Friday, August 31, 2012

August 31, 2012

After breakfast this morning we walked around the campground.  I found a terrapin on the road and I moved it onto the grass so it wouldn't get run over.  We noticed an empty site close to the lake.  The lake is really down because of the lack of rain.  We moved the Casita to the other site.  We hung around camp a while and then drove to Paducah, Kentucky.  On the way we stopped at Metropolis, Illinois and saw a large statue of Superman.  We found a geocache near the Superman statue.

We drove to downtown Paducah and went into a few antique stores.  We also walked to the river where the Ohio and Tennessee rivers merge. We stopped at the visitor information center and got a map of Kentucky and of Paducah.  They told us where to find the VFW and we drove there, had a beer and talked to the people.  After leaving the VFW we found three more geocaches.  One was at Grace Episcopal Church and one was at an old house’s detached kitchen which was used as a jail during the civil war.  We went to Walmart and picked up some groceries and then back to camp.  It just started raining.  The remnants of Hurricane Isaac are supposed to bring rain tonight, tomorrow and on Sunday.

August 30, 2012

Last night was just fine -- no noise and we slept well.  We didn’t unhook last night so it was easy to leave this morning.  We left and drove into Vincennes to visit Grouseland.  This house built was built in 1803 and was the house where William Henry Harrison lived when he was the Indiana Territorial Governor.  It was the first brick house in the Indiana Territory and was the site where Harrison negotiated purchases by the U.S. of huge tracts of land from the Indians.  He then went on to be our 9th president.  Harrison died of pneumonia less than one month after he was sworn in as President. He was the oldest elected president up until Ronald Reagan. John Tyler assumed the presidency when he died. The very long and informative tour lasted about two hours.  We just wanted to tour the house, not take a history course on William Henry Harrison.  We were the only ones on the tour until half way through and then another man joined us.  This made us leave rather late for the Lincoln site we wanted to see next.  No pictures were allowed in the house. 

After the tour we drove to the Lincoln Boyhood Home National Historical Park in Lincoln City, Indiana.  This is where Abraham Lincoln’s father brought the family when Abe was four years old.  Lincoln’s mother died from milk sickness and is buried here.  A cow eats the white snakeroot plant and it contains tremetol, a poison to animals and humans.  Humans drink the milk from the cow or eat its meat and it causes nausea, and vomiting, and sometimes coma and death.  Lincoln’s father married a family acquaintance a while later, a widow with three children.  She helped instill the love of reading to Lincoln.  The house is not there any more but the national park system has put up a cabin site memorial.

We needed to find a campsite for the weekend that didn’t take reservations because of the holiday weekend.  Jim found a national forest campground that has electricity and we drove there.  We passed the ranger station at 5:15 and they had closed at 5:00.  They came out and helped us anyway.  We drove to Shawnee National Forest, Lake Glendale Recreation Area, Oak Point Campground near the small town of Dixon Springs, Illinois.  We got here at 6:00. They had quite a few sites left and we got one with some land and trees surrounding us to buffer us from the other campers.  It’s also close to the restrooms and showers.  Because of the trees, we don’t get any satellite reception for TV but we do have a lot of shows recorded on the DVR.  It got to 97 degrees today.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August 29, 2012

After breakfast, hooking up and dumping, we drove back to Lincoln’s Tomb.  It opened at 9:00 am and we got there at 10:00 am.  There were only three people besides us there.  The inside of the tomb is really beautiful.  Lincoln is in a crypt inside the tomb and his wife and three of their four children are in the wall across from him.   

We left and drove to Vincennes, Indiana.  We stopped at George Rogers Clark National Historical Park.  This is where George Rogers Clark (brother of William Clark of Lewis and Clark fame) and a small group of Kentucky militiamen captured the British fort at Vincennes by surprise in 1779 without incurring any casualties.  This led to the annexation by the United States of the Northwest Territories and eventually the rest of the western U.S.  We arrived at the monument at what we thought was 3:00 pm and they closed at 5:00 pm.  We didn’t know we had crossed into the Eastern time zone a block from the memorial.  It was really 4:00 pm but we were the only ones there and the Ranger took us to see the inside of the memorial and then we watched a movie.  We left at 5:00 pm.   

We got a site in Oaktown, Indiana at a Passport America RV park and then I fixed supper.  We had not eaten since this morning.  After eating we washed three loads of clothes and watched the Republican National Convention.  The park was only $11 a night but of course it’s between a major highway, railroad track and a rock crushing yard.  The rock yard should close at dark and the highway should get less crowded as the night goes on.  We don’t know about the trains.  It’s going to be an interesting night!


August 28, 2012

We slept till 8:30 this morning, rather late for us.  I cooked breakfast and then Jim went to pay for last night and this night at the fairgrounds camping area.  While he was gone I found the geocache that we looked for last night.  There was a 190 year old red wood tree that had been turned into a home at the fairgrounds.  It left today but I got a picture of it.  The man gave me a postcard and I mailed it to mother.

We drove into downtown Springfield and went to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and then next door the to Lincoln Library.  After lunch we saw Lincoln's law office and the Old Capitol building where he gave his famous "A House Divided" speech.   Then went to the Lincoln Home National Historic Site and got a tour ticket for 4:00 pm.  After going through the home that Lincoln lived in before he was president we got back to the parking garage at 5:00 pm and then drove to Lincoln’s tomb.  We got there at 5:15 and it closed at 5:00 pm.  We got the see the outside but will have to go back in the morning to visit the inside of the tomb.

