Golf activities kept us so busy at Lawsonia, we wanted to stay one more night and enjoy Green Lake and some of the activities the complex offers. But between 800 and 1,000 good Christian folk were about to descend on the place and there was no room in the campground for heathens like us. We like to travel without making many plans, but it was Friday night and school has not started yet. This means you can't be choosy, so we ended up camping at the casino on the Oneida reservation in Green Bay. Out west Native American reservations look different than the country the white man occupies, but here the res looks a lot like the rest of Green Bay - a typical midwestern suburban sprawl. When I went to the bingo hall to register our site I had a hard time finding someone to take my $15. The room was full of very senior citizens marking their cards. A long line up of wheel chairs was waiting for their colleagues to arrive. Except for the smoke it reminded me a lot of the assisted living facility where my mother stays.
Although I am at best a fair weather Bears fan, Green Bay means THE ENEMY. But you have to admire how this little community has hung on to this very respectable NFL team, confronting the deep pockets that fund their competitors in huge cities like Chicago and New York. So we joined a large contingent of football pilgrims for a tour. Some came from as far away as Italy and Germany. The guide was obviously a Cheese Head, but he offered a balanced approach to the Green Bay Packer story. Since a community of 100,000 cannot support the team, the team is publicly owned by about 300,000 stock holders. Although there has been pressure from the NFL to move the team every so often, there is no way that a majority of the 300,000 will ever agree. The stadium seats more fans than Soldier Field in Chicago and there are 103,000 people on the waiting list for season tickets. And those seats looked mighty spartan; the metal bleachers must be extra frosty during those winter games. After a heavy snow volunteers come to the stadium and shovel it out for $10 a piece. Depending on the amount of snow and how many volunteers show up, the job can be done in as little as three hours.The stadium complex has been renovated recently and functions as a convention center for the 355 days of the year when the Packers are not playing here. A huge logo wear souvenir store, a Hall of Fame museum, and our tour tickets help to put the team in a position to bid on the best players and induce them to come to the far north. They tried a rock concert in the stadium once, but the sacred turf got torn up so badly, they never intend to try that again.
After the tour it was time to finally see Green Bay, the indentation of Lake Michigan that gives the town its name. A short drive out of town brought us to a little park where we could sit on the shore and admire the water birds and recover from all the golf.