Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
June, 2019 - Mount Denali, Alaska

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Christopher Columbus Museum and Redbox

Our park is located 4 miles from Columbus, Wisconsin.  Many times we have driven past a sign marking the street that leads to the Christopher Columbus Museum.  Today we decided to take a look.

The museum is housed in an old canning factory, now the Antique Mall & Museum, which is the largest antique mall in the state.  This mall is 3 stories of room after room of antiques.  I’m not into antiquing; but, in my opinion, much of what I saw looked like overpriced junk  :)


The museum displays souvenir memorabilia from Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition (World’s Fair). Daniel and Rose Armato, owners of the store, began this collection in 1981 to honor Christopher Columbus' (500 years) 1942-1992 Quincentennial Celebration.   I didn’t take any pictures inside because I wasn’t all that impressed.  There were several display cases, but items were not very well marked.  I really didn’t find it all that interesting.

On Tuesday we decided to try renting a movie from Redbox.  There is a box outside of the Walgreens in Columbus.  I went online and reserved Percy Jackson and the Olympians.  When I got to the box, it was jammed so I couldn’t get the movie.  No problem, they hold it for you for 2 days so we went back yesterday to get the movie.  This time it told us it didn’t recognize the credit card I entered online.  I knew I was using the right card, and I was rather disgusted by now. 

Kevin suggested we just go ahead and get the movie through the regular rental process and call Redbox when we got home.  I called and, of course, they couldn’t explain why this had happened; maybe something to do with the fact it was jammed the first time I tried to get it.  If you don’t pick up the movie you reserve after 2 days, they charge your credit card.  You guessed it, we were charged twice for the same movie.  They assured me they would credit my account, but it takes 3 days.  Geez!!

By the way, I liked the movie.  It reminded me of National Treasure or Night at the Museum; wholesome family entertainment.

We haven’t given up on Redbox.  It actually seems to be a great system.  I think is was just unfortunate we had a bad first experience. 

This leads me to a warning.  Make sure you check your credit card statements carefully each month.  I can’t tell you how many times I have found errors.  In the last 2 months alone, DirecTV has overcharged us twice, Verizon double billed us for the first month of our air card, and now Redbox double billed us.  The companies always correct the problem when I call them, but how many people don’t check!  I’m beginning to think companies do this on purpose!  I can think of many better ways to spend my time other than to be calling customer service centers!!!  I feel better now that I got that off my chest :)

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Capitol Experience

Madison, Wisconsin’s state capitol, is about a 30 minute drive from Columbus.  I had heard that the Mad City Water Ski Team puts on a free show on Sunday evenings on Lake Monona. 

Since we weren’t renting out any canoes this weekend, I thought Sunday would be a good day to leave the park and explore Madison and see the ski show.

P1000257 We started at the State Capitol.  Can you believe that I have lived in Wisconsin for 52 years and have never been to the capitol.  We went on the 2 pm tour.  Our tour guide was OK.  She knew her speech well, but didn’t know much beyond that.  She couldn’t answer any questions outside of her script.  In fact, she stated she was not much into history and wasn’t from Wisconsin.  Sometimes you wonder why people have the jobs they do.

P1000258 I did learn some interesting facts.  The dome is the 4th largest dome in the world by volume.  The 3 largest are all cathedrals.  The largest is in Africa, number 2 is St. Peter’s in Rome and number 3 is St. Paul’s in London.  We’ve now been to 3 of the top 4; I guess a trip to Africa is in order :)

The capitol was built between 1906 and 1917 for a total of $7.25 million.  Today’s value is estimated to be over $200 million.  It is built out of stone from many different countries.  The mosaics and murals are incredible.  I must say, it is quite a showpiece for Wisconsin.

P1000260 The Governor’s Conference Room was styled after the council chambers of the Doge’s palace in Venice.  It has 26 historical paintings about Wisconsin.  The governor gives his State of the State speeches standing in front of the fireplace.

P1000259 This giant bronze badger outside the governor's conference room, was mounted on the first USS Wisconsin battleship in 1901.  (The badger is the Wisconsin state animal.)  It is a tradition to rub it’s nose for good luck.  See how shiny it is.



P1000261 The Wisconsin Supreme Court consists of 4 women and 3 men.  We have the most female justices of any state.  Justice Annette Ziegler used to be a judge in Washington County, the county we lived in for 25 years.

