Hunting for Trolls

Hello. It’s me!!

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When Dad told me we were going “troll hunting” today, I had no idea how much fun I was going to have. That’s what you do in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin. It’s the land of trolls. Gotta find ’em, friends!

We looked for trolls in the most logical of places … Cave of the Mounds. You go underground about seventy feet and are greeted will all sorts of stalagtites and stalagmites.

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And while the scenery is interesting, the big question was this one.

  • Are there any trolls in the Cave of the Mounds?

Turns out the answer is “no”. And no animals, either. Just dank 50 degree air and the brief moment when the tour guide shut off all the lights for about ten seconds and Dad nearly needed to find a new pair of underwear due to feelings of rampant terror. Geez. It’s dark out every night.

We searched the streets of Mt. Horeb for signs of trolls.

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I was thorough in my investigation of the town.

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There’s a lot of ground to cover.

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And you can never be too sure that trolls aren’t hiding behind planters … or pickup trucks.

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But then, it all became clear to me. I found what I thought was a troll (please visit the website if you cannot see the video via email).

Remember when I said that there are three types of threats?

  1. Real.
  2. Perceived.
  3. Chupacabra.

There are now four types of threats.

  1. Real.
  2. Perceived.
  3. Rusted Metal.
  4. Chupacabra.

Please update your notes accordingly.

Mom and Dad enjoyed lunch at a local eatery. Dad ordered the Norwegian Meatballs … Mom ordered a variant of a BLT.

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And off to the side, they noticed something.

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No, it’s not Lefse or Phosphates, though who doesn’t enjoy a delicious Phosphate?

Let’s zoom in on the upper left portion of the image.

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Trolls!!

The mystery was solved. We found trolls in Mt. Horeb! Our mission was complete.

With that behind us, we moved on to Dodgeville, where we spent the evening with our friends, Mike and Lisa.

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Mmmmmmm … deep fried cheese curds!

Of course, I had to sit in the van while their cat, “Cookie”, supped unabashedly.

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Tomorrow, we continue our journey. A good night of sleep should help me forget the terror of rusted metal. And we found trolls, so all in all, today was a huge success!

 

Relish Tray

Hello – it’s me!

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Dad awoke sorely disappointed that severe Thunderstorms never materialized last night. Instead, we were greeted by the idyllic back wash of a cold front.

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We wrapped up our laundry & water pump and new bathroom faucet installation and rig cleaning  brief stay with Grandma and Grandpa today … but not before I chewed out a visitor. I find that I get protective of people I like, and if interlopers (regardless of how friendly they may be) get in the way, I’m gonna let them hear it. We’ll catch up with Grandma and Grandpa for a real visit next week. I hear there’s another Grandma and Grandpa on the docket this weekend. How many Grandmas and Grandpas are you allowed to have. Seventy-three?

Remember way back in North Dakota when Dad lost SiriusXM? Remember how we had to tolerate his dissatisfaction with the musical situation … for more than a thousand miles?

Well, today that all ended. Mom says “we’re going to a stereo installation place in Madison”. And I’m like:

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Around closing time, we arrived.

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A guy named Greg scritched my tummy … then identified a problem with the antenna.

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Guess what?

We’ve got SiriusXM again! That’s the kind of solution that $39 of labor can buy a pup.

Dad says, “Let’s celebrate!”. Mom says, “How about a supper club?” Dad says “Roger that!”

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Once again … the protocol is to order drinks (#crosssell), then sit in the bar and wait until somebody takes your order.

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The place was hoppin’!

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In Supper Club tradition, you are seated when the Relish Tray and Salads arrive at your table. I know, #classy.

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That’s four pickle spears, two cinnamon buns, a Relish Tray, fourteen pads of butter, two buns, and eight pair of bread sticks … all included along with your salad (#frenchdressing) as part of your meal.

How do you avoid nomming that Relish Tray?

Of course, this is the opening salvo in a two-pronged dinner opportunity. Dad ordered delicious, nourishing Lake Perch, paired with french fries and a half-quart of tartar sauce. Yes, there is green on his plate (#andremembertherewasgreenontheRelishTray).

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Mom took full advantage of the faux-cheese offering on the hash browns.

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Two dinners, the Relish Tray, fourteen pads of butter, eight pairs of bread sticks, two cinnamon rolls, four pickle spears, a slice of faux cheese on the hash browns, a Miller High Life and a Southern Comfort Old Fashioned Sweet cost us (plus tax) … are you ready for this?

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You can’t get a bowl of cioppino in the Pacific Northwest for $40.

Mom and Dad brought me back a sampling of the dinner rolls, making my 75 minute wait in the rig all the more worthwhile.

I thought we were done for the day, to be honest. But Dad says we’re going to Walgreens to get prescriptions filled, and then we’re going to Blue Mound State Park to spend the night, and I’m like …

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So that’s our story for today … that’s how we rolled, folks. I hope Grandma feels better after surgery, and I hope Mom & Dad feel better after their 4,938 calorie experience at a Supper Club. Thank God there was a Relish Tray to provide heart-healthy options.

Chores

Hello! It’s me.

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We’re taking a few days to do chores. Laundry. Purchasing Beer. Replacing a Water Pump. That kind of stuff. Grandpa helped install the replacement water pump, and you can rest assured that 3:00am toilet flushes are now met with the comforting drizzle of water being pumped out of the fresh water tank. #ourlongnationalnightmareisover

But before we performed a deep dive into boring tasks, we saw a couple of sights in Minocqua. First, it was the world’s largest penny. We used Google Maps to find the site. When we arrived, this is what we saw.

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So the site of this big penny was at a museum, the museum was closed, and we had to go somewhere else to see the penny. Fine. We walked two blocks, and sure enough, there it was.

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Soak it in, pups! It’s pure magic, don’t you think?

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If your bill was $18.51, it would be hard to pass this thing to the convenience store clerk.

Next up was a stop to see Paul Bunyon and Babe the Blue Ox. Seems every town in the northlands has this or sold this off to a holding company in North Carolina.

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I found Mr. Bunyon to be a bit of a brute … so I decided to do something a bit more enjoyable … I scaled Mt. BabeTheBlueOx.

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I rode Babe for about eight seconds … credible stuff if I were competing in a rodeo.

From there, it was another mind-numbing drive along a four lane road. I needed oxygen, and I looked for it in all the wrong places.

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In Wausau, we stopped for lunch at Rocky Rococo’s. First, Dad wanted to show you what a proper salad bar looks like – two choices of French Dressing – even a lite version for those you who, like me, care about your waistline.

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Dad went with the Sausage and Pepperoni and Breadsticks.

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When we got to Grandpa & Grandma’s, Mom & Dad fulfilled their chore quota while I aimlessly patrolled the local streets like a teen trying to avoid a patrol car.

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And after throwing up all over the bed at 4:00am, I am off to a great start this morning. I hear Dad wants to visit a stereo shop so he can get his SiriusXM problem fixed. Vacations are a lot of fun when you infuse the excitement of a big penny with chores.