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PECKS OF PICKLES TO BE! Paradise Farms Almond, WI

September 2011 Vol. 1, Issue 7

THIS ISSUE Neighbors Open House Grapevine River Wild!


Neighbors Table of Contents September 2011, Vol. 1, Issue 7

Above: Waupaca FFA lent a huge helping hand during our Neighbors Open House!

FEATURE ARTICLES

COLUMNS

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4

Pecks of Pickles to Be! Follow the cucumbers as they journey through Paradise Farm’s harvest.

14

Neighbors Open House Photos coverage galore of our big event! Check out the fun!

6

22

26

The Grapevine at Work Rumors flew as people tried to guess why the Gagas Farm in Custer was digging a huge hole on the corner of County Road J and 10th Street. Page 2

Together Thoughts from Jim Faivre, Neighbors’ publisher.

Grounded Ruth Johnson, Neighbors’ Editor, reflects on daily life.

Day Trips-River Wild Ann Marie Worzalla and Heather Kizewski, brave Menominee River’s Piers Gorge wild rapids! Neighbors-September 2011


Old World Charm Taste beyond compare!

Ski’s is an experience, not just shopping, a very special place! At family owned and operated Ski’s, quality knows no bounds and you receive only the freshest, finest meats, seafood, 100+ Wisconsin cheeses, Boar’s Head deli products and other treats. Savor Ski’s famously delicious homemade brats and sausages and the most tender beef, pork and chicken, cut by our expert butchers. New in-season seafood refreshed daily – from salmon, halibut and cod to crab legs and lobster!

5370 US Highway 10 E Stevens Point, WI 54482

(715) 344-8484 www.skismeatmarket.com

We offer Wisconsin’s finest artisan and master cheese makers with ‘squeaky fresh’ cheese curds on Friday and Saturday. Visit us soon for your good, old-fashioned, neighborly meat market experience!

Mon-Fri: 10am–6pm Sat: 9am–6pm Sun: 10am–4pm


Together Insight. One of my favorite things about Neighbors magazine is accompanying our editor, Ruth Johnson, to her stories. I get the inside view on how different farms and businesses operate and learn new facts and ideas. This issue’s article covering Paradise Farms cucumber operation was particularly interesting, partially because I sampled some cucumbers when no one was looking. I was amazed at their crisp and flavorful taste and the complete lack of bitterness often found when you buy fresh cucumbers in the grocery stores. I want to thank everyone who made our Neighbors Open House so much fun from all our guests to our helpers. We were fortunate to have members of Almond-Bancroft, Stevens Point, Waupaca, Amherst, Montello and Westfield FFA groups assisting us. What a great group of young people! Happy trails and blue skies for all!

Above: It appears there is a cucumber thief sampling the wares at Paradise farms. There are 535 of these storage vats and each is up to 12-feet deep. Left Bottom: Lukas and Alice Vuorinen drew the prizewinners at the Neighbors Open House while Neal Zunker read the names. Below: Michael Warzynski discusses the unusual rash of cucumber thefts they have experienced just recently. Imagine that! What do you mean, why do I have cucumbers in my pocket?

Jim Faivre Publisher, Neighbors

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Neighbors-September 2011


Neighbors

Grounded

EDITOR, PHOTOGRAPHER, DESIGN & PRODUCTION CIRCULATION & WEB MANAGEMENT Ruth Johnson

journey@journeywi.com 715-347-3755

Regeneration. Harvest time confirms the earth’s endless ability to continue the cycle of life. As an avid gardener and landscaper, I have always believed in the healing and soothing effects of working with the soil and watching the results of my work. Each month, as I produce this magazine, I have that same feeling because I believe that our articles, which focus on the good things happening in our own area, can help overcome the negative slant we often see in the mainstream media. Having weathered many of life’s storms, I realized long ago if you try to find something excellent in each day, even if it is simply a wonderful sunrise breaking the horizon, your entire outlook changes. I am not a “Pollyanna” and acknowledge these are disruptive times. However, Neighbors has helped me remember that the American spirit is more powerful than many people realize. Reach out to those around you and help them see some rays of hope. Meanwhile, I will do my part to emphasize positive happenings through my various articles and photo essays. Thank you! Warm regards,

