4th of July Weekend, Part II: The Things We Did In-Between De-Junking the Basement and Making Several Batches of Chicken Stock.
We went to Dr. Evermore’s Forevertron, for the first time in yeeeeears (last time Linus wasn’t around these parts, that kinda years). I love how you park at a salvage yard and then weave between rows of junk and past the overgrowth, to find the secret sculpture park hidden in the back.
The artist is a former industrial wrecker, and with that job came access to lots of interesting scrapped material that he has used over the decades to build his sculptures. Some of the pieces include a decontamination chamber from NASA’s Apollo project, dynamos built by Thomas Edison, cast-offs from the Fiskars plant, antique dental chairs, old US geodetic survey markers, you name it he probably has worked with it.
Part of the bird orchestra area of the sculpture park, several of them are made from old instrument parts or are made of pipes that chime when the wind blows (you can see the conductor in the background of the picture following).
Had to get a selfie off some junk as we walked back to the car.
Next we hit up Parfrey’s Glen for a nice, long hike. It was hopping with activity that day (not a shock, as it’s one of the most visited Wisconsin natural areas) but we still had plenty of room to roam on our own and go at our own pace.
For a hot minute I thought things were going to go massively terrible, thanks to the tantrums we endured for the first 10 minutes of our walk. Thankfully the surroundings worked their magic quickly and he was happy as a clam the rest of the hike.
Next time we need to wear water shoes so we don’t have to worry so much about picking our way from stone-to-stone when crossing the stream multiple times; many of the old trails have eroded in the past 20 years (OBVIOUSLY NOT DUE TO SEVERE FLOODING FROM GLOBAL WARMING OR ANYTHING). Anyway that meant the nice old trails are washed away and the makeshift trails that current walkers have created wander back and forth across the stream. Kinda tricky when you are balancing on rocks while holding a giant 3-year-old…
Also I clearly need to bring helmets and elbow/knee pads for the boys because GOOD LORD STOP RUNNING AND JUMPING LIKE THAT YOU ARE GOING TO CRACK YOUR FOOL HEADS OPEN.
We made it exactly This Far (see image below), just short of the waterfall area, then there was just too much rocky climbing for us. Linus insisted on walking on his own and kept slipping on moss, and sliding off rocks, and falling in the mud; there was no way we’d get him over that. Oh well, we’ll get there next time.
Whew, done. I took a picture of my legs in the car but then deleted it (because WOOO LAWD those are some pasty white legs, no one wants to see that). Anyway I took it because I had all these muddy streaks running up and down my legs, I totally looked like I did something much more exciting than an afternoon hike with young children.
Scott packed us a picnic (yay, no stress for me!) so we hit up a park in Merrimac to eat. Soooo much food. We were going to take the kids for ice cream afterwards and we were all way too full.
Chocolate-chip blondies: marry me.
We hit up the restrooms before we left, and even the view from the restroom area was nice. (Also the stalls in the ancient restrooms still have ashtrays in them, which is hilarious to me.)
This is one thing I love about this part of the country: people who have never been here just don’t get how beautiful it is in the Great Lakes region. It’s so green and lush and lakes and rivers are EVERYWHERE. You can do like we did and pull off onto any random small town to play or have a picnic in the park, and you’re likely to have some gorgeous views. And don’t even get me started on the Great Lakes themselves, which easily rival oceanside beaches (there’s a reason the area is referred to as the Third Coast).
The drive home meant taking 113, and 113 means taking the Merrimac Ferry, so we even had a fun little stop during the drive home.
Linus wasn’t so sure about the ferry. We got him out to check things out and he politely asked us to take him back to his car seat for the duration of the ride.
And then: it was the Fourth.
One lame thing about Wisconsin is that basically preschool-level fireworks are the only legal ones around here. Some towns/areas have more available, but you have to buy a permit to set them off (wut) and unfortunately, we are not in one of those permit areas. So we had to settle for lots of snaps, confetti poppers, and actually yeah those were pretty much it.
DIDN’T CRAMP OUR STYLE IN THE LEAST.
Scott bought the boys some Mexican Coke to celebrate the holiday so they were pretty excited about that.
We hit up the local baseball park that evening to watch the fireworks. I was a sucker x2 this time and bought both the boys light laber things, which they played with for a good hour before the fireworks started. Well worth the cost.
Oh yeah we also got them cotton candy (what the hell, it’s a holiday). I sneaked a piece for myself.
And that was that.
Yaaaay, you made it. That’s all for now, I’ll report back in about a week-ish. Maybe. We’ll see. In the meantime: enjoy your summer, friends.