I made a stop in Black River Falls which was cool. It has a neat downtown and beautiful view. That's just a mention because I stopped there first and this is about Eau Claire. I really enjoyed Eau Claire. There were a lot of young adults here and, even though I didn’t really interact with them, I felt and noticed their presence and it was awesome.
I drove around the downtown. I went to Phoenix Park one night and got a spot right by the water. It was a lovely park! There is a labyrinth and I saw a large group doing yoga on the grass even at 9pm. There is a long trail going through here and I walked part of it. This bridge was beautiful to be on and I love this panoramic shot I got.
I visited Carson Park and could spend days there. More days than I did. I walked a bunch and also decided to visit the museums. The Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum was really excellent. I loved it! There is a video in one room that includes actual clips of logging back in the day, a history room with lovely displays about the experience of the loggers, a game or activity room geared towards kids but seriously fun for anybody, and the actual camp outside. The game room is pretty much the only area where Paul Bunyan is highlighted. This museum is not about him and I don’t recall seeing anything written about him specifically. He is said to have been a real man who was taller than average back then and his stories got exaggerated over time and rather fanciful. Anyhow, I felt it was sort of assumed I knew who he was and that seemed a bit weird. Maybe I just missed it. Either way, I loved visiting!
The camp is very neat. You can walk through the different buildings and hit an audio box to hear from someone who would live or work in whatever part you were in. I loved learning about the cooks and meals they’d eat. It was also neat to learn that logs from back then are still being found coming up out of the river. They’d fell the logs and use the river to get them downstream. A company was started, I think in the 1990s, using those logs. Pretty neat.
There was a chipmunk in the wanigan with me and, on my way back to the shop after I’d walked through, there was one on the pathway. It kind of did a dance as if it didn’t know which way I was going and ultimately moved to the side. Interesting and I’d guess the same chipmunk.
I totally recommend this museum. Really great. I'll add that this and a conversation with the people working there gave clarity to me about the Sawdust Days Festival I'd seen in Oshkosh. I now understood Sawdust Cities were during the logging days and how and why they got that name.
Next I went to the museum next door. Wow, I thought this was a small local museum and it was like a huge warehouse! There are two historic buildings outside you can ask to see and I did that as well. The people working there were very nice. While it wasn't really my cup of tea, I did buy ice cream before leaving. There is an old-fashioned parlor there which was cool. Another hot day so this was a welcome treat.
After that, as I was leaving, I could hear the blues night concert at another park in town so I went to check it out. I mostly heard it from the RV, only leaving to walk around as it just ended. I thought it might end at 9pm and think it ends at 8:30. Anyhow, I saw vendors closing up, the blues car, and had a nice walk on the trail around the water there.
Eau Claire was a neat stop. It was refreshing from the vibes of other places I’d been a lot and I spent a couple of days exploring it. Cool stuff. Probably a favorite of the places I visited in Wisconsin.