Tuesday, September 25, 2007
At the Soldner Farm near Beaver Dam, WI
It's raining today, a slow intermittent rain that's perfect for catching up on a few indoor chores. There's no guilt about not being ourdoors this day. One of my indoor things to do is to get a new blog post added to the RV Sabbatical Journal... so here we are.
But first, If you're lucky enough to have clear skies tomorrow, Wednesday night, take a few minutes to enjoy the rising of the official 2007 Harvest Moon. It will be rising just before 7pm here in Beaver Dam, almost exactly due east. Due to some celestial mechanics that I'm not going to try to explain (mostly because I don't understand it all) the moon rises sooner after the sun sets than on other "full moon" evenings during the year. This fact supposedly provided a more uninterrupted source of outdoor illumination that allowed farmers to harvest crops well into the night. Thus, it's called the Harvest Moon. So if the mosquitoes will leave you alone, grab a glass of wine and toast the arrival of autumn as the full moon rises.
Now, I've gotta get this travel blog updated. In my last post, we had just arrived at Prairie Island campground near Winona -- right on the Mississippi River. We originally choose Winona because it was about half way between the Twin Cities and Devil's Lake State Park, where we were headed next. But spending time in Winona actually turned into a nice surprise.
An historic city started in the mid-1800's as the transportation and trading center of the area -- the river and rails all came together here. Winona was a relatively wealthy community with a vibrant economy. It has a number of architectural "gems" from those days peppered around it's old riverfront downtown area -- purportedly the finest architecture of any town between St. Paul and Galena. Snicker if you will, but we thoroughly enjoyed checking out the buildings on that warm late summer day. We also took advantage of the weather for a long bike ride along the river.
On Sunday, September 16th, we drove on to Devil's Lake State Park near Baraboo, WI, where we meet up with my brother and sister-in-law, Jerry and Deb. If you've been to Devil's Lake you know the incredible scenery and hiking (maybe mountain climbing??) opportunities of the park. Over the next few evenings more than a few muscles were soothed around a campfire while a little passable wine was consumed to ease the pain. Thanks for a great time Jerry and Deb!
Dar and I hung around Devil's Lake for a couple days after Jerry and Deb headed home. On Thursday, the 20th, we drove to Beaver Dam for our planned two week stay. Our main job while here is to go through everything on the bus and make a few additions, deletions, and changes on the basis of what we learned during our first three month "shake-down cruise". I'm planning to write an entire post about this project, so I'll save the details for later.