Trip Report- Wisconsin and Michigan September 2005

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mayor al
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2005/10/23 12:02:13 (permalink)

Trip Report- Wisconsin and Michigan September 2005

I will attempt to limit my prose regarding our trip this past week thru the Fall Color of the Wisconsin-Michigan region. In addition to some wonderful color we were able to visit family and enjoy some very good roadfood. Total Miles 1900. Gas prices ranged from a high of $2.89(U P Michigan) to a low of $2.42 (Costco,Brighton,MI).
We left on Saturday the 15th and headed up to Rochelle,Illinois to the railfan park there. The park is located at a point where the Union Pacific and the BNSF(Santa Fe) Rail lines cross in an "X". With a nice shelter house, picnic tables and rest rooms It makes a great place to sit and watch the trains roll by.



We stayed the night at a new AmeriHost Inn on Rt 38. Cheap at $50 for the night (including the two dogs with us). A very large room for the price. We ate at the Family Restaurant in town and were somewhat disappointed. Home-style appearance, but out of the box entrees and dessert. No recommendation for this one.

Sunday, we used U S 51, I-39, & US 12 to get up to Baraboo, Wisconsin where my daughter and family live. Daughter is due with our 22nd grandchild in a few weeks so we were doing the pre-hospital visit!
Sunday Night we ate at the DORF HAUS, a German Restaurant (Duhhh!) in Sauk City. The Sauerbraten was outstanding. Several other German dishes were shared as the 4 of us enjoyed a fine meal. I do recommend the place if you are looking for German food in the Madison area.
Another comment was made by a visitor on an earlier visit....
The Dorf Haus is actually in a one street village called Roxbury, a traditionally German community, just South of Sauk City. The first Monday night of the month, and the third Monday during the warmer months, the Dorf Haus has a great German buffet and a 2-piece polka band. There are 3 kinds of schnitzel, Bavarian style barbecued ribs, spaetzle, knackwurst, sauerbraten, pork shanks and more. It's served in a big hall and seems like a community event. There is a historic church across the street.

We wandered thru a local museum and some farm stands on Monday then headed to HOOKERS RESORT in Poynette WI on Lake Wisconsin for dinner. Hooker's is a bit rustic, but a very clean and nice place to head for a 'different' dinner. Like the Iowa Beef Steak House reviewed by Stern's some years ago, At Hooker's you grill your own steak. The beef is wonderful, all hand cut on the premises daily. Also it is a "one Price" arrangement. $18.95 is the fixed price for the steak dinner, be it a 24 oz T-Bone, 16 oz Ribeye or N Y Strip, or very large Sirloin, or 'petite' Filet. You select from a glass case that holds dozens of large pieces of Cow, season as you wish with available powders, peppers, and garlic, then toss it on the large grill and wait for the magic to happen. Add toasted bread (you toast) and Salad and baked potato and you have a great meal. If you prefer the staff will cook it for you for an extra $2 per steak. Other menu items are available. See the menu on the website linked below. The place is noted for it's Friday Fish Fry's. It is right on Lake Wisconsin, so lots of folks arrive by boat and tie up to the dock to come in for dinner. With the price right, live music on the weekends, a good quality Steak I feel good about recommending this place for a night out when in central Wisconsin.

http://www.explorewisconsin.com/hookersresort/index.asp

more to follow
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    mayor al
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    RE: Trip Report- Wisconsin and Michigan September 2005 2005/10/23 12:58:33 (permalink)

    Part Two

    After a few days in the Baraboo area we headed NorthEast thru Green Bay an into Upper Michigan. The Dogs handled this trip really well, enjoying every opportunity to sniff the sniffs and bark their pleasure to the native creatures along the road.



    Near the Wisconsin-Michigan tate line on U S 41 we had to have a couple of cups of great soup from a small lunch-stand next to the hiway. I mean, Who could resist "Ho-Made Soups"? It was hot and filling, as it's name suggests


    We also ran into some unique traffic problems in Michigan--


    We also stopped in Brevort,Michigan home of Gustafson's Smoked Fish- Listed on the map for Sterns approved stops!! I can't see the name (or picture the owner)without thinking of the characters in GRUMPY OLD MEN... Here is an updated photo of the exterior !. The owner commented that he gets a couple of folks a day who mention the Roadfood Website when they stop in. The Place is located on U S 2 among several Fish Smoker business's. His Salmon is great, and only $5 a pound...Thats a real bargain!



    Then it was across the Mackinac Bridge and down Rt 31 into Apple Country and scenes of beautiful Fall Color. Here are some samples-





    We loaded up on some Northern Spys and HoneyCrisp apples at a couple of orchard stands and headed south to Relatives in the Brighton area.
    Rain caught us on Friday as we pushed on from Brighton, so we skipped a couple of Indiana stops to get home before too late on Friday evening. Luckily the color was at it's peak and the sun was bright on the important parts of the trip.

