Chefs connect with farmers on their own turf

This “Roads Traveled” is for release on or after Sept. 3, 2005. Up to 850 words. Artwork to customers has been sent under three separate files. JenEhr and NoMI are cq. If you have questions, e-mail mary@roadstraveled.com. By MARY BERGIN Midwest Features I do not know Brandon Wolff well, but I am accustomed to seeing(…)

Canoe Bay Resort: remote, remarkable

First come the rustling stalks of corn, one field after another. There are dots of farmhouses and ripened vegetable gardens, splashes of wildflowers and thickening foliage, as the road loses its center marking and begins to twist. Then the route becomes desolate, with no sign of human life. You instinctively brace for a darting of(…)

Tribes work to break tourism stereotypes

Potawatomi Bingo Casino, Milwaukee, has one of the state’s few four-diamond restaurants, Dream Dance. Visits to four reservations comprise a five-night Northeast Wisconsin Native American Cultural Tour that is being marketed to Europeans. Around 70,000 people will see lacrosse matches to finger weavings, intertribal dances to drum groups at Milwaukee’s annual Indian Summer Festival, Sept.(…)

Native American tourism: It’s not all casinos

Polkas, threshing, fiddles and Polish sausage probably aren’t the first things that come to mind when the topic is Native American tourism. But next week state tourism officials will reward the Menominee and Stockbridge-Munsee reservations for their willingness to think along those lines. The two tribes and nearby communities of Gresham and Shawano will get(…)

Lac du Flambeau: Ojibwe heritage rich

The past matters to Nick Hockings, and he gladly relives it daily, especially during this time of year. Waswagoning – on the shore of a pristine lake in the heart of Lac du Flambeau country – is one way for Nick to keep his Ojibwe tribe’s cultural traditions alive, and its historical record accurate. It(…)

Reader mail: favorite diners, kid getaways

A soaring heat index, then buckets of much-needed rain, made it a fine time to take a cool dip into the reader mailbag. Here are excerpts: Jean Sweet of Madison writes to let us know about Ron Lukes’ “Toft Point: A Legacy of People and Pines” (Nature-Wise, $24.95), the story of Emma Toft, whose family(…)

Follow the river: Afton to Stillwater, Minn.

Near the end of his tours for the Stillwater Trolley Co., Bobby McLaughlin is likely to do a summary of the most notable people to have lived in this cheery Minnesota river city. Among the mansion owners are CEOs for Cub Foods and Dell Computer Corp. Author F. Scott Fitzgerald used to party it up(…)

Dillman’s resort: proof that bigger’s not better

On my desk is a Wall Street Journal story about six-star hotels. Think personal butlers, private swimming pools and four-digit nightly rates for suites that are likely larger than your childhood home. On my mind is John Hildebrand’s “A Northern Front,” a new book about the tension between people and their environment. We gravitate to(…)

Bratwurst 101: Cook, eat, sniff out quality

Back where I grew up, the ultimate compliment – regardless of weather or time of year – came down to these words: “That’s a good brat.” You’ll find multiple brat frys almost every weekend in Sheboygan County, at taverns, churches, bowling alleys and parks. I can think of a half-dozen grocery stores with outdoor booths(…)

Delta Diner: creative meals in woodsy setting

A dozen miles south of Iron River, off of Highway H and inside Chequamegon National Forest, are the best Swedish pancakes around. They are thin and sweet enough to hold their own without a drenching of syrup. “First-time customers have to sample the pancakes,” joked the cook, Todd Bucher, who grew up in Fond du(…)

Advice about how to take good travel photos

I have albums that are full of postcards from trips of a lifetime, taken when my only camera – if it was packed – was a cheap 1970s Instamatic. Then my equipment got slightly more complex, but the composition stayed predictable: friends or family squinting or blinking in front of something famous. It wasn’t until(…)

