Madison to Minneapolis (Day 3)

After a good rest at Red Roof Inn in Madison, we headed out for breakfast and found a nearby Panera. Nice to have good, strong coffee at a socially conscious place. No sooner got into the restaurant than the sky opened up with another deluge. The kind where you can’t see across a small parking lot. Unfortunately the car windows were left just a bit open since the dog was inside. Stuff got wet. Still is wet.

Hit the road as the rains continued, but we drove out of them after about an hour. But for that hour I was grateful for the new windshield wiper blades I installed this morning. More very beautiful country through Wisconsin Dells, on across to Eau Claire, St. Paul, and then Minneapolis. I expected to see moose in the wetlands on either side of the highway. Alas there were far too many billboards!

I was surprised at how hilly that part of Wisconsin is after driving though so much relatively flat land. And by some gorgeous rock outcrops. And by several huge resorts with indoor water slides and far more. They are rather obscene intrusions on the landscape.

Here in Minneapolis, we were greeted and welcomed into their home by friends Carol and Mike Berde. (Carol and Judy were college classmates.) They have a knack for making guests feel “at home.”

After a bit of respite, took Maya for a good walk down along a nearby lake to a dog park. She was pretty much uninterested in the dog park, and when we got back to the house fell sound asleep.

Lovely dinner of Mike’s grilled chicken with lemon/garlic/rosemary marinade. Corn on the cob. Very freshly picked chard. And peaches for dessert. Yum. I could make this a habit.

We plan to stay here two nights, doing some laundry, buying a new cell phone charger, etc. as well as having a nice visit. On the Berde’s advice, I attempted to make a motel reservation in our next destination, Dickinson, ND, for Monday night. Apparently recent natural gas development has made the place boom. There was nothing to be found. One motel has a 40 (40!) night minimum stay. No thanks. Finally found a place (the last room available) in Bismarck, about 80 miles before Dickinson. That means less travel time on Monday, but will make Tuesday a longer day.

Then made reservations with no trouble in Bozeman and Lewiston. Still on track for Thursday afternoon arrival in Portland!

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