Fearful Symmetries

Witness a machine turn coffee into pointless ramblings...

09 December, 2005

A Week Up North

As I wrote previously, I spent the better part of this week up north in the Woodruff-Minocqua-Arbor Vitae area upgrading computers for the DNR. While it wasn't an especially eventful trip, the area was a lot prettier than Eau Claire or Wisconsin Rapids and I brought my camera.

Out the office window.

The ranger station I was working in. It was an older building but had some character. For instance, you could hear the wind howl at every window.

Here's Hatchery Road and the fish hatchery yonder. They raise muskies and walleye there.

I followed the tracks of some critter to…

…this creek which was still flowing.

While it was colder than a witch's tit in a brass brassiere for much of the time we were there, the quiet and stillness that hung in the air was a welcome change from the hussle and bustle of life in the city.

Here's a deer skin that was just lying around by the sleds. (That's snowmobiles, for you city-folk.)

As I said above, the trip was uneventful. Our contact at the site, Amanda, was a little hottie. Unlike her counterpart in Rapids, she was helpful and had her shit together. Everyone there was really friendly, in fact. I felt sorry for a couple of the guys who had suit up and brave the brumal weather to go count ice fishermen, get samples of deer shit, or whatever it is they have to do in the field.

I felt like a doofus driving home because I spied the Minocqua Brewing Company on highway 51. We only went out 1 night and it was to The Stingray. While not a bad place (they had Spotted Cow on tap), I would have liked to check out the local suds. Unfortunately, one of my cohorts, Dan, is a Bud Light kinda guy. To be sure, he's friendly but we don't really have a lot in common other than our jobs. He's a sports fanatic whereas I am not. He listens to run-of-the-mill popular music while I tend not to. Dan is only 21 so his tastes tend to be pedestrian, for lack of a better term. Ivan is 43 and seems to have more catholic tastes.

Next week we're off to Hayward and Brule. If you're not a Wisconsonian then know that Hayward is the tourist trap of the northern part of the state. I went there often as a kid as my family owned cabins in Stone Lake, which is fairly close. I recall the library and a fudge shop on the main drag. My face was glued to the windows of the fudge shop. I drooled while watching the luscious treat being made. The town is also known for having the largest muskellunge or "muskie". (This is a fish, BTW.) It's this big hoolie that you can walk through and have your picture taken while you stand in its mouth. While there's a shitload of stuff to do up north, I just don't have time on these trips since I'm working. It'd be nice to have a day off so I can wander around and perhaps do some hiking. Wisconsin is an extraordinarily beautiful state. While in Hayward, I'm hoping we can spend a night at the Old Hayward Eatery & Brewpub and sample the local suds.

Brule, on the other hand, will offer only taverns full of old codgers telling tall tales of "the one that got away". The 20-point buck, the 64" muskie – whatever. Brule is a town of just over 600 people about 40 miles north of Hayward and near Superior. This means that the excitement there consists of hunting, fishing, drinking, and drinking. We're going to be spending a night there. I'll be cozying up to a good book and/or a cheap beer that night.
|| Palmer, 5:50 PM


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