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A Winter Walk through Irvine Park

Winter Scene of Duncan Creek

Duncan Creek in Irvine Park

 

This January has brought a wide variety of temperatures and not a lot of snow in the Chippewa Valley.  We took an opportunity one Sunday afternoon that offered somewhat balmy temperatures (for January, that is) to take a winter walk through Irvine Park in downtown Chippewa Falls.  A chance to get outdoors and spend time with friends could not be passed up on this particular day.  The weather had warmed to near freezing after several days of sub-zero temps, so we were all anxious to get out and about.  As transplants to the area just a few years ago, Roger & I still have plenty of exploring to do in the Chippewa Valley in order for us to get to know the area.  We were somewhat surprised when our friends suggested a winter walk in the park.  We have visited Irvine Park during the holiday season as it is lit up with over 100,000 lights and Christmas scenes displayed throughout the park.  It has turned out to be an annual holiday tradition for our family, as it is for many families in the Chippewa Valley.  Yet, we had never considered truly exploring the park after the Christmas Village closes for the season.

On such a beautiful January afternoon we were not surprised to find the park filled with plenty of other visitors.  Families with young children who were having all kinds of fun sledding, or just running around expending pent up energy!  Young couples enjoying some quality time for just the two of them, and, of course, us older folks just happy enough to have something different to do and get some exercise in the process.

 

Naturally formed ice sculpture

Naturally formed ice sculpture in Beer Cave at Irvine Park

Even though the park was busy, there was plenty of parking available.  We parked on Bear Den Road then headed out for our winter walk.  I was pleased to find the roads within the park had been plowed, which made walking easy.  Our first stop was the Beer Cave.  This is actually a registered Wisconsin Historical Marker.  It was originally put to use by the Schmitmayer Brewing Company.  The cave was a great place to keep the beer cold, even in the summer.  There is a shaft towards the back of the cave that goes to the street above, this is where the beer was lowered into the cave.  On this cold January afternoon there was a beautiful naturally formed ice sculpture from the water dripping onto the cave floor.

 

Further exploration brought us to a bridge which spans Duncan Creek.  What a beautiful sight this was.  The beauty and wonder that mother nature has to offer in the winter is nothing less than spectacular.

Bridge over Duncan Creek

Bridge over Duncan Creek at Irvine Park

It took my breath away for the serenity of it.  The quiet sounds of the rushing water, the stark contrasts of the white snow and ice against the blackness of the water.  What is it about water that is so mesmerizing?  If find myself instantly relaxing any time I am near a body of water.

 

Once we crossed the creek we found ourselves at the Bison exhibit.  Irvine Park is extremely fortunate to have a couple of white bison, and we were even more fortunate to see one of them that afternoon.  They certainly are impressive animals.  Their thick fur coats have them well prepared for the winter cold.  Then down the road further we found the bear den followed by the cougar den.  In the aviary we saw a variety of owls.  While the welcome center wasn’t open, we did marvel at the new center which opened the summer of 2016.  The park will be adding features to the welcome center this year.  We walked past the duck pond and on to wolf drive.  Here we saw some stunning frozen waterfalls on the sides of the limestone walls in the park.

Once we had our fill of fresh air and exercise we headed to the Leinie Lodge, which is just across the street from Irvine Park.  Leinie’s is a great place to get out of the cold and sip a few seasonal samplers by their huge fireplace and spend time with friends.

Leinie’s Lodge Fireplace

After a 2-mile walk in the park and a few beers, we were getting hungry.  There’s a new place in Chippewa Falls called the Blue Marble Pub.  In July of 2017 Heather Marble opened the Prohibition-themed pub which specializes in wood fired pizzas.  Their grinders, which are subs baked in the wood fired oven, are also popular among the patrons.  A short walk from Leinie’s Lodge, stop in for a bite to eat or grab a glass of beer or wine.

wood fired pizza

Pizza made in the wood-fired pizza oven at the Blue Marble in downtown Chippewa Falls.

So, all in all, it was a great afternoon and evening spent in downtown Chippewa Falls, even if it was January.  Sometimes the hardest part about getting out and about on a winter weekend is getting out of your chair and putting on your coat and gloves.  I’m so glad we seized the opportunity for a winter walk, and I hope you will do the same soon.  Don’t forget, there’s always something to do in the Chippewa Valley and Inn on Lake Wissota is happy to host you while you’re here.  We hope to greet you as one of our guests sometime soon!