Ruth Johnson Editor Neighbors Page 6

Neighbors-October 2011


Togetherness Deserves Planning… When you’ve spent a lifetime sharing every moment, the thought of living life without your loved one can be unbearable. However, the unthinkable can occur unexpectedly and your time of loss is not when you want to worry about planning final arrangements. “Haertel Monuments’ kind staff guided some of our relatives through all the choices. We want them to do the same for us!” John & Mary Lou Hodgson, Stevens Point

HAERTEL MONUMENTS Rock Solid in Wisconsin since 1901 www.haertelmonuments.com

Since 1901, Haertel Monuments' considerate, caring staff has helped guide generations and people like John and Mary Lou Hodgson (shown left above), create a unique memorial of everlasting beauty, premium artisanship and exceptional value for their loved ones. Please visit our display areas in Stevens Point or Wisconsin Rapids for choices that reflect your desires.

Please stop in and visit with us about our Pre-Need Options program.

STEVENS POINT 5361 Highway 10 East (715) 344-6577 (800) 472-4515 (Toll Free) michele.jensen@haertelmonuments.com stevenspoint@haertelmonuments.com WISCONSIN RAPIDS 1915 Baker Drive (715) 423-2370 wisconsinrapids@haertelmonuments.com


PECKS OF PICKLES TO BE! Paradise Farms Almond, WI By Ruth Johnson, Editor

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Neighbors-September 2011


Ingenuity reigns at Paradise Farms where 16 years ago, the Warzynski clan, headed by brothers Michael and David Warzynski and their father and company founder, Ray Warzynski, transformed a large dairy operation into a 2,500-acre farm growing several varieties of cucumbers for four major vendors. This major switch in focus meant the Warzynskis needed to acquire thousands of acres with the emphasis on quality land within 20 miles of their main base of operations on County Road AA in Almond, WI. The goal was to achieve a manageable radius. Just as important, they had to research, evaluate and buy equipment for soil preparation, planting, pollination, cultivating, harvesting, sorting, grading, packaging and shipping for large-scale cucumber and pepper growing. Cucumber equipment often mimics that which is designed for potato operations but rather than piggyback on the standard choices, the Warzynskis drew on their imagination and resourcefulness and rose to the challenge! (Continued on Page 10) Opposite Page: Paradise Farms vast storage system. Top: John Deere tractors populate the fields as cucumber harvesting swings into full gear. Middle: View inside the tractor pulling the oversized Oxbow 1514 dump box that the Warzynskis customized for their operation. Bottom: The harvester glides the vines into the area where the cucumbers will be removed and the vines mulched and shot back onto the field. The lines of cornstalks serve as markers for section rows.

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COLOR PALETTE Some equipment decisions have proven easy because green is the color of choice at Paradise Farms, from fields of maturing plants to the wide expanses of lawn to their John Deere Ag and lawn tractors. The Warznyskis are big John Deere aficionados! “John Deere has been in the Ag world forever and their equipment reliability is second to none,” states David. The Warzynskis keep on top of John Deere advancements. Last fall, Paradise Farms purchased the new model 8R Ag Tractor, with all the bells and whistles. Michael says, “I like this model primarily because it feeds input activity information direct to your farm management software through GPS, wireless technologies and other advances.” (Continued on Page 11) Top: You can see one of the many conveyor belts that run throughout the machine, delivering cucumber to the harvester’s storage bin. Left: Dave Biadasz drives a harvester for Paradise Farms. He says, “I love my job because running equipment is what I like best. Next to construction equipment, this harvester is about as big as it gets!”

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ORIGINALITY When it was time to design sizing and grading facility, the Warzynskis rose to the challenge, locating a cucumber processor in Washington, who sold them his entire conveyor system. Six semi-loads of unassembled equipment later, Michael and David, the proud parents of this complex system, realized they needed to install it. Luckily, both possess the resourcefulness to visualize, adapt and implement the end result to their needs. The end result is totally amazing! The belts wind and weave through the plant, performing various functions along the way until they reach the top floor. After exiting the roof, they dump their load of sized and graded cucumbers into the appropriate bin. Over half a million bushels of cucumbers travel through this processing system each year. (Continued on Page 12) Top: Beehives at left of the pickle transfer, populate the fields as new crops bloom. Middle & Bottom: Trucks full of cucumbers arrive at the grading plant and dump their loads into conveyor belts, which interconnect like octopus arms.

