Mini Trip Report – Northern Wisconsin – Part 4

Holy Cow!  I’ll bet you forgot that I was still doing this trip report, didn’t you?  Well, I didn’t.  Not.  At.  All.

Let’s just say I was taking a break.  We’ll call it a “Don Break”.  (And thanks Mark for pestering me about it.)

I probably need to do a little refresher, so here goes. We are up in the North Woods of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan (by less than 1/4 mile, but Michigan none the less).  We had already gone swimming in Lake Superior and have just left the Montreal River Scenic Overlook.  Our tummies are getting grumbly, so we head back  toward civilization.

Our destination was Little Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish Waters.  There are hundreds of little inn/lodge/restaurant establishments in the North Woods, but only one was home to an FBI shoot-out with John Dillinger and his gang.  With all the hype over the Public Enemies movie based on Dillinger that was partially shot there (get it?  “shot” there!) we decided to give it a try.  We’d never been there, so we searched the GPS database for it’s address, set it as our destination, and settled in for the 55 minute drive.

Now, Northern Wisconsin has an abundance of several things – lakes and trees being among them.   Put those two things together and you get very curvy roads and very indirect routes to wherever it is that you’re going.  So we weren’t too concerned when the GPS started telling us to make turns off the highway onto smaller and smaller roads.  I had a general idea where the lodge was from looking at online maps before we left, so I started getting a bit nervous when the GPS said we had less than a mile to go and we were on a back road dotted with nothing but vacation cabins.  Finally, the nice lady in the GPS told us that we were arriving at our destination.  I stopped the van, looked at the run-down cabin to our right and the swampy bog to our left and decided that maybe, just maybe, the GPS was wrong.

Exactly the way it looked in 1934! Except for the pavement, the conversion van, ...

So, I let Bambi drive while I search frantically for cell phone signal to find the real address.

Within 15 minutes we’re pulling into the complex.

I believe there are still guest cabins on the property, but from what I saw the entire main lodge has been completely turned into restaurant space.   We got there before the Friday night rush, so we got a nice table next to a window in one of the side dining rooms.  I didn’t take many pictures of the interior (mostly because the battery in my main camera had died and I was working with the backup waterproof camera), but the decor was typical North Woods.  Lots of rich, dark wood and plenty of dead animals on the wall.  The menu was filled with traditional fare – steaks, chicken, fish.  This being a Friday night in Wisconsin, they had a Fish Fry special.  I ordered that, Bambi got Prime Rib, Evan ordered a hot dog, and Madison got the Mac & Cheese.

Clearly, this place’s draw is it’s history.  Because it certainly isn’t the service or the food.  The Prime Rib was good, and  the rest of the meals were serviceable, but it’s certainly nothing I will need to do again.

So that’s really all of the interesting parts of the vacation.  I’ll have one more entry on all of the extended-family fun aspect of the weekend to wrap it all up.  I won’t take nearly as long of a break to get that entry up, though.  Because I’m going to Disney World in 31 days. 🙂

Little Bohemia Lodge
They're not trying to increase business by shilling for the movie, are they?
Evan checking out the bear in one of the dining rooms
Plenty of newspapers and other artifacts are on display
The back side of the lodge
Nope, nothing's changed since that shootout in 1934...
Some of the stuf Dillinger left behind when he fled
The stairs were roped off, but I'm sure some very interesting things happened up there

2 thoughts to “Mini Trip Report – Northern Wisconsin – Part 4”

  1. “(And thanks Mark for pestering me about it.)”

    No problem. Although I’m not sure one stray comment qualifies as “pestering”.

    “Finally, the nice lady in the GPS told us that we were arriving at our destination. I stopped the van, looked at the run-down cabin to our right and the swampy bog to our left and decided that maybe, just maybe, the GPS was wrong.”

    Well, I’m sure it still looked like Northern Wisconsin. So you were in the ballpark.

    You would think they’d make a bigger deal out of the Dillinger shootout. I’m surprised at how low-key it is. Well, I guess now you can say you’ve done it, at least. Anyway, thanks for humoring me and finishing up!

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