Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty: Check!

| August 7, 2017

It’s no secret that my Bucket List is a little questionable. I’ll have to post it here sometime. But for now, let’s talk about an item that’s been on my list for 15 years. Fifteen years! What, you ask, could it be? Well, I’ll tell you! It’s the

Paul Bunyan Cook Shanty, in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin!

Paul Bunyan Cook Shanty

I know, I know. It doesn’t really seem like a Bucket List goal. But it has been. For fifteen years.

Way back in 2002, Paul (my husband–not Bunyan) and I were driving cross-country. Our first country-trip together. We hadn’t made hotel reservations anywhere; we were driving until tired and then finding a place to sleep. This brought us to Wisconsin Dells for a night.

In the morning, I spied it: a giant billboard beckoning me to eat ALL I COULD EAT of a LUMBERJACK MEAL at Paul Bunyan’s cook shanty!


Paul was having none of it. He didn’t want all he could eat–he wanted the Wisconsin cheese and beef we’d bought, and to get on the road.

Some battles, you don’t fight. We had a series of long drives ahead of us, so I didn’t argue. But for fifteen years, I’ve glanced at the map every time we’ve taken a US road trip. Never were we close enough to swing through Wisconsin Dells.

Until now.

Insofar as Wisconsin Dells, WI is on the route from Bemidji, MN to Omaha, NE. Which it's not.

Insofar as Wisconsin Dells, WI is on the route from Bemidji, MN to Omaha, NE. Which it’s not.

I was finally going to eat at Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty!!!

This morning was the big day. We trucked the RV into their parking lot and parked all the way in the back. We walked down to the restaurant–past Babe the Blue Ox, past Paul Bunyan, to the door.

Babe the blue ox

We were inside. I was inside the Paul Bunyan Cook Shanty! Sequoia was incredulous that I could be so excited to eat at a Paul Bunyan restaurant. In fact, she still doesn’t understand why Paul Bunyan is evvvvverywhere in Wisconsin and Minnesota. I mean, not that I understand, either, but it’s soooooo Roadside America, so I’m all in.


I came. I ate.  I drank from little camp mugs.  I photographed.


Those donuts!


I souvenired.

Paul Bunyan's Cook Shanty Wisconsin Dells Christmas ornament

Guys, it was every bit as exciting as I’d hoped. I mean, sure, it was just breakfast, but it was an ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT LUMBERJACK BREAKFAST AT PAUL BUNYAN’S COOK SHANTY.

Paul Bunyan Cook Shanty

I am a happy woman!

Paul is an unimpressed man

Paul is an unimpressed man.

I would just like to add here that when we left Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty, the line to get in stretched well into the parking lot. I don’t think I’m the only one who couldn’t wait to eat at PAUL BUNYAN’S COOK SHANTY!


Tags: , ,

Category: Der Wanderbus, In Germany A Broad blog, Shits & Giggles, Travel, Uncategorized, US Travel

About the Author ()

Kari Martindale is a writer and ESL instructor. She’s visited all 50 states and 37 countries, including many of the big cities of Europe and a ton of Christmas Markets. She spends her days straddling the fence between a sense of adventure and a sense of dread. She is married to what is clearly a patient man and has a daughter who, frustratingly, is just like her. Her academic and professional backgrounds are in linguistics and foreign languages. When she's not teaching ESL, she's writing. When she's not writing, she's thinking about her next trip.

Comments are closed.