8

Wonderful, Wonderful Wisconsin: A Park and a Half

Summertime is prime time for exploring Wisconsin, and with tomorrow being July 4th and therefore prime time for all the Wisconsin spots worthy of exploring to be full of people, we decided to spend today exploring one of our great State Parks.

That’s So Jacob Presents:

Wonderful, Wonderful Wisconsin

Episode 10: A Park and a Half (Roche-A-Cri State Park, Friendship, WI)

I wanted to spend the day, or at least part of it, doing something fun out of Madison. Unfortunately, I woke up with a splitting headache that had me on the couch until mid-afternoon, Fortunately, I was feeling well enough to rally by around 4 PM, and we were on the road to Roche-A-Cri State Park, a place I’d seen on the map and randomly picked to visit.

Roche-A-Cri (French for “crevice in the rock”) State Park is in the tiny town of Friendship (population: 725) in Adams County, about an hour and a half north of Madison. Fortunately, the park is open until 11 PM due to the campgrounds being so popular, so we had plenty of daylight and sunshine to explore.

Getting there was a little difficult at first. We took a back road through the Dells, and didn’t see any signs for the park until about one mile away. Once we got in and parked, though, it was a pleasant surprise at how peaceful this little park was. We paid the $5 admission fee and left it in an envelope at the park’s entrance (all WI state parks cost money to enter – if you park on the grounds) and set off on the shady trail.

Being a rather small park, we weren’t expecting too much. The longest trail, the Acorn Trail, is only about 3.5 miles long. But it was perfect for an hour and a half walk-around. We walked about half of the trail, only seeing a handful of other people, and then made our way to the observation point at the Indian mounds. The signs warned us of a strenuous climb – 303 steps, on an elevated staircase. The sign wasn’t kidding! Once at the top, though, we were treated to incredible views, and actually had the viewing platform all to ourselves – just as we left, a big family was coming up the stairs, so we crossed paths but otherwise it was quiet and serene.

We headed back along the trail to the car, stopping off at the petroglyphs for which this park is known. There is a huge rock, several stories high, with petroglyphs carved both by Native Americans and travelers from the 19th century (and probably some modern vandals, I’d suspect) and some fading red pictographs. We read the plaques about them, and were able to make out some of them, including a signature left by a traveler in October of 1845. It really was impressive and I’ll get the pictures up soon.

Upon leaving the park, I wanted to go a different way, so we could include more highway driving especially as it got later, but I ended up missing a turn. We were about 4 miles down the wrong road when we decided to turn around. To do that, we turned into a parking lot…and what do you know, it was Rabbit Rock – not exactly a state park, but one of the rock formations visible from the top of Roche-A-Cri, one that looked really interesting. Since we happened to be there, we poked around for a few minutes before getting back in the car. Apparently, visitors are allowed to climb this rock, and while it would have been fun, it was getting close to 8 and we needed to hit the road in order to be in Madison before dark. We backtracked, turned onto Route 21, and headed for the highway. About halfway there, Ship Rock appeared on our left; we didn’t stop, but it was really impressive and colorful, both with rock strata and graffiti. It took us about the same amount of time to get back to Madison, with a quick stop at the Starbucks on E. Washington for an iced coffee because I was fading (even though it was 9 PM and we only had like 15 minutes to go; wonder how I’ll sleep tonight). All in all, it was worth the 3 hours round trip to get out of town and walk around for an hour and a half, in a quiet park with beautiful views and ancient petroglyphs.

Oh, and in other exciting news…my third 2016 pen pal response showed up, all the way from Baby Ruth in the Philippines! Thanks for the fun letter; I got it out of the mailbox last night along with my other mail as I was flying out the door for Salsa Saturday, stuffed it in my bag, and ended up opening and reading it at the club during the break between the two sets. I thoroughly enjoyed the fan mail (which is what I’ve decided to call the response letters, heh) and I will write back soon! 13 other pen pals, take note.

Advertisements
14

Letters and Milestones

Letters! Letters!

The 16 Penpals in 2016 is happening! Believe in your dreams, people!

