Welcome To My Blog

Weekends are for wandering Wisconsin. That's what Rick, my guy, and I do. Occasionally we wander during the week, too. Sometimes we just drop in on other people's lives.

This blog is my way of sharing where we've been, neat places and things to do that we've found.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The End of Camping Season

Once again (third year for us), we were at WillOaks campground in Woodstock IL for a vintage trailer rally October 10-13. Once again, our host, BJ Frantz, did a great job. Once again, we met up with old friends and made a few new ones.

BJ's trailer - a Trotwood that she restored this past year.

A new rally participant with a Trailblazer. The shutters are distinctive features
of this particular make of vintage camping trailer. They were manufactured
in Spencer WI.
An Airstream - definitely an iconic vintage trailer.
Our friends, Julia and Norm from DeKalb, had their entire fleet of vintage trailers at the rally. It's nice to have several to be able to invite trailerless friends and family to join in the fun.

Walter, the "hippy" trailer, is one of three in their fleet.
On that beautiful Friday, Rick and I wandered over to Edwards Apple Orchard. An amazing operation. Lots of customers buying apples and warm apple cider donuts and sampling several varieties of apples from the orchard.
Lots of pumpkins for sale, too.
The food barn was also a museum.
Many old farm implements were displayed.
Vintage tractors, too.
On Saturday, we checked out the Iron Invasion.  Along with the classic cars and trucks, we looked at a number of vintage camping trailers at the McHenry County Fairgrounds. 
Some of the more colorful cars caught my eye.
Red is another favorite color.

I'm finally able to recognize a mid-60s Chevy truck - probably because the front end looks the same as Rick's '64 panel truck. 
The owner of this one made quite a few modifications but the basic look
remained the same - and recognizable.

I've seen many "trailer queens" (cars never driven, only hauled on trailers) at car shows,
so this one brought a smile to my face.

The owners of this vintage Chevy Suburban heard about our vintage rally
and stopped in on Sunday to check out our trailers.
Unfortunately, this was probably our last year at WillOaks since the land is being sold and the campground manager will not continue to run the place. Many Illinois state parks have alcohol bans so the challenge is to find a campground in the general vicinity where we'll be able to continue our tradition of a progressive cocktail party during the next rally. Any ideas?

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

It's Threshing Time

That's right - time to separate the wheat from the chaff. And that was demonstrated at the Richfield Historical Society's 15th Annual Thresheree on September 21 and 22.

The Thresheree takes place at the beautiful Richfield Historical Park. 
The motto for the Village of Richfield is "Forward. Preserving a Country Way of Life." What could be more "country" than a re-creation of life on the land in the late 1800s?

One feature of the Thresheree that I always enjoy is the Tractor Parade. It's more like a fashion show. Owners drive their tractors around the grounds with an announcer giving the details of the particular piece of farm equipment they are driving.
Mostly red and green tractors in the parade...
with an occasional orange one for variety.

Some of the many tractors on display at the Thresheree.
Even the little garden variety tractors get in on the action.
Gehl Company (now a subsidiary of Manitou Americas) from West Bend usually has an exhibit of equipment at the Thresheree.

This year Gehl brought out the Blazer. It was billed as an all-season
fun-mobile. Two people could ride in it. Wheels for summer...with dune-buggy
applications. Skis for winter. Conversion from one to the other in minutes!
The centerpiece of the Richfield Historical Park is the Messer/Mayer Mill that has been standing on its original location for 140 years. It's only one of a few timber frame grist (grain) mills in the Midwest. The Richfield Historical Society is currently in a campaign to raise funds to restore the foundation so that the building won't collapse. Previously Society volunteers replaced the Mill's roof, siding, and windows and succeeded in placing the Mill on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

Work has begun on the first phase to restore the Mill foundation.
Right now the soil next to this wall has been removed so the contractor
can repair the limestone mortar that is holding the field stones in the
foundation walls together. It's a big project.
I am always in awe of the dedicated, passionate volunteers who are involved in the Richfield Historical Society. The Society was organized a mere 15 years ago and, in that short time, its members have created a living museum of Richfield’s history at the Historical Park. The Park includes a pioneer homestead featuring log buildings that were moved from other locations in the village, the Messer/Mayer Mill, the miller’s home, and supporting buildings. The time period represented begins with the early settlers of Richfield prior to the Civil War, continues with life on the mill homestead, and carries on to the era of cash cropping and dairy farming. 

The Richfield Thresheree is always the third weekend of September. For a glimpse of our state's past when wheat was king, check out the Thresheree in 2014.