Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Few Hidden Gems in Wisconsin

So, it's been a little while since my last post. I beg your forgiveness for that. I've been in the field doing research, including a camping trip, so I'd have things to tell you about. [insert big grin, here]. Be warned - this may be a bit longer post than usual. Hopefully you will find these things interesting enough to cut me some slack.

One thing I love about living in Wisconsin - and it may be true of other places, as well, but Wisconsin is what I can tell you about from experience, is that any time you get in your car and go for a drive - and it doesn't have to be very far, you will find something interesting that is worth stopping to investigate. On a recent short trip out to Verona I made a stop at Millers and Sons Supermarket. If you haven't been there and you're in the area, be sure to stop by. While it's easy to find a grocery store in most places in Wisconsin, Miller's is it's own kind of grocery store. It's a local small business, though the store is spacious and offers a good variety of choices. The produce is always fresh and looks beautiful. They also have an in-store deli with a nice selection, and their cuts of meat are mouth-wateringly fresh and ready for the grill. The day I was there, I needed a card for a shower, and was pleasantly surprised that one small corner of the store has not only cards, but some cute crafty-type gifts if that is what you're in the market for. My final stop at Millers was at the Faygo machine on my way back to my car. Anyone who knows me knows I don't drink much soda. Frequently when I go out to eat water will be my drink of choice but, occasionally, a locally made soda tastes really good, and Faygo makes good soda. The red pop I had that day was a real thirst quencher!

Timbers Bar & Grill, Black Creek, WI

On our recent trip up to Boulder Lake, one thing I didn't tell you about was the place we stopped at for lunch on our way home. You won't find Timbers Bar and Grill in Black Creek on Tripadvisor if you're looking for place to eat, but you should still stop. They have reasonably priced bar food that is served fresh and hot. It happened to be a Sunday when we were there, and they had the Sunday lunch buffet set-up, but that didn't appeal to any in my crowd. I had the cod sandwich, and it was excellent. Norm had one of the wraps, and raved that was good. I tried a bite, and could see why. The sauce they use is light and has a really nice tang to it. Definitely worth a stop if you're up that way!

Ledge County Park - Dodge County, WI

Campsite "J" - Ledge County Park

When people camp in Wisconsin, there are many choices, most notably the beautifully maintained State Parks that dot the state, as well as many private campgrounds that typically offer more amenities. One thing that should not be discounted though, is the county campgrounds. One that is located a short drive from Madison is Ledge County Park in Dodge County. The campsites are generally roomy, and the trees help to offer a modicum of privacy. We camped from a Thursday to a Saturday, and there were only about 5 other campsites that were occupied. They have good hardwood for sale at a reasonable price if you want to have a campfire. We were also able to collect some downed dead wood to keep our fire going, which was really appreciated as the first of the cool nights hit when we were camping.

Wine bottle holder at Bugsy's Best

The cheese case at Bugsy's Best

Wisconsin has some great names for it's towns, often with native american roots. You've heard of Waunakee? It's the only one in the world, you know. Or Oconomowoc? I've heard television announcers stumble over that one. How about Kekoskee? If you haven't heard of Kekoskee before, well, now you have. And if you happen to go to Kekoskee, be sure to stop at Bugsy's Best. They carry many Wisconsin-made products to whet your appetite, and when it's as hot as it has been recently, an ice cream cone really hits the spot. I had blueberry cheesecake ice cream in a waffle cone - stupendously awesome! They also carry Wisconsin-made cheese, and a variety of other eclectic choices. Check out the picture with the home-made wine bottle holder. I just have to figure out where I'd put it if I got one of those. The building that houses Bugsy's has been in the Lechner family for some time, and has been used for other purposes, so there is a pictorial history in the building, as well as an old water wheel that you can see through the glass casing. It's a very cool place to stop! 
Beef sticks and cheese curds -
how much more "Wisconsin" can you get?

And that's all for now. Hope you're having a great summer. Leave a comment and tell me about some place unique or special that you've visited this summer.

No compensation was received for these endorsements. These are given because I visited these places and thought them worth writing about.

1 comment:

Sarah Jane said...

Wisconsin is so great! I'll have to check some of these places out if we're ever heading that way.