Showing posts from 2011

Greenest restaurant

Garden on the roof - as local as you can get.  This is the ideal and they hope others will copy them.

Museum of the Rockies

600 West Kagy Boulevard Bozeman, MT Started in 1957 this museum on the Montana State University Campus is a wonderful treasure when the weather does not invite you in to the mountains. Big Mike invites you in and is a good symbol for the museums real strength. I loved the geology, the displays that gave the full story of geologic and biologic evolution over the age of the earth.  There are numerous fossil bones, but not just cabinets collecting dust. These elements were put in displays with comparisons and descriptions that added to the experience of observation with knowledge that could help the viewer become more proficient in paleontology. There were lessons in reading the rock stories, new up to date information on our continually expanding ability to learn from the fossil records. There was a nice hall on the American Indians of Montana and I especially enjoyed the interactive feature that allowed me to hear from individuals who live on each of the …

Missouri Headwaters State Park

We visited Headwaters State Park between Bozeman and Butte with Jon and Kristin.  This is a featured state park in Montana and should be a gem in their state park system.  This is where the Madison, Jefferson, and Gallitin rivers come together to form the Missouri. It is exciting for anyone who is familiar with either the geography or the history of the US.  The Missouri/Mississippi River drainage is an immense part of our national freshwater system and the Missouri was the highway of Louis and Clark for a majority of their famous journey.  The Jefferson and Madison are the first to join, then the Galletin comes in from the east within a 1/4 mile to create the massive drainage that starts the flow of the Missouri.  Draining mountain ranges all around Yellowstone and south Montana this river is a rich landscape for wildlife and bird migration.

It has been the site of human use and conflict as long as we have a history.  The American Indians were here and left artifacts of their visits…

Livingston, Montana

We enjoy visiting the old gateway to Yellowstone.  The store fronts are wonderful and harken back to the old west.  There are great restaurants and my favorite book store in Montana

The book store is a wonderful place off the main street with a terrific collection of western themed books set in an old storefront.  The atmosphere of the store is terrific and I always stop and buy a book when time allows.

The Angry Trout

Somehow in all the years we’ve been visiting Grand Marais, MN we have not eaten at this very popular establishment. And I love fish! Yesterday, we made the decision that this was the day – hoping they weren’t closed on Mondays.It was another gloriously bright October day with the temperature hovering around the mid-50s.Located near the NorthHouseFolkSchool on Hwy 61, we found a curbside parking spot and when we saw people walking up the slope from the restaurant’s front door, we knew we were in luck.
We were told that this small (from the front) restaurant started out 24 years ago as a place that offered sailing trips and sold hot dogs from a window.It is now a bright, wood paneled, two dining room eatery.There is an outside patio/deck facing the water too, and on this windy day, with the water sparkling in the harbor, two couples braved the windchill to enjoy an autumn lunch in the sun. Gulls flew up and swirled around in front of them, because next door is a fisherman’s landing and…

The Pie Place - Grand Marais, MN

Written by Kate, photography by Mike

Anyone who has been to Grand Marais, MN over the years probably drove past The Pie Place, but missed seeing it.Set back from Highway 61 it was a small, one story, white clapboard building, with an enclosed front porch.Inside it had the character of an old 1940s cafĂ©, but the food was always tasty and the namesake pies outstanding.Last May, The Pie Place moved into town to a much better location. It is now easily found on Main Street, right across from the beautiful harbor.It succeeds a number of other restaurants at this location and we hope it will be successful and have a long run in this new spot.It has become our favorite place to eat in town, and that’s saying something, since Grand Marais has an unusually good selection of eating establishments for a town its size.
We ate there in August when our friends Mark and Jeannie Sandbo suggested it as a good lunch spot.Karen Halberschleben, another friend, works there as well making it a place of good…