Country Fest A Northern Wisconsin Summer Tradition

For 30 years Country Fest has been featuring the best artists in country and bluegrass music and is now a Northern Wisconsin Summer Tradition

Country Fest is an annual three-day music festival featuring the best country and bluegrass singers of today.

Founded 30 years ago in stunning Central Wisconsin, Country Fest in Cadott, WI is the ultimate summer destination for the best outdoor Country Music Festival experience. They bring fans back year after year and has become a northern Wisconsin summer tradition.   Continue reading

Wisconsin Cheese Oven Omelet – A Recipe Celiac’s Can enjoy

May is celiac awareness month in the U.S.  The Celiac Disease Foundation estimates that 1 in 100 people are affected by the disease worldwide.  While it can be challenging to deal with the symptoms of Celiac’s, it isn’t impossible.  Here is a recipe enjoyed my many guests at Pleasant View Bed & Breakfast, a recipe Celiac’s can enjoy, too!

Wisconsin Cheese Oven Omelet - A Recipe Celiac's Can enjoy

WI Cheese Oven Omelet served at Pleasant View Bed & Breakfast

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A Cinco de Mayo Breakfast Celebration – Fiesta Frittata

 

 

Let’s face it, Americans love to eat Mexican food, which is probably one of the reasons why we love to participate in the Mexican celebration of Cinco de Mayo.  The U.S. has adopted this date to celebrate American-Mexican culture. Their cuisine, music and art has had an influence on American culture for hundreds of years. So, here is a way to get your day started with a Cinco de Mayo Breakfast Celebration – Fiesta Frittata.

Fiesta Frittata

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Blues in the Northwoods – More Than Just Great Music

The Northwoods Blues Festival is coming to Chippewa Falls, and there is much more to it than just a great lineup of Blues Artists.  What better place could there be for Blues in the Northwoods?  The organizers of the festival have managed to get Taher Chef Christopher Murray.  With a philosophy of providing his clients with fresh, nutritious and delicious meals everyday, he will be providing festival goers with some fantastic cuisine.

Northwoods Blues Festival 2015

Northwoods Blues Festival 2015

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The Red Chair Travels meets Pleasant View Bed & Breakfast

In case you haven’t heard, the Red Chair Travels has made it to Wisconsin and stayed at Pleasant View Bed & Breakfast for several days.  So, what is The Red Chair Travels, you ask?

The Red Chair Travels

The Red Chair Travels showcases the view of Lake Wissota from the backyard at Pleasant View Bed & Breakfast

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In the front line of your dreams

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived.

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Top 5 Reasons to Attend the 7th Annual Chippewa Falls SpringFest

The last weekend in April seems a ways away from the point in time I am publishing this blog, but it sure is nice to dream about warmer temperatures and spending time outdoors with friends, enjoying good food, music, and in general, camaraderie.  While the Chippewa Falls SpringFest offers a chance for the locals to get out and about and reconnect, it’s also a wonderful opportunity for those not familiar with the Chippewa Valley to come check it out and see everything it has to offer.  So, here are 5 excellent reasons to make the trip to Chippewa Falls the last weekend in April.

SpringFest 2017 Logo

SpringFest 2017

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4 Romantic Reasons to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Chippewa Falls

celebrate valentine's day in chippewa falls!

So, why would couples who would like to do something a little different to celebrate Valentine’s Day want to come to Chippewa Falls?  For starters, Chippewa Falls is nestled in the north woods of western Wisconsin, a town of 13,000 people.  Not a big city by any means, in fact, most folks would call it a small town.  With small towns come charm, and I do love the charm Chippewa Falls offers.  Yet, I hesitate to call Chippewa Falls a small town, somehow that description misrepresents everything it has to offer. Continue reading

5 Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Chippewa Falls

 

Are you looking for a fun way to spend New Year’s Eve?  Is the hustle and bustle of the season preventing you from spending quality time with that special someone in your life?  One thing seems to be clear, we all enjoy an adventure of some kind or another.  What better way to reconnect with that special someone than to create some memories of just the two of you. Chippewa Falls has plenty of adventures to offer, even on New Year’s Eve!

Here are 5 ways for you to experience the Chippewa Falls Area:

#1 – Leinenkugel’s Brewery. The most obvious and, probably, the most famous landmark in Chippewa Falls is Leinenkugel’s Brewery.  Leinenkugel’s has been around for nearly 150 years and their tours take you through you the historic brewery and educate you on the Leinenkugel family history of brewing.  You will have an opportunity to taste their world famous brews and shop for some mementos to take home with you.

#2 – Irvine Park Christmas Village  Continue reading

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