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Category: The Road Less Traveled

Our Lady of Good Help–A Vision in Wisconsin

December 14, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Our Lady of Good Help–A Vision in Wisconsin

Many of you know that, on our travels, my family and I love to visit sites of historical significance, as well as shrines and locations of significance to our faith and culture. Most of the ones we have seen have been located in the western part of our beautiful country. However, we recently learned of a significant site right near our home in a small corner of northeastern Wisconsin. This is the location of the only site in these United States that the Vatican has sanctioned as an official appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary. An investigation was begun by the Bishop David Ricken of the Green Bay Diocese in 2009 to review the historical information of the Marian apparitions at this location, as well as the life of Sister Adele, the Belgian immigrant to whom Mary appeared in 1859. One year earlier, the Virgin Mary appeared in Lourdes, France, to a young woman named Bernadette. On December 8, 2010, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Bishop gave official Church approval of the... [Read more...]

A Most Remarkable Man (and his family story of overcoming HHT)

November 25, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

A Most Remarkable Man (and his family story of overcoming HHT)

CAMP – verb Definition of CAMP: to live temporarily in a camp or outdoors —often used with out It can be a hobby, lifestyle, passion, escape, or a way to bring family together.  You can enjoy it with just a bedroll and fire, a tent or a RV. It really doesn’t make a whole lot of difference how you enjoy camping because you will always discover new adventures and people that otherwise might never come into your life. I had never met Allan, though we had exchanged comments on our club forum.  As far as I knew, he was just like anybody else that enjoyed camping. I had just come back from a walk around the lake shore of our campground when our paths crossed.  He was wearing hiking boots and had on a backpack.  There were signs of perspiration around his temples.  He had obviously been walking with the pack for some distance.  But, a backpack at this particular campground was out of place.  I mean, it was not as if we were next to the Appalachian Trail or something – it just... [Read more...]

An Alaska Travel Roundup

November 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Denali National Park/Melissa Trainer I was very fortunate last week because the State of Alaska invited me to attend the Alaska Media Road Show.  Held  at the luxurious Four Seasons Biltmore in  Santa Barbara, this annual  event brings together top travel writers and key players in Alaska’s tourism industry. As many of you know, I write quite a bit about Alaska.  I lived there with my family and we traveled extensively throughout the state while we were there.  We covered a lot of territory and ventured to many amazing  remote locations during that time. We knew that  we could be self sufficient with our travel trailer and we utilized our trailer to the max.  We knew that amenities were few and far between on many of the remote roads, so we learned to pack accordingly.  Our trailer was an absolutely priceless tool for navigating the region.  Even though our three children were all under the age of 11 at the time,  we were all willing to take the road less traveled.... [Read more...]

Further Along the Golden Trail

October 30, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Further Along the Golden Trail

We took a detour from our recent hike on the Anvil Trail System near Eagle River in the northwoods of Wisconsin. Enjoying the peak color weekend, we had decided to spend the afternoon hiking along the trail system that we have come to enjoy during all seasons. On our way back from the excursion to the little cabin, however, we deviated from the Nine-Mile Trail on the Anvil System and headed onto the adjoining Northwoods Trail System. While the Anvil Trails are maintained by the National Forest Service, the Northwoods Trails are maintained by the Hidden Lakes Bicycle Club during warmer months and groomed for skiing by a private interest during the winter. A bit less traveled than the Anvil System, we took the opportunity to hike for miles, alone with our dogs and our thoughts. We were not disappointed. The Northwoods System is known in part as the Hidden Lakes Trail System as it winds around Butternut and Franklin Lakes that are all but hidden from public view.  Similar to Anvil, this... [Read more...]

Eat Like a Bavarian?

October 2, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Eat Like a Bavarian?

As we hiked up the trail to Williams Lake, NM this past July in the light rain, we couldn’t help but notice what appeared to be an Austrian ski chalet at the point where the trail turns to the left and begins to climb. Constructed of massive logs, the Bavarian Inn is built in the same manner as the ski-in/ski-out chalets placed alongside trails and near ski hills in Germany. In fact, when standing on the large deck of this structure, the ski lift for one of the Taos Ski Valley hills crosses right above us. The Bavarian As we concluded our nearly two hour hike in the rain at approximately 2 pm, having had no lunch in our rush to get a headstart on the rains, the idea of a late lunch at this marvelous structure seems ideal. The guys take the dogs to the car, where they received water and multiple treats for their efforts and were able to rest a bit in the car with the windows open, safe as it was still 58 degrees and raining. Meghan and I ventured immediately inside the chalet in search... [Read more...]

