Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Photo of costume contest contestants. © Rahr-West Art Museum

Check out the Sputnikfest in Manitowoc.
© Rahr-West Art Museum

August 2011

Wisconsin Traveler

Fall adventures

Kathryn A. Kahler

Begin your journey with the Zoopolis Tour – Nature in the City in Fond du Lac, August 7, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Follow a 5.6-mile route featuring eight small private yards that promote bio-diversity, earth-friendly practices and wildlife habitat. Purchase tickets ($10 for adults, $8 for bike riders and free for children under 12) at any of the sites. Visit Fond du Lac Audubon Society for a map of the route, call (920) 922-7931, or email dbeck7931@charter.net.

Bring a blanket or lawn chair and gather in the picnic area at Newport State Park (475 County Road NP, Ellison Bay) for the Perseid Meteor Shower Night Sky Event on August 12, at dusk. A state park vehicle admission sticker is required. Call (920) 854-2500. Of course, you donít have to drive to Door County to see the "fireworks." On August 12, find a spot as far away from city lights as you can get, and look toward the horizon at the constellation Perseus rising in the northeast sky. The show begins at dusk and gets more spectacular into the early morning hours.

Head to west-central Wisconsin for the Chippewa River Rendezvous at Mill Yard Park (on Highway 64 just west of Highway 27 south) in Cornell, August 27-28. Stroll the banks of the beautiful Chippewa River back through history to the late 1600's, when the region was inhabited by Ojibwe and European settlers and traders. Events, exhibits, games and activities all aim to illustrate life from another era. Call Sue Spaeth at (715) 239- 6628, or Wayne Meyer at (715) 239-3620.

Visit the 19th and early 20th century settlement of Old World Wisconsin (W372 S9727 Highway 67, Eagle) in the wooded hills of the Southern Unit of Kettle Moraine State Forest for Pickles, Preserves and Produce on September 3-4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn how food was preserved before modern refrigeration and how crock pickles, dried pumpkin, smoked fish and sunshine preserves were made. Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for students and senior citizens, $9 for children 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Visit Old World Wisconsin or call (262) 594-6300.

Check out this little chunk of history – Sputnikfest at Rahr-West Art Museum (610 N. 8th Street, Manitowoc) on September 10. Celebrate the 1962 crash landing of a piece of the satellite Sputnik in Manitowoc. Festivities include a visit from Star Wars characters, an aluminum foil costume contest, an alien pet contest (dress your pet in alien attire), a Miss Space Debris pageant, and much, much more. Visit Rahr-West Art Museum, or call (920) 686-3090. Best of all, it's free!

Head to Cannons at the Fort at Fort Crawford Museum (717 S. Beaumont Road, Prairie du Chien), September 16-17, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Historic reenactors present aspects of early 19th century domestic and military life at Prairie du Chien. Stay for an evening program Saturday at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for children under 12, or $15 for families. Visit Fort Crawford Museum or call (608) 326-6960.

Celebrate the honeybee and the gentle art of beekeeping at the annual Honey Sunday at Mosquito Hill Nature Center (N3880 Rogers Road, New London) September 18, 1 to 4 p.m. Watch honey being extracted from the hive, beeswax candle dipping and enjoy honey baked goods or a honey sundae. $8 per car. Visit Mosquito Hill Nature Center or call (920) 779-6433.

Get a bird's-eye view of the fall colors surrounding Wausau from the ski area's chair lift at the Fall Colors Comet Sky Ride at Granite Peak Ski Area (Rib Mountain, 3605 N. Mountain Road, Wausau) September 24-25, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. An $8 roundtrip ticket takes you to the top of Rib Mountain where you can get off, stretch your legs and enjoy the view, then hop back on for the downward trip. Visit Granite Peak and scroll down to click on "Banquets & Receptions" or call (715) 845-2846.