The Northwoods Adventure


After a delicious breakfast prepared by Steve at Munro Manor (TripAdvisor Review of Munro Manor), I met up with Maxine for a guided tour of Butternut. Despite how busy she was with Pioneer Days preparations and her family visiting, she squeezed in a couple hours with me!

Maxine showed me where I would be giving a talk to the Third Story Writers Guild at the Park Falls Library that evening. She made sure to take me inside and introduce me to the librarian and have them show me the exact room. It was so thoughtful and definitely helped settle some nerves about my talk.


On our way to the Butternut Area Historical Museum, we stopped off at the first mural dedicated to folks who contributed to the town over the years.

Maxine gave me the highlights of each person’s life. It was amazing to hear about who they were and how much they gave to the community.

Then we headed over to the museum.


This gorgeous building has been around for over a hundred years. They recently renovated the outside.


I loved discovering more about one of their most famous residents, a wrestler named Charles “Midget” Fischer.

The staging was top notch. I almost felt like I was walking back in time and into someone’s kitchen.


More treasures awaited us upstairs.


I highly recommend stopping into this museum. It’s worth every second spent there!


I even got to see the class picture from Maxine’s high school class. And let me tell you she is just as pretty and mischievous looking as she was back then!

We picked up Maxine’s cousin and had a delightful lunch filled with laughs in Fifield at the Kountry Kafe.

Maxine’s cousin had the fluffiest pancakes I’d ever seen.


Later on, Dad and I did a little sightseeing, popping in at The Novel Idea Bookshop in Park Falls.


It was lovely to meet Heidi in person and take a picture with my book on the shelves in her shop! She only had two left from my last shipment. Her shop has everything a book lover could want. Cool knit items that I couldn’t resist. Books about Wisconsin including one by Tess Morrison, who I got to meet at the Third Story Writers Guild event that night. It’s on my TBR shelf.


Then I prepared for my library talk about my path to publication for the Third Story Writers Guild of Park Falls. The writers guild was a great group of people who challenged me with insightful questions about writing and publishing. We spent two hours together and I was deeply impressed by their passion for writing. I hope to keep in touch with them and hear more about their projects!

Big thank you to Anna Maria Hansen for giving me a copy of the Park Falls Herald that ran our interview! And many thanks to Karen Drums and the guild for inviting me to speak!

Afterwards, Dad and I followed Linda to Dick and Joan’s Butternut Resort for a late dinner.

I had a terrific chicken rice soup and battered walleye!


The next day, we spent in Butternut getting to know the area and talking to people.


We met Bill and Cathy at The Feed Store. Cathy showed us around and we had a blast talking with her. The Feed Store is definitely the heart of Butternut.



We stopped in at the museum and met Darlene and Jeannie. Caught up with Maxine a bit too.


We met Hugh Bob Masterson’s relatives and learned his band, Hugh Bob and the Hustle, have  upcoming gigs in NYC. Dad and I plan to be there.

We ate lunch at Jumbo’s–great fishfry.


Later we changed for the Reception being held at the Butternut American Legion. We ran into Jody and she showed us where I’d be doing a small signing that night. Then we went downstairs and met several town officials.

Maxine and Kelly did a terrific job putting together a delicious dinner! The bratwurst was the best I’ve ever had–better than Austria. George cooked them perfectly. I got to eat off such beautiful and delicate Bavarian china! It was a night fit for a queen. I’ve never felt so welcomed or so special in my entire life! And Maxine’s dessert–it was a black forest cake that I cannot stop thinking about!


I got to chat with Kelly and her husband. Several of his high school students came to the reception and talked with me a bit about writing. One is already a published poet–very impressive Carley!

Then I went upstairs to sign books and chat.


We sold ten books and I got to meet with several readers. It was truly an awesome night. I even met a Richter! Heidi and her mom stopped by to say hi. Linda and I talked about her book idea. And Kim and John from the writers group popped in to see me too.

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36 Responses to The Northwoods Adventure

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    Sounds like a wonderful time. And those pancakes have my mouth watering!

