Wisconsin to Washington

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The last time Amber and I laid over in Wisconsin while crossing the continent it was negative 15 and we spent our time watching boiling water vapor turn to clouds. This time spring was in full swing! The leaves were out. The grass was green and the air felt way too inviting to stay indoors much. We convinced our hosts to have a Mid-Western evening fire complete with lawn chairs, refreshments, wood splitting and some great wood fired grilling!
Amber chopping wood in Wisconsin
One of my favorite things about traveling is seeing how people in various areas live and overcome the challenges of their environment. For example, in Maine we attended that great ice harvesting event to learn how people in earlier times overcame the challenge of keeping food cold all year. And in Canada we saw gigantic fire wood processing businesses that supply the necessary resources to allow people to overcome the long cold winters there. During this stop in Wisconsin we were able to observe a local, using ancient methods to overcome the age-old challenges of igniting wood fuels, engendering premium cooking coals and positioning meat and vegetables in precise relationship to the heat to ensure perfect cooking. It is as much an art as it is a science and when done well is a thing to see and marvel at. I cannot think of anything that ties us more to our ancestors and family traditions.

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Part two: Ice clouds, diners and more

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What to do you do in Wisconsin on a sunny morning when it is negative 15. Step One, boil up some water in a small pan. Step Two, take the pan of boiling water outside and position yourself in a line between the sun and onlookers with cameras and video recording devices. Step Three, hurl the boiling water into the air, (being careful to not give yourself an unintentional spa treatment or make it necessary to call 911). Step Four, capture as many spectacular backlit photos as you can. Step Five, repeat procedure repeatedly, experimenting with adding substances such as food coloring, dish soap, and agave nectar. Step Six, share results on the internet. Step Seven, make a list of all the wild things you can do when it warms up to plus 15.
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A Wisconsin Experience, Part One

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Halfway between the North Pole and the Equator and midway between the Green Bay Packers home and the Mall of America lies the small Midwestern town of Cadott Wisconsin.┬áIn it, and the farmlands that surround it you can experience a nearly complete microcosm of Midwestern life – barns, farms, cows, corn, beer, deer, cheese and silos – woven throughout gentle forests plotted on a grid-work of angular county roads and populated by Packers fans. Continue reading →