I gotta tell ya…if you’re ever in Oshkosh WI and have a chance to eat at Dublin’s Irish Pub…don’t do it. More on that later though.
Thursday morning we got up early for our 300 mile transit down to Oshkosh. After coffee and breakfast we finished up packing, dumping, hitching and such and were on the road from the campground a bit before 0900. Neil headed on through Newberry down to the main road and filled up BAT with fuel. While he was doing that Connie stopped and got a couple of pints of fresh Michigan blueberries that we’re going to freeze and use for various things over the next couple of months. After that we hit the road and most of our trip was pretty nice…2 and sometimes 4 lane roads with not too much traffic. We did run into one section of US-41 in southern Michigan that was pretty rough but other than that had clear sailing most of the way down.
Once we got into Wisconsin…there was about 15 miles of construction as we passed through Green Bay. We also figured out that Wisconsin drivers are pretty rude…lots of them cutting us off, weaving back and forth through traffic and wildly exceeding the speed limit. Not much fun but we continued on and after our almost 300 mile day pulled into the Country Harbor Campground and got set up in site 5…a nice pull through 50 amp full hookup site. The sites are pretty close…but it’s right on Lake Winnebago and hence campground owners tend to pack them a little closer than we like. The view is nice though and it isn’t a bad place to park for a few days. Here’s a shot of our site…followed by Neil turning around and taking another shot looking toward the lake.
So…about that pub.
We were trying to figure out what to eat and Connie saw the Dublin’s Irish Pub…we weren’t really interested in anything heavy but figured that some beer and bar food would taste good. We got there and had a couple pints, Smoky Hemp Porter for Neil and I can’t remember what Connie had. Neither was particularly good but we had also ordered a Combo Platter of appetizers for dinner. Most of them were fried…and the onion rings, egg rolls, and mozzarella logs were all fried in the same fryer obviously, along with whatever else they were cooking. Very strange flavors indeed. On top of that…we’ve never had egg rolls with corned beef, sauerkraut and thousand island dressing inside of them. The final appetizer was some sort of potato skin which (again) had sauerkraut and thousand island dressing in it…then was topped with cheese and ranch dressing.
We ordered another pint of a beer we had quaffed before…Left Hand Milk Stout. This is normally a great beer, kind of milky tasting as it has some milk sugar in it (which does not ferment into alcohol) and a creamy texture like Guinness or any other stout. I don’t know what they were serving but it definitely wasn’t Left Hand Milk Stout. It tasted more like some sort of porter or dark ale…lousy indeed. Overall we gave this place the “worst bar of the year” award and moved along.
Luckily we found a DQ and split a Blizzard on the way home…then we stayed up and hit the bed about 2200.
Our original plan for today was based on the all day rain forecast…imagine our surprise when we got up and the forecast had changed to mostly cloudy all day. We quickly changed our plan for Connie to work and Neil to do laundry in favor of a trip about 30 miles southwest to the Horicon Marsh NWR. As it turned out it was bright sunny, no clouds, and 90 degrees today.
Horicon Marsh is the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the US…about 32,000 acres total. It’s 13 miles north to south and 3-5 miles wide and is adjacent to a state preservation area. Our plan was to take a 36 mile driving tour around the entire refuge and visit a bunch of overlooks, ponds, and wildlife areas.
Our first sighting was on the way south…this scraggly looking Red Shouldered Hawk up on a power line.
We next spotted some Black Eyed Susans and a neat seed pod on some sort of weed…it’s about 3 inches long.
Following that we spotted what Neil describes as a good snake (hey, it’s the only good kind of snake he says)…if you can’t tell from the picture this specimen is only about an eighth of an inch thick and is quite dead.
Some turtles, a blue dragonfly to go along with the red one from the other day, and a grasshopper…then a group of female mallard ducks.
Some Grebes and a White Pelican…really didn’t expect to see either of these this far north and inland.
An Eastern Phoebe, a pair of Kildeer shorebirds and a White Heron.
A nice pano shot overlooking a large area of the marsh with several ponds. Lots of ducks and herons in this shot but they’re way, way, way out there.
Another Kildeer we spotted in a field full of puddles.
After this we passed through a really small town named Leroy WI. How do you know a town is really small as opposed to just small? Simple of course. After we passed through the single corner between road YY and road W that formed the crossroads at the town the shot below shows you the speed limit signs as the limit increased as we left town…the 3 signs you see in this shot are maybe 50 yards apart.
It was so cool that Neil turned the car around and went back to get this shot.
With that the Fun Stuff© part of our day was done. We stopped by the Walmart and got groceries on the way home…then after a shower headed out for a Chinese restaurant Connie found…we’ve had a hankering for some Chinese food lately and it turned out Royal Kitchen was truly outstanding. We had a couple of Tsing Tao beers followed by steamed dumplings, spring rolls, and orange chicken with rice. All were truly outstanding and we even have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
We got home and changed for bed then watched a game on TV (Colorado vs Colorado State) until we got tired and went to bed.