    OK thats another tour done. it was indeed a beautiful ride.

    #2
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Trip Report- Wisconsin and Michigan September 2005 2005/10/23 23:02:50 (permalink)
    The soup is made by ho's?
    #3
    UncleVic
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    RE: Trip Report- Wisconsin and Michigan September 2005 2005/10/24 00:57:05 (permalink)
    Thanks for the report Al! Rare to see the backroads of Michigan covered so well.. And that smoked salmon at 5 bucks a pound has my taste buds going now!
    #4
    carlton pierre
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    RE: Trip Report- Wisconsin and Michigan September 2005 2005/10/24 07:44:46 (permalink)
    Excellent report and accompanying photos, Al. Made me feel homesick for the Midwest.
    #5
    mayor al
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    RE: Trip Report- Wisconsin and Michigan September 2005 2005/10/24 08:24:28 (permalink)

    TJ, That's what the sign claims! I didn't inquire about the career pattern of the help.

    About the Smoked fish- They had Whitefish, Lake Trout, Salmon and a couple of others...all were $5.00 a pound. We got a fist-sized chunk of Lake Trout and one of Salmon. We tasted both in the parking area beside the stand and found the Lake Trout to be much 'greasier'...lots of oil and a much 'fishier' taste. So Janet marched back in and bought two more large chunks of Salmon to bring home. We also purchased a pound of his Beef Jerky, and found it both chewy/tender and tasty.

    One nice thing about traveling this time of year- The weather makes it easier to buy stuff that might be perishable if hauled home on a summer journey! We keep two large coolers in the back of the truck. They were perfect for keeping fish and apples cool for a couple of days as we wandered around. One was used for a couple of Costco Pies purchased in Brighton Michigan on the last day of the trip.

    One partial review- We stopped at a small place right next to the bridge in Epouette(sp) Michigan (on U S 2). Janet had an order of Perch and I got the Smelts. Both were delicious. Served with FF and Slaw the fish in both cases was lightly breaded and fried to a golden color that made it look great. We had not enjoyed these regional specialties before, so the experience was a good one ! Her Perch order had 6 'Bluegill' sized filets while I had 16 @6 inch smelts that made great finger food!
    #6
    aleswench
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    RE: Trip Report- Wisconsin and Michigan September 2005 2005/10/24 14:07:31 (permalink)
    Wow - that sounded great. What beautiful countryside! And boy do I ever love those pups Thanks for another great "lunchtime" read. Oh, by the way - did she have the baby???? Sue
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    mayor al
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    RE: Trip Report- Wisconsin and Michigan September 2005 2005/10/24 15:19:03 (permalink)
    Sue,
    Baby is about 3 weeks away says the Doc. All is well and the outlook is good...except the due date and the opening day of deer season conflict so Son-in-law is having some divided loyalties!!

    Here's another Michigan Color Photo...Taken on U S 31 near Harbor Springs.



    #8
    berndog
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    RE: Trip Report- Wisconsin and Michigan September 2005 2005/10/24 15:48:04 (permalink)
    Al, sounds like a wonderful trip. Your photo's remind of of how upstate NY usually looks this time of the year, but this year in Rochester, our leaves are still about 90% green. We had a warm summery first week of October (in the 80's), and no frost yet. I guess the colors are waiting for Thanksgiving this year, if any are left on the trees by then.
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    garryd451
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    RE: Trip Report- Wisconsin and Michigan September 2005 2005/10/24 16:36:00 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen


    TJ, That's what the sign claims! I didn't inquire about the career pattern of the help.

    About the Smoked fish- They had Whitefish, Lake Trout, Salmon and a couple of others...all were $5.00 a pound. We got a fist-sized chunk of Lake Trout and one of Salmon. We tasted both in the parking area beside the stand and found the Lake Trout to be much 'greasier'...lots of oil and a much 'fishier' taste. So Janet marched back in and bought two more large chunks of Salmon to bring home. We also purchased a pound of his Beef Jerky, and found it both chewy/tender and tasty.

    One nice thing about traveling this time of year- The weather makes it easier to buy stuff that might be perishable if hauled home on a summer journey! We keep two large coolers in the back of the truck. They were perfect for keeping fish and apples cool for a couple of days as we wandered around. One was used for a couple of Costco Pies purchased in Brighton Michigan on the last day of the trip.

