Sunday, June 26, 2016

Tour de Fond du Lac

Fond du Lac is a town south of Lake Winnebago, the largest inland lake in Wisconsin. It is French for "foot of the lake."

The Winnebago Indians were here before the French explorers visited.

Lakeside Park was an area which we explored. It is a 400 acre park.

This lighthouse is one of six on Lake Winnebago inside the park.

After stopping at the visitor center for the city, we discovered there isn't a whole lot to do here.

We climbed the 40' of which there are 70 steps to the top for some pretty views.

It was built in 1933, Cape Cod style with a flagstone base.

The flag flew at half staff for the victims of the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

We enjoyed our short time visiting this light.

While waiting for a zillion teenagers to come down from the top, I noticed this etching on the side of the stairs, W+C, and no, we did not carve it there.

Time for lunch and this turned out to be a winner.

I had the shrimp stuffed crab and Wallace had the haddock stuffed with crab. Delicious.

After our brief tour of Fond du Lac, we explored another part of the great state of Wisconsin. I will save that trip for another time.

Until next time...

Monday, June 20, 2016

Floating Platform

Another project that was given to us was building this floating platform.

We started here with the dimensions Mike gave us.

I might add, we started this late April, just after we arrived.

This is the next step. Boards were attached so the floats could be attached, per Mike's orders.

We laid them all out.

Wallace got them all screwed down.

We had Mike check things...his comment was, " You did not miss a screw!" In the past, when the platform was turned, some of them fell off. Not this time!!! I was the checker and made sure they were attached. It helps to have two of us.

With every float screwed down came the big day.  Here, Mike is hauling it out so we can turn it.

With Mike on the left and me in the skid loader, we get it turned without a problem!!!

Now with the platform turned over, I push it much like a barge  back in the shop, floats below now.

We need some posts, 12 in all.

Wallace had fun with the screw gun.

This was the next thing to do. Attaching the boards to the top of the platform.

Oh, I forgot...we attached the posts before we put on the top boards.

Uh oh...we are now in the middle and we are going to have to rip the next board to problem...Mike is very pleased.

This is what it looked like after sweeping it off and removing the tools.

Next we drill 2 holes in each post. Yes, we...I eyeball the drill so Wallace keeps it me anal it won't be the first time.
A big rope will be placed through these holes later.

It is now loaded onto the lowboy for transport out to the marsh where it will be finished next spring. We won't even get to see it put into place unless we come back...I think we finished this project way too early.

We ended up taking 19 of the boards back and picked out some good ones. Picky, picky, picky!!! Lumber is just not what it used to be. When I explained to the owner of Wisconsin Lumber how we were taught to place the board down (bark side up), he agreed. This helps it not to cup. We got to visit with Randy a few times...a really nice gentleman. He said we make his day because we are so friendly. That's Texas for ya.

Wallace set this up. Dirty trick. I was sound asleep.

So, I will end this story here.

Until next time...


Monday, June 13, 2016

Boardwalk and Other Stuff

We changed our work schedule to help with this.

This is what we started out with. The floor and posts were done last year.


Next the side boards were added.

In this photo, Wallace and I are cutting off the posts with a reciprocating saw.

One of my jobs was to screw the top railings down while the others cut and brought the pieces down to be attached.

All help was on deck this day.

I kept saying "it is so crooked!"

Mike told me I was being too critical right now.

Mike, Shane, Dwayne, and Wallace would hold up the 2 by 8 and Mike would call me down to put in the screws after being measured and marked as to where they should go.

In this picture you can see how crooked it was turning out to be.

Mike was not too concerned about it...he had a plan.

The posts were where the problem lay. Some were leaning in and some were leaning out!!!

The next day, Ed joined us. I don't know who left that drill up on the railing, but it was not me!!!

After measuring and holes were drilled, the rope was pulled through on both sides.

Now for Mikes plan. Shane brought in the excavator while Mike was in the water attaching an implement to the posts...the excavator straightened out the posts. Mike used me as the one to eyeball while they straightened.

We were off the next day when the gang finished tweaking the other side with the excavator (left side).

This is the finished product, not too shabby, huh?