(By the way, I’ve still only sent letters to 15 people, so if you want to be the lucky 16th, just comment below!)

Today’s letters came from Penny aka Barfuss-Evrovizija in Michigan, and then from Dani aka Dani’s Crazy Adventure all the way from the UK. Both letters were fun to read, and my favorite part was the handwriting (Dani, yours is particularly artistic). I will send letters back soon, to Penny first and then to Dani a little later so I can make sure it will get to the right place. Getting those letters really brightened my day, so thank you for lifting the spirits because my new diet is making me realize how many cookie commercials there are on television.

Also, an exciting milestone for That’s So Jacob – 1400 followers! The lucky 1400th is Writing and Alcohol aka Aui, so visit her when you can.

Other than that, I hope you all continue to enjoy my wacky and weird world, and come back soon and bring your friends so we can hang out together. The sangria is almost all gone but we can still have a good time.

Now, back to translating Hebrew and hopefully rocketing through the 3 books and 15 or so articles I have left before I can start writing this first prelim.

35

I Got A Letter…

…what could be better?

No, seriously, getting mail is one of the best things ever. In January, I started my 16 Penpals for 2016 project, and I’ve sent out 14 letters (btw, if you’re reading this and want a letter, let me know in the comments because I still have 2 more to send!), and so far, nothing back 😦 until today, when I got a lovely letter in the mail all the way from faraway Janesville, Wisconsin (about an hour or so down the road), from blogger-friend Michelle. I learned about her very interesting life and family, and it was a great surprise on a super-hot afternoon, so hot I didn’t want to do anything but I did because I had to.

Michelle, thanks for the letter, and another one is going to be on its way to you in the morning. As for the rest of you, I’m still waiting.

13

A Snoozy Day

So much for having a productive day. I slept for most of it.

At least I managed to get to the gym, get a little reading done, and finish writing the last 3 letters for my 16 pen pals in 2016 challenge. By the way – I only got 13 addresses, so if you want to get a letter and will write one back, let me know in the comments section! And vote for the odd book in the previous post!

Oh, and thanks for helping me have 100+ views each day for the first three days of June! Sadly, I think the streak will end today…

…doing nothing = tiring…

12

Who’s This Mysterious Blogger from Barbados?

A while ago, I stumbled across a WordPress blog run by someone (a woman, I think) from Barbados, who was offering to send free postcards from the Caribbean if you filled out a form on her blog. I did so, thinking I probably wouldn’t receive anything.

Lo and behold, in March, I received a lovely postcard with the image of a palm tree on it, postmarked Barbados. The message:

“Dear Jacob!

Sending love and warmth from Barbados to Wisconsin! :)”

Beneath the message was an unintelligible scribble. I asked myself who I knew in Barbados, and it was only after I came up empty that I remembered that blogger. I was going to track her down and thank her, but something distracted me and I forgot all about it.

Fast forward to today. I open my mailbox to find another postcard, this time depicting several islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The postmark is unreadable, but the stamps come from Barbados. The message reads as follows:

“April 2015

Hi Jacob

Was in Grenada recently and thought you might want to add another postcard to our collection :)”

And again, an unintelligible scribble. The very same one.

I decided I wanted to thank this person and maybe send him/her a postcard from Wisconsin in return, so I spent a few hours today combing through all my followers and blogs I follow, in hopes of finding him/her…and I honestly could not locate this person. I also checked my search history. Nothing. I even Googled “bajan bloggers,” “wordpress barbados,” and “postcards from barbados.” No dice. As of now, I don’t even have a name, but I would like to find you and thank you. But I don’t know who you are or how to do that.

An interesting mystery.

So, Bajan blogger, if you’re reading this, thank you so much for the lovely, lovely postcards. They really brighten my day, especially when I haven’t gotten any mail for a few days.

If you’re reading this and have any idea who this lovely Bajan blogger might be, let me know in a comment.

Finally, if you’re reading this and wish to send me a postcard or swap postcards, let me know in a comment and I will respond.

Just make sure to sign legibly so I can thank you properly.