about 5 pounds of strong-willed, curious, adventurous, fluffy kitten who loves to explore and play with her little balls. Bringing her with was a test to see if she would be okay coming to visit with me, so I could be a kitten sitter while they go on vacation. The visit went well so I am hopeful it will be fine when she comes in the future. She has a respiratory infection she is fighting right now, I sure hope she gets better fast. She is on her third antibiotic. We are all fell in love with her right away.

For brunch I made my Bedstemor’s aebleskiver recipe. Aebleskiver (sometimes called pancake balls) not only taste great, they bring such great memories of my childhood. My dad’s mom (Bedstemor) would make them for us as special treats. Dad and I always piled on homemade jelly and brown sugar, sometimes syrup too. I still enjoy going to the local Danish American Center for their aebleskiver breakfasts, I have missed them so much this year and look forward to them coming back in the future. I did make enough to put a few in the freezer.

We all sat and watched a movie after brunch (Psych), played with Freya and chatted. For dinner we had lasagna that Tanya made, it was just awesome. She is such a great cook, I wish I was as good but I am just not patient enough maybe. After dinner we unwrapped presents and it was a good year for me. I think my favorite present are the photo blocks above, Tanya picked some of her favorite photos and had them embedded onto acrylic blocks to put on my desktop. I actually put them under my tv so I can see them every day! They are a small photo pasted on back of an acrylic block. I think I need to send a suggestion to Forever as I know they could do a better job with these! But regardless, I absolutely adore them. Christmas arrives so fast and leaves even faster. The holidays are a lot of work, but the time you share with your family is priceless which is the whole point when you get right down to it.

Mom Musings

Today I had lunch with my Mom and her friend Joanne here at Aston Gardens at Pelican Marsh.  We discussed tomorrow’s Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day and I learned a couple interesting tidbits from my mom.  My mom was born on April 4, 1938 so she would have been almost 4 when it occurred.  However, she did remember a few pieces of that time, whether from her own memory or from hearing from her family later on I don’t know.  My mom has a much better memory than I do of the past and our history.  She said she mainly remembered how fearful she was after they learned of the bombing.  That she had nightmares of riding her dad’s shoulders while they were running away from Hitler’s army.  At that time they lived in California, so I am sure they felt very vulnerable on that coast.  She also talked about how her mom worked for the factory that made B-29 bombers, very interesting!  She remembered that because her day care worker liked to cook hot tomatoes with bread and she really, really didn’t like it.  Now that I believe!  I remember food before anything.  She said how one day she had to eat the tomatoes or she was going to have to just sit at the table until she was done.  So she sat and waited until grandma came to pick her up.  Just a measure of how stubborn she is!  My comment, it kind of runs in the family.  Today was a good visit with my mom, I love it when she talks about her past.

Reminising

It has been a long week, a sad time.  A friend of mine through work passed away last week.  It has been a week of pain, shock and remembrances.  Yesterday I opened a file at work, and there was an email from him.  Today a consultant asked to meet for a wetland review, and he wasn’t there to call and ask to go with me.  He has been such a large part of my life these last 7 years or so and I will really miss working with him, being his friend.  He was so easy to talk to, a real comfort in my life at a time when everything went upside down and then sideways.  I feel terribly for his son, he is only 9 years old.  I met him even, Mark brought him with to work when we met outside to do a simple wetland review a few times.  Mark, I will miss you.
June 2, 2009
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