Milwaukee makeovers: Harley to Riverwalk

Milwaukee seemed to make a nice impression this month on travel writers from as far away as Texas and Louisiana. They were in Wisconsin for a Society of American Travel Writers conference at the elegant, four-diamond Pfister Hotel downtown. “We are in the process of redefining our image and identity,” says Doug Neilson, who heads(…)

Cooking with class at Washington Hotel

Honey. Salt. Lemon. Bread. We are sipping cinnamon-orange iced tea and learning the Four Band-Aids for Cooking, as declared by Suzanne Breckenridge. When you mess up in the kitchen, there’s a good chance that one of these items can help save your meal and reputation. The tidbits to be gleaned during this summer afternoon gathering(…)

Bayfield in spring: quiet, classy, memorable

Sometimes seconds are all you need to seal a simple memory that will outlast the next box office hit. My Guy and I were driving in the Chequamegon National Forest, near the northernmost part of Wisconsin, when we spotted a beak and tuft of white in the ditch. We did a U-turn at the next(…)

Water rides expand Cincinnati thrills

Thanks to a couple of Wisconsin companies, more Ohioans are learning what a thrill it can be to get sopping wet during any time of year. Great Wolf Lodge, based in Madison in 2001 opened the state’s first indoor waterpark resort in Sandusky, northern Ohio. There are 271 family suites and a 42,000 square foot(…)

New books: Lake Superior, cottage cooking

Time to gas up the car for Memorial Day weekend or begin planning summer vacations. Here are four new books to help you stay entertained while close to home. — “Lake Superior: the Ultimate Guide to the Region” (Lake Superior Port Cities Inc., $16.95) is an alphabetical guide to the communities associated with this moody(…)

Chicago events celebrate culinary heritage

It’s easy to work up an appetite in Chicago, and that especially will be true this spring and summer. The city has coordinated a massive celebration of its food heritage, expertise, creativity and diversity. “Stirring Things Up in Chicago” is a five-month endeavor that involves museums as well as restaurants, with some events to introduce(…)

Road America, at 50, still a car racer’s dream

Ask me about Road America, and all kinds of memories are quick to return. As a kid, the constant buzz of the racing car engines was easy to hear at our farm, about five miles from the competition. While in college, several friends found future husbands during race weekends – if not at the track,(…)

Quilter museums: Cedarburg, Paducah, Ky.

If you are a quilter, you know why Paducah is special. The western Kentucky river city is home to the Museum of the American Quilter’s Society. Wisconsin has a strong presence there, but our quilters also want a home of their own. So work has begun to create just that, the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts(…)

Waterpark growth spurts at Dells, Six Flags

Watch your language, when it comes to waterparks. The caller who alerted me recently to an expansion at Six Flags Great America, north of Chicago, got my attention this way: “It will have the biggest waterpark in the Midwest.” “Those are fightin’ words in this state,” I replied, knowing well that the Wisconsin Dells seems(…)

Grandma’s Christmas tradition: a gift of travel

Lu Ann Williams begins her holiday shopping months before Christmas, but it’s not about filling a closet with toys for her two grandchildren. She’s doing research online, but it’s not with eBay. She’s collecting shopping materials, but they are about cities, not catalogs. What she and husband Gary, who live in Madison, end up with(…)

Reader mail: favorite churches, getaways

Between Plain and Loganville, in southwestern Wisconsin’s Sauk County, is hilly terrain that seems idyllic and never-ending. The coulee area is magnificent – yes, even in these last few days before the trees and groundcover green. Highway 23 zigzags up, down and around clumps of woodland and fields of cattle. There are horses with sun-kissed(…)

Smart design: Taliesin West, Acrosanti

This spring is full of reminders that architectural wonders carry a price. Innovation means risk of ridicule. Success, over the long haul, requires perseverance as well as preservation. The major league baseball season opens next week. Almost all the leaks from that funky and retractable roof at Miller Park, from what I’ve read, have been(…)