    One partial review- We stopped at a small place right next to the bridge in Epouette(sp) Michigan (on U S 2). Janet had an order of Perch and I got the Smelts. Both were delicious. Served with FF and Slaw the fish in both cases was lightly breaded and fried to a golden color that made it look great. We had not enjoyed these regional specialties before, so the experience was a good one ! Her Perch order had 6 'Bluegill' sized filets while I had 16 @6 inch smelts that made great finger food!



    The next time you're in Michigan and come across a fish market or fish shack with smoke fish, be sure to try the smoke white fish. I have had them many times in South Haven Michigan(the last time I was in South Haven the fish market has been replaced by a bar) and in the Traverse City Area. SMOKE WHITE FISH ARE AWESOME!!!

    Once You have eaten fresh smelt, you will never want frozen smelt again!!

    #10
    Rapunzll
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    RE: Trip Report- Wisconsin and Michigan September 2005 2005/10/24 16:59:44 (permalink)
    You were on 31? You should have stopped to say Hi, I'm in Traverse City!
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    Bushie
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    RE: Trip Report- Wisconsin and Michigan September 2005 2005/10/24 22:04:55 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen







    Well, isn't that ALWAYS the case?? Bring a new woman along, and she relegates the guy to the back seat! Duffy has a look on his face that can only be described as "Well, sh*t."
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    marberthenad
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    RE: Trip Report- Wisconsin and Michigan September 2005 2005/10/24 22:27:35 (permalink)
    Great report. Thank you for the opportunity to read about it.
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    mr chips
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    RE: Trip Report- Wisconsin and Michigan September 2005 2005/10/24 23:33:44 (permalink)
    The photos are stunning. Great report.
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    Kaileen
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    RE: Trip Report- Wisconsin and Michigan September 2005 2005/10/25 18:33:15 (permalink)
    How beautiful! Welcome back, and I'm so happy you shared the photos.

    Son-in-law is having a problem between birth of child vs. deer hunting? Well, okay. I'll give him that one. But it's too bad us women don't have that choice: I like to hunt deer, but when it comes time for the kids to come out, deer hunting is off the list!

    We should have some beautiful colors soon: our temps down here are hitting a low of 35 degrees. Yowza!
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    EliseT
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    RE: Trip Report- Wisconsin and Michigan September 2005 2005/10/26 02:35:43 (permalink)
    Wow, those pictures of the foliage are so colorful, they remind me of the old hand-painted postcards.

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    Fieldthistle
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    RE: Trip Report- Wisconsin and Michigan September 2005 2005/10/26 05:41:25 (permalink)
    Hello All,
    Al, thanks so much for this thread. I have always vacationed along the east coast and the south, but after seeing your photos I am ready to venture into the midwest. Thanks so much. Love your dogs.
    Take Care,
    Fieldthistle
    #17
    tmiles
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    RE: Trip Report- Wisconsin and Michigan September 2005 2005/10/26 09:32:51 (permalink)
    We have not had good color in my part of New England this year. We have not had much sun either. Today is bright and sunny, and perhaps the best color day we will get, but I am at work, on hold with a supplier as I write this.

    I appreciate the comments and great pictures. I didn't get to make a good trip myself this fall, but this thread helps to ease the pain. It also helps to think that we may get to make the same trip "someday"
    #18
    mayor al
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    RE: Trip Report- Wisconsin and Michigan September 2005 2005/10/26 10:50:54 (permalink)
    One of the advantages to not being hampered by school or work schedules has been the ability to travel during those 'off-season, but still decent weather' times. We lucked out in having a week of bright sun and cool but not uncomfortable days (until the last day in Michigan). That makes for a much 'nicer' time!! The dogs stayed clean and could get out on leashes without the hassle of finding cover, and the traffic was (literally) invisible most of the time. Motel rates were cheap and we didn't have to wait anywhere for restaurant service. We love traveling around Halloween time.

    We have what I would consider moderate color here in Southern Indiana this year. Here is a quick shot taken a few minutes ago of the color in our yard here in Indiana. Looking North towards the house.



    Thank you for all the kind words about the photos. Janet is getting better with each trip at shooting while we are on the move. It helps to have a good camera too. I love my Canon 20D. I am using an 18-55mm lens for all of those shots, with exposure index at (ISO)200. I don't use the 'auto-program' very much, but instead set the camera functions on the trusty Canon Shutter-Preferred setting. Thats where you select the shutter-speed and the camera meters the best f-stop for the selected shot. I do crop and resize the large file originals (4-5 megs each) to a useable size for the website (under 200kb).
    #19
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Trip Report- Wisconsin and Michigan September 2005 2005/10/26 19:49:33 (permalink)
    Al is getting to be a techie and a camera smart person. I wish I could duplicate his efforts. He has got the right equipment and the right know now. I just use my 5 meg job and go with the flow.

    Nice job Mayor.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
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