Hello from West Salem, WI
Tuesday morning June 15, 2010 (seventh travelogue of this trip).
We are at the Veteran’s Memorial Campground in West Salem, WI (map). Getting here was quite an adventure. We wanted to be close to the Mississippi in the La Crosse, WI area. We saw an advertisement for a campground as we traveled down I-90. Trying to find it with the convoluted route and very small marking signs was a real hassle. Indeed, we took the wrong turn and had to travel over some very narrow roads. Eventually we found the campground, but the first problem was it had the word “resort” in the name and we don’t fit well in that environment. This campground did not look that fancy, but they were very proud of their real estate (close to $50 per night!). We were tired and decided to pay the horrible fee. When we tried to get to our site, it was obvious that it would not work out. We got our money back and headed to this campground. It is a wonderful place and less than half the price! It looked like it would be hard to get into the huge park, and my nerves were shot from our experience with the “resort”. We had to cross a small stone bridge to get into the park/campground. As we did, we noticed about four kids (perhaps teenagers or in their early ’20s) fishing from the bridge. As we approached, they turned around and got grins on their faces. One gave us a big “thumbs up” and that made my day.
The campground is in a huge La Crosse county park that is dedicated to Veterans. The campground is quite large. It has a ton of hardwood trees, lots of cute little squirrels and is right on the La Crosse river. We originally paid for two nights, but have decided to stay four nights. We will use this as our base for at least two one-day trips along the Great River Road (more about that later).
We need to catch up on the FMCA rally. Simply stated, it was a disaster! Some of the organizers were less than friendly, the facilities were very marginal, and the attendees were not interested in spending money. They would not let Pat man the craft sign-up desk, and the result was a class of only 5 ladies. Normally she sells out very quickly with a class size of 25.
The building we were in was a barn on the fairgrounds. The booth size was not what was advertised/normal (9 ft front vs the normal 10 ft.). The booth size was not a big issue for us, since we had signed up for a double booth, but for some folks it was a very significant problem. One day was very hot and the building had very little ventilation. Traffic in the vendor area was very sparse. Usually some vendors are busy, but almost universally, most experienced very low sales. We were almost skunked, but did sell one Silverleaf unit in the last hour of the show! We have made the decision not to attend this event in the future.
Sunday, we drove a short distance to a very special restaurant in Delavan (Millies: http://www.millieswi.com/ ), WI at the suggestion of our neighbor Karyn. They specialize in pancake breakfast menu items. It was absolutely fantastic. The food was great, the drive was very picuresque and the little shops were fun for Pat. After we returned from breakfast, we packed up and headed west towards La Crosse. The terrain and farm buildings really reminded us of Germany. They have had a lot of rain and everything was green and beautiful.
I mentioned the Great River Road. This is national parkway of the Mississippi, established in 1938. It consists of many different highways that are designated as part of the system. It runs for 3,000 miles through 10 states. There are several websites detailing this parkway. One of the best I found was: http://www.experiencemississippiriver.com/. We plan to travel along this route on our way to Du Quoin, IL for our next rally. We have several days to make the trip, and we plan to enjoy this wonderful part of our country. I will post some of the details of this adventure in later posts.
That is all for now.