Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Sparta, Wisconsin, United States

Jun 25, 2016 - Home!

Arrival in Chicago was pretty close to scheduled time, only about 30 minutes late. We'd had a fairly lame breakfast on the train (cinnamon roll, yogurt and a mixed melon cup, all pre-packaged) at 7:15. We'd kind of planned to use the 4.5 hrs between trains to go out and explore Chicago a bit, like Millennium Park, but we were all pretty tired. The City of New Orleans train tracks are a lot rougher than the Empire Builder tracks so we didn't sleep as well as we'd thought we would! Thankfully, we had access to the lounge in Union Station so...

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Jun 13, 2015 - The adventure begins...slowly

Well, we meant to get out of town around noon but there were things to do so we, of course, got a late start. We actually ended up leaving Sparta at 3:30pm. We planned to get to Mitchell, SD but around 7:30pm, we realized that it was just not going to happen so we settled on Sioux Falls instead. We're at a KOA there and will just stay for 1 night. We all agree that we need to get an earlier start tomorrow :). So I don't have a favorite thing about today; it was a lot of driving on pretty bumpy roads. We drove 314 miles today.

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Jun 13, 2013 - Challenging drive today--all FLAT!!

Good evening, friends! Today was a very, very long day of driving. We drove almost 700 miles today, including a stop and go drive through Badlands National Park in South Dakota. I have photos of different things, including the Badlands, Minnesota (long flat farmland) and now Wisconsin (no photos of Wisconsin yet). We didn't get to the hotel in Sparta until about 10:00 PM...so we are totally exhausted. Today I drove the last 318 miles to the hotel. We ate at (drumroll, please) Denny's at about 4:30 PM (somewhere in Minnesota)...so there will...

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Mar 7, 2013 - and back to Sparta

Left Buenos Aires at 9:30pm, arrived ATL at 6am; such a long, uncomfortable flight! Caught the MSP flight and arrived there at 1:30pm. After we got the car from long term parking, we met Jori and Tegan at a Jimmy John's near Teg's office so we were able to see them and share a few stories about the trip :-). Then headed home, arriving in Sparta about 7:30pm. Whew! It was a great trip--we think it's our favorite trip so far!

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Trip Journal


Aug 4, 2012 - Fun Facts about the trip

Here are some fun facts and trivia: 1) Our camper was a 22' long travel trailer. It had 1 permanently set-up bed (somewhere between a full and queen) and 1 slightly bigger than a twin bed that set up from the dining table and benches. It had a bathroom with shower. We rented it from Ft.McCoy. 2) Total miles traveled: 3094 3) Number of states visited: 12 plus Washington, DC WI, IL, IN, OH, PA, MD, DE, VA, WV, KY, MO, IA 4) We played the license plate game trying to find all 50 states + DC and found all BUT 5: LA, ND, NE, SD, WY. We found HI...

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Jul 31, 2012 - Day 14: Sparta!!!

After we closed up the camper to get ready to go, Grandpa emptied the tanks. While he was doing that, Grandma and I played tether ball. It was fun and I won twice (me=2, Grandma=0). We drove along thru Iowa. We stopped in Monticello to buy my last key chain. Then we stopped again in Guttenburg to have lunch at a park by the Mississippi river. We drove more and got to Sparta at 5:45pm. We drove 230 miles in 6 hours and 30 minutes today. We unloaded all the things from the camper--it was easier to unload than it was to load. We went out to...

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Jul 18, 2012 - My trip begins....

We woke up, had breakfast and got washed and dressed. Then we got everything together. Grandpa went and picked up the camper. We started loading it with food, dishware and all that stuff. Then we got on the road at 5pm. We were 5 hours late getting started so we got to the campground at 11pm. I was pretty mad because we were in a car for 6 hours. On the way there, it didn't look so sunny out , then it started to rain in Madison and we had to pull over for half an hour because of the bad storm. On the bright side, I got an activity bin that...

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Sep 29, 2009 - Fall Colors

Had to be escorted over the Mackinaw Bridge due to windy conditions.  Stopped to see our friends the Cheesmans in the UP and headed into Wisconsin.  The Fall colors were gorgeous, especially in Wisconsin.  Had to buy cheese curds while we were there.  Delicious!  Spent the night in a Walmart parking lot.  We are starting to relax and breathe after a frantic couple of weeks getting ready to leave. 

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Sep 5, 2009 - on the trail

The 32 mile bike trail between Elroy and Sparta is the first rails-to-trails that we ever rode. Thirty years ago this was a new concept. The Midwest is full of old unused railroad beds. Once the ties are removed the beds are the perfect width for two bicycles and they guarantee a gentle grade since trains cannot handle a hill with more than a 2 - 3% grade. It was so nice to ride a bike off the road past verdant farms and the Elroy - Sparta offers the unique experience of riding through three long tunnels, pitch black and dripping with rain...

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Jul 31, 2009 - Going Home...

Well, it's time for the vacation to end. We started at Wall Drug, and ended up staying at a rest area in Wisconsin over night. Got up waayyyy too early because of all the truck noise and was on the road by 8 am central time. It was really a great trip. Paul and I have been talking about all the great times. Trying to remember which rock came from where in Reese's "rock bag", and just trying to maneuver traffic in Chicago... which really wasn't fun. As we were getting off a highway that goes THRU Chicago, traffic stopped suddenly. I mean...

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Sep 17, 2008 - Fort Mc Coy and Amish country Wisconsin

We made it to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin on Friday, September 5th. The campground is on post, but is open to the public and with all of the detours, it was rather hard to find at first. Kurt was able to sneak away from the main post for a couple of hours on Sunday for steak dinner. He brought one of his men, Sgt Flick with him. Sgt Flick was supposed to be discharged from the Guard around the 18th of September, but, because of President Bush’s “Stop Loss” program, Sgt Flick has been extended on active duty until his unit returns from Iraq. We...

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