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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Wisconsin Dells, or “Why are we here?” Oh, deer!

Guess what happens every mile or so in Wisconsin. Someone kills a deer. It was so regular, and so continuous, it looked deliberate. Jim says it isn’t. It's a big deer hunting state, but they don't go that far. Apparently deer are just very foolish and seeing it happen doesn't prevent others from doing it. These deer were apparently very unlike those we saw in South Dakota, who look both ways before crossing. But we didn’t go there to learn that. We could have lived without seeing it at all. In fact, it’s kind of odd how we did end up there, because it didn’t originally have anything to do with Laura Ingalls; that came later.

Originally, we were going to South Dakota and back, but there were no stipulations about the “and back” part, except Joyce wanted to see some states she'd never been to before. Joyce left the rest up to me, and I decided it would be fun to visit our friend Jim in Wisconsin. And then, there’s the simple fact that, no matter which way you go back to Florida from South Dakota, there’s a lot of miles of not very spectacular farmland to cover and we would already have seen it.

So I asked Jim about the most interesting things to see in Wisconsin, and cities don’t count. We do everything we can to avoid those. He said either Wisconsin Dells or Door County, and the Dells seemed more accessible. Besides I’d been there about half a century ago with my mom. I looked it up, it seemed like fun, AND I found a cabin for rent that allowed dogs.

Joyce had never been to Wisconsin and knew nothing about it. She was agreeable to seeing Jim, too, so we decided to meet there, and Jim could sleep on the pull-out sofa! It was only after we decided to go to Wisconsin Dells that someone in my royalty group mentioned we would be near a lot of Laura Ingalls sites. I had read the books as a kid, but Joyce hadn’t, and she hated the TV show. I talked her into trying the books and got them, and we read them all before we left, learning there were lots more books by other people. So we decided to visit the sites and get more books. That’s what decided some of our daily routes and day trips.

Did I mention how much it’s been raining on this trip? Well, it has been, and in the upper Midwest, it’s been cold besides, so our arrival in Wisconsin Dells was greeted by cold rain. At that point, we didn’t much care. We decided to just settle in for the night and stay put the next day. There’s never a bad time on a long trip for a day off.

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