Powers Bluff Offers Himalayan-Sized Fun

Choosing between the year’s best football game and one of the best winter afternoons to get kids outside is always a tough call.

But who cares about kids anyway?

OK – most of us.  At least most of us who don’t drive around with Washington D.C. vanity plates that say “LEGI$L8R” on them.

As an aside: is “D.C. vanity” redundant?

But back to the point. It was a couple of weeks ago, when the Dallas-Green Bay kickoff loomed and I was lining up the salmon dip and beer.

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Waning days of a beautiful Wisconsin summer

The end of last week brought us some of those spectacular Wisconsin summer days that make this place like no other.  Wispy clouds, a deeper and clearer blue in the sky, a crispness to the sunlight that highlighted the contrasting greens, yellows, purples and other colors of our Northwoods palette without making anything too sharp.  Pines, birches and tamaracks, rivers and lakes, red barns and rolling hills, all with just enough focus to spotlight their beauty, but enough softness to remind us of the fragility of those passing, perfect days.

We were fortunate to be able to share our Wisconsin with a niece from Texas.  She got to try Paul Bunyan’s donuts in Minocqua and camp at Copper Falls State Park, eat a garlic-asiago roll from Ashland Baking Company and a sub from Penokee Mountain Deli and Sausage, and run the trails and throw rocks into the water at Amnicon Falls State Park.

It was a fantastic time.  There aren’t suitable words or space to relate how wonderful it was and how blessed I felt to be able to share it with two rambunctious little girls — my 7-year-old daughter and her 11-year-old cousin.  There’s nothing like being around kids who are likely to burst into loud Christmas carols at the mention of the town of Rudolph or shriek with unbounded joy at finding a better stick to play with than the last one.

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Satan, Senators, and State Parks

Summer is the time to get out and enjoy the state parks — particularly if you’re in Wisconsin, because there’s no telling how much longer some of them are going to be around.

The family at Copper Falls State Park in Northern Wisconsin. The state couldn't kill the park through mining permits, so it looks like it's trying through defunding.

Our family at Copper Falls State Park in Northern Wisconsin. The state couldn’t kill the park through mining permits, so it looks like it’s trying through defunding.

Sound exaggerated?  Consider that Alabama has reckoned on closing 15 of its state parks, leaving only seven for the public to enjoy. Given that Wisconsin will remove all tax support for the parks, it’s reasonable to assume that some, if not many, of our 50 or so* state parks won’t be open when the next legislatively manufactured budget “crisis” rolls around in two years.

It’s crucial to note that the seven parks that would survive Alabama’s short-sighted proposal are those that have “consistently made a profit” over a three-year period, according to the state parks director.

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