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The Heidel House Resort and Spa in Green Lake


9-20-17

The journey to escape stress and tension begins in the friendly community of Green Lake, home of the Heidel House Resort and Spa. This place has a long and rich history, first known as the Kelly Estate in 1890. I took the picture above at Horners Landing in Ripon. This is the deepest natural lake in Wisconsin,  measured at 237 feet deep, 2 miles across and 7 miles long.  We did one scuba dive from this site on 7-22-98, almost 20 years ago. It was time to go back and see more of Green Lake than the bottom.

The reputation of this resort as THE PLACE to be in Wisconsin for a great get-away has spread far and wide and we wanted to see it for ourselves.  The beauty of the resort in early fall with the leaves beginning to change color made us feel welcome immediately.

Photos by Laurie Kutil

After a busy morning exploring the Green Lake area, we were hungry for lunch! We went into the Main Lodge building and enjoyed a great view of the lake in their Sunroom restaurant. See the menus here, this restaurant serves breakfast and lunch, you can get breakfast for lunch if you want!

Photo by Laurie Kutil

There is a self-service cart outside of the restaurant for coffee on-the-go.

Photo by Laurie Kutil

The sunny dining room with a view of the beach and dock. It was a good day to be out on a boat, though a little bit windy.

Photos by Laurie Kutil

Lunch is served!  Our wait staff lady Amber was great answering our questions about the resort and was very attentive, as were all the staff there.  I ordered the Heidel Burger and Al the Fire and Ice Salad. Delicious!

Photos by Laurie Kutil

The resort has three other restaurants, the Boathouse Pub   located below the Sunroom. It is open at 2 PM M-F,  11 AM on the weekend.  There is plenty of seating to enjoy the fresh air off the lake on their large patio.

Photo by Laurie Kutil

Lastly, the Pump House Parlor, open limited hours Friday, Saturday and Sunday, cash only.

Also the Grey Rock for fine dining and live music Wednesday through Saturday.

The lodge has many comfortable seating areas.

Photo by Al Kutil

Get a souvenir of your visit at the gift shop.

Photo by Laurie Kutil

Did you know you can also have timeshare ownership also?  This is the Hilltop building where you can own a piece of the Heidel House resort for an extended stay. Check for availability.

Photo by Laurie Kutil

There are many options for accommodations for your stay of any length. Enjoy the Lac Verde Lodge with both and indoor and outdoor pool.

Photo by Al Kutil

You can also stay in the main lodge.  Also the Stable House near the lodge.

Photo by Laurie Kutil

The Heidel House is also a great place for weddings, from rehearsal dinner to reception.  The Carriage Tent to protect your party from the elements is available from May-October.

See map of the grounds to see all accommodations available. We didn’t have a chance to see all of them but we plan on returning next year.

A closer look down by the lakefront. This is the walking path outside.

There are a great many mature trees here, providing shade on a hot summer day. This Indian Bean Tree has a large canopy and looks to be at least 100 years old.

Photo by Al Kutil

Photo by Laurie Kutil

Relax on the private beach outside of the main lodge. You can also take a cruise on the yacht Escapade during the summer and fall.

Photo by Laurie Kutil

 Lakeside view from dock.

The Heidel House is a great place to visit any time of the year. Next summer we plan on a cruise on their Escapade boat. Get away from it all at the Heidel House Resort and Spa!

 

 

 

 

South Dakota Potpourri-Rest Stops and More!


April 24-29, 2017

In our 6 days in South Dakota we saw a lot of interesting things between our main destinations. We encountered historical markers we had to stop and read. The rest stops alone were worth taking a few minutes to see.  We will be showing you places not covered in our other posts since the visits were short.  We covered the state from end-to-end horizontally.

On our journey we explored three rest stops along I-90 in South Dakota.

We will begin with the first rest stop on the state border just after leaving Minnesota.  This is the Valley Springs Rest Area. See a map of the other rest areas we visited, all impressive!

We are informed of what highway we are on.

The rest stops in SD are clean and attractive, also many contain a picture display of major attractions in the state.  You can see it at the corner of the building.

At this rest stop there are several markers, the first is Minnehaha County, where we were. Let’s read it.

A Purple Heart Memorial Highway marker is also there.  