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JUST LIKE CHESS! The Warzynskis also worked diligently to learn about the cultural requirements of cucumbers, such as since they are technically a fruit, not a vegetable, they need pollination. Paradise Farms uses Henry’s Honey Farm, professional beekeepers, owned by John & Dan Piechowski, normally rather reserved gentlemen except when they are discussing the Warzynskis’ planning abilities. John clarifies, “David and Mike are logistics masters and provide maps, well in advance, of the next two to three fields coming up in the rotation. Plus, their planting plan moves round their home base in a circular fashion, which saves both of us a lot of backtracking time.” The Warzynskis are also working with Regina Hirsch, EcoFruit Outreach Specialist for the UW-Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems along with the Xerces Society and NRCS to develop sites within their fields, which will harbor plants that attract native pollinators. The test site has already attracted a much wider variety than expected. (Continued on Page 13) Top: The Warzynskis altered these conveyor belts so smaller cucumbers would drop out for immediate grading. Middle: Manual grading determines quality based on each vendor’s parameters. Bottom: Once the cucumbers are sized and graded, they trek through the warehouse on conveyors, out the rooftop and into the appropriate bins to await transfer to the huge storage bins.

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ALL IN THE DETAILS One of the things you notice immediately when visiting Paradise Farms, is the cleanliness and beauty that abound everywhere. Even when it comes to storage, the Warzynskis go the extra mile to creating visually appealing efficiency. With four major vendor retail/wholesale/processor customers, the storage demands are quite complicated because each vendor may have one of more of the ten different types of cucumbers that Paradise grows – again, a matter of advanced logistics. The Warzynskis have it all under control with 535 huge underground storage tanks that reach four to twelve feet deep. MUSINGS Chances are, the next time you eat a pickle, whether it is a spear, stacker, round, Pickle-in-a-Pouch or on a fast food hamburger, it may have come from Paradise Farms’ cucumbers – right here in Central Wisconsin! Top: The sized and graded cucumbers are put in vast storage tanks for each vendor. All 535 of these vats are laser-leveled for precise alignment and even liquid coverage. Middle: The view looking down into an empty vat is a little surrealistic. Bottom: The cucumbers are piled high inside the vat and brine is applied for preservation. Within three hours, this pile will have dwindled down three feet lower than the tank.

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Neighbors-September 2011


NEIGHBORS OPEN HOUSE A HUGE SUCCESS! By Ruth Johnson, Editor

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“Thank You Everyone !”

Neighbors-September 2011


Gathering together! Many of the hundreds of people Neighbors Open House attendees told us they felt like they were at a warm and inviting family reunion! Friends and relatives enjoyed each other’s company, food and beverages, Music Connection Polka music with Jeff Heinz, equipment demonstrations and Gator rides. Denise, Derek and Justin Krause of Feathered Gold Stables were a huge draw as enthusiasts of all ages gathered around their stunning Gypsy Vanner horses, which appeared in our very first issue and have proven to be our most popular story! Our warehouse hosted booths for guests like Deb Aeby of Master Garden, Lukas Vuorinen of The Boy Who Launched a Safe Donation, Heather Kizewski and Ann Marie Worzalla of Day Trips and Chris Brockman of Dr. Fixit. (Continued on Page 16) Opposite Page: Jim Faivre gives Neighbors’ number one fan, Lukas Vuorinen, a VIP gator ride. Top: Al Jensen of Amherst won the Grand Prize of a John Deere D110 lawn tractor. Strangely enough, he bought that same tractor the day before the drawing and used the prize to upgrade to the X300 shown. Bottom: Justin Krause of Feathered Gold Stables shown with Paddy's Dream, helped demonstrate the wonder, beauty and charming personality of the Gypsy Vanner horses.

