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Governor Dodge State Park

2014 State Park and Trail Awards Banquet


You are Invited!
On Saturday – October 11, 2014, join the Friends of Wisconsin State parks and Friends members from around the state to celebrate 2014 accomplishments.
Enjoy an evening at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center, One John Nolen Drive, Madison, Wisconsin.
Please join us to celebrate our 2014 State Park and Trail Awards. All Friends Groups and Friends of Wisconsin State Parks members, Park System staff and trail visitors are invited.
Please RSVP to to patricia.loosen@ wisconsin.gov (patricia.loosen@ wisconsin.gov ) by October 3, 2014.
Dinner: $20.00 donation requested the evening of the event. Vegetarian option is available. Please indicate with RSVP.
Anyone who wants to stay overnight that evening will need to book a hotel now – there are a lot of things going on that day in Madison – mainly a Badger home football game!  Click for list of Hotels
5:00 PM Social Time - Cocktails
5:30 PM Dinner
6:30 PM Welcome Remarks:  Roger Putnam – FWSP President, Cathy Stepp – Secretary of Wisconsin DNR
7:00 PM Keynote Address: US Senator Tammy Baldwin – Invited Guest
7:15 PM Awards Presentation: HERO Awards, President’s Award, Gold Seal & Photo Contest Awards
8:30 PM Closing Remarks

Day Two EVENING of Volunteer Jamboree at Kettle Moraine State Forest Ottawa Rec Area

Karen Pfundtner* and her spouse, Steve, are attending the 2014 Volunteer Jamboree. This year, it is being held at the Kettle Morraine Ottawa Recreation Area.
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Our evening started after we had our canoe trip and wandering around the park for a while.  We were invited back to the canopy tents for supper.  On the
menu were big pans of pulled pork with sauce on buns, salads, fruit, roasted sweet corn. Dinner was followed up by a couple huge sheet cakes of dessert and an invite to head on over to the amphitheater again for the evening entertainment with ‘Wylde Thyme’ from Racine, Wisconsin.
They set up on the small stage and introduced themselves.  What a gorgeous spot in the park for a live concert alongside the lake, under a weeping willow tree,  with the sun setting.
The band played number after number of all of my favorite Celtic and Irish Tunes. There was a lot of toe tapping and hand clapping along with the lively music.
There were only a few mosquitoes compared to the night before, so the evening was relaxing and enjoyable. Beautiful natural music in the outdoor setting was a perfect way to wind up the busy day.




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**Karen and her husband, Steve, had planned to travel in their 38ft Safari Serengeti diesel pusher motohome, with our two Shetland Sheepdogs, Duke and Finnegan. As good fortune would have it, the plans changed when Steve, had an opportunity to work at High Cliff State Park. Today, they still travel in their motorhome, camp host at High Cliff State Park, and enjoy their lovely home near the park. Karen hosts a Blog: - Rving: The USA is Our Big Backyard.

Volunteer Jamboree–Afternoon of Day two

DSCN0883_1Karen Pfundtner* and her spouse, Steve, are attending the 2014 Volunteer Jamboree. This year, it is being held at the Kettle Morraine Ottawa Recreation Area.
After a nice lunch put on by the staff (sub sandwiches, chips, watermelon and big chocolate chip cookies).... we had our choice of four or five different activities to partake in from the jamboree planning committee.  We chose the canoeing and kayaking around the lake.
Our instructor was a very capable and knowledgeable young gal by the name of Carrie   Carrie and she works at Kettle Moraine Southern Unit at Ottawa Lake Rec Area. (Photo –Left)DSCN0865_1
Soon everyone was jacketed up, and after a brief instruction plus Carrie's assessment of our canoeing and swimming skills, we were to line up and get set to take off. (Photo - Right)
We all got on board. We all paddled over to the first buoy and waited for everyone to arrive.
DSCN0871_1Carrie explained that Ottawa Lake is a "kettle" lake.... formed by glaciers long ago as they dragged their huge ice formation across the land.  The big chunks of ice, covered in dirt and sludge later melted and left holes or "kettles" in the land.  The lumps left behind are called Moraines.  Thus, that is how The Kettle Moraine State Forest got it's name!  
This lake is spring fed, so it is very clear, but not very deep.  It's only about 27 acres, and the deepest part on one end is 16 ft deep.  Most of it is shallow and most of the edges are surrounded with cattails and reeds.
Off we all paddled to the next buoy to learn some more about the lake.
This time it was about the fish; mostly walleye, perch, blue gill and most recently long nosed gar which was introduced to keep down the bluegill population.
After the third buoy stop, and I am sure it was after Carrie assessed each of our abilities to handle our boats, we were allowed to venture forth on our own through the waters and around the rest of the lake.
It was such a beautiful day for a paddle around the lake. There was a slight breeze and the sun was shining in between the puffy clouds.
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**Karen and her husband, Steve, had planned to travel in their 38ft Safari Serengeti diesel pusher motohome, with our two Shetland Sheepdogs, Duke and Finnegan. As good fortune would have it, the plans changed when Steve, had an opportunity to work at High Cliff State Park. Today, they still travel in their motorhome, camp host at High Cliff State Park, and enjoy their lovely home near the park. Karen hosts a Blog: - Rving: The USA is Our Big Backyard.

