Day 28 - Wisconsin Dells to Elkhart
Trip Start Aug 20, 2008
34Trip End Sep 23, 2008
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Where I stayed
Our first experience this morning was when we decided to pop into Wisconsin Dells, before we joined the I-90 heading east. We had arrived in the campsite last night following a quiet road to a secluded wooded campground, so you can imagine our surprise when we drove only a mile or so to the town to discover a bigger version of Blackpool or Niagara Falls (without the Falls). There were amusement arcades, roller coaster and all manner of attractions on a scale you can only imagine. In fact, the town had been completely consumed and become a theme park, based on a river with some rock formations beside it - odd how commercialisation can strike so hard.
After a short drive past the 'sights' we picked up the I-90 and then took a short detour through southern Wisconsin, through Orchard and Cheese Country. It was beautiful farmland, with rolling hills, wooded scenery and picturesque little farms, centred on a town called Cambridge. We stopped off at Lake Geneva (no we were not lost), a splendid holiday town on the lakeside, and after strolling around for a while we had a great brunch. Chrissy dined on Fried Green Tomatoes, partly out of curiosity and partly because she likes them - they were delicious. Then we headed off toward the highway, pressing on toward Chicago. That is where things changed.
The traffic built up rapidly and to make matters worse, so did the number and extent of roadwork's - tens of miles of contra flows. The traffic was nose to tail and continually stop start. Any inclination to stop and see Chicago evaporated, to be replaced only with an intense desire to get out of the place. The other surprise was the arrival of toll roads. Odd that you should be invited to pay to travel on the worse roads we had experienced in the whole of the USA. It was also odd that the tol booths seemed to be every few miles, so you ended up paying little and often - very disruptive when all you want to do is get on.
By late afternoon we started to break back into open country. We had left Illinois behind and arrived in Indiana. We stopped for the night in Elkhart, in the Centre of Amish Country. Tomorrow we will go and visit the Amish people and report on that in the next blog.