  2. Maxine Kleinsteiber says:

    Thank you a big Butternut bunch for this lovely tribute to our community! Your visit will always be one of Butternut’s highlights.

  3. Butternut looks like such a quaint town. I would be all over that museum! I’m glad you had a nice time, Kourtney. Thanks for sharing your photos. 🙂

    • Jill, it’s an amazing placer where everyone pitches in and makes things happen. The museum rivaled any of the ones I’d been to in NY or Italy. Actually, I enjoyed it more because there was just enough to look at to be continually curious without feeling overwhelmed. 🙂

  4. Gwen says:

    This was so much fun to read about. Some of your photos look like they came straight from a movie set (especially the local museum — those kinds of places really exist??) It fits the image of the quintessential Midwestern small town – warm and welcoming, and plenty of big-hearted people. What an amazing experience for you!

    • Thanks Gwen. I was so impressed by their museum. That’s exactly how it felt–warm & welcoming with the biggest hearted people I’d ever met. 🙂 And each day was a new adventure!

  5. winsomebella says:

    Looks like you had a great visit!

  6. Thanks for letting us in on the trip, and especially for all the virtual tastes of your many amazing meals!

  7. Linda says:

    I had the best time chatting with you. I am walking away with so many ideas prompted by you, you are such an inspiration! In our Writer’s Guild, most of the members are “pantsers” but after talking to you, I have put together several outlines to use for future reference. I am finding that I can quickly put my ideas in an outline, then come back and embellish. My mind is abuzz.

    • It was great talking to you too! That’s the best part of meeting fellow writers. We all have our own styles and methods and there’s always something new to try. 🙂 Truly it’s what works for you. I know some fantastic pantsers. I’m a plantser. But I know mega plotters too. Glad you tried outlining and found it helpful. Yay! That’s great that you are capturing ideas so you can come back to them. 🙂

  8. Mae Clair says:

    Another great peek at your travel journal 🙂 The town sounds fantastic and so do the people. Loved the museum (I have a passion for the past). I’m so glad you enjoyed the trip. It sounds like a memory to treasure.

    • LOL. I have a couple more posts about this trip. So much happened! It was amazing. And I want to capture as much as I can here. 🙂 The town and the people were truly amazing. Oh my goodness, that museum rocked! I’m so glad I could share the memory with my dad. What a whirlwind we had! 🙂

  9. jmmcdowell says:

    Wow, do those pancakes look amazing! And the brats are a reminder that we need to place an order for some from Usinger’s in Milwaukee. Then parboil them in some beer before slapping them on the grill. Mmm….

    Seeing these photos simply reinforces the images I had in mind from your descriptions in The Six Train. You were spot-on with the descriptions of northern Wisconsin and its residents!

    • They looked seriously fluffy. OMG, best brats ever. They were hand made that day and then cooked perfectly.

      LOL. It’s funny being there got me so excited to outline and work on book 2. Aw thank you. I really tried to capture the exceptional people that dwell in the Northwoods. 🙂

  10. Amazing tour of food and Butternut!

  11. Kate is says:

    I love those dresses.

  12. EllaDee says:

    What a treasure Butternut is. Small towns are just that, like the museum, enough to keep your interested and engaged but not overwhelming. Lovely to see the residents’ passion for their town. Fortuitous for them and you, you chose it as the setting for Six Train 🙂

    • That’s what really struck me–the can do attitude and their ability to make things happen. People pitch in and they have an amazing hour long parade. It really reminded me how much is possible when you work together. 🙂 I couldn’t have picked a better setting for Six Train. 🙂

  13. The food looks so yummy!

  14. klynwurth says:

    Ahhh…bratwurst and Fish Fry! I lived in Appleton, WI for 2 years. You brought back some good memories. Glad you’ve had a good trip…and thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Kelly! The food was so delicious. I also plan to have my characters dining at some of these places so I really wanted to document everything in pictures. WI=happy memories for me too!

  15. Pete Denton says:

    Great shots again. Great to see your book on the shelves 🙂

    Please email me some of those curly fries!

Any thoughts or reactions or favorite foods you want to share?