View from the cheap seats
A weekly perspective on sports
I took advantage of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Free Fun Weekend by exploring Rib Mountain State Park with my girlfriend and daughters on Sunday night.
Unfortunately, the lookout tower on the very top of Rib Mountain was closed to the public. Regardless, we still had a memorable time getting our pictures taken in front of the large rocks and learning about the history of Rib Mountain.
It was interesting to learn how the ripple marks on the rocks were formed. A sign told us over two billion years ago, the Rib Mountain area was covered by the waters of an ancient Precambrian sea. This ocean deposited sand on the sea floor, and the ripple marks on the rocks we see in Rib Mountain State Park today were formed by the wave action in the sand.
We saw plenty of Eastern chipmunks scurrying on Rib Mountain, and it was neat to see white birch trees on Rib Mountain. Native Americans used white birch trees in constructing their canoes, and today I don’t see as many of these trees still standing in area forests.
It was also interesting to read a sign in Rib Mountain State Park telling people during our nation’s Great Depression, three million young men across the country enrolled in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). This all-volunteer corps was instituted in 1939 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation.
Popularly known as “Roosevelt’s Tree Army,” the CCC helped shape America through conservation, preservation and development of its natural resources. It served as a public work relief program for unemployed men.
The sign told us in August of 1935, a CCC camp was erected on the west bank of the Wisconsin River in the town of Rib Mountain. The CCC men, who were called enrollees, did lots of good work on Rib Mountain for future visitors to enjoy. The enrollees created walking paths, developed a campground, widened the roadway and built a picnic area with a gazebo in Rib Mountain State Park. They also began work on clearing the ski slopes and installing the T-bar lift.
My children are elated the free Wildwood Park in Marshfield is now open again from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. each day during the summer. I recently took my girlfriend and daughters to see the newly expanded cougar exhibit at Wildwood Zoo.
The children also love visiting their favorite zoo animals in Kodiac bears Munsey and Boda at Wildwood Zoo. The zoo built an expansive bear exhibit a few years ago.