August 18 to 22, 2009 - Wisconsin

We left Elkhart on August 18th and headed into Illinois, planning on staying the night in Utica, IL.  We took the toll road and got to Utica earlier than we wanted to stop so we headed north intending to stay at the state park by Rockford, IL.  The toll road past Rockford was under construction and we just wanted to finish it so we headed into Wisconsin to camp.  Plus we were done with toll roads which totaled $15.30 for our four axles.  We ended up at Hidden Valley RV Resort in Milton, Wisconsin in a large water and electric site after 287 miles.  It was a nice spot but expensive and you could hear the interstate from the campsite. 

But we were in Wisconsin, a state we had not been in since 2003 and only for one night then. 

In the morning of the 19th we called a campground further north that took Passport America, half price camping, and they had a spot for us for two nights so we drove 64 miles north to Sky High Camping Resort in Portage, WI.  We again had a large campsite, but this time with sewer.

Here is Diane with her sling as we get ready to head into town for dinner at Culver's.  Not exciting, but good.

The 20th was a day with thunderstorm threats, but we were not going to sit still.  One of our mirrored doors in the medicine cabinet was coming loose so we needed to get the special double sided tape to fix it.  But we could do that on the way home. Off we drove to Baraboo, about 12 miles West and then up to Wisconsin Dells, very touristy and not to our taste.  We decided to explore the countryside and wandered on state and federal highways until we got hungry for lunch.  We found a very good place to eat, Lakeshore Family Restaurant in Wautoma and were quite pleased.  A large menu, good prices, attentive wait staff and the food was quite good.  Plus during lunch a thunderstorm came and rained hard, but was gone by the time we left the restaurant.  We ended up at the hardware store in Portage to get the tape and did come home and fix the mirrored door. 

On the 21st we had to leave the campground since we were losing our half price camping due to the weekend.  We headed north to a campground that had room for us, and for about the same price as the last was with Passport America.  Here we are in Pine Harbor Campground in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin after 161 miles.  Our campsite is very wide, it runs between the red posts with numbers on it so the picnic table visible is in our campsite.

Chippewa Falls is someplace Bill had been many years earlier since it is where Cray Research did its manufacturing and was Seymour Cray's hometown.  You can read more about Seymour Cray on

Bill was only here for a day trip from Mendota Heights, MN and did not do the driving so he doesn't really remember the city well.  But he did remember Leinenkugel Beer, which is brewed here and is affectionately called a "Leinie" as is their website,

Since we had time on the 22nd we headed into town to the Leinie Lodge to have a tour of the brewery, which is next door.

We signed up for a free tour and they gave each of us two free sample tickets for 7oz beers to have while waiting.  A group of convertible car owners were here for the weekend and also having a good time.

Bill had his two beers and Diane tasted them, but she is not a beer drinker so she was not as interested.  Since Bill is still the only driver in our household until Diane's injury heals better, Diane gave her tickets to one of the car club organizers.

Our tour begins by walking to the brewery:

Valerie was our tour guide and informed us no photos inside.

It was a good tour and Valerie did a good job.  Plus it was free. 

After the tour Bill took a couple photos of the area between the Leinie Lodge and the brewery.

Then we headed into Eau Claire for lunch at Fazoli's and to get some supplies at Sam's Club. 

Now we are heading back to Dakotah Meadows in Prior Lake, MN for a week.  But we had also seen a bit more of Wisconsin, a state we had not seen much of before.

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