A couple of days and several hundred miles since our last blog entry has given our happy caravan plenty of time for activity! We spent the final days in Aurora visiting SPLASH COUNTRY!, a water park hosted by the Fox Valley Park District. Needless to say, our eager duckling took right to the water.
Our pasty white skin was a dead-giveaway that we were not frequent visitors to this amusingly quaint distraction.
With Iowa still a major disaster area, we thought it best to head North for our trek West. While it adds a few days onto the overall schedule, Tracy and her good friend Google Maps created an itinerary that takes us to some pretty nifty spots. By the way, has anyone seen the crazy street level view mode in Google Maps? You can stalk your friend’s front door from the sidewalk rather than the older satellite mode. How do they do that?!
Since it was only an hour and half north of Chicago-land, we just had to drop by Madison Wisconsin, “The Berkley of the Mid-West”. Being former residents of the Berkley area, we approached the city with a cynic’s eye. One could quickly see where the comparisons derive from. Both have CO-Ops. Both have crazy people walking down the sidewalks and both have trendy coffee shops like Mother Fools in Madison.
Not only did we get served a pretty decent cup of organic java but Tracy also opted for the more exotic Kombucha tea, made locally and delivered via bicycle to the coffee house. It was an extremely pungent tea that was fermented and supposedly full of probiotics and all sorts of other healthy junk. We learned this from their cleverly placed bathroom advertisements, which worked like a charm on this family.
Here’s the Scamp parked in front of Star Liquor.
Note the Hamm’s at a discount price! Star Liquor featured one of “those guys”, you know the type: wife-beater, cigarette, and knee high socks. He offered us our first Scamp compliment stating that it was a “pretty neat little camperette.” Apparently it didn’t qualify as a camper to him since it lacked an awning.
Leaving Madison, we headed to the border of Wisconsin and our first campout of the trip. Willow River Falls State Park was a gamble at best. It’s only a few miles off I-94 and was a small blip on the map. Despite its sticker-shocking $34 admittance fee, the site was actually very nice.
It felt like non-stop activity since we arrived an hour before little Maisy’s bedtime but Tracy managed to whip together a tasty meal.
And the morning brought a herd of deer to our rear window!
Sadly, we took this photo as the group was wandering away. The deer looked more like a mule deer than the white tail variety our fawn badge and pendants are based on.
Willow River also had one more plus – a nearby U.S. Post Office! Having the regular and Etsy sites open while we’re on the road requires that we visit some random mailing centers and this was one of them. Many thanks to the friendly staff at Hudson P.O!
Tonight – some random fort in North Dakota!