P1000262 The State Senate has 33 members.  The mural symbolizes eastern and western countries coming together with the building of the Panama Canal. Each chamber is decorated with beautiful marble and wood.  Each chamber also has colorful skylights to allow as much natural light as possible.  These skylights were incredible!

P1000263 The Assembly Chamber is composed of 99 members.  It has murals symbolizing Wisconsin’s past, present and future.  The Wisconsin Assembly had the world’s first electronic voting system installed in 1917. 

After our tour, we walked to Monona Terrace.  This is an area along the lake with a convention center and rooftop cafe; very beautifully done. We had 2 hours to wait until the ski show started so we sat down and had a beverage. 

Then, we walked down to the lakefront.  There is a 13 mile bike path that goes around the lake.  These people are some serious bikers.  I would be intimidated to ride on this trail.  Riders were zooming along and constantly passing.  Most had road bikes with very narrow tires.  Kevin and I just have your average inexpensive bikes.  I think I’ll pass on this trail.

We overheard some people saying that the ski show was cancelled.  Apparently, the lake’s water level was too high, and there was a no-wake rule in effect.  This was surprising as it is such a large lake.  I told you we had a lot of rain :)

So, we called it a day and went back home.  Culver’s flavor of the day was Just Drummy.  That required a stop for a cone.

We may go back to Madison for the ski show.  They perform every Sunday through Labor Day.  We’ll see.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Suspended Canoes

I’d like to welcome new followers Happy Trails and N & J.  It’s so much fun meeting new people through this blog.

The powers that be have decided we cannot rent any canoes or kayaks until further notice.  The river is still quite high, and the current is zipping along.  This river normally has a very slow current so it’s pretty amazing to see the water moving so fast.  There is a dam across the river just outside of the park’s boundaries.  We sure wouldn’t want anyone going over the dam because the water is flowing too fast!

The waters in the campground are receding slowly.  The Point section of the campground is still closed.  There are still many flooded areas, but at least you can see where the banks of the river are again.  It was pretty quiet in the campground this weekend.  I think the weather and wet conditions kept people away.  About 20 sites were occupied.

P1000256 There have been hundreds of little yellow butterflies flitting around lately.  It’s so pretty when a large group of them are flying around.  My mom says they’re the kind of butterflies that leave worms in her cabbage.  I don’t have any cabbage, so I like them!

Kevin and I played our weekly round of golf today.  It was a beautiful day with highs in the low 80s and finally, some lower dew points.  The course had been closed since the downpours last Thursday night.  Today was the first day they were open again, and only 9 holes were available for play.

The course was quite backed up and play was VERY slow.  For the third week in a row, I scored par on one hole.  The rest of the holes were not as good.  I had some good shots and some bad shots; same old story :)

For the first time this year, I kept score on every hole.  In previous weeks, I would end up with some holes that were so bad I just didn’t count.  Today I counted all strokes.  The total wasn’t very good, but I feel I am playing a little better every week.  If only I could find some consistency!

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about our yesterday’s excursion.  Stay tuned!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Come Hell or High Water

We definitely got the high water, so I think we’re save from hell for now :)

This entry will contain many pictures.  We have had a tremendous amount of rain over the last 2 days with more expected.  Per the rain gauge in the park, we’re thinking we got somewhere between 6 and 8 inches yesterday. 

A couple of weeks ago we had some heavy rains, and I posted some pictures.  That was nothing compared to today, but I will post one of those pictures again for comparison.

There is a pier right across the road from our site.  This is where we launch the rental canoes and kayaks. 

Astico 1st Flood 2

Astico Flood 2 The picture on the left is from July 15.  In the far upper left corner you can see the bridge support for the road outside of the park.  Take a look at today’s picture on the right.  The water is quite a bit higher on the support.  Also, in the picture on the right, the water is covering the first part of the dock and all of the asphalt path showing on the left.

Near the park entrance there are 13 sites along the river.  We are the first camper in this picture.  Although the river water is higher than normal in this area, it is not close to the campsites.  The river is behind the trees to the left of the road.

Astico River Sites Just to the left of the road across from our truck is a parking area with a ditch behind it.  Last night during the height of the storm, water was rushing down this ditch.  It was over the park entrance road at the top of the picture and almost up to the concrete bumpers.  I was afraid that if it came across the road, we might be floating away :)

Astico Flood 3Along the back of these 13 river sites is a low lying area.  This picture is out of our back window during the storm.  You can see how this area was becoming a lake.  If you look closely, you can see the water rushing out of the culvert on the right.

