Road Trip – Wisconsin

It all started when Sahil started the thread to plan a trip to Mt. Rushmore during the week of July 4. After many hours of planning Sharad and Aum walked out of the trip and Sahil was not interested in doing it with just two people. So, I was left high and just wanted to go out of the home.

My time to go back to India is near and I am just feeling a little off, just want to go back home and was in no mood of staying back at my apartment and watching TV for 3 days straight. So, I did some research and came up with a road-trip into Wisconsin and maybe even upto Niagara falls all via Road. It was an interesting trip in the end and this is how it went.

Day 0: July 1

It is Friday and I had decided to go through with trip. The first step was to go and rent the car from Hertz. Which looked like a 15 minute process took almost 2 hours come through and at a given time during these 2 hours I had decided not to rent the car. However, I was determined to make this happen and was patient to go through the process. Eventually, after 2 hours I was driving out with Sahil driving the Nissan Altima back to the place.

The next step was to prepare for other stuff – packing clothes, soda, iPods, tablet, phone wires and anything else. All went well and I finally slept around 11 to be ready to leave around 6 next day.

Day 1: July 2

I started the day early on Saturday and had plans to visit 2 places that day – Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue, Circus World and Riverside and Great Northern Railways. I never went to the Circus World and ended up being at the Medellin Park in Chicago.

From Big Cat Rescue, I had to back track a few miles to reach the Riverside and Great Northern Railways (bad planning on my part as I did not find out which was first on the route). However, from there on I decided not to go to Circus World and moved on to Chicago. A detailed description of my experiences is in another post here.

Day 2: July 3

Once I decided not to go to Niagara Falls, I had to find things I could do on Sunday. Having looked up at what all places Chicago has to offer like the Navy Pier, Sears Tower and a few museums – I decided that those are going to be redundant and not something new. Bhua suggested that we start the day by visiting to a Gurudwara and visit a Dairy Farm and decide what to be done for the second half. I have never been to a zoo in US so decided to visit Michigan City Zoo in Indiana.

The first half of the day was pretty good and especially being able to be at the Gurudwara and being able to attend the “Ardas” and have “Langar”. It felt so good, Even the experience to the Fair Oaks Dairy farm was so good – it was a new experience for me and learnt a lot on how things work in a Dairy Farm (just so many cows). The zoo was also nice and a different experience. A detailed description of my experience is in another post here.

Day 3: July 4

I woke up late on this day too and was already late for Bhua’s house. So I left the house hurriedly not knowing what was in store for me. Day brought me so many surprises – cops, lead to a deserted industrial area in Indiana, A wonderful house, an exotic trip back on my route to Plymouth and a companion on the road. You can read all of that here.

Road Trip – Trip back home

Day 3 started with a hurry. I had not unpacked my bags, but some stuff did have to be packed back. I was late in getting up and was in a hurry anyways. After being late by 30 minutes, I left bhua’s house and was on my way.

Wierd Tomtom and Cops

As I joined the interstate 65 and was running Northbound, it was all fine until the point when my GPS threw me on another state highway. I was not sure why this happened, but was sure this was going to take longer even with so little traffic. But then I saw a truck behind me with lights flashing. And, I knew I was busted for driving fast. This was a first time and I had no choice to pull over. I stopped the car and waited for the cop to come over. He took my license and car rental details and came back after 5 minutes. Then after a few questions like where I am coming from, Where I am going, I was warned that I should slow down. Lucky for my he did not issue me a ticket and let me go. With a sigh of relief, I went on my way only to find myself driving in an industrial neighborhood which was completely deserted. And then I realized what could have gone wrong. And then I turned over to my GPS and saw that I had selected “Avoid Tolls”  and thats whay GPS was all over the place “What an Idiot” (for myself). I corrected it and I was back on Illinois Tollways. After another 45 minutes I was at Ashi Bhua’s place. Meeting her was very nice and after another hour I was on my way to next stop.

House on the Rock

It was 4.5 hours drive from Bhua’s house. 3.5 hours was on interstate I94 from Milwaukee. But then I turned on to another state Highway. With a speed limit of 70mph, it was not crowded at all. I just put the car in cruise and was cruising on the highway all the way. I did have another car with me – a Red Dodge Durango that was around me for almost 70 miles on that route. We were in front of each other overtaking cars and just flying. We parted ways, as I took exit to the house.

Section 1 has 3 main attractions – The Gate House; which is the entry to the house, The Infinity Room and then the Original House. As I entered the house my first reaction was “hmmm – this is different” and as I progressed I was just amazed and ended up speechless as I exited the house. I was told to take approximately 3 hours for the entire house, but I guess they under estimate the capability of the house. I was alone and still took like 3 hours; I am sure if I was in a group it would have taken anywhere between 4-5 hours to do the entire thing. I loved this so much that I have dedicated an entire blog entry to this. Read my experience here.

Final Drive back home

As I left I almost made it to the “Cave of the Mounds”, but decided it as it would have meant that I would have reached back home only at midnight. So, I asked my tomtom to take me back home and it sure did. However, it did take me to Maustan instead of the route I took while coming in. First 90 minutes of the drive back home was middle of the Wyoming Valley with twisting and turning roads and steep inclines and declines. It was just so wonderful to drive – I could not have beloved that I was able to experience this just at my last road-trip. Along the route, I passed only 3 towns (believe me – 3 towns in 90 minutes of drive – thats was very new for me) – Paine, Loganville and Reedsburg. They were very small towns and LoganVille has population of just 276 people. The street view of the town even though it was like 300 yards was just so different and pleasing to the eyes. Once I touched the interstate (I94) it was a trip back to home with expected areas and a couple of stops for coffee. However, as I joined the interstate from Black Hills, a Green colored Acura sports car joined me and as we overtook other slow moving traffic. We were next to each other for almost 100 miles – taking turns in leading the way. It all ended up around 10pm as I drove into the parking and rested from a wonderful experience.