Three Cows A Day . . .

or What Kind of Casino is This?

Since we wanted to get diesel this morning before we headed north, we left the park a little before 8:30, me driving the rig and Jan following in the truck. We were going fuel up at a Co-Op gas station, kind of like a Pacific Pride, but it let’s anyone in. Plus it has plenty of room to get in and out, and also hitch up.

But then it got a little weird. I had already checked and found out that the pumps have no credit card limit on them, so I didn’t expect any problems.


The pump would only give me 19.000 gallons and then it shut off. Strange.

So I tried it again. And once again exactly 19.000 gallons, which was $72.75.

There was a number on the pump to call if you were having credit card problems (these pumps are completely unmanned. There’s nobody there at all to talk to.). So I gave them a call. And they were as confused as I was. Again said there is no $ limit or gallon limit, and suggest I try a different pump. So I did.

The person before me had put $116.00 into his vehicle so I knew it should work. Just for grins I used my same VISA debit card again. And it again gave me 19.000 gallons.

I still wasn’t filled up, but this time I tried my Discover Card and it worked.

Kind of.

It gave me 25.000 gallons exactly. That just about filled me up, so at that point I just called it quits. I guess it just didn’t like me.

After hitching up the toad, we were back on the road by 9:30 and heading for the Island Casino in Harris, MI about 225 miles away.

After a lot of pretty good country roads and a 5 mile stretch of I-39, we joined US-41 a few miles south of Oshkosh. US-41 turned out to be a very nice 6 lane/4 lane road that took us on up through Green Bay.

Around 12:30 we finally gave in and started up the generator so we could run the coach AC’s. Made it a lot more comfortable.

About 12 miles into Michigan, we went through Wallace, the home of the DeYoung’s Family Zoo featured on the Nat Geo Wild channel. We visited here a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. I’ve reposted our visit below.

We got to the Island Casino about 2:30, and as is usual, with casinos and fairgrounds, had to wander around a bit to find the RV park. The complete lack of signage didn’t help, and because it’s tucked back in some trees, we couldn’t see the entrance until we were right up on it.

We’d been told to just find a site and get parked and set up, and then call the Courtesy Shuttle to take us back to the hotel to register. Turned out to be $20 a night for nice long pull-thru sites with 50 amp and water, with a dump station available when we leave. Not bad.

About 4:30 we called the Shuttle and went over to have supper. Jan was in the mood for steak so we ended up at their 5 Bridges Steakhouse.

But what kind of casino doesn’t have a buffet? This one, for one. They have about 5 different restaurants, but no buffet.

Isn’t that unAmerican, or something?

After pretty good steaks, we headed back to the rig for the night. Since we were pretty well treed-in, I didn’t even try to set up the sat. dish. So we’ll just read and play computers.

Tomorrow we’ve got a 185 mile run to the Elk’s Lodge in Sault Sainte Marie where we’ll be parked right on the locks and can watch the boats go by. Neat.


DeYoung Family Zoo . . .

Originally posted on August 7, 2011

When I went to bed last night I still didn’t know if we were going to make the trip this morning up to Wallace, MI about 100 miles away, to visit the DeYoung Family Zoo.

The weather was showing a 60% chance of thunderstorms last night, but it was supposed to be clear on Monday. So we could wait til then if necessary.

But when I checked it about 5 am, it was down to 50% chance, and by 8 it was 40%. So we decided to give it go since it looked like things were improving. And it turned out to be a beautiful day, lucky for us.

We headed out a little after 9, stopping in Shawano for Egg Muffins and coffee, and then gas. We got to the park about 11:30, and it was all we hoped it would be.

The DeYoung Family Zoo is owned by Bud and Carrie DeYoung, and has been featured for several years on the Nat Geo Wild channel as “My Life is a Zoo”.

Since we love small zoos and animal parks, it has been on our bucket list for a couple of years.

Just this year along we’ve visited places like Bearizona in Williams, AZ, Out of Africa in Camp Verde, AZ, Cat Tales Zoological Park north of Spokane, WA, and the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch between Tucson and Phoenix, AZ.

One of the first things we encountered was the petting zoo area where Jan tried her hand at feeding the goats.

