September 24, 2021 at 6:26 p.m.
Ready for autumn
Taking me off the farm is often a challenge. I have a hard time putting all the work on Anna, and there was added work coming up with many animals in the prefresh group due soon. I really didn’t want to leave. Anna insisted that we get a mini vacation now, before she and Kevin start hunting. Anna gave Duane ideas about where to go, and we were packed up and on the road heading up north on our excursion right after lunch.
We ended up in Green Bay for the evening on our way through Door County to see Washington Island. Heading north, we noticed some of the trees were starting to turn to red, orange and yellow. The colors of fall remind us that we will be seeing the radiant changes soon on our maple trees at our farm, and winter is waiting once the leaves have fallen. Cold mornings make it much harder to head out to the barn, but this cool morning motivated us to get to where we wanted to go.
We took the ferry over and drove around the island, stopping to view the historical sites until it was time to check into a bed and breakfast. It was a charming old farmstead with a very comfy bed and no TV, which was great. We each brought books to read. It was quiet and serene – just what we needed.
As the sun was rising in the morning, we ventured into the main house to make waffles and headed back to catch the ferry before the line got too long. On the way up, I saw some of the Wisconsin State Parks that had waterfalls. Anna told us to look up waterfalls on our phone: Only in your State, Wisconsin Scenic Waterfalls. A loop to see seven waterfalls. This gave us plenty of places to stop and hike. The parks have paths, bridges, and even some cabins nearby to see and hear the water falling over the rocks.
Every site was a new adventure to see what the park had in store for us to find. We walked on the paths to see the falls hidden in the woods, surrounded by trees, flowing over rocks that have been rounded by the years of the river flowing over them. Everywhere we went, the water was so clean and the parks were set up for guests to enjoy outdoor activities.
State parks were some of the busiest places people headed to during the pandemic. They provided fresh air, hiking, biking, beautiful sights and a place to spend time with each other. As we continued up the loop, without planning ahead, we needed to find a hotel for the night. We ended up in Iron Mountain, Michigan.
Sleeping in was the thing to do the next morning before getting the free breakfast and finishing the loop of the waterfalls on our way back home. We ventured over to Waupaca to stop at the Hinchley Homestead where Duane’s father grew up. The house, barn and sheds are still standing, and it all looks really good and well taken care of. I took some photos as we drove down the road, over the creek where his father and uncle Frank used to swim and fish. We drove slowly by, and observed the sandy fields and roadsides where they had to graze their cattle when times were tough with drought and the depression. Duane’s last visit there was with his father many years ago, and he wanted to see if we could find some headstones in the cemetery. He remembered the stories, but it was hard to remember what cemetery it was. Duane remembered an old school house with steel siding nearby, but it could have been taken down years ago.
There were three in close proximity to the farmstead. We looked for well over two hours, and even spoke to a neighbor that was outside with her husband, to ask if she knew the Hinchleys. She said her father and aunts who lived in the house were still alive, and she would ask them. She pointed the way to go, and I finally said it was time to head home.
As we drove slowly home past the neighboring dairy farms, we noticed many had all their corn chopped. We knew we would be harvesting feed over the next week, and everything was ready to head out to the field the next morning.
I came home feeling revitalized. It was a very good get away, not too far to drive. I think this might have been the perfect trip. It put me in the mood to bake a pumpkin pie. I am now ready for autumn to arrive.
Tina Hinchley, and her husband, Duane, daughter Anna, milk 240 registered Holsteins with robots. They also farm 2300 acres of crops near Cambridge, Wisconsin. The Hinchley’s have been hosting farm tour for over 25 years.