St. Germain, Wisconsin
Aug 13, 2005
|On Sunday, July 24th, 2005, El Rocinanti was gassed up, along with the Honda Civic that Lynn would be driving following the motorhome. We had not installed a towing system for the Honda Civic as yet due to the cost, and we figured it would be enough to try and get familiar with driving the motorhome. The Honda would get close to 40 mpg and the motorhome only 9 mpg, so we figured it would not cost much to drive the Honda. We were ready to start the first leg of our trip to St. Germain, Wisconsin, (which has over 3200 lakes with many resorts), to Lynn Ann's Campground on Big St. Germain Lake. We traveled from our Tinley Park, Illinois home onto the 90/94 Tollway into Wisconsin and to our first overnight stop at Buffalo Lake Campground in Montello, Wisconsin.
Buffalo Lake Campground was a nice campground in a fairly rural area that did not offer much in the way of sights to see as far as we could tell, but was a very nice overnight stop. The lakes in the area are very overgrown with green weeds but supposedly contain many fish. In Montello there is a series of waterfalls that are picturesque.
We left the campground the following morning heading out on Wisconsin State Highway 39. This road goes straight up to the Eagle River & St. Germain area. Eventually 39 turns into Highway 51 and we turned east on Highway 70 which leads into St. Germain. The drive, once we were on 39 and 51, was basically two-lane with an occasional lane added to allow cars and trucks to pass to the left. Lynn Ann's Campground is located east on Highway 70 a few miles past Hwy C. It is on the left hand side of the road and there is a big sign. The phone number is 715-542-3456. Arriving at Lynn Ann's Campground, we checked in and parked in our reserved spot. This spot was full hookup with cable TV.
Entrance to Lynn Ann's Campground :
We were assigned a corner space that had electric, water, sewer and cable TV for $26.00 a day. There are no "permanent" spots. If a unit is unoccupied, it is moved to a large storage area with a tractor. They are very proficient at moving units on and off the lots. They will put your unit on your requested space prior to your arrival.
We purchased a cable from Radio Shack, but were not able to get a decent picture. After a few days, I figured it out. We have a TV and a separate dvd/vcr player-recorder. Normally, the TV is used as the tuner through an amplifier to the rooftop antenna. The cable signal, however, had to use the dvd/vcr player-recorder as the tuner with the amplifier turned off. Go figure!!! Also, our Onan generator would fail to start and give three blinks on the start button. We were not able to determine the cause at the time.
The owners of the campground, Mike and Heather Davidson, and their daughter Corinne, were very helpfull and quickly put us at ease. Most camping supplies, fishing licenses, and gas and oil for boats can be purchased at the Campstore. Most marine equipment such as boats, motors and canoes, may be rented. They also rent Park model trailers at a reasonable rate for those without RVs. Their daughter Corinne is part of a free water skiing show on nearby Plum Lake that is great. This family can often be seen touring the campground to see that it is in "tip-top shape." It is clean, and has well-kept showers and laundry facilities, as well as a recreation and gameroom. While resting on a picnic table a young fisherman asked: "Mr ... My line is all tangled up. Could you help me fis it?" My Grandpa instincts took over!
The lakefront is beautiful and relaxing. The three piers, with benches on the end, make for a delightful place to sit, watch the eagles, listen to the loons and take a picture of the sunset. The sandy beach swiming area is nice and shallow for safe swimming or cooling off. Outside of the swimming area is a raft for the deeper-water swimmers.
There is an assortment of children's paddleboats and beach equipment that can be rented, as well as bicycles and other such equipment. There are canoes for rent. The beach is well maintained and groomed.
Boat Storage/Launch Lagoon:
In addition to tying up your boat at the boat pier, there is a channel to a lagoon in which you may rent space to tie up your boat safely out of the lake storms. Fishing boats and motors, jetskis, water-ski boats, and gas and oil may be purchased or rented here.
Deer on the Road:
It is common in this area to see signs of wildlife. We often saw deer when entering and leaving the resort.
Visit to Plum Creek:
If you like fly-fishing, there is a nearby public access to Plum Creek. This creek has mostly Brook Trout. It is a very enjoyable, peaceful nature walk, or wade. There are fly-fishing guides for hire that will meet your need at any level of fly-fishing expertise.
Beaver are still active, as this "chew" illustrates. There can still be seen beaver dams and chews.
Fishing is great on Big St. Germain Lake --- how about this 46" 22lb Muskie ?! (Caught by our camper neighbor across the road.) Here also it is wise to use the services of a guide the first time to direct you to the best spots and techniques. Muskie, walleye, largemouth and smallmouth bass are available, as well as very tasty panfish.
Sayner, where the snowmobile was invented. This is the home of the Northland Museum which is visited by donation. It is a very large exhibit of donated artifacts of life in the north Wisconsin region. Make sure to take time to visit.
Early Fishing Guide Boats, Northland Wildlife inside the Sayner Museum and of course Paul Bunyan and his blue ox "Babe".
Guiding is a tradition up in the northwoods. The local Information station will guide you to the many fine guides in the area.
