Northwoods News

Northwoods News

Winter comes to the Northwoods,  It’s been cold here in Chicagoland and that’s been giving everyone the itch to get out ice fishing, snowmobiling and cross country skiing.  We’re not quite there yet, but it can all be done in the Land O Lakes area.

I love getting my monthly newsletter from the Forest Lake Country Store.  Mark selflessly shares what’s going on up north.  This makes me wish I was there.  Hopefully some plans to head north this winter will gel and I’ll see you soon bud!  Here’s the latest from up north.

Forest Lake Country Store. Great food and a whole lot more,,,

Winter is no longer being sneaky!  Earlier we had snow that would eventually melt.  Cold weather that would become nice.  Rain that would clear and get warm outside.  Then, come along Thursday or so, we received our first “all winter” snow.  You know, the one where once it falls, it just ain’t gonna melt!  You could tell when you walked out of the house in the morning.  It was cold.  Somehow the snow just felt different.  Like an in-law that is an outlaw and always overstays their visit, you knew this snow was one that would not melt in a day.  It was here to stay!  The snow on the ground, now, may be the last one we see in April as the winter blanket melts off!

Small lakes are frozen from shore to shore and the bigger ones are filling in fast and soon the ice anglers will dot the surface of the now hard lakes.  Deer hunters abound in the north woods.  Winter sports will follow as the snow stacks up. Cross Country skiers had a couple opportunities early, but soon will be able to ski at will.  Snow shoe enthusiasts look forward to a little more depth of snow to enjoy their fun.  Then, after December 15th, the snowmobilers hope to have enough snow to travel the trail system.

Get out and take a walk in the winter.  Yup, it is cold.  But it is also enthralling!  A little wool rubs the back of your neck, like a long lost friend coming back to the area, it warms your body and your spirit.  The smell of wood smoke drifts through the country side.   The snow creaks a little bit under the weight of a boot.  The colder it is, the higher the pitch of the creak.  And then there are the tracks.  Not just your boot tracks, but tracks of the north woods world.  Tracks from a deer or a turkey, a mouse to a grouse.   Each mark in the snow telling you of another animal’s life crossing the same trail as you.  Follow the tracks and you may be lucky enough to spot the scribe.  Back track the trail and you can see what the animal has done all day, or night.  Take a hike in the bush and you will not be disappointed.

New in the Store

We have the Hello Little Owl books written and illustrated by Mary Uihlein.  Mary is a summer resident in Land O’ Lakes and enjoys the serenity offered by the area.  You can feel Mary’s passion for the out of doors and all things wild in these books.
We have some inventory of book one (Hello Little Owl in soft cover) and book two Hello Little Owl, I am Hermit Crab in hard cover); all of our copies are signed by Mary.   Copies book three should arrive this week.  This will make an excellent Christmas gift for any child on your gift list.  If you cannot make it to the store send an email with your address and we will figure out a way to ship these to you.

The Hello Little Owl books are priced at $12.95 for soft cover and $24.95 for the hard cover.
Menu Changes,,,  During our winter closure we will be working on our revised menu.  Sysco, our food supplier, has been a great partner for us in finding creative ways to offset the spiraling food costs.  Look at what is going on in the grocery stores; turkey in limited supply, beef prices going thru the roof, some dry good product being put into boxes so thin they hardly stand up.  Everything that happens at the grocery store chains is happening with the restaurant food suppliers.  We will be making some additions, some deletions and some creative changes to our menu in hopes of staving off some of these food cost increases without compromising our quality standards.

Our Friday Fish Fry continues to be well received.  The meal includes pan fried walleye fillets, homemade potato pancakes, rye bread and our Country Store Cole slaw.  If repeat customers are an indicator of a quality meal, we have a quality feed.  This mild departure from all the deep fried alternatives may not be for everyone, but it is being enjoyed by so many guests each week.  We hope to see you this Friday, or on a Friday when we re-open.

News from the Northwoods

Thanks Giving Brunch  Noon to 6 PM Gateway Lodge
Come to the Gateway Lodge for a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner.  Buffet features Turkey and Ham and all of the traditional fixings.  Serving Noon to 6:00 PM Thanksgiving Day.  Adults $15.95, Children 10 & Under $5.95.  Taking reservations, Please call 715-547-3321.
Local Chambers of Commerce are inviting residents to drop off new or gently used coats, sweaters, hats, mittens and other warm clothing items as part of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s “The Big Bundle Up” campaign. “The Big Bundle Up” is a statewide collection program running November 18, 2013 – January 4, 2014.

This is the third year of the program. Last year’s program collected more than 17,000 winter items to help warm up families in need. In addition to Chamber of Commerce offices, other collection sites are located throughout the state. Visit for a full listing of donation sites.
With the spirit of the holiday season upon us, donating winter items is the perfect way to give back. A box will be located at the Boulder Junction and Land O’ Lakes Chamber for donors to drop off warm clothing items between 9am and 4pm, Monday through Friday.

