Our new basecamp as we continue our summer journey East. You might have noticed we stay at a lot of casinos? Our collection of Players Cards is daunting! We do this for a number of reasons. The Indian Nations seem to always do a great job - paved and level sites with good landscaping, good amenities, and at a lower price since they want you there to gamble. The other reason is they always make Mike happy! Our location in Baraboo is just minutes from the vacation area of Wisconsin Dells, the "Waterpark Capital of the World" and more importantly, the home to the geological wonder of the Dells. The city takes its name from the Dells of the Wisconsin River, a scenic, glacially-formed gorge that features striking sandstone formations along the banks of the Wisconsin River.
The amazing family waterparks, both indoors and outdoors:
These pictures we took of the Upper Dells during a great boat tour. When the Dam was built in the early 1900's the water level of the Upper Dells rose 20 feet.
The boat trip included a shore landing with a stroll along the paths of Witches Gulch. Witches Gulch was discovered in 1871 by H.H. Bennett, a photographer credited with making the dells popular among tourists. A wood boardwalk leads hikers into the moss-covered sandstone slot, which in some places is so narrow you can touch both sides of the canyon.
Our next shore excursion was to table rock, and yes, that is a german shepard making the jump!
While here we visited Madison, the capital of Wisconsin and home to the University of Wisconsin. A visit to the Capital needs to include a stop at The Old Fashioned for lunch.
Mike and I are now sure the White House has turned upside down! We saw it in Wisconsin Dells.
In Minneapolis to get our Dr. Anna & Meg fix and talk about their wedding plans in Asheville, NC, Labor Day weekend 2018! Our basecamp was at an RV park connected to the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel & Resort.
No visit to Minneapolis would be complete without a visit to the MALL OF AMERICA. We had an 'insulting' lunch at Dick's Last Resort. The staff throw insults at you the second you sit down, along with derogatory sayings on paper hats, of course all in good fun. All of which was an amazing experience along with seeing the movie "Flyover Canada".
Met up with the girls and including new best friend Kriti. And then the Dr's Anna and Kriti operated on Mike's ingrown toenail. You would have thought they were amputating the toe the way he screamed!
We had cocktails at the coach before heading up to the casino for a fabulous buffet dinner and then the "Slut Tournament." Meg was the big winner!
The go-to deli and sausage kitchen is the famous Kramarczuk Deli and Sausage Company near Niccolet Island. This is one of those special places that we will remember. We had the combo platter - a polish sausage, two cabbage rolls, three assorted pierogies with grilled onions and gravy, sauerkraut, pickles and various sauces and mustards!
A quick pizza lunch at Punch with Dr. Anna who was on her lunch break, before we leave the next day.
On our last evening there, we had a severe tornado warning, with SIRENS! Luckily, it stayed north of us. We think it was because the tribe did their tornado dance and lit their laser tepee to the clouds! The first two pics are out the front window of the coach.
From our basecamp at the Heartland RV Park, we toured Mt. Rushmore, the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota, Wind Caves National Park, and Crazy Horse. Mike got to see "Where the Buffalo Roam" and his favorite, Prairie Dogs! Enjoyed "Trailer Trash Happy Hour" with fellow glampers!
Two quick travel stops on our way to SD. In Billings we found a wonderful German restaurant and enjoyed pretzels and very good typical German fare along with entertainment. Breakfast at Stella's, a local landmark, provided sustenance for 2 mornings. Lewis & Clark, Custer, Sitting Bull and Calamity Jane may be long gone, but they are not forgotten in Billings. Museums, galleries and landmarks honoring these legendary characters from the Old West dot the city, making it a history buff's dream destination.
It is said "There is no place on earth like Yellowstone National Park -- for no other place compares with its collection of geological features, bountiful wildlife, pristine rivers and streams, tumbling virgin forests and scenic vistas." Well, we agree, driving into the original, northern, entrance with its arch dedicated by President Roosevelt in 1903, that this is and will always be a very special place. A President and Congress had the courage and vision to recognize that the 2.2 million acre area contained unique features that should be preserved forever. And so Yellowstone was dedicated - the first National Park in 1872. This was the beginning of the amazing National Park system with which we are blessed today. Mike and I had already visited Yellowstone from the south, so we now focused our Yellowstone fix on the northern loop. While we traveled the loop we were continually amazed at the vistas, outcroppings, wildlife and just kept saying "WOW!" The northern entrance we used is the only entrance open year-around. The road from this entrance follows the Yellowstone River almost all the way to Mammoth Hot Springs, where most of the administrative facilities for the whole park can be found, before jogging east. Words and pictures do not give justice to this park, it must be experienced. A must for your bucket list.
While most of Yellowstone is in Wyoming, our basecamp was Rocky Mountain Park in Gardiner, MT, just 4 blocks from the northern entrance and 1 block up the hill from town. Here we met our new trailer-trash friends Carey and Chuck from Las Vegas traveling with their two kids. Gardiner is a western town with a focus on Yellowstone. Whitewater rafting, kayaking and playing in the Yellowstone River, which flows from in the park and right through town, all start here.
Our RV Adventure
Here's a record of our travels as we explore the USA. Blog posts are listed by month in descending order.