Travel

Making art in the Northwoods

6

Outside are the tools and materials of a welder. Inside is the precarious pirouette of a dancer, the menacing glare of a warrior.

The unusual combination of what you see is as unexpected as the story of how Sara Balbin leaves her mark in the Northwoods, between Drummond and Cable in Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

She is a welder with a woman’s touch, a native of Cuba who has earned the respect of Native American elders. Much began after she left her home in Chicago for Wisconsin’s black bear country during the early 1970s because “I like the adventure.”


Accordion pride

6

Once a month on a Tuesday night, the basement at Monroe’s Turner Hall fills.

Fans of all things Swiss devour Schublig sausages, potatoes with melted Raclette cheese, Hasli-filee pork medallions, cheese pie, fondue and more.

Kringle anyone?

5

In the world of pastry production, Danish kringle ranks among the most difficult and time-consuming of challenges. To do it right takes three days from start to finish.

That’s because of the number of times dough is rolled, folded with butter and set aside to rest. “The best quality kringle require patience,” notes a Food Network online recipe, for advanced bakers.

Rock on! Clear Lake, Iowa, remembers Buddy, Ritchie and The Big Bopper

8

The half-mile walk between northern Iowa cornfields leads to a pinwheel of copper Jell-O molds and, lower to the ground, stainless steel cutouts of a guitar and a pair of wings.

People who make this fence-line trek tend to leave a little something behind: loose change, notes, scarves, ribbons, flags, beads, needlepoint, necklaces, flowers.

Northwoods meets Old World at Garmisch Resort

10

When I think about classic summer resort design in the Midwest, Old World architecture isn’t the first thing to come to mind.

That is a part of what makes the Garmisch Resort, eight miles east of Cable, unusual in Wisconsin.

A window to Milwaukee

6

The Potawatomi this month will open a new restaurant and 19-story hotel in Milwaukee, and the project is remarkable for more than one reason.

In each of the 381 hotel rooms and suites is at least one wall of windows to reveal city landscapes. The higher the floor, the more you see from these floor-to-ceiling panes.

On the river

8

Around the time Jonathan Lucroy hit his second RBI double during the All-Star Game in Minneapolis, I sat 15 miles east, without a television, clue or care in the world.

In front of me was an exquisite, peaceful and 360-degree view of the Mississippi River as sunset neared.

St. Paul shines as rail brings Twin Cities closer

10

Some siblings come across as rivals who seem disconnected, and that’s the way I saw Minnesota’s Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul until this summer.

Now light rail connects these sisters, which means there’s no reason to stay with one and ignore the other.

A collection of collections

8

Red Wing, a Mississippi River city on the Minnesota side, has been home to a pottery museum for years — but now it’s billed as home to the nation’s largest pottery collection.

The donation of a Nebraska couple’s private stash, 5,000 pieces worth around $1.5 million, motivated the all-volunteer Red Wing Pottery Foundation to successfully relocate and expand the museum into the longtime factory’s annex. It is near the kilns that used to transform clay to vessels that held coffee cream to casseroles.

Car buffs ready to shine

6

A 1977 Gremlin van soon will be moved into the Kenosha History Center, and the timing is deliberate.

The van (an American Motors Corp. prototype that never went into production) and Jeeps from five decades will be in place in time for “Kenosha Homecoming: Great Cars on a Great Lake,” July 22-26. The homecoming, an official American Motors Owners Association car show with up to 700 vehicles, occurs every three years.

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    1

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