Contact the Chamber’s offices for more information  Boulder Junction 715 385 2400 and Land O’ Lakes 715 547 3432

We do not usually do real estate promotion in the newsletter but here is a truly unique piece of property on Forest Lake.  This property was originally owned by the Pettit family from Milwaukee.  Lloyd Pettit was the voice of the Milwaukee Braves for many years.  His wife was Jane Bradley (of the Allen-Bradley fame).  If you live near Milwaukee you will recognize these names.  The Bucks play in the Bradley Center and there is a Pettit Olympic Training facility for ice skating on the west side of Milwaukee.  This property includes two homes and 600 feet of pristine frontage on Forest Lake.  If you are in need of a large family facility or a corporate retreat this would be an ideal location.  Here is a hot link to a virtual tour of the property:  You can also reach the listing agent, Roy D’ Antonio at Eliason Realty, for more information.  The phone number is 715 547 3341 or 1 800 236 3341.

Events in the North Woods

November 30th Santa in Land O’ Lakes
Santa’s coming to the Gateway Lodge to have breakfast with you!  Saturday November 30th from 8:00-11:00AM and his live reindeer will be joining him outside from 9-Noon.  There will be a gift for every child.  Be sure to bring your camera! Reservations are recommended, please call 715-547-3321.

December 28th  Boulder Junction, WI –Winter enthusiasts are invited to attend Boulder Junction’s (Between the Holidays) Winter Celebration on Saturday, December 28, 2013, from 4:00-6:30pm, at the Winter Park.

Festivities begin at 4pm with open ice-skating, sledding, bonfire and music by Barb Boston. At 6pm prepare to be dazzled with a fireworks display sponsored by the Town of Boulder Junction.  Chili and hot cocoa will be served throughout the event.

Located just ¼ mile east of downtown Boulder Junction, on Old Highway K, Boulder Junction’s Winter Park facility hosts a regulation sized, fully lighted and maintained ice skating rink.  The warming hut and nearby-lighted shelter has electricity and countertops for appliances and serving food, group seating, and a bon fire area to warm your toes.  The park’s walking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trail is 9/10 of a mile in length, is cleared and groomed, and is suitable for beginners, enthusiasts, and outdoor-loving families.  A sledding hill is as an added attraction for the youngsters.

The public is welcomed and encouraged to attend this special event on Saturday, December 28.  For more information, please contact the Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce at 715-385-2400.

There are some key events coming up in 2014.  Future dates to remember:

February 8th and 9th Three Bear Dog Sled Race.  The biggest winter event in Land O’ Lakes.  It is orchestrated by Painless Pete Schindelholz, who heads up the July 4th Fireworks so you can trust that the Three Bear Dog sled race is great.  We will have more on this late.  Lock the date now and plan to be here!


Winter fun for everyone is happening at the Northwoods Blizzard Blast.

Plan to head to the Conover Community Park and enjoy a full day of activities sure to cure your cabin fever. All proceeds go to north woods area Fire & EMS Departments.

Whether you opt to watch the madcap Recliner Races and Snow Shovel Races from the sidelines or sign up your own team, these events are bound to amuse as participants slip and slide around the ice track. Try your luck in Ice Bowling or play a hole of Ice Golf with a chance to win cash prizes. Challenge your creative side in the Snow Sculpting Contest, or join in the judging for “Crowd Favorite”.

Dreaming of a warm summer day at the ball park? Come out and watch teams battle each other at Snowshoe Baseball. The Northern Wisconsin Pond Curling Club will be on hand to host a demonstration round of Pond Curling. Those masters of the “stones and brooms” will rival the Olympians on the ice.

Join a brisk Cross Country Ski Race winding through the pristine nature trails surrounding the park. And for those who prefer a more serene activity, grab a hot cocoa and a toasty S’mores and climb aboard for a Horse Drawn Trail Ride through the scenic north woods.

Kids will enjoy many fun activities including snow castle building, downhill sledding, face painting and more, with prizes for one and all. A warming hut is on hand to chase the chill away.

Activities kick off at 10:00 AM and continue until dusk, capped off by a fireworks celebration. Cinnamon rolls, sandwiches, chili and beverages are available to warm your tummy all day long. Bring your friends and family and head to Conover to support the area Fire & EMS Departments.

To reserve your spot in the competitions or for more information, please visit

February 22nd Boulder Junction, WI – The 6th Annual Boulder Junction Frozen Tozen Winter Fest will be held on Saturday, February 22, 2014.  Bring family and friends for the Frozen Tozen, featuring an ice fishing tournament, mini ice golf, turkey bowling, snowshoeing, tug of war, ice-skating, warm food and drink, and a raffle. Best of all, these fun activities support community projects. All ice fishing tournament proceeds support the Boulder Junction Boat Landing Improvement Fund, while proceeds from ice golf and turkey bowling benefit the Community Food Pantry. The ice fishing takes place on Boulder Lake and the rest of the activities at Boulder Junction Winter Park. More details to come over the next month.

For more information and ice fishing registration forms, visit or call the Boulder Junction Chamber at (715) 385-2400.

