Steve Gardiner taught high school English and journalism for 38 years in Montana and Wyoming. He started working at the Republican Eagle in May 2018. He focuses on features and outdoor stories.
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Take a beautiful setting with bluffs rising above the St. Croix River, add in a comfortable cruise boat with a staff serving excellent food, and the result is a memorable afternoon or evening with the St. Croix River Cruises. The company offers a variety of cruise options—wine tasting, fajita and margaritas, champagne Sunday brunch, theater brunch, comedy dinner, fireworks, Friday Italian dinner, fall colors, Oktoberfest and holiday cruises.
MAIDEN ROCK—It's an interesting statement about global business when a decision made by the Taliban in Afghanistan disrupts a store in Maiden Rock, Wis.—population 119. The issue centered on felted rugs, made by Afghan women, featuring animals such as ponies, tigers, and deer, and sold by Cultural Cloth in Maiden Rock.
For Jerry Zimmer, the sky is filled with eagles, lightning bolts, and fireworks. The Hager City photographer has spent more than 25 years on dark hilltops, face to face with approaching thunderstorms, hoping to get a good lightning photo before wind and rain drive him back to his car or inside his house. On June 1 at 11:45 p.m., his determination paid off with a photo of a lightning bolt that resembles the outline of Wisconsin.
Hok-Si-La Park in Lake City sits on a flat point of land sticking out into Lake Pepin, an ideal location that provides visitors with an abundance of birds and wildlife, trails for hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing, a beach for swimming, and beautiful sites for picnics and camping. There is something for everyone who visits, and this is both a blessing and a problem, according to Joanne Klees, park manager for Lake City.
High water levels on the Mississippi River and tributaries have caused many problems for residents of rivertowns, and a recent pontoon accident at Lock and Dam 3 near Red Wing underscores the need for safety while on the water. Operators at Lock and Dam 3 launched an emergency boat June 26 to rescue the passengers of the disabled pontoon as it floated toward the dam's roller gates, according to a news release from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - St. Paul District.
The Soldier's Walk Memorial Park is a tribute to the great leaders and heroic veterans who have served the United States in conflicts and wars. The park contains 28 historical monuments and dozens more individual memorials along with informational plaques and markers.
The Cowling Arboretum gives visitors the chance to see Minnesota forests and prairies in the natural state they were in before European settlement. That's the mission that drives Nancy Braker, arboretum director, and her staff as they work to develop the arboretum's resources. "It's not that it is any more special than any other time," Braker said. "It's just that when we think of trying to provide a natural experience, it's what was here before we started plowing things up."
The former St. John's Lutheran Church, on Main Street in Bay City, now houses the River Bluffs History Center and the offices of the Pierce County Historical Association. They will be holding a grand reopening celebration 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 20 so people can tour the new facility and see the displays. "We are very excited to show everyone what we have been working on in the last year," said Julie Huebel, member of the Pierce County Historical Association board of directors. "We have been very busy."
School is out, and the weather is warm. It's time to go for a bike ride. Using different versions of bike share programs, several area communities have made it easier to enjoy that rite of summer. "It is amazing how much those bikes are used," said Alan Nugent of the Stockholm Merchants' Association in Wisconsin. "You see people on those things all the time." Stockholm Stockholm's bike share program has been around a dozen years, making it the oldest such program in the region.
The old stone building had been Red Wing Waterworks from 1885-1962. Then the city used it for storage and a dog pound. Mike Wilson often saw the building from his boat in the harbor and thought it would be interesting to do something with the building. Harry Munson had collected boat motors manufactured by the Red Wing Motor Co. He had restored 30 motors, and decided he wanted to sell them.