Happy Trails from Hancock, Wisconsin

Trip Start Jun 19, 2014
Trip End Jul 08, 2014

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Flag of United States  , Wisconsin
Sunday, July 6, 2014

Well, we told you that it may be a few days before you heard from us again...

So here we are, at the end of our journey. It's the evening of July 6th and we'll be leaving the Hancock KOA in the morning for sunny (and from what we've heard from family back home, very hot!) South Carolina. It's a two-day trip so should be back late Tuesday afternoon. In the meantime, here's a summary of our last several days in central Wisconsin:

We left the prairie about 20 miles past La Crosse, and the scenery became more like South Carolina's rural countryside...with the exception of the dairy farms and potato fields!  Not to mention the cool, fresh air that was quite welcoming for southern travelers in July.  We arrived at the Hancock KOA campground, got set up, and kicked back and relaxed to a warm campfire and a nice double rainbow.

The next day, we rented a pick-up truck and explored Stevens Point, 25 miles to the north.  One slice of steak and fries pizza and one of BBQ chicken at Polito's were great.  We were tempted to try a slice of mac and cheese pizza but ran out of room in our bellies.  We had a great time exploring the town, antiquing, and discovering the Stevens Point Brewery, which we didn't realize was the home of one of our favorite beers: Point 2012.  Inside the brewery, we found out they changed the name to Black Onyx, because people thought the brewery was trying to peddle old beer (2012, get it?).  So, of course, we bought a case!

The next morning, Mike got up early and biked 30 miles around the area, up past Plainfield and back to Hancock.  He took a picture of the opera house in Plainfield.

Later in the day, we headed a half-hour east to play golf at the Castle Course at Northern Bay.  It was a nice course with eight holes that are replicas of famous golf holes including two from the Masters and several from US Open and PGA courses.  It was fun to play the actual yardages the pros play on very close replicas of those holes.  What were surprisingly difficult, were the greens on those holes.  Really helped us understand what they have to deal with.  Mike did manage to par one of the holes with a 9-iron to 10 inches of the hole.  Yeehaw!  One interesting (and not too likable) part of this golf course were the apartments/condos which lined the first three holes.  They were filled with vacationers who apparently didn't know much about golf because they were walking across the green while we were playing.  Fortunately, the rest of the course was quieter, with nice homes around it.

On the way to the course, we had to stop in Oxford and see the famous (from the TV show Hee Haw) Maggie Mae's Cafe, so we could take a couple pix and send them to Maggie's brother Rick, who encouraged us to stop and see it.  Major Hee Haw fan he is.  It was closed that day though, so we couldn't go in.

After our round of golf, we took the bag boy's recommendation for dinner and visited The Lure on Lake Petenwell.  Nice food, ambiance and a beautiful sunset on the lake.

The next day was July 4th, and we couldn't think of anything more American to do than to drive to Green Bay and tour Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers.  It was a great time and afterward, we ate lunch at Hagemeister Park, a riverfront cafe built on the same site that the Packers originally played football on back in the early 1900's.  There was a street festival going on that day as well which always fits in with our plans!

On the way to Green Bay we discovered that a small town in Wisconsin, by the name of Seymour, apparently created the world's first hamburger.  We took country roads to and from Green Bay and saw more quaint dairy farms, a really cool old school, and Amish folk plowing fields with horses and riding buggies on the roads.

On Friday, we decided to tackle the Green Circle Trail in Stevens Point, a 26-mile walking/cycling trail that circles Stevens Point and two of it's suburbs, Whiting and Plover.  Mike biked it, while Maggie and Braddock walked seven of the miles and we all met at the Hilltop Pub for lunch.  It was a great workout for all, especially (and surprisingly) for Braddock!

Saturday was the street dance in Hancock which we turned into our own private pub crawl.  We started at the Hotel Bar (not a hotel anymore, just a bar) and then made our way to Potter's bowling alley, and finally to some billiards at Sneaky Pete's.  The second band, Austin Healey, was great, and all-in-all, we had a large time!  Of course, it wasn't nice of Maggie to take a picture of Mike falling on his bum at the bowling alley with his first roll of the ball.  He didn't have too much to drink, the alley was very slippery...it's true! 

Sunday morning, we took our bikes to town for breakfast at the Hotel Bar so we could watch the Wimbledon men's finals on ESPN since we did not have cable or satellite at this KOA.  The breakfast was delicious and Maggie was very happy about Djokovic winning!  Then we took a short ten-mile bike ride out into the country side.  Saw a sign for Whistler Mounds so we checked it out.  The smallest Indian mounds we've ever seen.  Wonder how they were even discovered.  We also came across the Ice Age trail but it wasn't open to bikes.  Now we are interested in exploring this on another trip north.

Speaking of which, Maggie has decided we need to come north every July and August from now on.  The weather has been wonderful, no humidity, fresh air, cool nights, nothing higher than the low 80's during the days...just wonderful!

So, in summary, if you've never been to America's heartland, we would highly recommend it.  You really just don't realize how majestic this country is until you get out into the great expanse of it all.

See you all soon!

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