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(Continued from Page 9)

Dick Taft, Chainsaw Artistry, created unique sculptures for admiring crowds. Shania Bowers, U.S. Finals Cheerleader Champion, performed with Madtown Twisters teammates and held a cheerleading clinic. Al Jensen, Amherst, won the Neighbors Open House Grand Prize John Deere D110 lawn tractor. “My old heart was thumping when they called to tell me I won,” says Al. “I was thrilled! Last time I won anything was 20 years ago when I won a TV in Louisville, KY.” (Continued on Page 17) Top (l-r): Bill Kizewski and Stacy Kizewski of A+ Tree Service (Dangerous Work article), Ann Marie (Day Trips) and David Worzalla and Heather Kizewski (Day Trips) fielded questions about their destinations. Middle: UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Deb Aeby’s master garden was featured in Neighbors August issue. Her husband, Troy, handcrafts furniture, statues, arches, gates and other items for her garden. Bottom: People gathered wherever you looked, whether it was in the warehouse around food tables or show booths or outside at the demonstrations, Polka tent, Gypsy Vanner horses or Gator rides.

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Last and never least, we thank our fabulous staff, those who helped prepare/clean up and those who gave up a Saturday to assist our guests! Top: Jeff Heinz & the Music Connection entertained listeners of all ages! Middle: Shania Bowers of U.S. Finals Cheerleader Champion performed with Madtown Twisters teammates and held a cheerleading clinic. Bottom Left: Lukas Vuorinen in the John Deere shirt made by his mother Kristi, displayed his John Deere collection and held a John Deere coloring contest. Bottom Right: The ladies of St. Mary’s Torun held a successful bake sale full of goodies!

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Neighbors- September 2011


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Royalty. That is what they treat you like when you capture John Deere’s Gold Key Tour opportunity for customers to see their own or a similar new John Deere combine being built on the assembly line. In existence since 1996, the program recognizes and honors customers for purchasing new John Deere tractors and combines.

GOLD KEY TOUR John Deere Harvester Works East Moline, IL By Ruth Johnson, Editor

Jeff Kizewski of Kizewski Farms did not get to see the farms’ actual new combine since it was finished the day before but did view the entire process for a similar 9570 combine. According to Jeff, “The size of everything was enormous. I believe they have 74 acres under roof. The automation is amazing – everything moves on overhead or in-ground tracks with robotic arms working rapidly.” (Continued on Page 21) Top (left to right): Dave Miller (family friend), John Shulfer (Service Technician), Jeff Kizewski (Kizewski Farms) and Jeremy Barden (family friend) traveled to East Moline, IL to watch combines being built, similar to the new combine they bought.

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Jeff’s group included family friends, Dave Miller and Jeremy Barden along with John Shulfer, a service technician associate. Their first stop was the laser area where the sheets of metal are lasered into die-cut shapes along with any required holes or other opening needed. “The exactness and precision tolerances of the lasers are incredible,” Jeff claims. Jeff’s group did not get to see the robotic arms that do the painting but did see the entire frame lifted into the paint booth with overhead cranes and dipped into the cleaning and paint prepping solution. Jeff’s guide was a retired John Deere welder and who may have actually welded together Kizewski Farm’s previous John Deere 7720 combine some 30 years ago! “My favorite part of the trip, however, was starting up the controls on a John Deere 9570 combine similar to our new one, while it was on the line,” states Jeff. Jeff sums up his trip, “Truthfully, it was unbelievable! The plant’s size and operation were really worth the long drive there and back. I was struck by the cleanliness everywhere, particularly since there is normally so much grease and dirt involved in a farmer’s daily work. Top Left: Jeff Kizewski of Kizewski Farms gets to sit in the combine’s “command post” and start up the controls. Top Right: John Deere’s famous statue and sign at world headquarters in East Moline, IL. Middle: Combine assembly. Bottom Right: John Shulfer, Jeff Kizewski, Dave Miller and Jeremy Baden locate the home farm!

