July 13, 2008
Right now I’m out on the balcony. It’s 64’ and very windy. I am on the “curve” of the wrap around balcony, somewhat shielded from the wind. It feels like a cool, crisp Fall day…all except the leaves are still green.
I will dig my hat out of my “winter clothing” bag.
My only “problem” with staying at a B&B is that I have to be somewhat sociable first thing in the morning, talking the inn keeper and the other guests staying here. As most of you know, I am NOT a morning person. I got down to bfast this morning, and she [the owner], who has been up for 3 hours, is full of energy and light.
Right out of the shoot she asks me what I’m doing today. I haven’t had time to do any research cuz I spent all my time last nite writing up my email. Well, she starts off rapid fire with all these things I can do…and each one is an excellent idea!
In no order of importance:
Wausau/Montgomery County is the largest producer of ginseng in the world, besides “the Orient”. There are over 1,000 producers/farmers of ginseng in the county. 95% of all that is exported from the States comes from here. So…I went to a ginseng farm. The ginseng plants are covered with a tarp cuz it doesn’t like direct sunlight. The tarp is attached to 5’ wooden posts. Ginseng berries turns red in August, and are harvested in September. The roots are harvested in October.
The largest dairy in WI is here. 3,000 cows that get milked 3 times a day.
The owner told me NOT to go on the tour.
THE SMELL! You will have to come back and disinfect yourself – shower and change clothes. That smell lingers on you.
Oh goodness was she correct. I turned off one county road onto another. I could smell it… the farm was between ¼ to ½ miles away. The smell of poo was absolutely nauseating. I quickly did a drive by and took a photo. I needed to figure out where I was going next, so I pulled over to look at my map, but I couldn’t stand being there any moment more, so drove on and then pulled over a couple miles away. I suppose once I thought about it, of course it’s going to smell…there are 3,000 cows there!!
The largest circular red barn is here. Of course, in my mind I thought it would be several football fields big…so I was disappointed. AND it was brick on the bottom and wood on the top. But, it was circular, which is impressive.
There are two houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. I need to google how many houses he designed. Two for one town seems like a lot. Both houses are in town – I cycled to them. They are one story, long, and have flat top roofs. You would walk by both houses and not give them a second look. One is for sale. The other houses a radio communications company – and has a big *ss white radio tower on the roof!
I hiked at Eau Claire Park. They have a Dairy Queen like shop right next to the trailhead. I hadn’t seen any sort of business for 10 miles, then right there next to the trailhead is an ice cream shop!
I really like Wausau. There are parks everywhere. Lots of benches to look at the river. Part of the river has rapids, part doesn’t. They had a Jr Olympics kayaking competition today over some of the rapids. Lots of paths/trails near the water. Lots of kids parks/play areas. Lots of baseball fields [their summer college team is called the Woodchucks].
Near downtown along the WI River, they have foot/pedestrian bridges that take you to little islands in the middle of the river. They are 100% nature/trees except for paths along the edge and criss crossing the middle of the island. Two islands used to house several paper mills, and there are signs/info boards explaining the ruins, and why people first settled here. The other island – which is off a beautiful park and boat launch, is the Isle of the Ferns. Wow. LOVED it. So many places to sit and watch the rapids go by, have a picnic, read, think… It was spectacular. If I lived here, I would be here every day. I felt as though I was in a national forest with rapids going by. To my benefit, but sad, I was pretty much the only person out and about on these islands. If you like nature, you’d like Wausau.
The drive to Eau Claire Park was simply gorgeous. Rolling hills of either farms or trees. Just about every house was a nice farm house with the red barn and silo. Picture perfect. THIS so far has been the best of Wisconsin. [I still have to write it up, but was disappointed with Door County.]
I didn’t make it to the Geological Marker which marks the exact center of the NW Hemisphere. This is the halfway point between the equator and the North Pole, and halfway between Greenwich Meridian and the International Date Line. One is in China, and the other 2 are in the ocean. The Market is 20 miles from Wausau.
I ate dinner at a place recommended to me at the base of Rib Mountain. I looked onto a golf course, and the ski area. Before dinner I had planned on going to the base of the mountain and climbing up a bit. After dinner, I realized that I was 100% out of steam.
Before dinner I thought I would go back to the B&B and cycle around the historic neighborhood and go back downtown to look at the final chalk artwork. In reality – I drove the whopping 5 blocks from the B&B to downtown.
They judged the artwork and I agreed with 3 of the winners, the 4th looked like someone doodled in black and white. It seemed that most were drawn based on a photo, but I’m unsure if that was a rule. If so, then the doodle would have been difficult to re-create. All the winners looked professional. I would have liked a winner for the kids’ drawings, but they didn’t do that.
We now get to the part of my day where I have concerns that you will start thinking I’m making this sh*t up.
So, I’m walking around looking at the chalk art work. I see a guy, around 45, smoking a cig, wearing a green shirt, vest, long pants.
He is also exposing himself.
The square is packed with people. This is a family event with lots of little ones here.
So, I think “well, if he wants to show it off…I’m going to capture it on film”. He sees me dig into my purse for my camera. He turns to walk away from me. I get his backside. I pondered running around to the front, taking a photo and yelling something at him, but I believe, these guys get off on people’s reactions. And the last thing I want is for him to get any pleasure out of this.
All day long I have seen 2 cops on bikes. At one point, I wondered if they were the same 2 cops that I kept seeing over and over again. After all, how many cycle cops does this town of 38,000 have? In fact, as I pulled up to the square to park my car, I saw 2 cycle cops talking to a cop in a squad car. After I snapped my photo, I looked around for a cop. And of course…where’s a cop when you need one? I watched the guy walk off, finished looking around and started walking to my car.
That’s when I see a cycle cop. I wave him over.
Hey – there’s a guy
Yes, we know. We are trying to find him.
Well, he walked down that street about 10 minutes ago.
The cop races off.
I yell “I have a photo of his backside if you want to see what he looks like!”
Cop makes a 180’, comes back and looks at my photo.
I tell him I’ll be standing here for a bit, looking around, in case the perv comes back.
He must have radioed the other cops, cuz then all these cops on bikes, cops in a squad car, cops in unmarked cars [one cop per car] pull up to see my photo.
I stood there for about 20 minutes, really hoping he’d come back and I can help them nail the perv, but he didn’t.