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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Making the Best of It

For my birthday weekend I had reserved a spot at Mirror Lake State Park that would fit the fifth wheel if Wayne was able to get away from work and spend the weekend with me.  We got on the road by 2:30 on Friday and all was well until we got the park and tried to back in to site #105.  Turns out it is a very long site...but it is heavily treed right up to its edges, the road is narrow and winding to get to it, and it's right before the intersection all of which conspired to make it impossible to back in to.  We gave up and ended up at Dell Boo Campground, just a mile away but for 3 times the nightly rate. $52 for full hook-up, you'd think we were at Yellowstone or on the California coast!  And we couldn't get a refund on the night we had already checked in for at Mirror Lake.  As I noticed at Devil's Lake State Park the staff at Mirror Lake does not seem friendly or eager to make your experience a good one, I hope that doesn't give our state parks a bad reputation to visitors passing through.

Dell Boo pull thru site

We did go back and take a drive around and decided there are 9 out of 121 sites at the park that will work well for those over 30 feet who don't want to take out trees or the side of their unit and those are #61, 62, 65, 76, 77, 122, 129, 132, and 134.  Most of the sites numbered above 106 share a driveway and are a bit cozier with your neighbors than we like but if you don't mind that a few of those would work as well.  Sites 15-30 and 201-204 are excellent for tents.

Sauk County Courthouse, Baraboo

It's also raining here in the Baraboo-Dells area so we slept in late Saturday morning and then drove in to downtown Baraboo to walk in the drizzle.  The Farmer's Market on the square featured mostly garden plants, and the courthouse was closed, but the lights were lit on the marquee of the Ringling Theater!

They were doing a photo shoot on the sidewalk but I'm not allowed to show you because it was for a charity calendar that will be coming out in October.  The theater will be closing to the public on Monday for restoration work to get underway and may be closed until February.

We got some coffee at the Coffee Bean Connection, wandered in to an antique store for the first time in a decade, and found Baraboo's bakery, Neat-O's Bake Shoppe, too.  The chocolate cupcake was heaven, and the donuts are good too!

After going to the grocery store and then waiting out a little more light rain we headed back over to Mirror Lake for an easy afternoon hike.

On the 2.5 mile Ishnala Trail I found a Jill in the Pulpit.  Jill?  Yes, it is a female because it has two stems, six leaves and is producing green berries which will later turn red.  The plant apparently switches up when it comes to sex and might very well be "male" next year.  And it can live to be 100 years old!  More than most of us can say.

After  winding through a field next to the interstate (not much of a "nature" experience) the Ishnala trail crosses the road to the Ishnala Supper Club and we saw this other unusual trail sight.

Before re-entering the woods we saw what looked like Tufted Vetch, and it attracted more than our admiring eyes!

Luckily I had taken that picture of the trail map because the trail is not well marked.  In the field we followed what we thought was the trail and it dead ended so we had to backtrack.  After entering the forest there was another fork and if not for the map we might have gone the wrong way.

The mosquitoes were out but not that bad, just don't linger more than a second or two and you don't need any spray.  Well, I will admit to getting one bite, but that was my fault for lingering!

Under the Ishnala Bridge, Mirror Lake State Park

It's kind of hard to keep those winter pounds from sneaking back on when you spend the week watching TV, moseying like a tourist and eating week I'll have to work a lot harder!


  1. Just one of the reasons I don't make reservations, but I know you don't have a choice on weekends. Did I wish you happy birthday? It sounds like you had a nice time despite the hassle.

  2. Maybe you should send a copy of your blog with the bad comments on it to the state park. Not sure I'd want to visit a place I could not get my caravan on safely and if they were that unhelpful I would let every one know