Robert told us last night that there was another brewery in town but they didn’t have a tasting room.  He told us about a bar where we could try some.  We drove to the Tin Can Pub and shared a beer and waited for the rush hour traffic to clear out.  Then we drove to VFW Post 755 and had a beer and talked to some of the men there.  We went back to the Casita and I cooked supper and Jim watched the Republican Convention on TV.


Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27, 2012

We left Middleton, Wisconsin this morning and drove to Springfield, Illinois.  We got to Springfield at 3:30 pm. and got a site at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.  The state fair had just ended so Jim knew there should be a camping space for us.  When we got here we found out starting Friday there will be a motorcycle rally and a horse show.  The motorcycles will be getting here starting tomorrow.  We will only stay one more night.  I fixed some more fresh green beans for dinner and Jim grilled a nice steak and two fresh ears of corn that we got at the farmers market on Saturday.  After eating we drove into town and had a beer at Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery.  We started talking to a customer, Robert, and found out he used to live in Portland and lead tours at Widmer Brothers Brewing.  Robert also knew Fred Eckhardt and knew of the Houston Foam Rangers Homebrew Club.  We looked for a geocache in the parking lot a few feet from the Casita but didn’t find it.  We will try again tomorrow.  I watched DDD and Jim washed the dishes.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August 26, 2012

We drove to Middleton, Wisconsin and got a campsite at Mendota County Park.  It started to rain on us after we left this morning and stopped before we got here.  It has been really cloudy all day but it didn’t rain any more. We unhooked and drove to New Glarus Brewing.  We had been here in 2005 but they now have a brand new state of the art brewery.  We took a self guided tour and then went to the tasting room.  This brewery is full of stainless steel pipes and valves in complex arrangements – it reminded us of a refinery.  We each had a beer and then bought one more that we shared.

We drove to Mt. Horeb and went to Grumpy Troll Brewing.  As we were going to the front door I saw a man with “Brew Crew” on his shirt.  He was a home brewer and founder of Simple Earth Hops and was delivering Cascade hops to the brewery.  His name was Matt and he knew about the Foam Rangers.  We went inside and shared a beer and talked to the bartender and a couple of customers at the bar.  The beer here was really good. They told us about three more breweries to try.  We only went to one of them, Ale Asylum, and both of us got a half pint of beer.  The bartender performed a magic trick for us using cherries, bar shaker cups and a lemon. He did it really good – he must have been a magician.   If we stay tomorrow we might try the other two brewpubs.  We drove back to camp and I fixed supper and we watched a little TV.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

August 25, 2012

We drove into Appleton today.  There was a really large farmers market and the street we needed was blocked off for three blocks.  We parked on a side street and then walked along and bought some fresh vegetables.  The brewmaster and part owner of Stone Cellar Brewing was there selling the soda pop they also make.  We talked to him and he gave us a wooden token to go have a free beer at the brewpub.  We put the vegetables we bought in the truck and then walked to the History Museum at the Castle.  Harry Houdini’s family came from Budapest when he was four years old and he lived in Appleton.  The museum has a Houdini exhibit including his magic implements such as his straight jacket and lets you know how these magic tricks were performed.  There is also an exhibit for Appleton resident Edna Ferber, author of Showboat and Giant.

We had lunch that we packed and then went to the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum in Neenah.  This museum has a world renowned collection of glass art, including one of the largest collections of glass paperweights in the world.  They had some beautiful paperweights.  It is amazing that everything in the paperweights, including birds, flowers, and geometric designs are made only of glass.  Jim bought two from the gift shop before we left to add to his collection.  They also had an exhibit by glass artist Ricky Bernstein.  He makes humorous life-size collages out of glass and aluminum.

We went to Stone Cellar Brewpub and used the wooden token and also bought a beer.  We left the brewmaster a Hopadillo from Karbach Brewing in Houston.  We found one geocache and then went to Fratello’s Fox River Brewing where we shared a pint of beer.  We were driving back to the Casita and Jim needed gas and I needed a few items for a pizza tonight so we drove to the Wal-Mart in Chilton.  Chilton also had Rowland’s Calumet Brewery so we stopped in and shared a small glass of beer. We ran into the brew master on the sidewalk as we were leaving and talked to him.  We drove back to camp and I made pizzas tonight.  We watched the Texans Saints game on TV.

Friday, August 24, 2012

August 24, 2012

We left camp today and drove north about two hours to Calumet County Park on Lake Winnebago.  This lake is a little southwest of Green Bay. We got a site for today and tomorrow.  The leaves up here are already beginning to fall.  We found two geocaches in the park.  One was at the top of a ski slope.  It was a steep trek up to get it but there was a nice view of the lake.  Later we watched the sun set over Lake Winnebago.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

August 23, 2012

We lazed around camp this morning and took showers then went on the Pabst Mansion tour.  In the 1890s Pabst Brewing Company was the world's largest brewer of lager beer.  After Frederic Pabst died his family sold the mansion to the Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee.  The mansion was occupied by Archbishops, priests and nuns from 1910 to 1975 at which time it was sold to Wisconsin Heritages, Inc.  This saved it from being demolished to build a parking garage.  It is being slowly restored.  No pictures were allowed inside the mansion.

We went to Water Street Brewery where Jim had a beer.  Then we drove to Discount Liquor and bought a case of New Glarus beer.  We got six bottles of the Cherry and six bottles of the Raspberry.  Then we drove to Glendale for the Sprecher Brewery tour.  This was the first microbrewery in Wisconsin.  Although they make about 20 different beers, 70% of their sales are root beer.   

We found four geocaches today.  One of them was across the street from Sprecher.  We drove back to the Casita and I fixed dinner and we watched some TV.