26 September 2012

2012 WILD WEST Michigan to Wisconsin 1 - Out of the Gate

Deb had her last physical therapy session this morning after knee surgery and then a quick stop at the gynecologist (annual check-up and everything peachy). Now really on vaca. It is 10:51am on September 25 and we are headed out the door momentarily. All you airline people know what that means!!2012 Wild West 


We left home about 11:30am. Drove 480 miles from home to Eau Claire WI. Drove much of the way in Wisconsin at 45 MPH due to road construction--giving us great gas mileage, but poor progress time.


As we have mostly seen Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and much of Wisconsin, we plowed through. About 45 minutes through Indiana. Best thing we saw there was the Indiana Welcome Center / rest area. Growing around the site were beautiful 6-foot tall sunflowers. In the ladies' room was a lovely bouquet of sunflowers and a teacup filled with sunflower seeds with an offer to "help yourself." I had one. Tasty.

Chicago was its usual traffic hub-bub with two areas of stop and go. This will probably be our worst traffic nightmare of the whole trip and we are glad to get through it early. Got a lot of good pics of the skyline and White Sox (I think) stadium.

In Wisconsin, finally getting into some beautiful (non-city, non-industrial) country. It's apparent that fall is coming here a little sooner than Michigan with many more gold, rust, and maroon trees starting to color. Highway getting hillier and more scenic. We discovered the "altitude" setting on our new Garmin. Highest elevation we noticed today was 1103 feet near Pigeon Falls, WI.

We arrived in Eau Claire, WI about 7:45pm and decided to overnight here. It is a college town with a real cute downtown that was booming. As we are playing it by ear, we did not make hotel reservations in advance. There was a big Menards (company like Home Depot) convention. Finally found a Comfort Inn with rooms. It was basic, clean, fine. Nice inside pool area, but kinda strange. Interior walls and ceiling were knotty pine. Seems like an odd medium to use in such a humid area. Looked cool though.

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If you have visited any of these places, we would love to hear your comments. Or send us recommendations of places we should not miss.