Jan Feeding Goat

They had a real mix of animals in this area, including alpacas,

Petting Zoo 5

and a zhorse, or zorse, a zebra/horse cross.


First off, you have no idea how hard I resisted saying something about “Lions, and Tigers, and Bears.”

Oh, wait. I just did. Sorry.

They have a little bit of everything here. I’m really just hitting some of the highlights.

One thing we both liked at this zoo was the fact that it wasn’t just all sterile concrete and moats. The animal’s habitats were large and natural-looking, like this grizzly cage.

Grizzlie Bear 1

They have over 400 animals here, and most of them are rescues of one sort or another, including these two beautiful cats.

Two Tigers

White Tiger 2

A little while after we got there it was feeding time for the meat eaters. Here’s Bud flinging a chunk of cow over the fence to the waiting White Tiger below.

Bud Feeding Tiger

Although I could never get a picture of it, when the meat is thrown over the fence, the tigers leap up about 10 feet and catch it in mid-air.

Carrie said they go through three cows a DAY to feed the animals.

Tiger Eating

Tiger Eating 1

Tiger on the Run 1

Lion 1

They have a new baby hippo who’s in a temporary facility,

Baby Hippo

until her new pool is ready. Very nice.

Baby Hippo New Home

Here’s Carrie in the cage and talking about the different breeds of wolves they have.

Carrie 1

Wolves 4

These are Dingos, the Australian wild dogs, of “The Dingo Ate My Baby” fame, although these are like pets, and kids were hand-feeding them dog biscuits from the box.


This mother hyena is taking her cub back to the den after it got too close to the fence and the crowd of people around.

Mommy Hyena

Besides the baby hippo, there were a lot of other, smaller babies that we could pet, hold, or feed.

This is a baby Wallaby, a type of kangaroo.

Baby Wallaby

And here’s a very young monkey being fed by a little girl.

Baby Monkey

And here’s a Stripped Hyena, one of Carrie’s favorites, who really likes to be held and cuddled.

Baby Hyena

Bud came out with these two somewhat older baby monkeys that really entertained the crowd with their antics.

Bud and Baby Monkeys

The last area we visited was the reptile exhibit with this Monitor Lizard just hanging out.

Monitor Lizard

Bud and Carrie have really put a lot of work into this place and it shows.

Carrie and Bud

As I said, I just skimmed the surface of what there is to see here. Check it out if you’re in the area.

We left the park about 2:30 and headed home, stopping for dinner at the Cottage Diner in Cecil, WI, about 25 miles from the rig.

We got back about 5:45 and settled in for the night. Tomorrow we’ll head south about 200 miles to Janesville, WI for one night, then Normal, IL for one night, before ending up in Vandalia, IL at Jan’s sister’s house on Wednesday for our family reunion. Brandi, Lowell, and Landon will be in on Thursday.

We can’t wait.

Unfortunately it looks like Chis, Linda, and Piper won’t be able to come. They will be missed.


Thought for the Day:

Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don’t have to do it for you.


4 Responses

  1. I don’t know if you had the ‘same’ kind of experience as we, but I discovered that a couple of my credit cards are ‘smart’ enough to know if I’m pumping fuel at the pump. They will cut off at an arbitrary (to me) fill level and I’m done — but if I go inside to pay I can pump any amount I want — in my case I guess our credit card company is concerned about driveways or something.

    Glad you’re having fun in our (hometown) part of WI.

    A retired Photographer looks at life
    Life Unscripted

  2. And I never have figured out why the pumps cut you off. I’ve complained in the station and get, “it’s your credit card.” I call my no limit American Express credit card company and get, “oh, no, it is not your credit card, must be the gas station.” Whatever, when you are tying to fill a rig that will hold $500 it is a pain!!!

  3. Will you be crossing the Mackinaw Straits Bridge this trip?

  4. I think I’ve asked this before but just in case I didn’t: Please, don’t repost. Those of us on limited bandwidth don’t like using it to get posts we’ve already read. Especially ones heavy on the photos like today’s repost. I’d hate to have to take you off my blog list when I go back on the road this fall because I do enjoy reading your new posts.

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