***This is another post from earlier this month.  Caught up now!!

Start: Salmon Harbor, Kewaunee, WI, 0647
End: Manitowoc Town Harbor, Manitowoc WI,
Total Distance: 26.4 nm
Time: 4:39
Average Speed: 5.7 kts

We are slowing our roll on the trip. There is a lock closure on the Illinois river (mile 80) due to construction and the expected completion date is 12 Sep. The lock will be open at night and on Sundays and that is for all traffic–barges, pleasure craft, commercial. Commercial has priority so do the math. We decided that we are going to spend August and half of September in paradise (Wisconsin), so we are taking our times in the various ports in which we find ourselves.

***Side note. For the unwashed masses who have never been in Wisconsin in the summertime, my statement putting ‘paradise’ and ‘Wisconsin’ in the same sentence probably made you snort your cheap beer/wine out your nose. BUT the payoff for the long, cold, dark, horrible winters in the midwest are incredible summers. Low humidity (mostly), nice days in the 70s and low 80s. Nights in the 50s/60s. Breezes. Wildlife. Verdant (word of the day). Don’t take my word for it. We just ran into a couple from Texas who live there in the winter–it is their home of 40+ years. But in the summer then come to, wait for it, WISCONSIN! Because this place rocks! And no. I’m not on the payroll for the Wisconsin Visitor’s Bureau. Just a satisfied customer.***

So we take off bright and early on Saturday morning heading south towards Manitowoc. Wind was from the west, moving southwest in the afternoon and chance of rain (of course) and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Grandpa Chuck was up for our early departure, AJ decided to sleep in. No issues on the way down; quiet easy trip aided by a bit of a wind for the first 15 miles or so of the trip.

The Manitowoc Marina is nice. Answered on the radio right away, gave us our slip assignment and had the harbor master waiting to catch our line at our slip. This would be our home for the next seven days. Dan and Fawn, harbor hosts for Manitowoc, welcomed us to their town with a bottle of wine and a brick of Wisconsin cheese. And that set the tone for the week–Manitowoc was a welcoming town with a ton to do. We had grandpa Chuck with us until Wednesday and were joined by his girlfriend Judy on Tuesday for a day of sightseeing. Originally we were going to leave on Thursday, but Jan got hit with a summer cold and was knocked out for two days and so we delayed until Saturday. So what did we do for a week?

Top Activities (in no particular order):

a.  Maritime Museum.  Just outside the marina, it is a Smithsonian affiliate and has a WWII sub (USS Cobia) that you can tour.  Manitowoc used to produce those subs during WWII.  The museum was good, the tour was excellent and the tour guide was one of the IMG_6536best we have ever had.  We complain about the space on our boat, but not after walking through the submarine.  And while we may go a day or two between showers and then complain about stinking up the boat, the sub takes it to a whole new level!   a.  Maritime Museum.  Just outside the marina, it is a Smithsonian affiliate and has a WWII sub (USS Cobia) that you can tour.  Manitowoc used to produce those subs during WWII.  The museum was good, the tour was excellent and the tour guide was one of the best we have ever had.  We complain about the space on our boat, but not after walking through the submarine.  And while we may go a day or two between showers and then complain about stinking up the boat, the sub takes it to a whole new level!

b.  Farmer’s Market:  We went to the Tuesday market which is the smaller of the two (big one on Saturday); scored a great cantaloupe.

c.  Tour of the down town theater (The Capital).  We were walking downtown and saw an old theater that had their marquee lit up.  Grandpa Chuck wandered over and started talking to a nice woman, Kris, who asked us if we wanted a tour.  Turns out she was the IMG_6554chairwoman o the board for the theater, was on a one year sabbatical, and was obviously proud of the theater.  So we got a walk through a 100 year old building that has been renovated multiple times and is used for tons of stuff.  A youth community theater group was setting up for their play, but other community theater groups use it as well as musical acts.   c.  Tour of the down town theater (The Capital).  We were walking downtown and saw an old theater that had their marquee lit up.  Grandpa Chuck wandered over and started talking to a nice woman, Kris, who asked us if we wanted a tour.  Turns out she was the chairwoman o the board for the theater, was on a one year sabbatical, and was obviously proud of the theater.  So we got a walk through a 100 year old building that has been renovated multiple times and is used for tons of stuff.  A youth community theater group was setting up for their play, but other community theater groups use it as well as musical acts.

d.  Biking to Two Rivers:  There is a paved bike trail to Two Rivers and farther.  Nice and flat and goes right along Lake Michigan.  And there is a Dairy Queen along the trail for sustenance when required.  We lost Grandpa Chuck on the trail (we have no idea how) and he ended up four miles north of Two Rivers in a great state park.   We ate lunch in a lovely Mexican restaurant in two rivers and went to Suzy-Qs (see below).   c.  Biking to Two Rivers:  There is a paved bike trail to Two Rivers and farther.  Nice and flat and goes right along Lake Michigan.  And there is a Dairy Queen along the trail for sustenance when required.  We lost Grandpa Chuck on the trail (we have no idea how) and he ended up four miles north of Two Rivers in a great state park.   We ate lunch in a lovely Mexican restaurant in two rivers and went to Suzy-Qs (see below).