On that day off, we traveled east to Lake Michigan, then north to Manitowoc. From there we cut back over to Fond du Lac and south back home.

We found a side road that led down to the beach where I could put my hand in the water of Lake Michigan.

Next we climbed on board the USS Cobia to see what it was like to be in a submarine.

I don't know how 80 men lived in those close quarters!!! Wallace could hardly get through the doors.

One thing I remember is that the deck is made of does not float, so if it sunk, it could not be found by enemies.

It was used in World War II.

In the background is the ferry that can take you over to Michigan.
We want to do this before we leave. It started raining, so we headed home.

Another road trip!!! Dave Bolin, refuge specialist, asked if we would like to take this part to be repaired...a 367 mile round trip.

He would get someone else to do bathrooms for us and we could take off...sounds good.

We finally found a strawberry patch that was open for picking.

We ended up with 7 quarts, $20.00.

This is how I pick...oh, my aching everything. I get carried away and just keep picking.

The strawberries were so clean! You can see there is straw being used.

When we arrived, I got out and started picking when a fellow approached. You were assigned a row!!!  Allrighty then.

The people were very nice.

Here is our bounty next to our Mardi Gras flowers.

I have put up 4 containers of freezer jam, 2 quart bags of berries for later and have enough for a couple of pies...oh, my. You just can't beat fresh!!!

Until next time...

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Now, For the Rest of the Story

Sorry I had to end the post, but there was a knock on our door. "Would you like to make another trip, leaving in about an hour?"

This Bald Eagle had been executed on a power line and brought over to Horicon by this game warden. It needed to be taken to Madison for a necropsy.

The bird was double bagged and tagged, and off we went.

Such a sad thing to lose one of our magnificent birds...but it happens.

We got it back to the post.

This is the Senate Chamber.

The murals are depicting "The Marriage of the Atlantic and the Pacific" by the opening of the Panama Canal.

There are four beautiful skylights, this one is the prettiest in my opinion.

This is the Assembly Chamber.

The Wisconsin mural illustrates the past, present and future of the state.

We spent some time in this room, North Hearing Room, looking at fossils in the marble.

The walls are Yellow Verona and reminded me of ink blots!!!

We found a lot of trilobites, and I will challenge you to find the star fish on the stairs as you are entering the room!!!

I will end with some of my favorite shots.

The badger is sitting at the top of the door.

The "Badger State" got its nickname from their lead mining towns. The miners lived in shelters dug into hillsides and so they were called badgers after the burrowing animals. The badger is the state animal.


We certainly enjoyed our time at this State Capitol.

There is so much meaning in every detail.

You must be very observant.

I almost forgot...the views from the 6th floor observation deck.

The fountain in the photo to your right was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright with one of the two lakes in the background.

The Capitol Building is built on an isthmus between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Madison, State Capitol

The State Capitol is right in the middle with roads going out like a wagon wheel, much like the building itself. You will see what I mean later in another photo.

Well, we finally found a place to park. We did not fit into the parking garage. We found a place, paid $4.50 and could only stay 4 hours...the max.

With road construction going on, and roads taking us in and out, we found it a little confusing, much like the inside of the building itself!!!

There are 4 wings with 8 entrances and hallways leading you here and there. You can only go halfway on one side then take stairs or elevators to get to the other side!!!

"Wisconsin" statue stands on top at 15' five inches and represents the state motto "forward."

She wears a crown with a badger on it, their state animal, and a globe with an eagle perched on the globe.
The rotunda interior dome mural is 200' overhead with four glass murals surrounding it.

It depicts "Resources of Wisconsin" with all the products being displayed.

This is just one of the four mosaics surrounding the dome. Liberty, guarding the ballot box!

Can you imagine laying all those pieces of glass?

This is the Supreme Court with a chair for each of the 7 justices.

The eight columns under the mural is made of Benou marble from France.

We spent a lot of time in this room. Here is a close up of the marble from France, very colorful.

Snooping around in every crack and cranny, I noticed this under the table in the room. The furniture is hand carved mahogany. Notice the back of the chairs as well.

The mural above is George Washington signing the United States Constitution.

Come back tomorrow for the continuation...