In the North Woods

Manitowish Waters Travel Blog

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My Dodge Charger

Those of you who were nice enough to read my last USA blog will know how special this place is to me.

Back in 1998, when I first visited, I was totally overhwhelmed with the beauty of the North Woods.

What made it even more special was the two people I was going to visit - without which - the entire journey wouldnt have been happening.

I made a promise to return and I fulfilled that promise only 2 years later.

When I went for Christmas in 2000 I had no idea when I would return. I never thought it would take another 8 years. So this time I was glad to be able see it, for the first time, in summer. Ed & Pat are now getting on in years and have had their fair share of troubles in the recent times. It was extremely important to me that I got to see them and as I said previously, without them, my father would never have found who his real father was.

Every farm in the whole state looks exactly like this!

Unfortunately, I only had 3 days in Wisconsin but I made it count. Landing in Chicago on Sunday evening I began what was meant to be a  6hour journey north in my shiny big new Dodge Charger. It was a beauty to drive and not a single person overtook me the whole way! I sat well above the speed limit.. an unfortunate habit of living in Europe... and I loved it! Massive flooding had washed out whole sections of the interstate so I had a busy nite with detours and arrived at Ed & Pat's place at around 1am.

They were all waiting for me. It was wonderful to be back!

Over the next days I was kept busy and revelled in the crisp fresh woods air and the nature that abounds. I also love tinkering around their house which is literally packed with trinkets, souvenirs, crafts and collections from a full and interesting life that has been well spent.

I like this one also. Ed is a collector...
There are collections of wooden decoy ducks, snow shoes, model bikes, barb wire, animal traps, and countless carvings - just to name a few.

Ed's son-in-law and grandchildren were also kind enough to arrange a kayaking trip for me. We paddled about 8 miles through a gorgeous section of the land and I saw otters, beaver dams, egrets, heron, deer, ducks, THREE bald eagles, and even caught a bass! It was the all american experience! I loved it.

I also had many great meals, including a wonderful dinner at the Little Bohemia restaurant Inn. It's famous for being the location that fugitive 'Robin Hood' figure: John Dillinger, managed to slip away from a young J Edgar Hoover. A recent movie had just finished being made about it and Johnny Depp is playing Dillinger!

Manitowish Waters is the sort of town where everyone knows everyone.

Geno goes kayaking!
My first morning there I was in the diner having brunch with Ed. I walked out with the cute, friendly young Waitress's phone number and a promise to meet her and her buddies that night in the local pub for drinks. By lunchtime, Ed's son in law had already heard that I'd received this invite. Also while in that diner, a stranger in the corner had come up, having heard my accent, to welcome me to the town. Everywhere I went people were welcoming me and going out of their way to make my stay that little bit more interesting and personal. It's great when you are travelling, to feel as if the people 'want' you there. It was a huge difference to NYC, where you felt as if everyone actually hated you for being in their way. Heaven forbid you ever ask a New Yorker a question, let alone expect them to help you in any way!

That night I went to the pub to find that every young girl in town had been invited down to check out this 'aussie guy' who happened to be visiting! It was like something straight out of the movie Love Actually.

This is how they party in the North Woods!
Even some of the underage, younger sisters had come down to the bar and checked me out from the doorway! I was the star attraction and it felt great! All I had to do was talk and they were going all batty eyed! I even got behind the bar and showed them how to poor cocktails and shooters, as the local barmaid was a bit rough with the bottles. They were mostly college students, living in cabins for the summer - water skiing, golfing and fishing by day, partying by night. Some of them had part time jobs in restaurants or the like. Seemed to me like they were living the dream and I would have loved to have stayed there for a few weeks. We had a great night - the girls all got drunk and started dancing on the bars and spanking each other like something out of Coyote Ugly.
This guy likes to shoot!
I never imagined I'd actually see such a thing. I was on my best behaviour, knowing that whatever I did would be town news the next day.

I managed to pull myself away from the scene and back to Ed's to sleep... and contemplate with amusement, the amazing situations that have been opened up to me as a consequence of my travelling lifestyle.

The only bad thing I could say about my entire stay here, was the mosquitoes. They were the size of small helicopters and I think I must have donated about a gallon of blood to the local mozzie population during my stay there.

Unfortunately, I had to leave this wonderful place after only 3 short days, and it broke my heart to do so. There were many tears.

But I promised once more to return, and I always hold my promises....

PrissyT says:
WOW! This place sounds like fun! What a complete difference from NYC. That's good.
Posted on: Jul 24, 2008
caissef says:
I really wish you'll get the chance to go back again:
seems like much fun, tranquility and change there! :)
Posted on: Jul 24, 2008
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My Dodge Charger
My Dodge Charger
Every farm in the whole state look…
Every farm in the whole state loo…
I like this one also. Ed is a coll…
I like this one also. Ed is a col…
Geno goes kayaking!
Geno goes kayaking!
This is how they party in the Nort…
This is how they party in the Nor…
This guy likes to shoot!
This guy likes to shoot!
The same guy made his own WOOD pow…
The same guy made his own WOOD po…
here is where the fire is containe…
here is where the fire is contain…
a cute little cabin Ed made for th…
a cute little cabin Ed made for t…
Looking at the Lake from Eds loun…
Looking at the Lake from Ed's lou…
This is my favourite shot of the t…
This is my favourite shot of the …
This man has all his ducks in a ro…
This man has all his ducks in a r…
an interesting shelve
an interesting shelve
Geno and Ed on the pride of Wiscon…
Geno and Ed on the pride of Wisco…
Fillet Mignon. alla the Little Boh…
Fillet Mignon. alla the Little Bo…
The Little Bo is the towns most …
The 'Little Bo' is the towns most…
Charging in!
Charging in!
Manitowish Waters
photo by: genetravelling