Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Photo of child ice fishing © RJ & Linda Miller

When the spirit moves you, icefish!
© RJ & Linda Miller

February 2010

Wisconsin Traveler

When the spirit moves you

We're gaining daylight and there's less of a bite in the air. Time to get outside, shake off the doldrums and get pumped for outdoor doings. Traveler says get the spirit and get going.

We'll start in Spirit, northeast of Medford on the Price/Taylor county line where on Saturday, Feb. 13 they host an Ice Fishing Jamboree on Little Spirit Lake along Hwy. 102 from 6 a.m. until 3 p.m. They'll be cooking up good times, brats, and the calls that it's getting "chili" will bring out a bowl of red. (715) 427-3778, Spirit Lakes Improvement Association.

Not far away later that day, join the fun at Rib Mountain State Park, 4200 Park Drive in Wausau, where you can strap on snowshoes and take an evening candlelit hike on the quiet park trails from 6-8 p.m. Refreshments and snowshoe rentals are available. Call (715) 359-9166 or check online at The Friends of Rib Mountain State Park, the group that organizes the romantic hike.

Practice your swing and warm up for spring at the Ice Tee Classic, a golf outing on Saturday, Feb. 20 held on the 400 Block of downtown Wausau where you can pitch and putt tennis balls through a course of novelty holes and obstacles set up by local organizations. It's fun for the whole clan from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Call (715) 845-1966 or a straight shot to The Neighbors' Place for more details.

In the mood for a squeal of a deal? Head over to Sheboygan County Broughton Marsh Park on Saturday, Feb. 20 for the fifth annual Pig in the Ice Winter Festival. It's a mixed bag of treats all day including races on vintage snowmobiles, an Ice Fisheree sponsored by the Crystal Lake Sportsmen's Club, an ice cube hunt with prizes for both adults and children, and the sweet smells of a community pig roast wafting through the crisp winter air. What better way to pay homage to the barbecue gods than with the first big barbecue of the season? The park is located near the intersection of County Highways J and P atW7039 County Road SR in Elkhart Lake. Call (920) 893-0989 for more details.

If that doesn't get your spirit soaring, glide over to Prairie du Chien on Saturday, Feb. 27 for Bald Eagle Appreciation Days. Events, held from 9 a.m. through 3 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce Building, 211 S. Main St., include interpretive programs with live eagles, exhibits and displays about raptors, talks by birding experts, and short field trips to watch eagles along the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers. For program details, call (608) 326-8555 or toll-free (800) 732-1673. E-mail info@prairieduchien.org.

Finally, may we note two great cultures that found common ground in celebrating the exodus of slithering, hopping infestations from their shores. In Brantwood, (Price County near the junction of Price, Oneida and Lincoln counties), the Finns and Irish share steaming plates heaped with corned beef and cabbage (perhaps with a rutabaga for good measure) in a joint St. Urho/St. Patrick's Day Celebration on Saturday, March 13. Legend holds that St. Urho cast the frogs and grasshoppers out of Finland just as St. Paddy chased the snakes from Ireland. In these days of herptile and insect appreciation, it's hardly a reason to celebrate, but one is forgiving where good food and a bit of brew raise the spirits at the table. An early dinner will be served from 4:30-6:30 p.m. followed by a 7 p.m. program at the Brantwood Community Center, N4888 Stadium Road. Call (715) 564-2525 or e-mail cen95870@centurytel.net.