Astico Flood 1  Beyond the sites at the entrance of the park is a road that takes you up a hill to a ridge.  There are about 30 total sites up on top of this ridge.  They’re safe from any flooding.




Further down the road is a camping area of the park called “The Point” with about 15 tent sites.  This area is now closed.  The majority of the sites are under water.  Garbage cans are floating and picnic tables have water over the seats.

Astico Flood 4

Astico Flood 5

Astico Flood 6

Astico Flood 7

Astico Flood 8

You can see the site pole in the back and a knocked down garbage can on the right next to the tree.




Astico Flood 10 There is a bend in the river so there is a 3rd campground along the water on the other end of the park.  This area has about 15 electric sites.  So far, they have not closed this area.  There is concern that the water will get up to the electric boxes.  If that happens, this area will also be closed.

Astico Flood 11 Normally, the river flows to the right of this tree line.  It is now several feet to the left of the trees.  It is only a few feet from the electric box in the center of the picture.

Astico Flood 12 You can see the water is several feet above the tree line.  Some of the fire pits are full of water.

We had some scary storms go through last night.  There were a few crashes of thunder that made me jump!  The bad news is that 2 of our windows leaked again.  At least this time we were watching for it, so we were able to put down towels and keep the carpeting from getting soaked.  We will definitely have the dealer service department fix this when we take the camper in to have the awning fabric replaced.

More rain and storms are predicted for tonight.  I’ll let you know if we float away :)

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

This and That

That’s just what we’ve been doing the past few days.

We had a wonderful time last weekend with our camping club friends.  Each month 3 families volunteer to be the food committee.  They plan the main course, and everyone else brings a potluck item.  This month the committee had a Mexican themed meal.  We all brought appetizers in the afternoon and had blender drinks to go with them.  Then for dinner, they had tacos.  Everyone had signed up in advance to bring a fixing for the tacos.  They also had rice and refried beans.  Delicious!!  There were decorations and even a competition for the best dressed Mexican.  We had a blast.  It was hot so we also spent time each day in the pool.

On Monday we went golfing again.  Kevin had a very good round again.  I shot par on a par 3 hole.  The rest of the round was up and down for me.  Some very good shots and some awful ones.  We had a good time, though.

Yesterday my mom and her friend came for a visit.  We enjoyed a relaxing afternoon sitting outside although it was hot again.  Kevin cooked burgers on the grill for dinner.  This was the first time my mom has visited since we began fulltiming.  I think her mind was more at ease when she left.  She was impressed at how nicely we were living.  She also thought we looked so relaxed and stress-free and very healthy :)

Today was laundry day and then I did a little shopping.  I had been given a gift card to Kohls at my work going away party.  Since it has been so hot, I decided I needed some more sleeveless tops.  I was able to find a few; and, of course, being Kohls they were on sale :)

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Raining Cats and Dogs

OK, it didn’t actually rain cats and dogs, but it did rain a crawfish.  Last night we had thunderstorm and tornado watches.  Luckily, we dodged any severe weather, but it rained very hard much of the night.  Here’s a picture of the sky.  I’ve never seen clouds like this.Storm Clouds Columbus, WI 7-13-10 This morning when we walked out the front door, we saw a crawfish a few feet in front of us.  We are about 100 feet from the river. I’m thinking the only way he got this far from the river is that he fell from the sky :)  It’s fitting that it was a crawfish since we are camped along the Crawfish River.  I was able to put him on a piece of wood and carry him back to the water.  I forgot to take a picture :( 

P1000237Here’s a picture of the river from our site.  You can see the rental canoes and kayaks and the dock where people launch them.   People also frequently fish from this dock.


P1000238 This morning the dock is partially submerged.  This is the highest the river has been all summer.  Normally, there is gravel up to the end of the first wooden section of the pier.  The connecting section to the floating dock is always above water.  I’d say the river is at least 10 feet higher at the shore. 

As we took our morning walk, we saw many campsites that are flooded.  Also, the mosquitoes are back with a vengeance.  I can’t recall a summer that has been this hot and humid.  All I can say is thank goodness for air conditioners. 

