P A U L. B U N Y A N.
June 28, 2022
Growing up in Northern Wisconsin (Minocqua) there were many times my family would refer to the "flat-landers and rubber-neckers" from the state just south of us. I am now proudly one of those people travelling north regularly to experience God's Country Up North. We actually loved all those Illinoisans that vacationed in our neck of the woods, literally, as they kept our local businesses thriving in their efforts to live the life by purchasing/renting all the toys (boats, kayaks, motorcycles, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, ATV's, pop-ups).
Sometimes one lives in an area and doesn't really see it through the eyes of an
outsider. We all need to be aware of the awesome local sights and experience our neck of the woods as if vacationing, otherwise we are missing out on the attractions others are travelling hours to check that unique venue, landmark, place off their bucket list!
Up North is a playland, and yes I was blessed to have driven my snowmobile to school, spend hours on the weekends dirt biking through the logging woods surrounding our home that had been a hunting lodge in its previous life. But today, I need to admit something that's pretty sad, I never ate at Paul Bunyan's Cook Shanty, a landmark since 1961.
Daily, we would pass by the 36 foot tall Paul Bunyan with his blue ox which stood at the entrance to a famous log restaurant, gift shop and bakery. The old time lumberjack cook shanty décor was indicative of the Northwoods shanties since the late 1800's. It makes me so sad to think we never took the time to see the sights as millions of visitors headed to Minocqua to experience life like it was Up North. I heard about how great the hometown charm was, logging camp décor, and homemade comfort food that only tourists would make time in their vacation schedule to experience.
The Paul Bunyan Cook Shanty in Minocqua, WI is now closed for the third summer season. The demise of such a tradition, and it was right there welcoming anyone seeking a glimpse into times gone by. This is a reminder to See the Sights! Your own backyard, your neighborhood, your neck of the woods, they have so much to offer that others would feel blessed to experience. Don't let your opportunity slip by.
- Kit DeWitt, Principal