How can we possibly write about all that we did while in Wisconsin, from June 15 to July 13, 2017? We were so active, we just didn’t have time to regularly write posts of our travels for this month. I’m sad as we are already losing some memories we were making that we try to capture in our posts. So we’ll start with some summaries and see how it goes. First, let’s learn a little about Wisconsin.
We decided to tour Wisconsin after Bill “noticed” it was directly above Illinois – where we visited family. After our family visit, we needed a route back to Virginia, where we will spend August. It seemed natural to go to Wisconsin rather than Michigan, our original plan….more about that route later!
First, we decided to go “north” for the summer, for cooler weather. If you know us, you know we love HOT weather. It was never hot enough for us in Florida, our 12 years we lived there. We nearly died from the heat last summer in Kentucky. We met our match – the heat of the midwest in the summer is brutal! Wisconsin was perfect – well, nearly. We did hit a few mosquitos habitats, but we didn’t let that spoil our fun. We just learned to repel…
I don’t know how Bill does it, but he likes to discover the best things to see and do where ever we go – that fits us both. He was excited as he began to read off to me the “jaw dropping” sites to see and places to visit. That became our quest – to see things to make our jaws drop! And I’m happy to report, we were successful. BUT how could we do it in a month as he looked at the map, knowing we don’t like to move our Tiffany (motorhome) every three or four days? We had to narrow the list down. And then pick “regional” areas to stay for a week and just do the best we could.
The next thing was to figure out where to park our Tiffany. Fortunately, after he selected Wisconsin, we spent an afternoon visiting with a sweet couple from La Crosse, Wisconsin, that had an identical motorhome to ours. They were 80 years old and had been full timing for 15 years. They were so inspiring! And they gave us some great pointers – mainly to not stay in any state parks in our big rig! Most only have 30 amps, no sewer but some had water.
So we pulled out our HUGE Good Sam catalog of campgrounds and the search began. It took us a few days to get everything lined up. KNOWING it was summer and we had the 4th of July holiday to think about, we had to make reservations – something we don’t like to do! But thankfully, our plans just fell into place. The main thing we learned was that full hook up campground were rare. Because of the severe winters, putting in sewer hook ups was just too expensive to dig “deep” we were told. Thankfully, we managed to find mostly all full hook up sites!
Now, let’s get to know a little about this beautiful state: Wisconsin became the 30th state in the United States on May 29, 1848. It “is a midwestern U.S. state with coastlines on 2 Great Lakes (Michigan and Superior) and an interior of forests and farms. Milwaukee, the largest city, is known for the Milwaukee Public Museum, with its numerous re-created international villages, and the Harley-Davidson Museum, displaying classic motorcycles….” Uh oh, as former Harley Davidson owners, how did we not go there??? Our focus is so different now….
Back to details about this fabulous state! It’s population as of the 2015 census was 5,771,337, a 1.47% increase since the 2010 census. The capital is Madison, which we did visit! WOW! Now we are sorry we haven’t made a better effort to visit every capitol in each state we have visited….so that’ll be on our agenda in the future
Here is a quick map of our campground stays. Click on the picture to go to the “live” map for specific info on each campground. We’ll provide more details as we write
The campgrounds were all pretty basic. We were happy four of the seven had full hookups: #2 K & L Campground (we were visited the Wisconsin Dells), #4 Northland Camping and RV Park (in Superior and on Lake Superior), #5 Dorchester City Park (we only stayed one night to keep from such a long driving day) and #7 Beantown Campground in Door County. Beantown was more of a resort, having a swimming pool, really nice playground area, and very nice recently remodeled bathhouse. The rest did have 50 amp hook ups and all except the US Army Corps of Engineers had water.
Here is a quick summary of where we visited – details will be in future blogs. Or you can visit my flickr page to browse through our albums. I’m still trying to write this first blog, upload our pictures let alone to pick out the best pictures of our hikes and other adventures….
We’ve hiked in 13 Wisconsin State Parks. Wow, Wisconsin knows how to take care of their State Parks (SP) and hiking trails. They were all well marked and easy to maneuver around. But we visited a 14th one, Split Rock State Park in Minnesota and that was our favorite hike. Sorry Wisconsin….
2. Governor Dodge SP (2 X)
3. Devils Lake SP
4. Willow River SP
5. Amicon Falls SP
6. Pattison SP
7. Split Rock SP
8. High Cliff SP
9. Peninsula SP (2 X)
10. White Fish Dunes SP
11. Potawami SP
12. Newport SP
13. Rock Island SP
- Cave of the Mounds
- House on the Rock
- Pendarvis in Mineral Point
- Olbrich Park Botanical Gardens, Madison
- Madison Capitol Building
- Wisconsin Dells – boat tour of both the upper and lower Dells
- Menomonie History Museum
- Fairlawn Mansion and Museum (an authentically restored 1890 Victorian House Museum)
- Glensheen Historic Estate (1900’s Mansion in Duluth, Minnesota)
- Duluth/Superior Harbor (self guided and we went for the long walk)
- Personal and guided tour around Menasha City, Neenah, Oshkosh and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA AirVenture Oshkosh)
- Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve (trail)
- Eagle Bluff Lighthouse
- Toured Rock Island (also hiked in the State Park)
- Cana Island Lighthouse
- Alexander Noble House
And we missed a few other places we originally wanted to see! The main one we missed was the Apostle Islands. While writing this, we are reminiscing and have decided this was our best month of travel ever! So now what to write? We’re now heading back to our “home” base in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Our time will be devoted to our family – so no sightseeing. Hopefully, I’ll be able to write a blog post about each location we stayed with a few photos. At least we now have an outline of our adventures!
I asked Bill to pick one picture to summarize our visit. He said, “From the homespun landscape of Door County, to the bucolic farms and rolling hills in Dodgeville, to Lake Superior, the sandstone cliffs of the Dells….oh I have to pick a favorite???
So here is one of my favorites, from the top of the Cana Island Lighthouse in Door County:
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy….” Psalms 96:11-12