Solstice on Frank’s Hill

Native Americans originally settled the land where our house sits. The HoChunk Indian Nation was the primary tribe. Our neighbor Frank grew up here and farmed the land with his family. Some years ago he sold the farmland behind our road to the HoChunk and retired.

Our understanding is that this was the culmination of many years of friendship between Frank and the HoChunk. As time went on Frank became involved with them and others and a curiosity grew regarding the effigy mounds that are located around the area.

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Reading the Newspaper

The local paper

I love reading the newspaper. Whether it’s at night before bed or in the morning over breakfast. I like to get the lowdown on what’s going on in the world. And that’s to say nothing of the therapeutic quality of the comics. Even if they don’t really make you laugh.

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Adventure West!


Morning Fog over the River

Morning Fog over the River


Last week Melissa and I decided that Monday would be our day off. We knew I had to work all weekend to get a client’s restaurant open and that would mean a couple of overnighters.

The day dawned early and foggy – something that happens almost every morning. A dense fog usually sits on the river until the sun gets sufficiently high in the sky to burn it off. It’s beautiful to watch in the morning with a cup of coffee. You can hear the cranes and other birds in the background and smell the dew.

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The bank to the river is gone! That means TONS of mosquitoes!

Everywhere we go people here are always talking about two things: How high the river is and how bad the mosquitoes are this year. Of course I have no reference point on either of these two topics so I usually just smile and nod my head in agreement.

One thing I can tell you, however, is that the mosquitoes are absolutely horrible! Granted, I haven’t had to deal with them since I was kid growing up in Evanston, but it got so bad up here at one point that you literally had to run to the car and jump in before more than a half dozen would get you. Any dawdling and you were toast. When the mosquitoes were at the worst I think I got 5 or 6 bites one day just getting into the car.

Did I mention that the car was only about 10 feet from the house?

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Cow in the Road

Santa Klaus Lane is on the road from Richland Center to the house.

Every Saturday Melissa and I have to take the trash and recyclables to a county pick up site (they don’t have trash pick up where we are in the country). It’s about 15 or 20 minutes away and the drive is really beautiful (I know, hard to believe, right?). And it takes us past Santa Klaus Lane.

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Outside my window this morning!

When we first moved in to the house Melissa’s parents gave us a hummingbird feeder for our backyard. (For those still unclear, like myself, the front yard is riverside and the back yard is roadside…. I’m not sure exactly why because my natural inclination is the opposite but that’s the way it is and I’m adjusting to that fact).This feeder is positioned in the open, in a patch of day lilies. And it gets a pretty good stream of traffic throughout the day. Continue reading

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Morning Ritual

Everyday – or at least almost every day – Melissa and I take Keeper for a morning hike. I should say that Melissa does it every day. I don’t always get my achy bones out of bed that early.

View from the trail

A couple of weeks after we moved Melissa in she was told by one of our neighbors about a nature trail that is tucked away behind the high school. After doing a little looking she came upon a trail that is way back on DNR protected land. It’s about a 2½ mile hike through some really beautiful grasslands that run along one of the backwaters of the river.

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1st Haircut

There’s something about getting a haircut that can give you a new lease on life. I don’t suppose everyone feels this way but I do. Give me a haircut and I feel ready to take on the world.

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It was getting late. I wanted to be home by 4:30 and it was already after 5. And I still had at least 50 miles to go on backcountry roads. We better get moving. After talking Keeper into the car with promises of a makeshift dinner (Milkbones! Oh Boy!) we headed east.

The plan was to head to the next largest country road and head east until we got to our town. The road went straight there. It was a back road so it would be pretty and it would make for an unbelievable drive after our excursion on the DNR land.

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Garden of Eden

It could almost be a commercial!

Keeper and I finally got out on our exploration drive. I figured a couple of hours would give us time to explore nearby towns, take a bunch of pictures and maybe even find a place to hike. For a detailed look at where we went click HERE.

We started off heading west from the house in Muscoda sticking to the north side of the river. After reaching Bridgeport, which was as far west as we were going to go for the day, we headed back on County Road C. This idyllic little 2-lane road (in some places only wide enough for one car) hugs the south side of the Wisconsin River for much of its length. With a tree canopy and bursts of sunlight slipping through here and there it makes for an amazing drive. As we began making our way east on this road Keeper was starting to get peeved at me.

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