Sunday, November 26, 2006

La Crosse, Wisconsin

Weather Alert!  Winter expected on Wednesday.  mark your calenders.  We watched the weather report on the local station last night.  We’re staying at a wayside stop (CLOSED FOR WINTER) off state highway 14 just south of La Crosse.  Not content to experience the Mississpii once, we realized we missed the exit for highway 14, turned around, back over the Mississippi on I90, exit to highway 14, down the road a bit, back OVER the Mississippi at La Crosse (which has an AMAZING Christmas display in the waterfront area, but with the trailer, I wasn’t about to chance it at night) so we simply enjoyed it from the Mississippi bridge.

We tore ourselves away from the mansion, Michelle and Slade and their four amazing boys yesterday.  It was really hard.  The kids really loved every minute they spent with their cousins and will miss them terribly.  Ellen has already tantrumed about missing Sebby.  Pike is ready to settle down Right Now and doesn’t want to go to Mexico; he wants a house.  It really took no time to get used to the stickness of the mansion; not worrying about water usage and the need to deal with the grey or sink or black water after its use; not worrying whether we had enough propane for heat; having so much room to spread out; having an enormous (in Minneapolis, the word is GINORMOUS, apparently) oven to cook in; coffee flowing at all hours of the day; it was all heaven.  And the company made it even better.  But tear away we did, and a good thing as La Crosse predicts that winter will arrive late Tuesday or early Wednesday and we definitely DON’T want to be around for that.

We spent Friday night at the Camping World; we spent about $300 on stuff there and needed a night to charge the new batteries we bought.  What a deal; we left the trailer there the entire time we were at the mansion; hooked up to electricity and it was all free.  Course, we did spend $300 when we picked it up…  We got such an incredibly late start, anyone in an RV will simply laugh or shake their heads in disgust.  We NEEDED to spend even MORE money at Camping World, the kids did NOT want to get ready to go, we had to test the repair of the black valve and then dump; it was a long, lazy (though not for me, trying to “encourage” the kids to get ready) morning and we finally got rolling around 1:30.  By 5pm we knew we weren’t going to make Janesomething Wisconsin that night so we pulled into a wayside stop just south of La Crosse and setup for the night.  “No Overnight Camping” (we’re parking!) and “CLOSED FOR WINTER” signs adorned the reststop.  We hoped for no interference last night and got none.

If you’re following along on maps, we took 94 out of Rogers to 495 (accidentally; you get very little warning to freeway splits in Minneapolis and there are not quitck manuevers with the trailer) through Minneapolis.  Turned out the 495 accidental routing was good; Jamie decided we’d take 52 to I90 instead of I94 the whole way.  It is a great road; 4 lane and divided.  We listened to “Words of Stone” all the way to Wisconsin and followed that with Prarie Home Companion (live from Cinci).  While we were in Minneapolis, on one of our library forays, I found the “Friends of Minneapolis” store across from the central library where you could purchase old books and audio and cassette books.  I picked up a LOT of cassette books and now I’m worried we’ll run out before Texas…  Yesterday we listened to “The Jungle Book” narrated by Jim Weiss (all the kids recognized his voice “This is the guy who does the Greek Myths!  And Giants!”) and “Words of Stone”.  We took I90 from Rochester (did you know there is an Austin and Houston Minneapolis???) Minneapolis to the Mississippi (which we crossed 3 times trying to find the right exit) and now we’re in Wisconsin 14.  Tonight we’ll be in Janesomething and after that we are making a break for warmer weather.  I think we might take I80 over to I35 and blast down as far south as we can get by Wednesday.  Though, last night, we ran the generator to power the furnace (now that we have working batteries, Jamie is loathe to acutally USE them) and the generator ran all night on one tank of gas.  At least 12 hours so far…  Interstates are really weird; after years of not using them, we’re making great use of them (but still prefer the backroads) to get SomeWhere.

I’m not sure if we’ll actually check out Arkansas or not; we had planned to check out the communities of Hot Springs AK and something else on our way to Texas and Mexico, but now that we’re headed south, I don’t want to stop until I’m on the beach.  And I don’t think we’re Arkansas people.  I think Silver Springs, NM is more our speed…

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