Our Second Leg

Reminiscing as I look back at my journal is a happy time for me. I am just grateful I have internet and electricity at the same time to be able to share our experiences with you.

Sunday, August 17………………Day 6

What a fantastic day!

We explored Indiana Sand Dunes State Park.

Spent the day on Lake Michigan’s beautiful, historic beach playing in the sand and dipping toes in the cold water. It was a little rough to swim but we still enjoyed a beautiful day at the beach.

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Lemon and I even ventured one of the trails to geocache when just before the “find” our path was heavily flooded from a beaver’s damn. We did like seeing the chewed wood though. After the beach-fun, we headed down the road and into Illinois.

 

August 18……..Day 7

We woke up and pushed on to Rockford, IL-the setting of one of my favorite movies, “A League of their own.”

After breakfast at an Egg Harbour Café, we let Papa Bear spend the morning working while we walked Ollie for an egg themed cache and found a postal store where we bought stamps for all our postcards. Then, we mailed our letters (it’s important to keep up our correspondence).

In the same shopping plaza we went to a learning center full of educational toys books and teaching materials. We had fun playing and learning for an hour and bought a book and signing flash cards to keep abreast of our sign language.

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August 19……Day 8

After lunch yesterday we went to the spectacular Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens in Sinnissippi park. We finally logged our Puzzle Cache while exploring and learning about the gardens and sculptures.

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Then, we headed north into Wisconsin and docked for the night for today’s excursion with the original Wisconsin Duck rides. We climbed aboard the amphibious vehicle for a tour of the woods and down the Wisconsin River.

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While the younger girls and Mama Duck rested, Papa Bear took Juniper and Lemon to ride the Go-karts right next door. Something they have been asking to do all summer.

This is when I spike a fever and am really out of commission. Luckily, we had planned on staying here a few days in a campground.

 

August 20……Day 9

I woke up feeling a little better this morning.

I managed to get our laundry done, splash in the pool and play mini-golf.

 

All the while and in between the girls were playing at the playground right next to our site.

After dinner, we got the real camping experience by sitting and roasting marshmallows by the campfire.

Darryl and I, worn out from the trip went to bed early and got our first good night’s sleep in over a week.

 

August 21…… Day 10

We are awoken by the drip drop of rain. Remembering our towels and bathing suits, we dashed to pull them in from our makeshift clothesline of tie-down straps.

I take some “me” time while waiting for the last of our laundry to finish and knit in the gazebo by the pool and listening to the rain (one of the most relaxing sounds).

Darryl’s morning is not as enjoyable; keeping 5 kids occupied in a rainy RV while packing up and working. He is sharpening his multi-tasking abilities, I’m sure.

We move on to find Carr Valley Cheese Factory in La Valle, WI and the ride is more beautiful than any other section of the trip thus far. We travel through rolling farmlands full of horses and cows. We putt-putt through small towns, up and over mountains, down through valleys and we all feel the true spirit of roadtripping while singing songs and talking about where we started, how we got to where we are and where we are going.

After a video tutorial of cheesemaking we sample some curds, pick out postcards and take this family photo.

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Off we go to Rochester, MN with a stop in Lacrosse (at the state border) to Target for some supplies-tissues, disinfectant, a toothbrush and diapers. We spend the night in Rochester but it isn’t easy.

Our A/C unit in the “house” has a burning smell and is apparently broken. This is especially inconvenient at this time due to the 90* temperature and 100% humidity in the area. After shuffling the kids from bed to bed to try to comfort them and three trips into the Rochester Target:

1. for water to drink

2. for a fan

3. to return the first fan and get a different one

We tried to settle in and have some duck/bear time but it being almost midnight with a five-year old sweaty and unable to get comfortably to sleep Darryl and I didn’t make it to bed until almost 2 a.m.

 

Tossing and turning for hours waiting for the lull of the fans to put me to sleep, I had a thought:

As difficult as it is at times, as much as I want to rip my hair out and scream, as easy as it would be to pack it in and just go home…

I’M NOT A QUITTER! I won’t dwell on the wrong. My heart swells from the right.

 

I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams and eternally grateful for EVERYthing! (even the bad)

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