My blog about knitting, teaching, and being a mother to two energetic young boys.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Wisconsin Ho!!

2,000 miles from Sacramento, 6100 road miles (give or take....) from Anchorage, and we've made it to our farthest destination: Wisconsin!!

We arrived in Milwaukee, WI around 5:00 pm on July 13. Our great friends, Jen & Steve & their little girl Maddie recently moved here for Steve's medical residency in Anesthesiology. They are Orion's godparents & moved away from Anchorage 5 years ago so Steve could attend medical school. The original reason to drive to Wisconsin was to attend the Heimbold family reunion. As luck would have it, this is where Steve is going to do his residency program. How crazy is that?

We left California on July 10th (Happy Birthday to me....) to drive East. Wow - I don't think you can really appreciate how large the United States is until you traverse it by automobile. And to think - we aren't even all the way across!!

The trip to Milwaukee took us four days & three nights - Here are some of the highlights...

Day 1: (July 10th) Bridgeport, CA (north of Mono Lake) to Salt Lake City, UT (~610 miles)

Here is the grand Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City. Very impressive building (took 40 years to construct). Everyone we met here was just so nice!!

Now - we really didn't visit the temple until the morning of July 11th. It took us ALL DAY to drive across the Great Basin of Nevada. Not much diversity in scenery across the Great Basin...which provided plenty of time to work on this:

This is the instep of Cleopatra's Stocking - the May kit for BMFA Rockin' Sock Club. I'll tell you what, while I'm liking how the sock is turning out, the feel of the yarn, the construction, and the color, I'm still not feeling the love. Knitting the sock has proved to be quite fiddly - lots of knit 2 together through the back loops for crying out loud. I normally love my Addi Turbos, but during this project they made me feel like I was knitting w/spoons. I would have used my newer Knit Picks needles, but I wanted to match the needle size the pattern called for. Argh, for a fraction of a millimeter in needle size, I think I should have gone ahead & worked w/the Knit Picks. I've finished sock #1 & think I'll take a little break from sock #2. Perhaps it will be finished as we drive from Washington back to Alaska.

Day 2 Salt Lake City to Cheyenne, Wyoming (~420 miles)

After crossing the mountains right outside Salt Lake City, the scenery becomes vast & somewhat monotonous once again. Lots of open sky & rolling plains as far as the eye can see. The trick to surviving a long road trip with children (hmmm - topic for a book????, well - with high gas prices, I don't see a demand for that sort of book right now), is to stop often to allow them to 'get their ya-yas out'. We happened to find the perfect stop in Rock Springs, Wyoming:

Yes - at first glance all you see is the standard playground. True - a good place for two young boys to burn up some ya-yas. But - take a closer look....

A swimming pool!! Even better - a free pool w/a slide. The boys (all three of them) were in heaven..
Hard to tell if they're having a good time, huh? There was also (not photographed) a soccer field within the complex - the trifecta for a perfect rest stop along our journey.

Day 3: Cheyenne to slightly west of Des Moines, IA (~610 ish miles)

In between Cheyenne & Des Moines - you cross the great state of Nebraska - home of Cabelas, my father's favorite outdoor gear shop. Lots of rolling plains, corn, and big sky. Again - lots of time to knit (more on the fiddly Cleo's ). When I took a break from knitting, Wade & I would decipher cloud shapes. Take a look:

We thought this looked either like a chicken or a cat. What do you see?

The scenery became much more green along this part of I-80. Lots and lots of corn... I also give high marks to their visitor rest areas - top notch!!

The usual lunch de jour - peanut butter & jelly sandwiches w/crackers, chips, cheese & moosaroni. (pepperoni made from Moose)
Day 4 - West of Des Moines to Milwaukee, WI (~378 miles)

The home stretch took us about 7 hours to complete. Thanks to the wonders of MapQuest, we were able to locate chez Sivils without trouble. Steve happened to be outside chatting w/a neighbor & did the ultimate double-take when he saw our white van coming up the street.

As we crossed the border between Iowa & Illinois, we crossed over the mighty Mississippi River:

Pretty cool piece of North America geography.

Okay - that's all for now - I'll do some back posting later about our attempt to visit Yosemite, our visit to Mono Lake, and a scavenger hunt & rock concert in San Francisco.


1 comment:

Diana said...

I see a chicken. Looking forward to reading your Yosemite story. We camped there a few years ago. Made the reservations in February for July and thought, as I looked out the window at the single digit weather, here in Anchortown, that a "sunny" camping spot would be real nice. Ha, ha. We ended up all fighting for the one shady spot under the smallest tree in the entire park, at our campsite. The 2 highlights were, hiking to the summit of Half Dome, and waking up in the middle of the night, thinking a dog was licking out of a bowl, peaking out of the tent to find myself face to face with a black bear, who was drinking the can of soda Bud decided to leave outside the tent. And we were supposed to be the "AK Bear Experts" in the group. NOT!!! Have fun in WI.