Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Greetings from Jim, Pat and Thor

We are back on the road again…. on our second leg of our vacation.  This year it is kind of taken in increments.  The first few nights out, we met up with our good friends, Char and Denny.  We just love being able to see them again, and catching up with all our news and travels.  They are full timers now.. and enjoying it to the fullest.  Always look forward to meeting up with this wonderful couple…



While in Galena, Illinois, we drove over to see President Grants home.  While we were not able to see the inside, it was nice to see the home. 







Our travels took us on up North, and into Wisconsin.  As you know, this is cheese country…. and you know what that means, right?  Yes….  mice…   Everyone out there knows how Jim loves them.   So, when we were passing by this fella, we naturally had to stop and take a picture with Jim and his friend…Igor. 



We drove on up  the route along the Mississippi.  It was quite a pretty drive, and we enjoyed it. 

While driving through Wisconsin, we saw quite a bit of Amish farms.  The horses that they have are awesome, and beautiful.  We came upon this mother and baby, which we thought was precious.  The Mother was not interested in us at all, but the little one was somewhat curious about us, and why we were taking pictures..




While in the area of Sparta, Wisconsin, we found these tunnels fascinating.  They are very interesting, in their history.  Trains ran through the  tunnels.  They are now used for many of the bike trails here.  The rails have been removed in the early 1990’s.  If you notice the big gates, there was another set on the other side.  They were opened up for the trains passing through by a railroad man, and closed again when the train passed through.  He had a guard house on one end, and his job was to open and close the gates upon the arrival and passing of each train.  We walked into the tunnel, and the temperature was at least 20 degrees cooler than the outside.  Soot from the trains covered the  roof of the tunnel.  I  can only imagine the noise when the train was passing through. 



From the inside of the tunnel, looking out, this   was the  view.  The fog gave it a somewhat eerie appearance…




Sparta is not flat land, like other parts of Wisconsin, and even somewhat mountainous, as you

see, from the lookout of Wildcat Mt. State park.  Even with  the rain, it was a beautiful  view.



Our campsite, while visiting Sparta, was at Fort McCoy.  It was a very pleasant place to stay, and

we enjoyed it.  Each campsite was very wooded, and back away from the next camp.  I  enjoyed

it very much… even with the reveille and retreat being played out on loud speakers over the whole

base.  It was too much memories of the Army for poor Jim.  I think he had fears that they were

going to keep him.  All and all, it was a very interesting experience.



Sparta is the bike riding capital, and there are bike paths all over the town.  We had to take a

picture of this guy… “ Ben Biking”.. isn’t he cute?  Everyone in town seems to know who he is,

and knows he is the biking mascot.  The paths run for miles, and every one who bikes seems to

come here.  For such a small town, I found it quite impressive how they have make such a nice

and beautiful place for all the biking community.




The biking paths run over beautiful bridges such as this one.


We will be on our way again tomorrow, to South Dakota, so we will be back, telling you all the news. 

It has been so nice and cool up this  way , and with all the news we have been hearing about the

heat Georgia has been having, we are most thankful, and enjoying it.

Till we see you again… take care…. and… as always….  WALK SOFTLY….


Jim, Pat and Thor