Chippewa Recreation Area: Side Trips

On my second day of this trip, I woke to a fridge that was heading towards 50 degrees.  Oops, out of propane.  I carry two propane tanks, but my dual regulator hasn't worked right for a couple of years.  When one tank runs out, I have to manually switch over tanks to the side that does work.  

Why haven't I replaced the faulty dual regulator?  Well, I probably should, but the reviews complaining about quality control in dual regulators has not inspired me to make the purchase just yet.  

The empty tank did give me a reason to take a side trip to Gilman, Wisconsin, the nearest town to the Chippewa Recreation area.  Apparently, people in Gilman have different ideas about respiratory viruses.  As I entered town, a church sign advised me not to worry about the pandemic; instead, pray. 

Hmm, this was going to be interesting.  I drove to Cenex, a farming cooperative style gas station and confirmed the presence of propane exchanges.  After gassing up the Frontier, I put on my mask (required by state law in Wisconsin for indoor spaces) and went on in to arrange for the propane exchange. 

The first thing I noticed was that none of the customers or employees in the store were wearing masks.  Then, when I asked for a propane exchange, the clerk motioned me to lower my mask.  "I can't understand you," she said.  I spoke slowly and loudly through the mask.  She frowned, rang me up, and we went out to complete the tank exchange.  

"That was really weird," I thought to myself.  State law?  When our governor issued the mask order, a number of county sheriffs and local police agencies indicated that they would not be enforcing the law.  "My first duty is to the constitution," one sheriff proclaimed.  I'm not sure what the story is in Gilman, but there was no enforcement during my visit.

Gilman is famous for its swinging bridge.  

It moved up and down quite a bit as we crossed, but maybe it needs wind or something to swing.  

On another day, we took a little drive to two other national forest  campgrounds that I wanted to see: Eastwood and Spearhead Point.  Both had pit toilets and no hookups.  

Eastwood's main attraction to me is that you can walk the Ice Age Trail from the campground itself.  I will probably come back here someday for that purpose.

View from the Ice Age Trail   

I think Spearfish is mainly for people who enjoy fishing, but there were some sweet waterfront campsites.  P12 was my favorite.

On the way back to my campground , I took the back roads.  Along the way, I saw a sign on County Highway G that surprised me.  "Road to Dispersed Camping."  Nearly all of the dispersed camping in Wisconsin's national forests is for tents.  When I followed this road in, I could see that this was an area set up for trailers.

I wish I could report that it was a great dispersed site for trailers, but it was not.  There were four trailers packed into a tight circle, and they all had big contractor style generators.  There was a steep,rutted road leading down to the river that might work for truck campers, but not my Scamp.  At the bottom, there were basically two sites, and both were occupied by tents.  For anyone wanting to check it out and for my future purposes, it was about 1/2 mile west of Miller Dam.

I returned home at the end of my six days to say goodbye to my daughter Allie, who has left the nest for California.  She had a few minor car issues on the way west (learning a lesson not to drive with cruise control through the mountains), but made it to a friend's house without too much trouble. She begins a job search in northern California.

This weekend, we squeezed in some grape and apple harvesting from our property.  The cider turned out great.  We were hoping to make wine but we need a few more grapes to make that happen next year.

An interesting color for grape juice

The final project of the summer was installation of a hickory floor in the kitchen.  When we first bought the house, we put in hickory floors in the living room and the bedrooms and tile in the kitchen and bathrooms.  I wish we had done the entire first floor in hickory.  This time, it was the kitchen.

Hickory is a hard wood and a very durable surface for residents with power wheelchairs (son Justin).


  1. Allie's Subaru looks relatively new? Was the issue related to the CV transmission? A number of manufacturers are going with the CVT, including Subaru.

  2. I've never been much of a fan of automatic-switching regulators. If they don't work what was the point of spending the extra money, and if they do work, being justifiably skeptical of my attention-span, I run the risk of unexpectedly having two empty tanks at the same time, and at the most inconvenient time.

    I'd bet good money that if faced with surgery, not a single one of the anti-maskers out there will tell the OR staff not to bother masking up on their account.

    1. That's kind of my feeling about the regulators also. If I could find one that worked, I am pretty obsessive-compulsive about checking for the green light turning red, but even the expensive ones get pretty mediocre reviews.

      I was pretty annoyed about the gas station employees not masking up. I don't know how hard it is to understand that you are masking up for others, not yourself. If you don't give a crap about your customers, then why should anyone shop there, except for the people who didn't pay attention in math and science.


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