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I HEARD IT THRU THE GRAPEVINE! Gagas Farms, Custer, WI Keeps Everyone Guessing! By Ruth Johnson, Editor

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Who knew digging a big hole would attract such attention? Certainly not Cliff, Gene and Curt Gagas when they began to dig a huge pit on their open field, which sits on the corner of County Road J and 10th Street in the Custer area. As first one, then two large pyramidal dirt mounds appeared, the word stared to spread that something strange was going on. ALIENS & DUCK PONDS “At first, people would just drive by, stop and stare,” states Cliff Gagas. “That’s when the guessing game began.” According to Cliff, rather than simply ask what they were doing, people would work their guess into the question, such as “Are you building a duck pond?” Other speculations included a missile-launching site, swimming pool, alien intervention, cistern, septic system, bunker, lake, drainage, house, rock garden, shed and even a helicopter pad! The Gagas have a real sense of humor about the entire hubbub. When I arrived to take photos, Gene Gagas stopped me, exclaiming, “Cameras are not allowed in missile silos.” (Continued on Page 24) Left Page: Cliff Gagas, Tom Krueger (Sukup’s dealer/general foreman), Gene Gagas and Curtis Gagas. Above: Passing vehicles stopped and stared at what looked like an extremely short completed bin. In truth, bin construction was still in progress. Left: The storage bin is jacked up to install another ring of sheet metal while Cliff and Gene Gagas supervise.

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The original hole, which started the rumor mill, was dug to provide fill under the concrete pillars - the base for the new grain bins. Excess stones and more fill were brought in to build the yard around the bins. Corn storage is serious business for farms like Gagas Farms, since it protects farmers during fluctuating market prices. “Last year, we created temporary storage that allowed us to hold some corn during the unpredictable market ride,� explains Cliff. The smaller, 30-foot wide dryer bin moves the dried corn into the storage bin via an auger out the top and over to the larger, 48-foot wide storage bin.

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The construction process was another eye-catcher since the bin roofs are assembled first and then jacked up to provide space to bolt each ring of sheet metal in place until the bin reaches the desired height. When the first ring was finished with the roof in place, many people wondered why the bins were so short! Overall, the two bins and electrical shed required 90 yards of concrete, 200+ sheets of metal, 200 reinforcing rods, 12,000+ bolts and weeks of labor. A lot more work and parts than if it was just some kind of pond, which was the most popular grapevine guess! Above: Curtis Gagas at left prepares to bolt in more of the required 8,000+ bolts needed to secure the bin. Below: Cliff Gagas helps preassemble sheet metal rings.

Neighbors- September 2011


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Day Trips By Heather Kizewski & Ann Marie Worzalla

RIVER WILD INITIAL SPARKS I remember so clearly the first time I watched Kosir’s Rafting guides instruct eager students helping them with their helmets and life jackets before taking on the whitewater rapids in Silver Cliff, WI. Silver Cliff was where I met clients prior to showing them land in the area back when I sold real estate. While reading through Kosir’s brochure one afternoon, it amazed me that Wisconsin offered this unique opportunity. I assumed one needed to travel out West to experience rapids of this caliber. For thirteen years, it lingered on my ‘to-do’ list. When I presented the idea to Ann Marie, she was gleeful and raring to go.

Welcome to Day Trips! Inspired by an authentic passion for travel, each month we will share a unique adventure accomplished in one day; no overnight bags required. We are sisters-in-law from Stevens Point and Amherst, whose families are involved in potato farming, so we are firmly entrenched in Central Wisconsin. For more than six years, we have ventured forth in search of unique destinations – it is amazing how far you do not have to go to experience the moments we often seek in faraway lands. We hope to spark your wheels into motion. You are only a day trip away!

Above: Sisters-in-law, Heather Kizewski (left) & Ann Marie Worzalla (right).

Our husbands; however, were not so thrilled. They objected to us taking on treacherous waters without them by our sides. We agreed to bring Michael and Dave along on this particular Day Trip. LEARNING THE RIVERS Kosir’s offers two distinct river trips: one on the Peshtigo River in Silver Cliff, WI and the other on the Menominee River in Niagara, WI. The Peshtigo River is not controlled by a dam. Therefore, river trips are contingent upon water levels and the weather.

While reading through Kosir’s brochure one afternoon, it amazed me that Wisconsin offered this opportunity. I assumed one needed to travel out West to experience rapids of this caliber.