Today I’m driving into town to pick up our mail from Eric’s house.  He is a heating and air conditioning service technician.  Hopefully, he’ll get off of work early enough so I can take him out for a bite to eat.  As you can imagine, he’s been working many hours lately.

Tomorrow we are headed out to camp with our camping club for the weekend.  The weather forecast is for more of the same; hot and humid.  I’m sure we’ll be spending time in the pool with everyone else in the campground :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Kevin and I really like to watch movies.  We’ve subscribed to the 3 movie package with Netflix for several years.  Many weekends we would watch 3 movies in one weekend; especially, on those cold Wisconsin weekends.

This summer we are having the movies sent to our son’s house.  About once a week one of us drives to his house to get our mail, including the movies.  It’s about an hour drive each way, but we figure we have to get our mail anyways so we continue to have the movies sent.

We plan to continue to use his address as our mailing address once we leave for the winter.  I don’t think it will be feasible to continue the Netflix.  From what I understand, most campgrounds don’t let you get personal mail delivered to the campground.

I’m wondering what other fulltimers do about movies.  We do have DirecTV and can watch movies on TV.  We don’t subscribe to any of the movie channels because it doesn’t seem they have that many good movies.  We’re not much into going to the theater due to the cost and convenience of watching at home.  I’m thinking we will try out Redbox as we travel.  I also frequently check out movies at the library.  I’ll have to see how accessible libraries are as we move around.

Two recent movies I’ve enjoyed have been Extraordinary Measures and Valentine’s Day.  We also watched Wolfman which I thought was far too gruesome and Remember Me which was a sad drama with a surprise twist at the end.

It’s not a big deal, but one of those things we enjoyed in our old life and are trying to figure out how to incorporate into our new life.

Yesterday we played another round of golf.  Kevin shot a 47 which was one of his best rounds ever.  I’m still not keeping score.  I did have 4 decent holes with a par on the last hole.  It’s rare for me to get a par, so I was excited about that.  Little by little, I’m improving.  Even though I’m not very good, we have a good time playing together.

Wishing you all a great day!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

What Were They Thinking

Yesterday we had an unusual situation with canoe rentals.

Four couples in their 40s rented canoes for the entire day.  It costs $25 per canoe for the day, and the canoes have to be back by 8 pm at the latest.  I explained the rules to them.  They seemed to understand completely.  They told me how they had a handheld GPS and they planned to paddle to a park in Columbus which is 4 miles driving distance from here.  We didn’t know how far it was by canoe, but you’d think with a GPS they could figure that out.  They told me they had a vehicle parked at the park with a picnic lunch waiting for them.  It sounded like fun.  They left a 11 am.

At 4 pm, two of the guys drive up in a truck.  They told us they had a problem.  Apparently, some in the group were too tired and sore to paddle the canoes back.  They wanted us to pick up the canoes at the park or let them use the park’s trailer to get them. 

We weren’t sure what to say.  I went and asked the full-time park attendant what she thought.  She said there was no way we could pick up the canoes or let them use the trailer.  The trailer is used to store the canoes next to the river.  It is not equipped to be on the road.  She said they had never had this situation in the 10 years she’s been here.  People know they have to bring the canoes and kayaks back to us.  We do not transport them.

I told this to the two guys.  They got quite snippy and rude about it.  They had the attitude that since they paid money to rent the canoes, we had to do whatever they wanted.  They went to talk to the park attendant themselves.  Still no go.  The bottom line is they signed a release stating they would return the canoes.

They went off in a huff and said they would figure out a way to drive them back.  One of the couples was camping in a horse trailer.  They hooked up that trailer and brought back all 4 canoes. 

They had a better attitude when they got back.  When they asked us to pick up the canoes, they still had 4 hours to get them back.  They would have been paddling downstream all the way back.  I really think they had just gotten tired and didn’t want to do it anymore. 

Another new camp hosting experience.  Sometimes you just have to wonder what are people thinking!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Unplanned Blood Donation


This small bowl of raspberries cost me about a quart of blood! 

There are many wild raspberry vines growing in the park.  For the past few weeks, I’ve been picking and eating a few each day on our walks.  Yesterday I decided to pick a bowl full. 

As I mentioned earlier, the mosquitoes are ferocious right now.  I covered myself in Deep Woods Off.  I was sure I would be protected enough to pick berries.  As you can see, I didn’t get many. 

