Ft. McCoy Tour & Fiberglass Mold Graveyard

Posted by on August 18, 2014
A large yurt

A large yurt

One of the smaller cabins

One of the smaller cabins

Campers started pulling out before 10:00 am Sunday morning and continued until almost 2:00 pm….even though check out time is 11:00 am.  They’re very lax on the rules around here.  We took an hour walk around the three circles of the campground in the afternoon and we surprised at how cleared out it was since it had been pretty much at capacity just the night before.  Not that we were disappointed, mind you.

Nice sandy beach

Nice sandy beach

Besides being a campground they also rent campers, different sized cabins and yurts.  There is a small lake that has a swimming beach that has big slides.  You can rent boats, bikes and other rec equipment.  It’s nice park but for being a military campground too expensive in our book.

It rained off and on Sunday night and stayed relatively overcast throughout the day on Sunday, which helped to keep the temps in the high 70s.

Cinnamon roll pancakes

Cinnamon roll pancakes

I tried a new recipe for breakfast, Cinnamon Roll Pancakes which had pretty good flavor but my griddle didn’t want to cooperate the greatest so the final product looked a bit sad.  Might just try them again once I figure out my darn griddle.

Steps removed and being spray painted

Steps removed and being spray painted

Michael continued his puttering around.  Today he took the steps off the coach so that he could get the bottom of the steps, the top step and any other nooks and crannies painted a nice shiny black.

I worked on laundry and get 10 more songs completed on the project that I’m working on for my son, Dan.  Two of the 10 were tough…but one (Anaconda) drove me crazy as I couldn’t figure it out at all.  I ‘texted a friend’ and he (Zack) came through in the end and at least put me in the right direction!  Thanks, Zack!

We ran into Sparta in the early evening to get some diesel in the truck in anticipation of today’s driving tour.  While we were in town we stopped at Culver’s for a butterburger….yum!  We also picked up shakes for ourselves and for Jay & Stella. Jay & Stella have been good enough to supply us with ice whenever we need it since our ice maker is on the fritz again and they don’t use much ice.

We sat outside at Jay & Stella’s visiting for a while, enjoying the evening before heading home to watch another movie.  We have free Showtime (and a few other channels) for a couple of months and I took advantage by recording several movies….haven’t found one yet that would make me want to pay for the service!

I was awake shortly after 7:00 am today…Michael followed an hour later.  I enjoy the peace and quiet in the mornings before he gets up.  Shortly before 8:00 it started to rain and it came down in buckets…providing us with our own little lake in the front yard.

The air assault course

The air assault course

Thankfully it cleared up and we didn’t get any more rain throughout the day.  We picked Jay & Stella up about 10:30 and drove over to main post so that we could drive the self-guided driving tour that we picked up at the main gate.  The tour involves over 40 points of interest.

One of the chapels on post.

One of the chapels on post.

We drove by the commissary & PX, the Army Community Services building, Constitution park (where we saw the Boston concert), Garrison Headquarters, Central Fuel Storage, the Navy Seabees facility, tons of barracks buildings, the DFAC (mess hall) that happened to get a new roof shortly before we arrived, the activity center, a couple of chapels, fire department and MP station.

Building 2405 - where Michael spent 2 months before heading to Iraq.

Building 2405 – where Michael spent 2 months before heading to Iraq.

The highlight for me was a stop in front of the barracks that Michael stayed in while he was mobilized at Ft. McCoy from early July to mid September 2006.  I still remember so vividly dropping him off in a parking lot at the end of the street that the barracks was on and watching him walk away…not knowing how long it would be before I saw him again.  I drove a short ways away, parked in a parking lot and cried until I couldn’t anymore and then drove the 2 hours home.  He was deployed to Iraq in mid 2006 and finally came home September 22, 2007…our son Zack’s 21st birthday.

Michael has spent so much time on Ft. McCoy that there was little need for me to read the write ups regarding each stop. We visited the first 30 stops before stopping at the 31st for lunch.  McCoy’s is the post’s ‘club’…it has a bowling alley, bar and restaurant that serves burgers & pizza.  They have a noon lunch buffet that consists of pizza, pasta, salad and normally some other entrée – today it was Salisbury steak with potatoes and green beans.

We continued on our tour after lunch driving by the NCO Academy, Wisconsin State Patrol Academy, Lodging, Wisconsin National Guard Academy and the fitness center among others.

Stella is intrigued by helicopters so I thought this picture was appropriate.

Stella is intrigued by helicopters so I thought this picture was appropriate.

We stopped at the post museum and equipment display.  I was really impressed with how nice the equipment display was…everything was in great shape and beautifully maintained.  Michael and Jay walked around each and every vehicle while Stella and I peeked in the windows of some of the buildings of the museum.  The buildings are only open by appointment only….sadly.  While the boys roamed Stella and I found a picnic table and chatted and relaxed.

A little fun fact:  Lt. Louis L’Amour was stationed at Ft. McCoy as a member of the 808th Tank Destroyer Battalion.

Vehicles on display

Vehicles on display

Ft. McCoy was established in 1909 but a new cantonment area was built in 1942.  It took nearly 8,000 men to build the 1500 buildings and the post was large enough to house, train and support 35,000 soldiers.

Camp McCoy was one of three Japanese prisoner-of-war camps in America.  Nearly 3,000 Germans, 500 Koreans and 2700 Japanese prisoners-of-war were held at Camp McCoy until 1946.

The urban assault course

The urban assault course

When we finished the post tour Michael took us for a ride out into the boonies of Ft. McCoy…probably about 2,394 miles out.  Jay was interested in seeing the different ranges so Michael drove us way the heck out to Timbuktu to see them…along with a few tank courses and various training areas.

Before heading home for the day we decided to stop by FAST (Fiberglass Animals,

Almost looks like a junk yard...until you walk around and see all the treasures!

Almost looks like a junk yard…until you walk around and see all the treasures!

Shapes, and Trademarks Corp.) which is just west of the campground on highway 21 in Sparta.  Michael and I have driven by it many times but I recently found it listed on Roadside America and found that they welcome visitors to walk around the mold graveyard and we all thought they could be pretty interesting….and it was!  

One of my favorites

One of my favorites

It seems that they make the statues that you might see at restaurants:  a large ice cream cone, a burger, the rootbeer bear, etc, equipment for playgrounds or miniature golf courses.  If you’ve ever been to the Paul Bunyan restaurant in the Dells or Minocqua, Wisconsin and have seen Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe…you’ve seen the work of FAST!  Unfortunately, neither was at the FAST graveyard.

Recognize this guy???  It's Big Boy!

Recognize this guy??? It’s Big Boy!

The sea of molds seemed to go on forever…guitars, bears, pigs, horses, elephants, high-heeled shoes, dinosaurs, Trojans & a Trojan horse, pumpkins, corn on the cob, mushrooms, rhinos, eagles, hippos, cats, dogs….I could go on forever!  Definitely an interesting and fun place to stop and look around!

A couple of molds being worked on

A couple of molds being worked on

We got home just about 5:00 pm and I for one was pooped…I immediately changed into my pajamas and climbed into my recliner to relax.

Ironically, there was nothing going on on any of the ranges when we drove by…but almost as soon as we got home the ‘pow, pow, pows’ started again!  Sorry, Jay!

 

 

 

 

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