With both tripometers set for zero at 8:00 Tuesday morning June 24, we shot out of the driveway launching our vacation. One tripometer was to record the total mileage for the trip -- the other was to record the miles on the Silvermine. This is our first trip West in the Airstream and that will make everything new again. We didn't feel as bad about leaving Caleb home, as this time he had Grandma for company . . . and both dogs!
The destination for day #1 was the Wisconsin Dell area and Rocky Arbor State Park -- about 400 miles. Driving out of Ohio and into Indiana on westbound Route 30 we saw lots of flooding -- all the way up to barns and houses. Chicago traffic was not bad as we worked our way up and around to the west side and got on Interstate 90 west. We made our campground at 3:30 and had lots of time to see the area: a stroll on the River Walk, a drive down the River Road, and shopping in the junky stores downtown.
The last time we were here we took an 8-hour boat tour of both the upper and lower Dells, and this time we did not feel the need. Instead, we went back to cook our evening meal -- the first cook-out of the vacation.
For supper Tom brought out the little Biolite Grill that is a cute little cooker using twigs for fuel. It uses thermoelectrics to convert heat from the fire to a stored battery which runs a fan to stoke the fire! If your cell phone happens to be out of battery, you can plug it right into the little battery via a USB port to charge! While you cook. No kidding!
Wednesday, Day 2, we were up early and crossing the Mississippi River at Onalaska, WI by 9:00. we learned that the river has crested five times already -- it usually averages just once a year!
Staying on Interstate 90 as we approached Sioux Falls, SD, Tom asked to see if there were indeed any “falls” to see in Sioux Falls. We usually zip right by on our hurried way to parts further west, but this time we pulled off to take a look at Falls Park. It was breathtaking, and yes, there were falls!
Another two hours had us at Mitchell SD, the home of the “world’s only” Corn Palace. The original Corn Palace was established in 1892. Early settlers displayed the fruits of their harvest on the building exterior in order to prove the fertility of South Dakota soil. The present building was completed in 1921. The exterior decorations are completely stripped down and new murals are created each year. The theme is selected by the Corn Palace Festival Committee and murals are designed by a local artist. Unfortunately, the murals were still under construction for this year! We did get some pictures of the unfinished outside, and the completed murals on the inside.
Our R & R Campground was close to a Cabala's outdoor equipment store, and we enjoyed a quick trip through it before heading to bed.
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown