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Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Artists chalk up their pavement canvas. © Green Lake Chamber of Commerce
Artists chalk up their pavement canvas.

© Green Lake Chamber of Commerce

August 2008

Wisconsin Traveler
Spare the petrol, have a gas

Wisconsin Traveler finds fisheries, outdoor festivals and sidewalk culture.

In this summer of higher gas prices, Traveler casts an eye toward the water, the heavens, the hills and the shore for little adventures and simpler pleasures near home. Like over in Oshkosh where on Saturday, August 9, up to 500 youngsters can wet a line in a friendly little get-together they call the Otter Street Children's Fisheree. There will be plenty of adult help, refreshments and prizes as the kids try their luck catching a good time and maybe a few fish at the ponds in Menominee Park. Pre-register by calling (920) 233-2892 and plan on checking in about 8:30 in the morning for fishing fun that runs from 10 until noon.

If your cup of tea is staying out of the crowds and away from the summer heat, we heartily recommend getting away from the city lights and casting your eyes skyward on a summer's night for the annual Perseid Meteor Shower whose cosmic dust show speckles the night sky with comets from mid-July through mid-August, peaking each year between August 8-14. Star-crossed lovers and families alike can join a few stargazers near the tip of Door County at Newport State Park, 475 County NP near the town of Ellison Bay. Join us in the picnic area on August 12, bring some lawn chairs or blankets and bundle up for the sky show that will only get better and better as dusk turns to dark and then dawn. If the skies stay clear, as many as 60 comets an hour should streak across the heavens especially between the constellations of Perseus and Cassiopeia. don't remember those Greek dudes and dudettes? Then bring along your mythology texts to read up by flashlight of the mighty Perseus who slew the multi-headed medusa and brought fire to the earth, and the vain and beautiful queen, Cassiopeia, who lays claim to the star-studded skies from her throne in the shape of a lazy W.

If connecting the dots of the constellations caught your fancy, then cast your eyes downward in Green Lake on August 16 where artistes and sidewalk CÚzannes alike will draw stars, rainbows and dragons on Mills Street at the annual Chalk Art Festival from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Call 1-800-253-7354 for details of how you can make your mark on concrete and take in the colorful hand drawn masterpieces. Just don't get a hernia trying to take one of those pavement Picassos home!

If you enjoy the stroke of a paddle as much as the stroke of a piece of chalk, set your compass for Superior to watch more than 100 international teams ride the backs of sleek mythological beasts along the shore of Barker's Island at the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival, on Friday, August 22 from6-10 p.m. and Saturday, August 23 from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. It's our nation's largest gathering of these long, lean canoes and crews, 1-866-336-1107, e-mail:

Arts, craft and food booths run alongside the race route throughout the festival.

Or follow crowded flocks as border collies herd and drive their woolly charges at the WWSDA Sheep Dog Trials in Portage on Friday, August 29 through Monday, September 1 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. See these amazingly focused dogs working sheep through a triangular quarter-mile course aided only by the herder's voice and whistle commands. The trial is held in fields at N5085 State Road 78, Portage. Follow signs posted at the big truck stop where I-94 and I-39 meet. Contact Jean Bass at (608) 497-2515 or (608) 845-6996 for more information about this Wisconsin Working Stock Dog Association event.

Don't be stranded on shore when the Apostle Islands Lighthouse Celebration leaves the dock from September 3 – 20. This annual event features daily lighthouse cruises and tours of the seven historic Apostle Islands lights. Other activities include lectures, concerts, a Keeper's Dinner and more. Tour the newly renovated Raspberry Island Lighthouse. Tours and cruises leave from the City Dock in Bayfield. Contact toll-free: 1-800-779-4487.