You can take the boy out of the city…
My friend, Clay, came to visit for an extended weekend, and to get a taste of Wisconsin.
It was his first time in the area, and a new experience for him, since he grew up in Naperville, Ill. He apparently did not venture to the more nature-oriented things to do in the area – or anywhere really. He claimed he knew all about life in a little town, since he worked in rural Iowa for a time. He learned even more on this trip.
I made sure he got his fill of nature and small-town living over the weekend. Since those kinds of activities are my wheelhouse, I had a blast, and I think he enjoyed it, too.
He arrived Thursday evening, and we had MoonRidge pizza for supper. I mostly needed an excuse to get pizza myself.
Then, on Friday, we took it easy, checking out the stacker and the Cornell Visitors’ Center. Clay seemed to particularly enjoy the Wigwam exhibit.
We finished off the evening with a cookout at the park. I’m not a charcoal grilling expert, by any stretch of the term, but between the other attendees and myself, the brats got cooked and no one got food poisoning. All is well that ends well.
On Saturday, we ventured out more. Clay wanted to get an early start on the day, and maximize the time we were out of town, so we did.
I took Clay to see the 45x90 geographical marker near Poniatowski.
From there, we headed to Green Bay to see the National Railroad Museum. After a particularly long visit with my train-loving boyfriend, I told Clay we don’t need to stay at the museum for hours. There may have been a bit of a threat attached to the suggestion. We were there three hours, but it was an enjoyable experience.
The flagship train, “Big Boy,” lives up to it’s name, especially when compared to the other trains in the museum.
For lunch, I had the grand idea to take fast food to a county park for a picnic. My grand idea didn’t come to fruition.
Upon arrival to the park, we discovered the entire city of Green Bay was there. I had seen gorgeous views of Fonferek’s Glen on social media, so my expectations were high.
Better yet, I saw a sign for the waterfall outlook and it had a two on it, which I erroneously assumed meant it was a twomile hike. Families with small children and people wearing flip flops, were walking to and from the area like it was nothing. I guess the park just numbered all their signs and that happened to be the second one. The waterfall viewing area was under a 1/4-mile hike.
Also, the waterfall was dried up. I guess it takes either the spring melt, or heavy rains to get the little creek flowing. Now I know for the next time. Clay thought it would be funny to leave a note with his donation, that they should put the money toward buying more water for the park.
Then, we visited a botanical garden. It was a beautiful day to be outside. They had pawpaw trees, with fruit on them, which I was pretty excited about. The biggest takeaway from the gardens, was definitely that Clay has no gardening experience whatsoever.
There was this adorable little children’s garden, with a bunch of flower beds, plus areas growing vegetables for the kids to see where their food comes from. I pointed out a pumpkin, only for Clay to go, “That’s an orange!” Nope. He did eventually concede that it was a pumpkin. He also told me the unripe tomatoes were actually onions, because he has never seen a green tomato before. I think he only half believed me, when I told him onions grow underground.
Clay decided he needs a botany lesson. I told him he needs a beginners gardening class. I will laugh about it forever.
Our final stop of the day, was the Dells of the Eau Claire Park. It redeemed me after the waterfall mishap earlier in the day. We also decided to walk the trail plenty late in the day, and Clay looked at me like I was being dramatic when I told him to “step it up,” when his walking pace slowed. I told him the sunset was rapidly approaching.
A bit later he said, “Wow, it did get dark in the last few minutes.”
We ended up walking through the woods well after dark, and we both jumped at least once. It was a learning lesson for him.
So, Sunday was Clay’s final day in the area, and after a busy Saturday, we spent most of the day walking around Brunet Island State Park and in town. Clay made sure he said goodbye to the stacker before he left town.
I think Clay got a pretty good idea of what Wisconsin is like, and he already has a return trip in the works.