Another distinguishing feature of South Dakota rest stops is the large teepee-like structure at most of them, and there is another marker there also.

The 2nd one is on the other side of the state in Spearfish . This is the Northern Hills Rest area, near the Wyoming state border.

The most interesting rest stop is  the Medicine Creek Rest Area.

Also called the Presho Rest Area, located in the middle of the state. This was the 3rd rest stop.  This rest stop commemorates when the Lewis and Clark Expedition crossed this area. There is a LARGE  Sacagawea statue on a hill overlooking the Missouri River, great view from the hill! You can see the community of Chamberlain below.

The white bridge is the historic Chamberlain-Oacoma bridge, dedicated on September 25, 1925.

The Lewis and Clark Memorial Bridge on the right, the one we crossed to get here.

Many signs and plaques to read here, an important area to be sure.

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Some parts of our trip took us off the main highways and we passed many markers we didn’t previously know about.

This one is in Bridgewater, west of Sioux Falls.

Also this one in Humboldt in Minnehaha County, we saw both of these on our way to Sioux Falls on Day 5 of our trip. The famous Pumpkin Center marker. It is two-sided.

We saw this on the roadside on our way out on Day 1. Porter Sculpture Park. It is located in Montrose, SD. It wasn’t open for the season yet 😦

 

We wished we could have stopped in De Smet to see one of Laura Ingalls Wilder‘s former homes, but we didn’t have the time on this trip.

A seemingly infinite regression of power lines going to the horizon.

Did you ever hear that song, “Eat at Joe’s”?  Well, you actually can in South Dakota.

Here is the song if you don’t know it.

It’s official name is Joe’s Cafe in Alexandria. You can’t miss the friendly Sinclair dino at the driveway, great place for a selfie!

 

 

Here’s Joe’s, I heard it is a popular place!

We discovered this beautiful place on our way out on day 1, the Snake Creek Recreation Area.  We got video driving through it too, our first experience of the changing terrain from the eastern edge of the state. It is just west of Platte.

The long straight road after leaving here.

Soon we arrived in Winner for gas, we  saw a McDonald’s that looked straight out of the 1970’s!

Shortly after that we entered the Rosebud Indian Reservation.

In Okreek we saw Calvary Episcopal Church,  adding interest to a largely treeless land.

The landscape is beautiful too, this hill can be seen from here.

We came across two other markers in Martin on our way to Wounded Knee.

 The first marker refers to the Civilian Conservation Corp.

The second marker, a plane crash occurred near here.

 

That about covers odds and ends of South Dakota, more added after our 2nd trip there in 2018.

 

 

Sturgis-City of Riders


4-27-17

Sturgis  is a city of 6,627 in Meade County, South Dakota and is known as the City of Riders.  That’s because it is the ground zero for motorcycle riders and a HUGE motorcycle rally. We made this one of our stops on our way to Wyoming and wanted to see it since a friend of mine has been there.  Sturgis is best known for their big Motorcycle Rally every August. Sturgis also has a radio station that follow the rally, KNKL.

The first order of business was having lunch. The place that was recommended to us was Jambonz   Grill and Pub.  The owner Sheree Schriver came out and chatted with us a few minutes while we waited for our food, which was delicious!  Al had a club sandwich while I had the catfish, yum!

A couple doors down is Sturgis Guns, an employee there told us about Jambonz, thanks!

Just down the street is a historical marker dedicated to Charles Nolin, a Pony Express mail carrier. He was ambushed and killed here by Indians on August 19, 1876.  This was still a very dangerous territory then.

After lunch we spent about 1/2 hour exploring downtown. Sturgis want people on the highway to know what community they are passing, so they put “STURGIS” in large, friendly white letters on a nearby hillside.

Downtown is the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum. On the left side of the building is a poster of a photo taken during the motorcycle rally.  The street is FULL!  This is the community’s biggest event of the year.

On the other side of the building.

Photo by Al Kutil

There is a lot going on here, some landscape work being done, new curbing and other improvements being done. See here for the many places to shop in Sturgis.

On our right is the historic Sturgis Armory building.

In front of the armory is a sign describing the bricks in front of it. It is the Sturgis Brick Project.

The city is in the process of replacing the sidewalk with engraved bricks. They are off to a good start!

The historic bank building on the corner of First and Main, built in 1886.

