Nasty, slushy snow is now falling by the bucketload outside.
I can hear it on the metal awnings come down in plinks, and I think I’ve figured out my disdain for winter: I’ve only ever really experienced it in Kentucky, nature’s weather nuthouse.
We’re under a winter weather advisory at the moment, but this weekend we’re supposedly (hopefully) going to have temps in the 60s and sun.
I love Kentucky for many things, but its weather is sometimes not one of them.
In Wisconsin — or at least the Wisconsin from my vacation — the snow fell with a whisper and was neither harsh nor biting, but rather inviting and comforting.
At this moment, I wish I could return to that, so I’m going to do the next best thing — reminisce via blogging. (For part one of my recent adventure up North, read this.)
After enjoying New Glarus, we drove the four or five hours to Hayward, Wis., and were greeted with this scene.
That night Niel; his aunt, Debbie; uncle, Tony; and I went into downtown Hayward to see the quiet before the race. More than 20,000 people were expected to invade the town of 2,000.
And at my request, we stopped at the Moccasin Bar for a drink.
I had only been there once before, on my first trip to Hayward in 2009 when we made it in time to go to Musky Fest — so named for the large muskellunge fish in the nearby lakes.
And during Musky Fest, a man with a hook for a hand leads the local marching band through the town streets, ending at Moccasin Bar.
In the words of some of my family members: I shit you not.
Sadly, no hooked drum major this time, but the oddities were not in short supply.
This bar has walls of weird taxidermy dioramas.
And not just trophy fish a la Big Mouth Billy Bass but animals posed in human-like scenes. This is the “wildlife museum” the bar advertises on its building. If you are a PETA member, you may want to look away.
First up were the hipster chipmunks — hipmunks, if you will.
This next scene was very elaborate. I believe the wolf, the judge, is presiding over the “kangaroo court” — ha! — and the badger is accused of killing a woodcock.
The wildcat is the sheriff (not pictured is his gun and holster), arguing that the woodcock was killed out of season. And the “squealer musk-rat” is the paid-off witness.
The confiscated Old Crow liquor along with the cigarettes, beer bottles and nudie playing cards under the judge’s bench are also nice touches.
I feel like I should be turned off by the taxidermy, but I’m kind of pulled in by it all. Maybe it’s the DIYer in me, but the attention to detail must at least be acknowledged.
And spending time taking in the carefully designed scenes, you can just imagine the cold winter nights that likely motivated someone to spend the time putting it all together.
The next day, the four of us went back into town for the 40th annual Birkebeiner race. As stated in my previous post, the Birkebeiner is the largest cross-country ski marathon in North America. It stretches 50 kilometers from Cable, Wis., to Hayward.
So the serious skiers wear Spandex. Learn something everyday.
Or almost nothing at all.
And what blog post would be complete without a couple of trolls — or the aptly named “Ski Pa-troll.”
During the race, the most perfect snowflakes fell. Here’s one against my black coat.
After a long afternoon schlepping up and down Hayward’s Main Street, we came back to the house, and Niel and I had a quiet moment walking on the frozen lake behind the house.
We had watched snowmobiles traverse it since we got there, and a few people had set up ice fishing shanties.
Why can’t winter always be this pretty?
My Etsy shop
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