If the levels are high, you will experience Class I, II and III rapids on a big raft. If the levels are low, your trip is scheduled on a one-person funyak (rubber kayak), and it is unlikely you will experience fast moving rapids. (Continued on Page 27) Top Left: Heather and Ann Marie along with their husbands, Michael and Dave lift their oars in tribute to a successful trip. Below Right (l-r): Ann Marie Worzalla, Dave Worzalla, guide Boots, Michael Kizewski and Heather Kizewski. SPECIAL NOTE: Click here to go to Day Trips’ Facebook page.

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The Menominee River is controlled by a dam. Menominee’s main stretch, Piers Gorge, is considered Class IV rapids. Class V is the roughest of runable waters and Class VI is deemed ‘unrunable.’ We decided we wanted to go together in one large raft, which was important to us especially since the excursion is not for the faint of heart. We all know there is strength in numbers. EARLY THOUGHTS I had not considered the Menominee River because it sounded too dangerous and scary, not to mention we lacked experience. I changed my mind when I called Kosir’s to make our reservations. The staff person mentioned the Peshtigo River was rather low and that we would probably be assigned one-person funyaks. They assured me that although we lacked experience, we could take on the Menominee River as long as we were in strong physical health. After several thorough discussions between Ann Marie, Dave, Michael and I, we decided to pull the trigger. RESERVATIONS

They responded, “If we specialized in cracked bones versus cracked smiles, nobody would go rafting.” Done. I did not worry again. The correspondence remains on their Facebook wall today. VIVA NIAGARA! From Amherst, it took just under three hours to reach the outpost in Niagara, a quaint little town in the northeastern corner of Wisconsin. It was easy to find and resembles a lone barn in a large, rural field. (Continued on Page 28)

The next day we made our pre-paid, non-refundable reservations – which was all good and fine until six days before the trip when I began having my own ‘reservations.’ I envisioned shattering our faces, backs and/or teeth on rocks and outcroppings. I began to think might be out of our minds. I contacted Kosir’s via their Facebook page and shared my concerns. Above and Below: The Kizewski and Worzalla crew brave the whitewater rapids on the Menominee River via a big, single raft.

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Left: We met some great, new friends, a family who inspired us to visit Fountain City for November’s Day Trip. Note the dad’s broken glasses, an example of why you are told NOT to wear glasses, watches, or any type of jewelry! Below: Ann Marie and David assume the front row position in the second leg of the rapids journey.

(Continued from Page 27)

Soon after our arrival, we met a wonderful family who stuck with us for a good part of the way and inspired our upcoming Fountain City November Day Trip! Then we met Boots, our guide, who in his element, looks the part, and is so deeply experienced, knowledgeable and confident, that you wonder if perhaps, he was born on the river or is a product of the river itself. ORIENTATION We were grateful for the orientation prior to taking on the wild rapids. We learned how to grip our paddles and protect our teeth. Boots, who has an unwavering ability to put people at ease, told us that if we felt like we might fall out to try ‘falling in’ and explained how we would be saved if we did fall out of the raft.

Without a doubt, we believed we were safe with Boots and had irrefutable trust in his river rafting background with equal faith in his physical stamina. He also taught us various rafting commands and how to paddle - no lily dipping! We practiced getting in and out of the raft, which was much more challenging than we expected. However, we appreciated learning in the calm water, not to mention swimming was a refreshing break from the humidity. SAND PORTAGE FALLS The river was tranquil and serene; our state of mind, calm and focused. Scenic rock outcroppings and cliffs mingled with untouched pines with narrow, pointy tops. Boots told us the history of the wilderness as we paddled along, eventually going through Sand Portage Falls, Class II and III rapids, providing only a mild taste of what was yet to come. Shortly after, we stopped on a sandy shoreline to split up into smaller rafts. We had the opportunity to walk over and view Piers Gorge prior to taking it on, but we thought it best not to scare ourselves (mainly me). TAKING ON PIERS GORGE The four of us, along with Boots, went first with Michael and me up front. Although I could hear my heart pounding as we paddled toward Mishicot Falls (the ten-foot drop into the Class IV rapids), I remained unflinchingly present. There was not time to be afraid. Within moments Boot’s ‘laid-back-surfer-dude’ aura transformed before our eyes and ears, becoming serious as a drill sergeant, shouting out rafting commands. Each fall seemed unpredictable; each surge, fierce and unruly. I remember briefly turning and noticing that Ann Marie crouched inside the raft. She later said she felt she might fall out and wisely remembered to ‘fall in’ instead. (Continued on Page 29)

