I can’t believe it’s September already. It seems like just yesterday when I was in the planning stages for our Midwestern excursion. And here we are, it’s the middle of September and I’m back in Colorado where we started six weeks ago. It was pretty much an out and back trip…. Kind of like mimicking a boomerang one might say.
Let’s do a quick recap of the first part of our trip….. We pulled out of Cherry Creek State Park (Denver) at the end of July and after a quick overnight in a Cabela’s parking lot in Omaha, Nebraska, (forgot to add this stop on the above map – oops) we arrived at Starved Rock State Park. We took in a couple of days exploring this interesting Illinois State Park before driving up to the Paul Wolff Campground. I loved the location of this county park. It was an easy 20 minute drive to my dad’s place which allowed us to visit with him often, and if we had wanted to take the train into Chicago, the train station was only 5 minutes away.
From our Elgin location, we moved over to Rockton, Illinois, where we stayed at Al’s sister’s place for a wonderful ten-day visit. After Rockton, our next destination was Baraboo, Wisconsin. I was thrilled with the hiking at Devil’s Lake State Park, but the highlight of this stop was my visit to the International Crane Foundation.
After communing with cranes it was time to commune with friends in Marshfield, Wisconsin, where I was challenged to wear a Packers Jersey.
After my momentary lapse, we moved over to Algoma, Wisconsin, along the shores of Lake Michigan. This is where I discovered Door County and its magnetic personality. Quite frankly, I fell in love with the area and could’ve stayed a month. I can imagine the fall colors around here to be stunning and worth sticking around for.
As much as we considered hanging around Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for a little leaf peeping, we decided to turn the RV around and head back west to assist our daughter with a project.
So with Plan B in mind…. It was time to say good-bye to the Midwest and mosey in a westerly direction. The morning of August 27th started off foggy as we began our journey west. We put in an eight-hour travel day (360 miles – 574 km) that first day, crossing the entire state of Wisconsin and part of Minnesota.
By dinner time that first day, we checked into a campsite at Myre-Big Island State Park, near Albert Lea, Minnesota. This is a heavily wooded state park and even though they market the White Fox Campground loop as the prairie loop, it is in no way situated in a prairie.
We originally intended to relax and spend two nights at this state park, but it was raining when we set up. It continued to rain all night and was expected to not let up for another day. So we hit the road early the next morning, wearing rain gear as we broke camp, and drove through the rest of Minnesota in a consistent and steady stream of rain.
A few miles into South Dakota, the rain stopped. We encountered sunny skies with a hint of haze caused by the wildfires in the Pacific Northwest. Just in time for a late lunch, we set up camp in the Cabela’s parking lot in Mitchell, South Dakota.
Cabela’s had a HUGE area for RV’s. The semi-trucks seemed to be parked off in another lot and there was even a separate area for equestrians complete with horse corrals. This turned out to be a great place to overnight, complete with pond.
Next stop; South Dakota’s Badlands and Black Hills
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