Monday, August 11, 2014

Good Friends that you have never met before

Quick catch up first: we took the Kohler factory tour while in the Sheboygan area. For my New Zealand friends, Kohler is one of the top producers of bathroom fixtures in the country. The tour was three hours long and we walked over three miles. It was quite interesting, and an excellent reminder of what working in a real factory is like. We toured the pottery/ceramics plant, the iron plant and the brass plant. Although the work does not look extremely hard, the work floors were loud, hot, and dusty. I don't think I would have been a very happy worker doing one of these jobs over and over for years on end. Conditions in the Kohler plants were as good as they can be, but I wondered what conditions in overseas plant must be like. Kids today can learn about production of the the things around them from programs like "How It Is Made" on the Discovery or Learning channels, but these shows do not teach them what it really feels like to be a factory worker. 

We also were able to buy and enjoy some real Sheboygan bratwurst from Miesfeld's. 

We have six pounds of them stashed in the freezer. After eating them for two dinners, I have decided the big difference between the "real" Sheboygan brats and the mass marketed grocery store brats, (Johnsonville brand) is in the seasoning. The real brats have more salt, more pepper, and more of whatever other spices they put into them. The flavor is great, and very satisfying.

We left the Sheboygan area on Thursday afternoon and drove just about 65 miles to our next stop, a 19-acre county park located on Lake Winnebago called Columbia Park. On Thursday and Friday it was not very full, but on Saturday and Sunday almost every site was occupied by weekenders. We really don't mind lots of people around. We enjoyed visiting with our neighbor and watching the kids ride bikes. 

The park has a nice boat dock and launching areas. Since we don't really need water and sewer hook ups for short stays, $23 per night for a 50Amp level spot is OK. 

Once again the weather was mild, the humidity low, and almost no mosquitoes!

Thursday night we drove over to Chilton to meet fellow bloggers Karen and Steve at a local park band concert.
Karen is also known as Karen In The woods

Last year Karen bought this sweatshirt jacket online from a company that contributed a bit from each sale for food for rescue animals. I like it so much I bought one too. We agreed to both wear them so we could find each other. No prior mention was made about the blue shirts we wore underneath. "Sisters" in the love of RVing and fiber arts. Creative minds think alike.

Unlike the huge crowd at the Madison concert, there were only a few hundred people in attendance. Almost everyone seemed to know each other. If you mentally dressed the crowd in period garb, you could imagine the same gathering on a pleasant Thursday night in small town America, fifty or a hundred years ago.

One fun element was the drawing for door prizes provided by local business. Before the concert everyone put their name on a slip of paper and it was put into a hopper for the draw. The draw was free, but there was also a 50/50 raffle for which the tickets were $1 each. We bought 5.

After every few songs the band played names were drawn for door prizes. Craig won one. It was a $5.00 certificate redeemable at the local bank for cash. So we came out even!

Friday we went over to our friend's home and got to see their Safari, motorhome, and all the neat stuff they found to furnish the house they bought last year. 

Steve is not yet retired, and after they sold their larger home in Northern Wisconsin, they bought a smaller place near the park that will eventually be just their summer home. 

Karen is a weaver and sock maker. Her work is pretty and practical and can be found on her ETSY shop

Small town/rural America loves to have "feeds" and "frys" as fund raisers. 

We have seen many signs promoting this or that "festival" on our travels. This week was the Quinney Fishing Club Annual Perch Fish Fry. The club sure did a great job, and we enjoyed yet another Wisconsin tradition: community eating to raise money.

The dinner cost $12 each, with $1.00 beer and $1.00 deserts. It was hard to decide which of the homemade cakes to choose.

Steve works for the state of Wisconsin at High Cliff Park. On Saturday they were having a 50 year anniversary celebration, and Steve became Smokey the Bear. 

Karen was his "Friend" and helped him get his head together. 

We had some cake and ice cream and enjoyed watching the kids, big and small, hugging Smokey.

At the end of the afternoon a very hot bear was escorted back to the woods.

On Sunday Karen and Steve came down to our park for a BBQ. Most of the weekend campers left early in the day and we pretty much had the park to ourselves. We had a campfire and the camp host came by to say hello because we had the only fire going.

When it was time to say goodnight it felt like we were leaving family. Part of our RV family. There is something very special about meeting old friends that you have never seen in person. We are sure we will meet up with Karen and Steve again someday. They have promised to lead us on a boondocking adventure one day.

Who have you met lately?


  1. Oh fun that you both had the same colored shirts! We haven't met anyone from the RV blog life during our travels, but maybe we will meet you someday Merikay! You and Craig sure sound like interesting folks and your son is very interesting/entertaining as well! Kind of feel like I know you a bit!


  2. Awwww it was so nice meeting the two of you too! After all these years following each other's blogs. So glad we could give you a little of "Small Town Wisconsin" flavor during your visit. PS I donated the bank prize to the Wisconsin Sheltie Rescue.... without them we would have never gotten our Finney!

    KarenInTheWoods and Steveio
    (our Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

  3. oh.. I will get a blog post done tonight too

  4. Perch is one of our favorite fish and helping fundraising makes it even better.

  5. Wonderful to meet in person! You seem to have more and more fun every day!

  6. Recently I met a nutty full time couple that used to live in California. I think their names were Kerimae and Egcrae. ;)

  7. I'm finally catching up on blogs and see that you have been covering quite a bit of ground. I'm back in your old "neck of the woods".
    Maybe one of these days/years I'll be able to get back to the Midwest where I grew up too.


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