Goat Cheese, Kodiak Bears and Wisconsin Heatwave

June 22-30, 2018 — It seems like we were just ringing in the New Year and somehow 2018 is already half over. We’ve obviously been having lots of fun as time is sure flying by. The week started out in central Wisconsin and then we made our way to the Green Bay, Wisconsin area. Five nights were spent boondocking with two at a family member’s house, two at Walmart and one at Cabela’s. We then moved to a paid site for the remaining four days of the month as a heat wave hit the area and air conditioning was a must. We are able to run the air conditioner off of the generator if need be but a paid site makes sense when it is reasonably priced and nearby. 

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Mullins Cheese in Knowlton, Wisconsin is a favorite central Wisconsin stop for cheese, meat, ice cream, pizza, gifts and whey protein. They recently started manufacturing vanilla, strawberry and chocolate protein that is good mixed with milk or added to smoothies. We love the vanillla whey protein powder in milk as a quick breakfast on busy travel or touring days. 

So many cheeses to choose from, so little RV refrigerator space…. Mullins Cheese Knowlton, Wisconsin. 

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Rudolph Grotto Gardens in Rudolph, Wisconsin. It’s a five acre site filled with trees, flowers, plants and man-made rock formations. 

The gardens and rock shrines were constructed to provide a spiritual setting where one can spend quiet moments relishing the beauty of the world we live in. The gardens are free to visit and open daily. 

Just down to road from the Grotto Gardens in Rudolph is the Wisconsin Dairy State Cheese Company. Their cheese store offers over 200 different types and styles of Wisconsin Cheese. 

One of our favorite cheeses found in the Rudolph store is a Blueberry Vanilla Goat Cheese made in Belmont, Wisconsin by Montchevre Goat Cheese. Over 360 goat farms in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri provide the milk used to make Montchevre cheese. 

Fresh squeaky cheese curds are one of Wisconsin Dairy State Cheese company’s best sellers. Cheese curds really do squeak when they are very fresh. The squeak is caused by air trapped in the curd hitting porous teeth when bitten into. As the curds age moisture enters the curd and they lose the squeak. The aging is accelerated by refrigeration which is why many cheese stores will have curds stored outside of coolers. No trip to Wisconsin is complete without purchasing a bag or two of cheese curds to snack on. 

Wildwood Park and Zoo in Marshfield, Wisconsin is a great stop while in central Wisconsin. The zoo is open daily and admission is free. The zoo spans 60 acres and houses animals native to North America. Species include Kodiak bears, cougars, fox, wolves, lynx, eagles and more. 

Kodiak bears on an overhead bridge that takes them from their enclosure to an outside area with trees and a water hole. 

Here’s a Kodiak bear enjoying a popsicle made with fruits and vegetables including corn on the cob. Sure the treat was welcomed as the outside temperature was in the upper 80’s. 

Black-tailed praire dogs at the Wildwood Zoo in Marshfield, Wisconsin. They are quite the entertaining characters to watch.

We do stay overnight at Walmart on occasion while traveling. It’s a place to overnight only so no putting out the slides, leveling blocks or grill. More often than not we are joined by fellow RVers taking advantage of a convenient free overnight stop. We use the word “free” lightly, though, as there is always something at the store that we need. 

We enjoy finding outdoor free concerts during the summer months. Here we attended the RiverHealth Summer Concert Series in Appleton, Wisconsin that featured Trout Stamp Revival, a bluegrass group from Colorado. 

These are the good ole’ days. Sign found at Mills Fleet Farm in Green Bay, Wisconsin. We used to shop at Fleet Farm frequently years ago when we had a hobby farm. It’s still fun for us to wander through the animal feed and equipment departments at the store. 

We spent a day cleaning and organizing the outside storage bins. It makes no sense to carry around extra weight and road grime. 

Our Weber Q1200 grill fits perfect in the rear storage bin. We built a simple wood platform to hold the 20 pound propane tank in place along with room for several one pound propane canisters. The 20 pound tank is used for the grill and the propane fire pit and the small green cans are used with the Mr. Heater Buddy portable heater. 

RV maintenance time including changing oil in the generator. We never seem to run out of things to do. 

Cabela’s stores are a great find for RVers. Many offer free overnight parking, a dump station and potable water. We enjoyed a quiet peaceful stay at this one located just a few blocks from Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. 

With mid morning temperatures in the upper 80’s and forecast for the mid 90’s for several days we officially failed chasing 70 degree weather in Wisconsin. During the heat wave we treated ourselves to a paid site with electricity so we could run the air conditioning. $15 a night is a deal for the comfort it brought us. We were very glad we made the decision to plug in as the temperatures soared to the upper 90’s with heat indexes well over 100. 

Sign at the entrance to the Appleton, Wisconsin Farmer’s Market. Good thing we left our pet hippo and elephant back at the RV as they were not welcome there. Nice farmer’s market but the high heat and humidity made it miserable to be outside. 

Fresh onions waiting to be sold at the Appleton, Wisconsin Farmer’s Market. Vegetables can be just as colorful and eye pleasing as flowers. 

After the farmer’s market we headed to Lamers Dairy & Store in Appleton, Wisconsin to cool off with ice cream. During the month of June they offered 50 cent soft serve ice cream cones. We were expecting a baby cone for that price but they were huge! Lamers bottles milk in glass and offers a viewing area to watch the process but they were not running the day we visited. The store sells a variety of dairy products, wine and gifts. 

Simon’s Specialty Cheese Store in Appleton, Wisconsin is another great stop. In addition to a great variety of cheese the store offered a huge selection of wines, many from nearby Door County, Wisconsin. 

Despite the oppressive heat wave in Wisconsin we still managed to have a great week. We had more outside activities planned but those will have to wait until the weather returns to cooler temperatures with less humidity. Since the entire midwest is experiencing the unusual heat we postponed our plans to start heading west. We have a great parking site with electricity for only $15 a night so we are staying put. We highly enjoy boondocking but not when it is ridiculously hot and humid out. Life is too short to be miserable! Follow along and see what fun things we find to do during the first week of July. See you then!

 

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4 thoughts on “Goat Cheese, Kodiak Bears and Wisconsin Heatwave”

  1. Looks like another fun week with the dairy and zoo. Not as much fun cleaning, but I’m sure it needed it.

  2. Omgosh! My family would be in heaven if we were with you doing all of these things. The cheese? Yes, please! The gardens? I’d stay all day. And then you said Farmer’s Market and I was SOLD!!! Can’t wait to get up to Wisconsin. Hopefully it cools down some for you guys. We’re from Texas, so we’re kind of used to that heat. But it’s never fun. =)

    1. Wisconsin is a beautiful state. We’re biased, though, as it is our home state. We are not used to the heat and this year has been hot hot hot. Love Farmer’s Markets and visit them as much as we can. It’s cheap entertainment and usually there are lots of free samples to try.

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