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There were moments where I saw nothing but white water. It seemed our raft was completely engulfed. I wondered if we were flipping over, but then in the blink of an eye, we rose from the rapids. It felt triumphant, like we truly conquered something wild. TAKING IT ALL IN After the first run, we got out on shore and walked through the cool shaded woods to head back for the second drop. The pristine forest smelled leafy and green – even the warm soil seemed fragrant. I noticed sun beams peeking through the towering trees and could hear water rushing over the rocks. It was outrageous to watch our fellow rafters taking on Piers Gorge! Fortunately, we had just the right mix of confidence and adrenaline to raft it a second time, only now with Dave and Ann Marie up front. They agreed it is much more intense up front, yet felt more in control, which Michael and I experienced, too. During the second run, I practiced the art of ‘falling in’ versus falling out just like Ann Marie did, with Michael coaching me back up onto the side where I belonged and remained through the rest of the falls. SAYING GOODBYE Although several hours had gone by, it seemed much too fast. We hopped on the bus, back to the outpost where we purchased a CD ($30) of photos of us from Kosir’s photographer who shoots photos from the cliffs, capturing the intensity of that day. What a pleasant surprise!

We changed our clothes and said goodbye to Boots and our new friends we made. They truly enhanced our trip, making it even more memorable and fun. They were the icing on the cake and we drove off with smiles plastered on our faces. FINAL REFLECTIONS The four of us agreed that intense, refreshing, fun and adventurous might understate whitewater rafting. A ‘wild blast’ most accurately sums it up! Better yet, it was very affordable! River trips on the Peshtigo River are $25/person; the Menominee River, $45/person. Rates include helmets, life vests, rafts, oars, orientation and a seasoned river guide. Personally, I could not be more grateful to Kosir’s for alleviating my worries with one simple Facebook comment. We are considering another rapids trip in spring when water levels reach their highest, for another fierce Piers Gorge run.

Top: The Kizewskis lead the helm and the Worzallas bring up the rear. Ann Marie is almost washed overboard. Below: A group shot of the day’s adventurous souls who braved the rapids! Ann Marie and Heather are in the front row, left side.

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Freedom‌

Butterflies on the Loose! by Ruth Johnson, Editor

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Double delight! It is not often that you stumble across a mother/daughter team of photographers, right in front of you. Leslie Pavlak, who is actually a cousin of mine and one of our featured photographers, and her mother, Helen Rose, my aunt, who is in her 70’s, shot these spectacular photos of butterflies. Helen’s photo is at the top of this page. Leslie took the photo on the opposite page and the spider web photo at the bottom of this page. Definitely eye candy for those who love these winged and webbed wonders! We will feature more of their work in future issues so stay tuned! Page 31

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Imagine having your own Gypsy Vanner! Enjoy their beauty and grace at home and in the ring!

Derek & Denise Krause Ogdensburg, WI info@featheredgold.com www.featheredgold.com

(715) 445-5345


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VIA CHECK: Print this page and send with your check to Journey Publishing LLC, 7374 Lepak Lane, Custer, WI 54423. 1-YEAR (4 issues): # Subscriptions (_______) x $20/each = $____________. 2-YEARS (8 issues): # Subscriptions (_______) x $35/each = $____________.

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GIFT INFORMATION: (Be sure to complete the information above to designate yourself as the gift giver.) Name ______________________________________________________________ Address ____________________________________________________________ City __________________________________________________ ST ___________ Zip _______________________ Phone ___________________________________ Email ______________________________________________________________ (We keep this person’s email private and use it only to notify the gift recipient when each issue is live online so you know your mailed subscription copy will arrive shortly thereafter.)


SHOW STOPPERS! Feathered Gold Stables held a clinic to demonstrate the majestic beauty and docile nature of their fabulous Gypsy Vanner horses to large admiring crowds at our recent Neighbors Open House. Courtney Casey and Denise Krause are pictured here with Just Bucking Around.

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Neighbors-September 2011


Neighbors-1109 September 2011