Day 2

Trip Start Jul 21, 2010
Trip End Jul 29, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Wisconsin
Thursday, July 22, 2010

The title of this entry should really be "Day 1 extended" since Mom chose, as she often does, to drive through the night, while, I, as I often do, slept in the passenger seat. I did my best to stay awake, but lost it shortly before midnight and shortly before we entered Wisconsin (at 11:45pm, Central Time). At 3:10 we arrived at the destination we had entered into the GPS 15+ hours earlier back in State College: the Microtel Inn in Onalaska, Wisconsin (say "Onalaska" out loud, it's a really pretty sounding town name, could be a girl's name if Mom would let me give my kids weird names; I've already been told I can't, oh well.) Apparently there was a very pretty moonscape during the drive, I only saw the inside of my eyelids until we were about half an hour away. At that point, we discussed pulling over at a Rest Area, but I'm a little more squeamish about these things than Mom and Bro (my brother, Adam, for those who don't know our nicknames -- Mom and Bro took a road trip at the beginning of the summer and frequented Rest Areas for a quick shut-eye). However, I convinced Mom that a bed, shower in the morning, and continental breakfast would be worth the 20 more minutes of driving so we called ahead as said we'd take the one available room at the Microtel. Even though we had canceled our original reservation earlier in the day, just in case we hadn't made it this far, it all worked out and we actually save some money since we got our single room at 3 in the morning for $20 less than quoted with our reservation.

And boy was it worth it... Check out the pictures of this cute little room which reminded us of rooms on a cruise ship, with its cot/couch under the window and cube end-tables in the wall. The best part though was the bed. Mom declared it her favorite bed, second only to the bed that is now mine but was once hers. That's where we are now. Mom is in the shower and I'm finishing up a bagel and coffee from the continental breakfast bar downstairs. I decided to type out this entry on the computer which is much easier on the thumbs and the eyes.

Our plan for today is to head an hour and a half north-west to Pepin, Wisconsin, our first destination: birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder and setting for her first book "Little House in the Big Woods." Apparently in September, Pepin celebrates Laura's life with traditional music, craft demonstrations, a "Laura look-alike" contest, a spelling bee, and other events. Too bad we will be missing that, I could definitely have a shot at winning the look-alike contest, I packed my bonnet :)

It's time for me to get ready (no bonnet today though), it's raining out so hopefully that doesn't affect our plans. After Pepin, we're headed to Burr Oak, Iowa, near Decorah, Iowa (NOT, incidentally, where Google Maps puts it in a totally different area of Iowa; Mom already wrote a letter about it.) I'll post later from one of these stops.
More pictures of days 1-2 at
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zyd85 on

Sarah's a great travel companion and It really is an adorable room. Shower's good, too. There's an Aldi across the street, so we'll stop in and get a couple of provisions in case we don't see a nice lunch place. I don't mind Sarah's sleeping -- that's why I have 25,000 songs and hundreds of podcasts on the ipod. She did wake briefly when I slowed down to make sure a little deer didn't decide to commit suicide-by-minivan. I'm hoping there's bad deer karma attached to my $6000 repair job and it keeps the deer away. So far, so good. It's fun reading Sarah's blogs! Don't know how she caught a pic of me with only one hand on the wheel though; anyone who knows me knows I always keep both hands firmly on the wheel, never take them both off to gesture or emphasize a point. ;-)
Clip-clop, clip-clop, the horses are ready and we're off again!

The Other JZ on

Maybe Decorah moved! I seem to remember being in Iowa and being told that, from time to time, the Missouri meanders this way and that. It creates all sorts of fun for cartographers because the river flows changes the Iowa/Nebraska border. I think there's a town in Iowa that actually rests west of the Missouri, sort of surrounded by Nebraska.

Grandpa on

What a delight to share your trip with you. Sarah, you write beautifully.
I never read the "house" series but I think now I might.
Can't wait to read your continuing saga.
By the way, this reminds me a lot of my trip with Janet to S. Louis. Phantom of the Opera was our way to pass the time.

Vern Crawford on


I did not know that you had a "bonnet." I hope that you will post a picture of you in your bonnet for all of us to share. You may have already, as I mislaid the link to this travelogue, so am just now getting back to it.

Thank you so much for sharing yours and your mothers adventure with all of us.


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