Reader mail: places to see before you die

We’re frantic and between grand excursions that you’ll hear about next month, so let’s simply dip into the reader mailbag.

First: Two responses regarding the recent, three-part series about Native American tourism.

“My work as a documentary photographer has taken me out to the Great Plains to live among (and between) the Lakotas of Pine Ridge and the ranchers of Nebraska’s little border towns,” writes Melinda Rose of Pennsylvania.

“Over the past few years I’ve met some really fine people and I have been putting together some ideas that, through a genuine sense of cooperation, could help bring tourism into these two struggling communities. I have been presenting my ongoing project — ‘Healing on the Line’ — at galleries and university conferences.”

We’ll let you know if the exhibit makes its way into Wisconsin.

“I am writing to thank you for your thoughtful column about Ojibwe tourism,” writes Judy Skog of the Madison area. “I have visited many Native American museums and cultural events across the country.

“I had the good fortune to visit Waswagoning last summer. I was impressed with the quality of the installation and the depth of culture that was shared on our tour. I was also impressed with the caring of the people I encountered on the grounds.

“It is critical for non-Native people to visit places like this, to learn the culture and meet the people, so we are less afraid of the ‘other.’ I think Nick Hockings and his friends have done a marvelous job of creating a place where this learning can happen.”

We need to enlarge the Midwest representation in the book “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” by Patricia Schultz. Here are a couple of your ideas.

“About three years ago we discovered a new place,” writes Barbara Lee Micheln of Kenosha, referring to the Upper Peninsula. “It is Bessemer, Michigan. You are in the center of the best area. 

“You can explore the waterfalls on the Black River, wander the shores of Lake Superior, hike the Porcupine State Park and enjoy the vistas from the Porkies – and that’s just summer and fall.  In the winter, you have great ski trails and Copper Peak, the world’s longest ski jump. 
“We discovered a wonderful B&B in Bessemer: Black River Crossing.  It is a huge, long home: bright and cozy at the same time.”

To learn more, go to or call (906) 932-2604. Owners Stan and Sue Carr are Wisconsin natives (Oconomowoc and Watertown, respectively). To learn more about the area, go to or call (800) 562-7134.
Barb Schroeder of Kenosha offers this:

“Please add Door County to your list of great places to visit in Wisconsin. Each and every little town has its own distinct view. Artists and photographers alike are drawn to this area because of its endless beauty.

“With 250 miles of shoreline, five state parks and more than a dozen county parks and conservation areas, Door County offers endless variety in ways to enjoy scenic outdoors. 
”My husband and I own a vacation home up there, and each time we visit, there is something new to discover.”

Publicist Carla Minsky of Fond du Lac writes that a client, Sundara Inn & Spa, Wisconsin Dells, is building the first spa residential community in the Midwest.

“Eight lifestyle villas are being built in the pine forest that surrounds Sundara,” she says. “These villas are for ownership and rental,” and the first will be finished in December.

Prices start at $750,000 (yes, that’s four zeroes). To learn more, see or call (888) 735-8181.

We received a big whoosh of favorable feedback about our description of prestigious Canoe Bay Resort, near Chetek. That included a query from a lesbian friend, who asked if the property was gay-friendly.

“Canoe Bay got a great response to your piece as well:  calls and e-mails asking for brochures,” writes publicist Kristen Hammer.  “Yes, your reader and her partner would be welcome and will enjoy Canoe Bay immensely, I’m sure.”