Foraging And Fishing in Cordova, Alaska

September 11, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

I was very fortunate to visit Cordova, Alaska last week. The Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association hosted a fall press trip so they invited me plus four other food writers/professionals to visit the area.  The Copper River region is most well known for the ultra rich wild salmon that is pulled from the local waters. This Alaskan salmon is revered worldwide, and in Seattle there is always lots of hype when the season’s first catch arrives at the airport! While in Cordova, Amy, Shauna, Danny, Joelen and I toured the fishing village, met fishermen and artists, fished for coho, and foraged for wild cranberries.  When we arrived on Tuesday afternoon, the winds were howling and the rain was falling in force. The second day wasn’t much better, but we all managed to grab a rod and fish off the shore for about an hour. We didn’t catch anything, but we certainly had a few nibbles. Without a doubt, we enjoyed the adventure with our guide from the Orca Adventure... [Read more...]

KATY’S KITCHEN – A Piece of the Story about our Country’s WWII era “Secret City”

August 20, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

KATY’S KITCHEN – A Piece of the Story about our Country’s WWII era “Secret City”

If you read the July 2011 issue of Highway’s, the official publication of the Good Sam Club, you most likely noted a short article near the back of the magazine about “The Secret City”, now incorporated as Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Current history books used in most of our public schools now tell some of the story about this secret city built almost 60 years ago.  There is an increased awareness and interest about the role Oak Ridge played in bringing World War II to an end and how it propelled our nation into the “Atomic Age”.. If you can imagine for a moment our government building a city complete with houses, roads and services that no one outside of a circle of selected officials knew anything about or even where it was –  a city to initially house 13,000 families and 30,000 permanent residents – a city costing millions and millions of government dollars –   and citizens outside of this selected circle knew absolutely nothing about what the project was... [Read more...]

A Recent Quiet Paddle…

July 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

A Recent Quiet Paddle…

In my last post, I wrote about the peace we feel when kayaking on any of the wild, unspoiled lakes in northern Wisconsin. On a Sunday morning this past  September, while camping at the nearby campground, it is the lake with which we are most familiar that is our destination, Anvil Lake in eastern Vilas County. As we are feeling a bit lazy this morning, we do not hit the water until nearly 7:00 a.m., but still the lake is as smooth as glass.  As we paddle out, no other traffic, human or water-going, is evident. The sun is up, the temperature warm. There is no wind. As we pull away from the dock, we observe a loon twenty feet ahead and to the left of our course. We pull right a bit more so as not to frighten him. We like to paddle this lake as, it is not only near our cabin, but several pairs of nesting loons reside here and we like to observe them from a distance. We have seen them before eggs have hatched, with very young offspring and doing what appears to be teaching the young to fish. Loon,... [Read more...]

A Quiet Paddle…

July 13, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

A Quiet Paddle…

While many of the activities we enjoy while camping involve the entire family, Terry and I do share a favorite pastime in which the rest of our family does not typically engage, due largely to the time of day at which we do it: paddling. A common vacation destination for a long weekend is the northern part of our home state of Wisconsin and we have taken to exploring as many of the wild lakes in northern Wisconsin as we can manage to visit. Anvil Lake, Vilas County, WI We had been avid paddlers for many years, spending many happy hours during our now-teenaged children’s toddler and early school years in our Oldtowne canoe. Since they have been old enough to stay on their own, however, we’ve graduated to a tandem kayak that we enjoy paddling. We like to get out as early as we can rouse ourselves, often on Sunday mornings of a camping week or weekend, ideally hitting our chosen waters by 6:00 or 6:30 am, which explains why we do this sans children. One particular area of the northwoods... [Read more...]

Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: Whitefish, Montana: Come Now!

July 11, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: Whitefish, Montana: Come Now!

Whitefish, Montana.  Even Hollywood stars love it, “discovering” it in the early ‘90’s, with most eventually  moving on to wilder pastures. Tom Cruise came to our front door at the family’s Whitefish lake house,  looking for Emilio Estevez’ place near by. Ask me how thrilled we were and how very cool we acted, like we didn’t know who he was or anything. I was the Queen of Casual.  Oh…that grin…I’m sure Tom was equally impressed with us. Whitefish, where Julia Roberts dumped Kiefer Sutherland three days before they were to marry, while Sutherland was building their home-to-be  in Whitefish. We sat next to Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick more than once at a local Whitefish café. Again, we exhausted ourselves projecting disdainful cool. Tons more famous people called Whitefish their second (or third, for fourth, or fifth) home back then, but I can’t remember the names…oh yea, something about Steve McQueen getting kicked out of town on his motorcycle a long,... [Read more...]

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