d.  Beaches:  Found the self proclaimed best beach in Wisconsin in Two Rivers.  It was certainly nice with the blue water, white sand and lots of people on a hot summer day.  Looks like it isn’t on the Michigan side of Lake Michigan that has beaches!! d.  Beaches:  Found the self proclaimed best beach in Wisconsin in Two Rivers.  It was certainly nice with the blue water, white sand and lots of people on a hot summer day.  Looks like it isn’t on the Michigan side of Lake Michigan that has beaches!!

e.  Visiting Ripon College/Fox River Valley:  I grew up in Western Wisconsin and went to college at a small place called Ripon College in Ripon, WI.  And still have friends that we see routinely from when I was at Ripon.  So we rented a car and headed out to visit my alma mater and dragged Jan and AJ along on the trip.  We headed out first to Fond du Lac to look at Lake Winnebago.  Then Ripon.  The college looks fantastic, the town a bit worse for the wear.  We got a great tour of the campus and walked through a lot of the buildings that I didn’t see when I was a student (class was definitely optional).  After the college tour we headed out to Oshkosh to eat at my favorite Mexican restaurant in Wisconsin.   Which was closed.  So we at at the restaurant that took its place and it was no bueno.  Then off to Appleton to look at another potential place to live.  And back home.

f.  Visiting Friends:  AJ and I took off to see Brian and Sara Stout on Thursday while Jan was back on the boat drinking out of a bottle of NyQuil trying to escape the misery of her cold.  Brian and I were in college in the same ‘fraternity’ and Sara was at Madison and visited Brian frequently.  Brian and I also were both Signal Corps officers, but the similarity in our careers ends there.  Brian actually went to class AND actually studied AND did well in an extremely hard field (Physics).  And the Army was looking for people who could teach physics so after his company command time, off to grad school and West point and work in the physics field.  I got to go to the field.  A lot.  Which is why I tell AJ every day to study and do well in school… f.  Visiting Friends:  AJ and I took off to see Brian and Sara Stout on Thursday while Jan was back on the boat drinking out of a bottle of NyQuil trying to escape the misery of her cold.  Brian and I were in college in IMG_6559the same ‘fraternity’ and Sara was at Madison and visited Brian frequently.  Brian and I also were both Signal Corps officers, but the similarity in our careers ends there.  Brian actually went to class AND actually studied AND did well in an extremely hard field (Physics).  And the Army was looking for people who could teach physics so after his company command time, off to grad school and West point and work in the physics field.  I got to go to the field.  A lot.  Which is why I tell AJ every day to study and do well in school…
Brian and Sara live about an hour from Manitowoc on their house in the country.  We had a great dinner and then went out to the yard where AJ got to drive around in a four wheeler, eat veggies out of their garden and pick fruit off their apple/pear trees.  Hit of the week.

Restaurants/Food:

a.  Ryan’s on York.  Sounds fancy.  Like Luigi’s on Thames.  It was not.  It was a dive bar on York street.  And of the four meals that were delivered to our table, only two of them were what we actually ordered; the other two were what the waitress decided we wanted to eat.  Irrespective of that, the food was fantastic!   Grandpa Chuck kept trying to drag us back to get more of their fries.

b.  Fat Seagull.  Another bar with good food.  Across bridge and bartender/waitress practically sat down and talked to us.   b.  Fat Seagull.  Another bar with good food.  Across bridge and bartender/waitress practically sat down and talked to us.

c.  Wrap it up:  Breakfast wraps which fueled us for the day.

d.  Beerntsen’s Confectionary https://beerntsens.com:  Ice cream and candy in an old time building.  Grandpa Chuck poo-poo’d the ice cream, but AJ and I gave it the big thumbs up.  Chocolate was good as well.

e.  Suzie-Q Fish Market (Two Rivers) http://susieqfishmarket.com/?q=node/2 :  Not a restaurant but a fish shop where you can get fresh fish just off the boat Suzy-Q and fish smoked in one of their many on site smokers.  We bought more smoked fish and ended up talking a bit and looking at the pictures of their fishing boats out in all sorts of weather.  Including when Lake Michigan is covered in ice.  They go out every day to get fresh fish, turning their boats into ice breakers if necessary.  It was a good eduction day for AJ, learning where our food comes from and the amount of work it takes.   e.  Suzie-Q Fish Market (Two Rivers) http://susieqfishmarket.com/?q=node/2 :  Not a restaurant but a fish shop where you can get fresh fish just off the boat Suzy-Q and fish smoked in one of their many on site smokers.  We bought more smoked fish and ended up talking a bit and looking at the pictures of their fishing boats out in all sorts of weather.  Including when Lake Michigan is covered in ice.  They go out every day to get fresh fish, turning their boats into ice breakers if necessary.  It was a good eduction day for AJ, learning where our food comes from and the amount of work it takes.

f. Dairy Queen.  Because we can’t pass one without stopping.

Other Stuff:Other Stuff: Rented a car for two days and bikes for one day.

Visitors/Loopers: Grandpa Chuck/Judy Dan and Fawn, Manitowoc Harbor Hosts