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1 July - 10 July 2018 Wisconsin & Illinois

Sunday, we paid a visit to Madison, the state capitol, 30 miles north.

Great Dane Brewery for lunch. Weather has been very hot and humid and finally we had heavy downpours, thunder and lightning. Unfortunately, we were on the pub patio eating lunch when one downpour struck. We had to pull in and crouch under the sun umbrella.

The State Capitol building built 1906-1917.

Monday - our next door neighbour with his three working cocker spaniels.

Tuesday, we watched the World Cup match, England v Columbia. How nerve racking, 1-1, extra time and then penalties!! but they did it.

The campsite provides a takeout service. After the match we called the office and put our order in from the menu they provide, and dinner arrived at our door.

Wednesday, we paid a visit to Milton House in the nearby town of Milton.

Joseph and Nancy Goodrich built this hexagon shaped house in 1844. Originally a stagecoach inn located at the intersection of two pioneer trails, the hotel became the centre of a growing farming community. Joseph was a Seventh Day Baptist and abolitionist and once the railway was built through the town, he secretly helped slaves from the south escape to freedom via the Underground Railway network.

We went down into the cellar of the house where escaping slaves hid and received food before the next stage of their journey. We followed the route they took along a small underground tunnel that led to a cabin at the back of the hotel which was their entry and exit point.

This was a fascinating look at the era of American history that led up to the Civil War. The house was full of artefacts, furniture, clothing and civil war items and our guide was full of knowledge about the period. Just a shame we couldn’t take photographs inside the building.

Another heavy thunderstorm this evening. Kira was not amused and went to hide in the bathroom.

Friday 6th July - Sunday 8th July


On our way to Milwaukie this morning we stopped off at Grant Graphics in Madison to have our new graphic put on the back window of the RV.

Took the dogs for a walk in one of the Interstate Rest Areas. The smell of the summer flowers was everywhere, particularly the strong honey sweet aroma of milkwood. The northern states that we have travelled through this past month are so lush with summer growth the grass and the trees have a depth to their colour that is quite striking.

Our campground is in West Allis a suburb of Milwaukie at the Wisconsin State Fairground RV Park. The park is nothing more than a large car-park but it has hookups, good amenities and is convenient to explore the city. Dinner was a short walk across the road at Liquid Johnny’s. Friday night was fish fry night and we had excellent fish and fries.

Saturday 7th

World Cup – England v Sweden.

We made our way to the Three Lions Pub in the heart of Milwaukie for the 0900 kickoff. When we arrived the inside and the outside seating area of the pub was full, but we eventually managed to find a seat outside and settled down to watch the match. The atmosphere was electric with everybody of course cheering for England.

Fox News was there doing a piece to camera.

Afterwards we celebrated the England victory with a full English breakfast – with ‘proper’ sausage and bacon. An all-round great morning.

Walked back to the car through the sunny Milwaukie suberbs.

Monday 9th July

Travelled back into Illinois this morning to the Chicago Northwest KOA which is in fact about 55 miles from Chicago.

A delightful campground with large grassy sites lots of trees and dog walking trails. The only problem was the number of mosquitos that were flying about.

Tuesday 10th July

We are located in the small and friendly town of Union. They have a couple of bar/restaurants in town: Checkers that has a very German feel with the wooden décor and plenty of schnitzel, sausage and sauerkraut on the menu, and Clasen’s Tavern, which was originally a general store and then turned into a tavern in1900 by the Clasen family. More recently Jim and Alison took over the place and rejuvenated it but kept the Clasen name over the door. The old long bar running the length of one wall, wall mirrors, wooden wall cabinets and wooden floors all add up to give the place an authentic 1900’s feel.

Tomorrow we are off to Chicago O’Hare airport to meet Eleanor, our niece. She will be staying with us for nearly six weeks during her summer break from Uni. We were feeling very excited, we had been looking forward to seeing Ellie for months and at last she was nearly here.

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