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Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Curlers in action: Whisk, whisk, whisk! © Wisconsin Department of Tourism

February 2001

Wisconsin Traveler
Cure cabin fever

Perfect Wisconsin remedies for that annual winter malaise.

Curlers in action: Whisk, whisk, whisk!
© Wisconsin Department of Tourism

When the wife takes a hammer to the VCR and says, "Sam, I refuse to watch The Man from Snowy River for the 78th time!" or when the husband flicks a forkful of spuds at the picture window and says, "Martha, that's the last time you're using your mother's scalloped potato recipe!" it can only mean one thing: Cabin fever's got 'em, and got 'em good.

Should you find yourself so stricken with this common malady of the northern climes, fear not. The remedy is painful, but time-tested: Hoist yourself out of that cozy Barcalounger and get out of the house NOW! Even the most severe cases can't resist recuperation with the splendid variety of cures Wisconsin has to offer.

If whole family is afflicted, pencil in February 10 and March 3 for the Milwaukee County Zoo's Family Free Days. The entire flock/pack/troop/herd (insert your own collective noun here) will enjoy free admission to the zoo grounds, though you will have to pay for parking. Take no inspiration from the three-toed sloth, and be sure to get a good look at some endangered species, including the rare Rüppell's Griffin Vultures, of which there are only 30 or so left in North America. Open 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens, 10001 West Blue Mound Road, Milwaukee. (414) 771-5500.

Whadda you lookin' at? Bears make a statement at the Milwaukee County Zoo. © Wisconsin Department of Tourism
"Whadda you lookin' at?"
Bears make a statement at the Milwaukee County Zoo.
© Wisconsin Department of Tourism

Stamp out the cold-weather cobwebs by strapping on a pair of snowshoes and stomping 5, 10 or 20 kilometers during the 8th Annual New World Championship Snowshoe Races on February 10 in Luck, Polk County. Many top national competitors will participate, and there's plenty of room for amateurs, too. Luck Golf Course, 10 a.m. (715) 472-8231. Sound too easy? Then try the Timm's Hill Trudge, a 3- or 10-mile snowshoe race/walk along Timm's Hill Trail. (Timm's Hill, as you may know, is the highest point in Wisconsin, a mere 1,951.5 feet above sea level. There is no elevator.) The pain begins at 9 a.m. on March 3 at High Point Village in Ogema, Price County. (715) 767-5287.

If these events don't pan out, stake a claim on Eagle River for Klondike Days, February 17-18. The Vilas County community's winter festival features a voyageur encampment and fur trade rendezvous, lumberjack competition, snow sculpting, art & craft show, music and food the '49ers would have sold their gold to eat. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Derby Track. 1-800-359-6315.

You know the winter's been a long one when folks grab brooms and start sweeping the ice with a studied intensity. Every stroke is imbued with meaning and seemingly fraught with danger. One false whisk and...from the crowd's howls and whoops, you'll know you're at the 2001 U.S. Men's and Women's National Curling Championships. Sixteen men's and 10 women's teams (about 125 athletes) from around the country will compete for the right to represent the USA in the 2001 World Curling Championships in Switzerland. The Big Sweep starts February 25 and runs through March 4 at the Madison Curling Club in McFarland, Dane County. 1-888-CURLERS (287-5377).

The season's cold clutches won't last forever, and then what excuse will you have for your eccentric behavior? Face it – spring is near, and the surest sign is a Hike for Beginning Birders on March 24 at the Navarino Nature Center in Shawano County. Fledglings will thrill to the delightful trills of Navarino's numerous winged residents. Experienced birders are welcome to join the walk and share their expertise. 9 – 11 a.m. (715) 758-6999.