Camper Jamboree 2014*

imagesKaren Pfundtner* and her spouse, Steve, are attending the 2014 Volunteer Jamboree. This year, it is being held at the Kettle Morraine Ottawa Recreation Area.
We were greeted warmly at the gate to the southern unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest... Ottawa Lake Rec

Area.  We got a full packet of information, ID tags, and a neato tote bag to haul all in.  We were directed to our free campsite and got set up.  What a great site!  We even have a little pavilion structure over our table.
We were then ushered over to a nature program in the amphitheater.  The guest speaker was a woman named Leslie Keuhl and she was speaking on behalf of a non-profit group called "Wildlife In Need Center" located at W349 S1480 S. Waterville Rd. Ste B, Oconomowoc, WI 53066  262-965-3090 and their website is http://www.helpingwildlife.org/   She is their Wildlife Education Coordinator.
Leslie showed us some amazing animals... many which were rescued and made healthy but cannot be returned to the wild. Many because they are too imprinted on humans and don't know how to be a wild animal anymore.  Each one had story and is now filling the role as an Animal Ambassador to teach people what to do and NOT do when an animal needs help.  If you don't know what to do, it's best to call them first and find out before you interfere and make matters worse.
Leslie showed us a few animals that have come to the Wildlife in Need Center. Among them was Waldo the Woodchuck!  Someone actually had the audacity to make a PET out of him in a campground for a summer, having him in their motorhome and eating people food while laying on the couch!   He has no idea he is woodchuck and really thinks he is a dog.  At the end of summer, the people were going to leave him behind and go home.... so the poor guy was eventually brought to the center for protection.   Leslie was bribing him with almonds to hang out for us, and he was grunting and making the funniest sounds each time the bowl of treats was too far away.  As long as the bribes were forthcoming, he was happy to pose for us.
After the programs and potluck supper, we were invited to come sit around a group campfire with some of the other host from other parks. We shared hosting stories, favorite campground stories, and other bits and pieces... and a few jokes too.  By 10 p.m. we were ready to toddle off to bed.

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**Karen and her husband, Steve, had planned to travel in their 38ft Safari Serengeti diesel pusher motohome, with our two Shetland Sheepdogs, Duke and Finnegan. As good fortune would have it, the plans changed when Steve, had an opportunity to work at High Cliff State Park. Today, they still travel in their motorhome, camp host at High Cliff State Park, and enjoy their lovely home near the park. Karen hosts a Blog: - Rving: The USA is Our Big Backyard.

Willow River State Park*

p1Willow River State Park will leave an impression on you. It may leave you with a sense of awe and wonder when you experience its beauty. The primary attraction is Willow River Falls. However, you will miss so much if you only go to the falls. Dive deeper into the park. There are great hiking trails and a lake that offers an abundance of recreational opportunities. There are several campgrounds in the park. I can assure you they are all s’mores friendly.
Willow River Falls is special, though. I have seen it in varying stages based on water level. At lower levels, it is a great place to swim and cool off on a hot summer day. You can rub noses with it at this level. A word of caution, if I may, is to offer you the advice of being mindful with how close you get to the falls. I got so close once that there was nothing but moving water in front of my eyes. It was moving so fast and being the only I could see began to make me dizzy. There was one part where you could walk through the waterfall and onto a small ledge behind the waterfall. You can go around the side of the waterfall and onto this ledge too.
On my next visit, the water was much higher and moving faster. It would have been nigh impossible to stand where I had previously stood. On the prior occasion, I had swimming company. On the latter occasion, no one would swim including I. The water would have crushed anyone who dared to trespass on its might falls. Hiking down from the road parking lot is very steep. Pack light because the uphill climb is a good workout. The path from the campground is much more level and easier. Therefore, you should camp there and walk to the falls.Location
With nearly 3,000 acres of prairie, forests, and panoramic river scenery,Willow River State Park offers year-round recreation opportunities in western Wisconsin. The park is about five miles northeast of Hudson, and has a campground, a boat launch and a 400-foot beach and picnic area centered on 172-acre Little Falls Lake.
Friends of Willow River State Park
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***** Jonathon Ringdahl visited all of Wisconsin’s 64 State Parks, State Forests, and recreational areas in 2012. This is another in a series of articles he is writing for the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks. Opinions expressed in this blog are the author’s