Ashland, Wisconsin

Written by Kate - photos by Mike

A visit to Ashland, Wisconsin is a much more pleasant experience these days than in the not too distant past.It was a port city for freighters and rows of rusting ore docks as well as a coal power plant blocked ones view of big ChequamegonBay.Once the shipping industry stopped, the town suffered economically and it showed.But times have changed – for the better.Today, Ashland is working hard to restore its shoreline and making it more visitor friendly, as well as environmentally healthy.Some of the old ore docks still stand, but there are fewer of them and the power plant is still there, but it is converting to using biofuels.
The Chequamegan Hotel is a bright white beacon of gentility, recently renovated to showcase its historical character and its close connection to the lake.We were lucky enough to have a corner suite on the 3rd floor and enjoyed the view out into the bay, even on the day when the gale force winds pelted the windows with rain.The …

Duluth Grill

First we have to start with location - you know the old saying - location, location, location - well forget it.  This grill is surrounded by a wood stove store, a motel and a gas station and lots of black top.  Across the street is a Salvation Army Center and another gas station.  In other words, this is not your high class restaurant row.  BUT!!! Yes that big a BUT!!!! it is a fabulous place to eat.

And it is popular!  Yes the setting is weak, but they have done everything they can to add green.  Their farm manager (from France) has created standing gardents that are in boxes all around the restaurant and remind you of the fact that the produce is local and fresh. 

This is a place that has really found a way to lead in the local food movement and their menu is complex and creative.  They have been featured in the nationally syndicated "Dive-Ins, Diners, and Dives".  That is an honor, not a put down. And Tom, the owner, is proud of the product and the production.  He is a …


Our three grandsons stood transfixed with looks bordering on horror as the man used his sharp knife to skin a fox hanging from a metal post.He was just one of many costumed re-enactors at the North West Fur Post in Pine City, MN this past weekend.They were there to relive a time before the European settlers arrived in full force.
The Annual Festival of the Voyageur is a gathering of people who enjoy dressing up and living in the rustic manner of the late 17th Century.In the field outside of the old (looking) Fort with its palisades is a realistic looking encampment of canvas wall tents, lean-to’s and teepees.Adults and kids are dressed in period clothing and there is very much a feeling of time travel as you walk past the smoldering campfires with heavy cast iron pots hanging above them.Many of the re-enactors are craftsmen and women, who make silver jewelry, clothing, wooden canoe paddles and other items from the past.
The three boys had as much fun running up and down the steps a…

Hawk Ridge - Duluth

By Kate Crowley
For the first time I was able to bring three of my grandchildren up to Hawk Ridge in Duluth.It was something I’ve been waiting to do for years and now that they live in Duluth, it is an easy car ride up the hill from their house to the long, rocky ridge that parallels the lakeshore below.I know that people living in northern Minnesota, especially in the Duluth area are familiar with this fantastic natural resource, but there are still many in the state that have never visited, nor witnessed this amazing yearly phenomenon.

For people who do watch birds and pay attention to the autumnal migrations, there are only a few places in the U.S. that compress and funnel the birds as they move from the far north to the far south.There is a HawkMountain in Pennsylvania that is similar to our Hawk Ridge.It is on the Appalachian flyway.Whitefish Point Bird Observatory in Michigan is another place where migrating hawks, owls and songbirds are observed and counted.These thr…

Jasper's Cafe - Highway 99 in Medford Oregon

We were reminded by our good friends John and Beth Oehler of one of the best Hamburger Cafe's we have ever been to.  The combinations, the flavors - all original and homemade make this a hit with a hamburger man like Mike.

Yes they have fries, they have beverages, and they have a loyal set of fans that insures you will not be eating alone.  Nothing fancy, don't wear a tie unless it is to wipe the great flavors off your face - and then you will want to squeeze them out and taste them again.

Beth knew she was taking us to a small building that could easily be overlooked except for all the cars around it and to a place where Mike would dream about.  The owner is gregarious, the entire experience is great - even if you do hotdogs instead!

Jaspers Cafe