Sunday, June 12, 2011

Chicago to South Dakota

Sarah and I left Jackson Center, Ohio one week ago bound for Lisle, Illinois. We stopped at Tippecanoe State Park in Indiana where the mosquitoes were looking to bleed us to death. Our poor dog, Scout, was tormented. At one point he had at least 20 blood sucking daemons on his head.

We took a small detour and went into Fort Wayne, Indiana. My mother and father stopped here 61 years ago on their way to Indianapolis for their honey moon. I am named in memory of their stay here.

Wayne on Wayne St.:

Tin Wheel,  The Mary Joan, was happy in Sarah's Aunt's and Uncle's driveway for four days. Sarah's sister, Nora, and Aunt Pat came down from Minneapolis and her sister, Kate, came out from Chicago while we were there.

We had a wonderful dinner with my cousin Kevin and his friend, Michelle. Kevin took us to the Capital Grill, where I had one of the best steak dinners ever. The next day we met at Michelle's family restaurant, Cafe Buonauro in Naperville. A breast cancer survivor and a person afflicted with MS, Michelle is an energetic person who works tirelessly to raise funds for MS research. We met Michelle's son, Michael and daughter, Lindsey. Sarah and I highly recommend Cafe Buonauro. Michelle's family has been serving fine Italian food here for 20 years.

The highlight of the visit was the attendance at the Chicago White Sox baseball game arranged by Sarah's cousin's friend, Julie. Julie is the concessions manager and public relations representative for the team. It so happened that her niece was chosen to sing the national anthem for Thursday night's game. Julie arranged for two suites for her family and ours. Needless to say, we had a wonderful time.

After the game:

We left Lisle on Saturday, June 11. It is Sarah's and my anniversary, 17 years. The day's route took us through Cedar Rapids, Iowa, home of Grant Wood, the artist who painted the iconic American Gothic. It was a very brief visit because we arrived just 20 minutes before closing. The receptionist waived the entry fee and showed us to the gallery that held Grant's works. He died very young, therefore he didn't leave a very large body of work, but I was impressed with his overall artistic abilities. In addition to being an accomplished painter, Grant Wood was also a jeweler, metal-smith, carpenter and wood-worker.

We drove to Waterloo, Iowa and arrived at the George Wyth State Park about 6 P.M. There were no gatekeepers there when we arrived, so we just took a campsite for the night. Two couples from the adjacent campsite came over and asked if they could see our trailer (of course they could), and invited us to join them for a game after dinner. I think the game was 'telepicture'. Lots of fun.

We were up early to put some miles behind us to reach South Dakota. We pulled into the Snake River Recreation Area on the Missouri River at 5 P.M. We had a tail wind all day and were able to average about 15 mpg for the entire day.

The Snake River Recreation Area is very beautiful. We are parked overlooking the river which is just 100 feet from our campsite. It is blissfully quiet, the only sounds are the chirping of the birds and the wind in the trees. We will leave here tomorrow for the Black Hills.

Sarah serving up Chicken Big Mamou:

Stay tuned.

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