June 18th LOLA Wine Tasting and Fund Raiser at the Forest Lake Country Store.  LOLA and the Artistree Gallery is a huge asset to Land O’ Lakes.  Each year we turn over the store to the Ladies of LOLA.  The prep some delicious appetizers, there is some great food and an evening of art lovers in our back yard.  Put this one on your calendar!

August 9th Ride With Leinie!  Also at the Forest Lake Country Store. The day starts with a bike ride, followed by brats and beer.  Not just any beer, but Leinenkugels beer.  Dick Leinenkugel attends and will MC the event.  This is a great day to be in the north woods.  Get this on your calendar now,,,
Land O’ Lakes Library News

Remember the library as you in the depths of winter.  If you are cleaning up the house, garage, family room or rec room and have any books, they are the lifeblood of the library.  The Land O’ Lakes Friends of the Library hosts a used book sale once a year.  They stock pile donated books all year.  They accept fiction or cook books.  Political books or children’s tales.  Non-fiction and how to books.  Hard cover or soft.  All books are welcome for the biggest annual fundraiser at the Land O’ Lakes Public Library.  Drop off your books during regular library hours.  Tax deductable receipts are available for your donations.

Land O’ Lakes Artisans /Artistree Events

LOLA wishes you all a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy time with family and friends….be safe, and be happy!

December 11 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Artist to Artist Session
Critique your work at LOLA Center for the Arts
Free ($10.00 suggested donation to LOLA)
Coffee & Treats will be served.

Critiquing your work leads to further exploration and growth on your artistic path. Join Artist Karen Lenhart as she leads this critique session. In a safe non judgmental environment, artists will learn what is happening in their work. Artists of any level of experience are invited to bring two original pieces of their art for group critique.

To register or for more information, call Wendy at 715-547-3950.

December 14 10:00 – 6:00 p.m.LOLA & Artistree Gallery’s Annual Holiday Open House & Art Bazaar
LOLA Center for the Arts
4262 County Road B, Downtown Land O’ Lakes
LOLA will have: Treats and Beverages!  Music from Local Musicians!  A Free Craft for the Kids!  Gift Certificates!

Marilyn Annin Signing her Books!
Visit with Marilyn Annin from 10 – noon that day. She will be signing copies of her four book portfolio “Up North Stories”. Perfect for the kids on your list!
Artistree will have:
Artist demonstrations!
Holiday Inspired Art & Craft for Sale!
Gift Certificates!
More Treats!

Bring your friends, meet LOLA, meet artists, have a treat or two, enjoy some music and share in the festivities of the season!

More great classes to come for winter! So stay tuned for new cooking classes, photography class, watercolor workshops and kids art!

Hope to see you soon!
Artfully yours,

People around Land O’ Lakes

December 1 is a shared birthday for Ruth Schack, Mery Lee LaChance and Dale Sharpee
December 2 is Dan Stetters birthday
December 3rd is the birthday for RD Akins
December 4th is a shared birthday for Bonnie Heinig and Jacki Guinn
December 6th Tricia Bresnick celebrates her birthday
December 11th Janine Smith ,Dan Benson and Lyle Clayton share their birthday
December 12th Sharon Nye celebrates her birthday
December 13th is a shared birthday for Bonnie Clarke, Wes Geib and our daughter Stephanie Cain
December 14th is Kay MacDonald celebrates her birthday
December 15th is Painless Pete Schindelholz’s Bday
December 16th  Mary Lomastro’s enjoys her birthday
December 17th Tom Allman celebrates his birthday
December 19th Marilyn and John Annin celebrate their anniversary and shared birthdays for Jennifer Anderson and John Alt
December 20th is Ed Saad’s birthday.  Stop at the Red Man and wish him well!
December 21 is Karen and Bob Turnquist’s anniversary and John Andrules celebrates his birthday!
December 22nd is Deb Jablonski’s birthday
December 24th is Matt Chayer’s birthday
December 25th Lee Cerk celebrates her birthday
December 28th is Donna Dow and Judy Stoney’s shared birthday
December 29th is Megan Gwyn’s birthday
December 30 is Bill Welisek’s birthday

Thanksgiving.  A time of year to reflect on gifts; both received and given.

We are lucky to receive the gifts of patronage and friendship from so many.  We started with a little corner in the country and a dream, and now so many support us to help our dream come true.  For this we are thankful.

We are lucky to have five great daughters.  All beautiful.  All excelling in the fields of their choosing.  One giving us a son in law and two grandchildren.  For this we are thankful.

For our Lord who helps us in times of struggle or grief.  Give us times of happiness and bounty.  And offers us the gift of eternity.  For this we are most thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone,

Kris and Mark Gostisha and girls
Forest Lake Country Store
6256 County Road B     Land O’ Lakes WI 54540     715 547 8222

Store Hours
Friday and Saturday 8 AM – 8 PM
Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 8 AM – 2 PM
Closed on Tuesdays
Remember,,,  Our winter seasonal closure starts on December 2nd.  We will reopen on December 27th!

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