Love this view, the motorcycle museum would be on your right. The Knuckle Saloon is on the left.

As expected, there are tattoo parlors here, more than one. Sturgis Tattoo in a historic hotel building and The Tattoo Cellar. Since we have no tattoos and have no knowledge on the subject, read this article first before deciding where to go.

There are many places to get a souvenir downtown on this block.

Sturgis Denim and Lace

Hot Leathers

Sturgis Photo and Gifts

Tom T’s and Big Al’s Swap Shop

And now for motorcycle dealerships.  Sturgis has a Harley Davidson and Indian Motorcycle. We never saw them before!

It was time to go, we had a great visit in Sturgis, friendly people and a biker atmosphere.

Ride on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, South Dakota


4-25-17

The Mammoth Site is one of the must-see places to visit in Hot Springs.  The first thing you see is a mammoth and the sign in the lawn, beckoning you in.

Nearby at the edge of the road is a marker too.

A walkway with informative signs lead to the spacious building enclosing the dig site from the weather.

Upon entering the building we see an enormous Mammoth skeleton! It was found in Kenosha County, Wisconsin.  Wisconsin also had Mastadons. we saw the Mastadon site in Boaz, WI a few years ago.

We arrived about 3:00 so we only had 2 hours so we were sure the guided tour included in our admission would give us a good overview.  Read brochure for hours here.

The site was discovered in 1974 by heavy equipment operator George Hanson.  A new housing development was slated to be built on the site. He began grading a small hill and struck bone. He halted work immediately and brought the bones he inadvertently excavated to his son Dan, who had taken archaeology and geology classes. Dan also called his former professor Dr. Larry Agenbroad  and invited him to come examine the site. He arrived a week later and confirmed this was a major find! The land owner, Phil Anderson sold the land in 1975 so the work could continue. To this day, 62  mammoth skeletons have been discovered.  The building housing the site was completed in 1986.

Our tour began with a 10 minute film, our guide Riley did a fine job.  See our tour here first hand.  After the film our group went to see the dig site. Riley took us around the pit, stopping at 5 vantage points and showing us many of the well-preserved bones.

After the tour we could explore the other exhibit rooms adjacent to the dig area. There was only time to see the Ice Age Exhibit Hall before they closed.

A Woolly Mammoth Bone House replica is here too. I apologize for the blurry 2nd pic.

We sure had a lot of fun here.   Our guide Riley did a fine job on the tour and explained everything well. Be sure to budget time for a visit here if you come to Hot Springs!

Donations gratefully accepted to continue the project!

The Crazy Horse Memorial-Tribute to All Native American Tribes


4-26-17

When you are near the Crazy Horse Memorial

you will see a sign for a low power radio station describing what is going on there.

We tuned in, you can listen here. The drive up the Avenue of the Chiefs built our anticipation for a great visit!

Here is a short film giving an overview of this monumental project.

The project was began in 1948 by Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski and the legacy continues today by his children.

Admission is $28 for per vehicle with more than 2 people.  That fee is waived during special events where food donations are accepted instead.

The grounds are beautiful with a great view of the carving-in-progress. There is a museum and the Laughing Water Restaurant where you can enjoy Indian Taco and other traditional Native American foods. We enjoyed a great dinner there! Pictured is the taco, Tatanka (Bison) Stew, and  fry bread with wojapi (warm berry sauce) for a yummy dessert!

Begin your self-guided tour of the extensive museum at the information desk, the people there are happy to answer your questions!

There are a great many rooms to explore, you can make a day of it here! The main deck is a great viewpoint of Crazy Horse, you can see all the action when work is being done. There is also a scale model of what it will look like when complete on the deck. This model is in the display room  behind me.

This room is the first one you see after coming off the main deck near the restaurant.

In this room is a bin of rocks from the monument that you can take for free!

The scale model showing what it will look like when finished. Al and I may not live long enough though to see that day unless they get a LARGE influx of money. This is being built entirely on donations.

Here are some other highlights in the rest of the building.

Inside of the teepee.

 

This was a surprise, a signed Packer football there 🙂

Korczak display room with artifacts from the family and early carvings.

A painting of Korczak at age 73.

This display room has a great many Native American artifacts from many tribes.

More to see downstairs.

