Category Archives: #stimplexc

Island (MI)

I’m coming back here! And I will need a week here. Just me and my bike. Mackinac Island is a special place. Bikes. Horses. Flowers. Mansions. Paths. Boats. Hotels. And more bikes. Whole island outlawed vehicles. I had no idea. Access by ferry only. (I used Shepler’s.) What a wonderful summer place. And it’s cool and sunny at the same time. It’s all slower – no cars. Rent one of many styles, colors, and types of bikes. Upscale place, too. Just bikes, horses, and walkers. Like a special find for me… (Reminds me a bit of The Village where Number 6 lived.)

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Big Bridge (MI)

I75 between MI and Upper MI (the Upper Peninsula). Between Mackinaw City and St. Ignace. $4 for a car to cross. 45 mph. It crosses the water – an amazing deep blue and, closer to shore, an emerald green. Very clear and clean-looking.

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Local Taste (MI)

They’re called pasties, like PASS-tees. Read about a pasty. Locally in Escanaba, MI, Dobber’s Pasties are an institution, of sorts. I decided to try an original beef pasty for breakfast. I was offered ketchup or gravy on top – I asked for ketchup. Beef, rutabaga, onions, potato, and a few other things in a folded-over and then browned crust. Kind of the look and shape of a Hostess Fruit Pie. Kind of but not exactly. It was very good and very filling. I’d love to try the other flavors, too. When I’m hungry. Pasties are made and sold everywhere I’ve been here in the UP.

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For Real (MI)

There really is a Green Bay. Some people in the city of Green Bay, WI call it the Bay of Green Bay. Hmm. Anyway, it’s part of Lake Michigan. It’s very nice up here but, of course, it’s the middle of summer. All day today, it’s been sunny, never over 64 deg, breezy, and very comfortable. (I’m suspicious, however, about the plethora of snowmobile signage along the highways and byways.) See Wells State Park. Click on the panoramas.

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Legends (WI)

Green Bay is a community of 300,000 people. It’s almost impossible to think that football legends have been created here since 1919. But of course, the Packers have some of the most devoted football fans, too. Just being around Lambeau and Lombardi kind of gives chills. What a neat sports and sportsmanship venue – and town. Click the plaque to enlarge.

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Corners (WI)

45.00 N 90.00. W Click to enlarge.

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When In Rome (WI)

Milk, cows, curds, and very green farms. Taco, cajun, garlic, herb, pepper, and regular flavor cheese curds, to mention a few. Lutheran churches everywhere. Ellsworth, WI. And yes, the garlic curds were very good.

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Bismarck (ND)

ND State Capitol, Heritage Center, and Wars Memorial

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Wunnerful (ND)

A very neat and historic find in Strasburg, ND. The Welks were Catholic Russian-Germans who had to leave Russia in the late 1800s due to political persecution from the pure-blood Russians. The Welks homesteaded their 160 acres near Strasburg, farmed, raised a family, and thrived.

Lawrence was one of six children. He was somewhat sickly, never wanted to farm, and loved his mother’s and father’s accordions. His parents encouraged him to pursue his musical gift, helped him buy an expensive $400 (what it cost to operate the farm for one year!) accordion of his own, and he left home – with no more than a 4th grade education, very little English, and no formal musical education – at 21 years old.

In his time, he not only became the second most wealthy man in CA due to his musical skills and talent, but he also went on to create his own iconic and unique Welk sound, look, and feel. His shows are still in syndication.

I was given my own private tour of the Welk farm by Cecilia. She knew most of the family members when she was a little girl. She, too, was born and raised in Strasburg.

Cecilia is in the black shirt and blue pants on the right in the photo. This photo with Cecilia in it was taken in the Welk’s summer kitchen which is separate from the main house kitchen and dining room. The photo with Lawrence in it is the main non-summer dining room in the main house.

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Border (SD/ND)

My fiftieth state to work in or visit over the years. My task is done here. SD 83N

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