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50 States Day 94

Day 94, Lena Il to Madison, Wi 105 Miles
"Discipline is not what you do to yourself; it's what you do for yourself."
~Lou Holtz

Yes, that’s an eighteen thousand dollar Honda clothesline. Sometimes you feel like the Beverly Hillbillies.

We left Illinois and entered a completely different state. How can they change so quickly? And sorry Illinois, but Wisconsin featured green and felt like a breath of fresh air. Lush fields and lawn. Flowers and trees. Rolling hills of pastures looked like a cow's ice cream store.

The history of the big W is German-Swiss. So welcome to Wisconsin, the land of cheese, brats and beer. We stopped at Swiss Colony shortly after entering Cheesehead land and picked up some pizza flavored cheese curds and sliced summer sausage. Bacon flavored cheese spread rounded out the deliciousness. Sometime we'll have to order cheese sandwiches. And one manufacture is the only place to make limburger cheese any more. So I'll have to try it too. All I know about limburger is it stinks. But no matter what, Wisconsin will make us larger.

Speaking of that, one of us is losing weight because she's more active and one of us is gaining because he's less. Guess which one. Yeah. Trick question, all right.
We rolled into Madison, the capitol city and toured the capitol. The next tour wasn't for thirty minutes so we wandered through the building while QG read a tour flier. Inside the Senate chambers, Erin (who works there as assistant sergeant at arms) struck up a conversation with us. Soon she took us on a private tour her office, where she regaled stories of the tumultuous times, as the governor and unions went head to head, with a hundred thousand people on the grounds ready for battle.

Next she took us to the Senate Majority Leader's office, and finally the Senate Conference Room. Erin, you rock! What a magnificent display of going the extra mile. And it was obvious to both of us how she loved her job, her capitol and her state.

As an aside, look at the way I parked the bike and trailer. Because streets slope to the curb, one must park the bike at an angle to get the kickstand to work. So you must jackknife the entourage and get it just right to stay close to the curb, keep the trailer from hanging out in traffic, and the bike kick-standable (kickstandable? Oh well.) It takes a bit of practice.
After a good tour, we headed to another (PP!) KOA Campground. And today, I must throw KOA under the bus. They issue frequent user cards, and when you meet a number of points, you receive a $50 credit on your stay. However, when we chose to use our credit tonight, we only used $47 (for two nights) and so no change. What? Yep. If you don't spend the fifty, that's all you get. So they give with a big fanfare and quietly take away. I think that's cheesy. Oops. Offended some cheeseheads there. I think that's... rotten appley.
Now ladies and gentlemen, Quilter Girl!

We rode past a quilt store in Belleville, so I hollered and Kevin turned around and we stopped. I never did find a quilt store in Illinois, but didn't really think that I would find Lincoln fabric in Wisconsin. I didn't, nor did I find anything relating to the Mississippi. What I found was a super quilt store with samples all over the store. They were hanging from every surface, over the railing and on all the walls. The best part was most of them I wanted to make right now. This store was featured in the Quilt Sampler magazine as one of the 10 best quilt stores, and they have my vote! The quilt pattern they made for the magazine was a log cabin star that I particularly liked. The store is called Patches and Petals, so if you see the magazine, look for it. I got some great cow fabric for Wisconsin, some tractor fabric for Illinois, a tan panel fabric for Wisconsin and a piece that I had seen made up in Iowa. What a haul.
Thanks, QG.

Stay tuned tomorrow as we ride little and tour much. The post will feature murder and intrigue, beauty and bad behavior. See you then. Thanks for riding along.

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