We left the Dubuque area on a rainy Monday morning. We had a great time, but it was time to move on.
We headed further into Wisconsin to Spring Green, a place we had visited in 2008 and really enjoyed. We're staying at the Wisconsin River Resort and found it looking as nice as it was in 2008 with the addition of an outdoor pool.
In 2008, there was a great deal of spring flooding in this area and we found quite a few homes right out of town that were still under water in August. When driving by this area now, we found that most of those homes are now gone. According to a local shop keeper, the homes were eventually condemned and because the water table is still extremely high in this neighborhood, the homeowners were not allowed to rebuild. Very sad....
Our first day, we drove to Dodgeville and did some window shopping and some errands. On Tuesday, we drove to Mineral Point, which is a very quaint artist community. We enjoyed the shops but wished more were open, as some of the art work we saw through the closed shop windows was very interesting.
When we got home, the rain had stopped for a while and Jay took off on his bike for a couple hour ride, while Duke and I decided to spend some quiet time reading.
The rain continued on Wednesday and didn't break enough for our golf game, so we went bowling instead. It turns out the closest bowling alley is in Dodgeville, so we headed back to that area. The bowling alley was pretty old and we knew we were in trouble when AFTER we paid our money, the manager told us that the lanes hadn't been oiled in a while. Well, it was sure an interesting few games!
It continued to thunderstorm over night and a bit more rain in the morning, but the rest of Thursday wasn't bad. We took off early to Cedar Grove Cheese Factory, which is in the town of Plain, about 7 miles from where we're staying.
We had a private tour of the factory and cheese making process, got to try some samples and also looked at their all natural waste water processing which is done through gravity fed vats and hydroponic plants. Quite the eco-system.
We then headed out to a late breakfast and then back to Spring Green to check out some of the shops. Then we headed back to the RV to pick up Duke to take him swimming in the Wisconsin River.
We drove down to the bridge where we were dropped off to go tubing last time we were here and found a relatively quiet spot between the shore and a sand bar where the river was flowing but not as strongly as the main part of the river. Duke jumped right in and had a fabulous time fetching his ball over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over AGAIN! When we got back to the RV, he sat out on the grass to dry and took a LONG nap!
Friday, Jay went on a 44 mile bike ride! I stayed home and cleaned the RV inside and did some laundry. Believe me, I got the better part of that deal.
In the afternoon, we went tubing down the Wisconsin River. The RV resort where we’re staying has tubes, canoes and kayaks for rent, so they took us in a van up river several miles and then we were on our own to come back to the RV Park with the advice to stay toward the middle to the right of the river.
The water was flowing pretty well, which was nice but it was still a lazy float down the river. We stopped on one sand bar and I went swimming while Jay took a nap. Lots of canoes went by but we seemed to be the only tubers. Then we headed further down river to home. It was a really nice relaxing afternoon.
When we got back, we got the sand off us and Jay headed in for a shower while I went swimming in the pool at the campground for a while. Then I made dinner since we didn’t feel like going out and we had an equally relaxing evening.
Saturday we headed into Madison, the capitol of Wisconsin and about an hour drive from where we’re staying. It was Art of the Square weekend. Then entire capitol square was booth after booth of beautiful art from metals to fabrics, pottery, jewelry, paintings, glass and more. Although we saw several pieces that we really liked, we did manage to resist. Then we walked over to Art off the Square to see even more artists’ booths.
From here we drove to a large antique mall, but didn’t find too much of interest there. And from there we stopped to get the oil changed and then on to Walmart for some supply stock up. At Walmart, we encountered our first one with underground parking. Guess that’s a sign of how much snow they get here in Wisconsin.
Then as we were going to our last stop, we passed a Famous Dave’s BBQ. We became a fan of Famous Dave’s in San Diego, but since this chain isn’t in the Austin area, we take advantage of running across it on the road. So we stopped for an early dinner.
Then on to one of my favorite stops…. Trader Joes! This is the only one we’ll pass on this trip, so it was time to stock up. We also found underground parking here. Yikes! They must get a lot of snow here!!
For those of you who don’t know, I am a huge fan of Trader Joes and did most of my shopping there when we lived in California. Unfortunately, they don’t exist in Texas, although I’ve emailed them several times to tell them they are really missing a great opportunity. :) So, I look for them on our travels and stock up on some of my favorites. Last year it was in Cape Cod and this year, Madison, WI. So that’s what we did. Some things we’ll enjoy on the trip and some I’ll take home. Just wish I had a bigger freezer!
Tomorrow we head out. We’ll stop one evening in Utica, IL on our way to Indiana for a few days. This area of Wisconsin was a lot of fun and I have a feeling we’ll come back to Wisconsin again.