July 18, 2012

Wisconsin's highest point, small towns, and a new sawmill.

One of the last days in June, Mitch & I headed over to the state of Wisconsin.  He was scheduled to pick up his new Woodmizer sawmill there in Mosinee (near Wausau).
We were out the door & on the road by 4 am.  The sun was just rising over the Duluth-Superior Harbor as we crossed into Wisconsin.   Straight driving on the way, since we had to be there early, but we figured once the sawmill business was done, we could take our time, exploring & making a day of it on our way back.

We had lunch in the town of Marathon City at a great little diner.  Very pretty area, getting into some bluff country with gorgeous hardwoods, and beautiful old barns gracing the farmland.  Very German area, it seemed, from the names of roads & the menu at the diner.  The day's special was Schnitzel. 

From there, we skipped the main highway, taking the rural route north, jotting around on all those alphabet soup roads of Wisconsin.
We found a garage sale along the road near Little Chicago.  Mitch humored me & wheeled the truck & trailer around.  I'm pretty sure it was the first rummage he's ever gone to with me. 
It was a fun one, too, at the home of a retired couple.  The husband instantly came out of the house to talk to Mitch about the thing we were pulling behind the truck, and proceeded to chat his ear off the whole time while I browsed.  I found some sweet milk glass dishes.
There were some nice fonts in the town of Merril, WI.  We were passing through on our way to a little state park we saw ahead on the map.  I'm a fan of fonts.
Council Grounds State Park wasn't everything we'd hoped it would be.  There were some nice, thick stands of old trees.  But for the most part, it was a modern campground and paid-access swimming spot.  A paved road looped through the whole thing.  We nearly went all the way around without stopping, then pulled over along the river.  Only to find that there is a hydro-electric dam right there; that's what created the reservoir for swimming on the other side.  A nice enough place, I'm sure for families to camp at.  We're just used to the more primitive & remote & were hoping for more to do & see.
It was a quiet enough spot for Mitch to take a nap for a couple of hours. (We'd been up since 3 a.m.)  
While he napped in the truck, I looked around.  By the way, it was a pretty hot day.  And the truck's air conditioning no-longer works.  Most of our hours of driving were with the windows down.   Pictured above is the new sawmill.  Mitch is pretty much starstruck by it.  He has ideas of building an entire house with lumber he sawed himself some day. 
 
I walked down to the Wisconsin River and sat on a rock for a while.  Then I noticed I was not alone.
There were craw-dads (or cray fish) everywhere. 
Growing up on the Mississippi, we had a bend in the river that was all rocky.  (those who know the Mississippi know that much of it is muddy instead) When the river was low we would climb on rocks much like these & catch craw-dads & clams.  
I got a few to grab onto my lens cap bungee.
Eventually Mitch was done resting & there wasn't much more to see, so we hit the road again.
Somewhere along the way we drove by this house which looked to be abandoned. I'd sure love to get my hands on it.

After turning at Tomahawk, and past the area of Spirit, we came across Wisconsin's highest geographic point.  So we went on up to the top.

 
After being in the Rocky Mountains earlier in the month, 1,951.5 ft. didn't seem all that high.
The view from the top of the observation tower:
My favorite thing about Timms Hill was this monument.
I like the sentiment of continuing forward.. weaving a fabric or home, love, & toil.
We stopped in the small town of Ogema to quench our thirst.  We had taken guesses at the pronunciation of the town's name, and as the lady rang us up, I asked.  I was right. 
Hard "g" sound.   
Up in Ontario last week, we saw the roads name Ogemah.
It means Chief, or Head Man
 
We drove on, northward, through the towns of Butternut & North York, until we reached Ashland. We had thought about stopping & staying there near the south shore, but continued on.
We had a late dinner at the Pizza Parlor in Iron River.

We drove up to Port Wing, were we decided last minute we'd attempt to stay. But it was late & the marina office had already closed. On the way we had quite a panoramic view of Lake Superior at sunset. Unfortunately I didn't get any photos.
I'm fascinated with Port Wing, and hope to go back sometime.

I drove the final few hours through Superior & home in the late, dark hours.
We really should have stayed somewhere, we were very tired!
We got home at 1:00 a.m.  
Twenty-one hours on the road made for quite a long day throughout Wisconsin.
It wasn't overly exciting, but I enjoy taking a less-traveled road or two now & then.

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