I was literally surrounded by those pesky little bugs.  They were buzzing in my ears and swarming all around me.  I gave up rather quickly, but not before they got me several times.  There were some plump mosquitoes after they were finished with me :)

Hopefully, there will still be some berries left by the time the mosquitoes go away!

The weather has turned beautiful this weekend.  The humidity is down and temps are in the mid 80s.  The campground is more than half full and people are enjoying themselves on the river.  We rented all eight of the canoes and kayaks today.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


First of all, I’d like to welcome new followers Levonne, Susan and Jim and Dee.  I’m honored to have you share our journey!

We had a little mishap today.  We ran out of gas.  Oops! 

About 2 years ago, I bought a chainsaw carved bear from Watson’s Woods in Wisconsin Dells.  Over time, my bear developed a large crack, so a few weeks ago we took him back for a repair job.

Today, we went to pick him up.  Here are a few pictures of the shop.  Dave, the owner, does an awesome job.  If you are ever in the Wisconsin Dells area, it is worth going to Watson’s Woods just to look at his awesome work.  He has many carved bears, but also other animals. 









P1000220  I forgot to take a before picture, but here’s an after of my bear.  You can see where a wedge was placed in the front of the stump part.  That’s where a rather large crack had appeared.  I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

On the way back, we ran out of gas.  The gas gauge showed about 1/8 of a tank and the light never went on.  We now know to fill it before it gets to that point.  Luckily, we have roadside assistance on our car insurance.  It only took about 20 minutes for a towing company to bring us some gas.  All’s well that ends well!

I have a few pictures from our Minnesota trip that I forgot to share.  Here’s a picture of the very first loon I’ve seen Loon Park Rapidsand heard.  It was pretty far away so it’s not the greatest picture, but I was excited to hear it.



There was a tree at the campground that had grown right into and through a fence.  Look closely and you can see the tree behind the fence at the bottom and in front of the fence at the top.  Nature amazes me.

Tree grown through fence at campground in Park Rapids, MN

The heat and humidity are supposed to break tomorrow.  I’m looking forward to beautiful weather this weekend!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Humid, Humid, Humid=Bad Hair Days

I can’t recall a summer that was this humid.  Wisconsin usually gets a week or two each summer with dew points in the 70s.  This summer has been incredibly humid with an abundance of rain.  The mosquitoes are thriving!!  I’ve decided to let my hair grow longer so I can put it in a pony tail on humid or windy days.  This humidity is driving me crazy.  My hair isn’t long enough for the pony tail yet, so every day is a bad hair day :(

We have been able to continue our daily walks with some adjustments.  We go right after we wake up in the morning.  We cover ourselves in Deep Woods Off and then shower when we get back.  The rest of the day we have been spending inside with the air on.  This Friday the hot, humid weather is supposed to improve.  I’m looking forward to spending time outside again :)

It was great spending time with good friends last week.  We camped in Waupaca with 4 other couples for 5 days over the 4th of July weekend.  We played cards and ate; we played board games and ate; we went shopping and ate; we attended the 4th of July parade and ate.  You get the picture.  It really was a good time; now it’s back to the Wii Fit and daily walks.

Last Sunday it rained very hard most of the night.  When I got up on Monday morning, I discovered that water had somehow leaked through the window in our large slide.  The floor under the window next to the kitchen table was soaked.  When Kevin got up, he found water had gotten into a bedroom slide window as well. 

I called the warranty administrator at Gillette Interstate RV where we purchased our camper.  His name is Tom, and he is the nicest guy.  Unfortunately, they are in Michigan about 8 hours from us.  He gave me a few suggestions on what may have caused the leaks.  We will be taking it to a local dealer to have the awning fabric replaced in a few weeks (it is tearing).  We’ll have them check out the windows as well. 

This is our 5th Jayco, and we have always been extremely satisfied with our Jaycos.  I’m a bit disappointed with the problems we’ve experienced with this one.  Mostly, it has been small things, but it seems there is always a new problem popping up.  This water leakage is a major concern.  Now, we’re having trouble with the DVD player.  I’m glad Jayco has a 2 year warranty.  Hopefully, we will have discovered all the problems before the end of October when our warranty expires.

There has just been a tornado warning issued for our county.  It looks like it is north of us.  Time to batten down the hatches!