Tuesday, July 4, 2017


About as difficult a time  as  I have experienced last night. A hard-pounding storm came up at a quarter before  10 -- about two hours after I had pulled in for the night and was trying to ignore the chatter, fireworks, and intimate sounds from the direction of my neighbors’ tent. At least the groomed surface was flat, stone and root free, and firm.

The storm did quiet everyone, and I started to fall fall asleep to the pleasant white noise of the rain.

Something drifted me up, though … the rain was easing off, but the tent floor was damp. Great. I thought I had sealed all of the leaks.  When I turned on the tent lamp to trace the location, though, I saw that most of the tent floor was floating on top of water … relearning the hard way that firm and flat does not drain well.

A small puddle at 2 a.m. in the dark

When it stopped raining, I got up and moved the tent.

When I rose before dawn, everything went into the car as fast as I could get it rolled up. Breakfast was  trail bars, fortified water, and a promise of something more filling later in the day.

A long nap in Illinois at one of the “oases” (aka rest stops, travel centers) kept me going through the freeway maze.

Observations in Wisconsin? Seriously food-oriented culture. First sign I saw welcoming me to the state was a billboard proclaiming it to be the “home of the butterbutger”. Shortly after, a high illuminated sign announcing “Quaker Steak and Lube” -- no, I did not stop by to ask. Also seen, an advertisement showing a deli spread and promising “Delicious, and plenty of it!”.

A public works curiosity brought me part of the way north on Alternate Interstate 94,  obviously following an established  county road. Construction was Interstate  standard, though, except that many long sections were only two lanes and without a separating median. Federal funding fun?

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