It was thrilling seeing a real one on the way there!

We were reaching the conclusion of our tour.  As we prepared to go, we saw a bus taking people out to the base of the mountain. We were a little too tired to do that today, but planning on it next time.  

Black Hills, South Dakota Adventures-Day 3


April 26, 2017

We spent the day exploring the Black Hills of South Dakota riding along in our friend’s truck. He and his wife have lived here for 20 years so they know it well!  Here is a map showing the area that we covered today.

We headed north from where they live in Hot Springs.  They gave us the grand tour of the Hot Springs area the day before.

First, we drove through Wind Cave National Park. If we come back in the summer, we can see the cave itself, April is still in the off-season.we went into the hills, there was quite a bit of snow since we were at higher elevation, we were also brushing the bottom of the rather low cloud deck.

The Elk Haven store at the Elk Haven Horse Camp, you can see the low cloud deck.

Enjoy a drive through the park, plenty of bison too!

Next, we drove through Custer State Park, at least partially. Our goal was to connect with Highway 16A, also known as Iron Mountain Road. It is 17 miles of amazing views, bridges and forest. Also tunnels carved right in the mountain!  It is the scenic route to Mt. Rushmore. Unfortunately, the low cloud deck prevented us from seeing Mt. Rushmore from the third tunnel.  I superimposed the view in the video to show you what it would have looked like.

Enjoy the ride!

The wildlife was abundant and were close enough to the road for easy viewing.  It is recommended that you stay in your vehicle so not to scare them or in the case of bison, starting a stampede!  We also saw Antelope, Elk, Bull Deer, and Prairie Dogs. Even Mountain Goats at Mt. Rushmore! So wonderful to see them in their natural environment.

After our drive through 16A, We went to Mt. Rushmore.  Admission is free, parking is not however. It was $5 for our friends’ vehicle since he is a senior, $10 normally. Unfortunately, the cloud covering the monument didn’t lift. The elevation is at 4528 ft. and we had a low cloud deck all day. This is what we saw. disappointed, we left.

We then went to the Crazyhorse Memorial.  It is about 1/2 hour away from Rushmore. This is a carving of Chief Crazy Horse  that was begun by Korczak Ziolkowski after 1947 and continued until his death on Oct. 20, 1982.  The weather was very different there, the cloud was clearing and we had sunshine!

A close up of the memorial.

You can make a day of it here. It costs $28 for a carload. The have a large museum that we explored. Also the Laughing Waters Restaurant, we enjoyed dinner here, the windows give you a great view of the monument while you are eating. The food was delicious and we hope to be back in 2018.

We all had a great day exploring the Black Hills. We hope to see more on our return visit and go back to Crazy Horse for one of their special events in the summer. As for Mt. Rushmore, we returned early the next morning and were blessed with sunny skies!

Aladdin, Wyoming-A Coal Mining History and Custer


4-27-17

Aladdin, Wyoming has only 15 residents currently,  up to 500 when coal mining was done here. It has a charming General Store.  This tiny town is also for sale for $1,500,000. We stopped by the store, it attracts people from all over.

We also paid a visit to the nearby Coal Tipple. a structure built to assist in the mining.  It was built in the late 1800’s. After parking in the lot, we walked up the path leading to the top.

Plaque near entrance.

The tipple is on your left. We could hear some people talking at the top and we went up to investigate.

Almost to the top. This is where the fan housing was,this is on our left.

It turns out we happened upon a meeting by the Crook County Historical Society.  We met local historian and author Pam Thompson, also Treasurer Rodney R. Knudson and a couple of engineers.

The were discussing whether the tipple should be restored or torn down.  It was becoming unstable and if anyone tried to climb it, it could cause injury.  The fence around it is easily scalable by someone who wanted to get in. They were happy to talk to us fellow history fans from two states away and I recorded a message they had to our readers.

Pam wrote two books on the area,

Around Aladdin

 Sundance   co-author Rocky Courchaine.

It was a pleasure meeting all of them and we hope the coal tipple can be saved. The view at the top was great!

Behind us was a coal car and Hoist House building.

Other signs there.

 

Not far from here is the spot where the Custer Expedition was. We went to see the marker.

The picture in the sign.

Our visit to Aladdin was short but very educational.  Well worth the stop if you are in the area.