For diversion, we played miniature golf at a really fine course. The theme was "northwoods animals," and they had animal tracks imbedded in the concrete sidewalks. If you could identify six out of nine, you would win a prize. We did somehow identify six, and Lynn drew a ticket for a soft drink. There is also a fine 18-hole golf course, which at some future time when we are in the area, we might try.
We did not get to go on these, maybe next time.
There are many fine activities in the area, too numerous to list. Something for everyone! We did not take advantage of the bumper boats, go-carts or horse-back riding, but we watched and said we might in the future. There are also some exhibits in the area of Native American Indian craft and culture that are very interesting.
Again we were not able to go horseback riding, but there are many fine trails of which to take advantage.
Sunset on the Lake:
There is nothing like a northwoods sunset at the end of a day! It brings out the wonder and awe of God's great creation.
Conclusion --- Events Originally Not On The Agenda:
Well, this was a very wonderful place to set up our motorhome for ten days. It was time now to return home. We started back down Wisconsin Highway 51, then down Wisconsin Highway 39, until we needed gas for the motorhome. We stopped at a Mobil station, and I asked my wife to watch the gas fillup while I went to the bathroom in the motorhome. When I came out to the pump, there she was laying on the ground with blood all over the ground and coming out of a gash over her right eye. She had tripped stepping over the gas hose, and fell bracing herself with her right arm. Her glasses had pushed in above her eyebrow to create quite a gouge.
Well, here we were, over 250 miles from home in a gas station in Wausau, Wisconsin, Lynn with a profusely bleeding forehead. I took her into the motorhome and cleaned her up and applied a butterfly bandage to the wound over the right eye, and applied an icepack. The bleeding stopped, but she said she was sore in her right arm. Lynn wasn't sure about her arm, but seemed sure that she didn't want to be treated in a strange town. Her right arm was hurting, but she seemed to be able to use it somewhat. We stopped at a Walgreens and bought an Ace bandage, a cold pack and a sling for her arm.
The fall had caused a complex fracture to her right elbow involving the head of the radius forearm bone & the lowest end of the humerus bone in her upper arm --- as well as a gouge over her right eye from her metal glass frames. Also, she had a small abrasion to her right upper lip and a small chip to her upper front tooth. There was also a scrape to her right knee, and some bruising around her left elbow. She kept saying that the only part that seemed to hurt the worst at the time, was her right arm. Lynn is right-handed. She was somewhat in a daze for about half an hour, as the accident happened so quickly!
We decided to push on to our friend's campground in the Lake Geneva/Burlington area. Our walkie talkies had run out of charge, and we were unable to communicate between Honda and motorhome. Lynn, like a trooper, used her left arm to steer & drive, and pushed on despite the pain. We got to Meadowlark Acres Campground in Burlington, Wisconsin, where we left the motorhome and proceeded the rest of the way by Honda, with Ray driving the remaining 107 miles home.
We arrived at home about 9:30 PM on Friday, August 5th, and Lynn stated that her arm was really painful and she wanted to go to the hospital emergency room to have them check it out. Our daughter, Sue, took her Mom to the emergency room and they took X-rays. They thought they saw a fracture in the arm above and below the elbow and put the arm in a temporary cast until she could go to the orthopedic specialist on the Monday following. They also used a kind of Krazy Glue called Dermabond to close the wound above her eye rather than stitches. Well, it turned out that with further Cat Scans, that Lynn had a Radial End fracture of the elbow. The doctor advised against surgery and she now supports a "bright fluorescent Irish lime green cast." As of this date, Saturday, August 13th, Lynn is doing well. She will be off work for at least six weeks with the cast, and then some therapy for another month.
I had never thought about the need to have a towing capability if one of the drivers was impaired. If Lynn had not driven the Honda, we would have had to leave either the Honda or the motorhome up north in Wisconsin in some storage place. What this experience taught us was that you never know when the other driver may be impaired. We have made arrangements to have a Blue Ox Aventa II installed to tow our Honda Civic behind the motorhome. Without the towing system, we would be required to leave one or other of the vehicles in storage at some location where one of us would be impaired.
The trip, however, was most excellent! The campground was great! We saw lots of sights, did many activities and side trips, and made plans to return again. When we return, we decided it would be economical and fun to have a guide take us out fishing. They provide the boat and all the gear. Two people for a half day costs $150, all day $275. We would also like to do a half day of fly fishing, same price.
Arriving home with the motorhome later, I found that there was a loose screw holding the ground wire inside the Onan generator. When I tightened this screw firmly, the generator ran smoothly. Whew, saved some money there instead of having someone else do the looking for a much higher price.
Here is just another illustration of how you never know what life is going to dish out. It could have been a more serious fall or injury and our future plans would be affected. Again, do it now if you are at all able. Have your fun while you can!
We are still in a positive attitude toward the future. Lynn is a little frustrated at being limited in what she can do, as she is a very active person; and I am once again learning how to do household chores and giving shower baths; but we are having fun!!!!!
Once again, keep us in your prayers, as we will for all of you.