"It is in the wild places, where the edge of the earth meets the corners of the sky, the human spirit is fed." Art Wolf

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Last Miles to Home, Summer 2015

After leaving Pat's driveway in SD behind the pups and I set out towards the east.  We stuck mostly to the interstate and made it into Minnesota before calling it an afternoon.  We took a break the next day for laundry, groceries and a pedicure and drove on to Madison to visit my cousin, Barb and her husband.  Barb is my only cousin from my dad's side of the family.  Aunt Gladys, her Mom, was one of the women I looked to growing up to remind me what strong, intelligent, gentle and caring women could be like. 

 The state campground in MN which was known for its mosquitoes.   Strangely enough, my preventive spray seemed to protect me from mosquitoes but we won't talk about the chiggers that seemed to find me.  Well either chiggers or spider bites. The pattern of hits was  odd and all under clothing.   I survived thanks to plentiful applications of lotions.....

Audrey was happy with her walks.

My cousin Barb with her son Randy.

This picture if for a friend, Alice Martin, who is a strong supporter of a bikes. Madison is a bike friendly city.  

Paul, Barb's husband was Comptroller for the city of Madison before he retired.  He highly recommended a tour of Madison and a peak of the capital building.   I found it interesting that in the recent "Quiz" on FB about the 200 places to see the Wisconsin Capitol building is listed.  It was built like the national capital building only 1 foot shorter out of respect for the national building. :-)

It is full of marble and visuals that make you think of some Balducci novel involving the halls of government.   I hear echos of the lobbyist's whispered conversations even now......

Looking up the the central dome.

Marble squares on the floor beneath the main dome.

Each one different and all beautiful.

There are no front or back doors.  All four sides are the same.

Paul drove me past the small house that my grandfather built for my grandparent's retirement.   My Aunt lived in it after my Grandmother passed and the property was sold when she needed to move to a more supportive environment as she got older.  I have memories of several visits there over the years, some to see my grandparents and later to visit Gladys.

I am suppose to remember all the Burroughs' family information I picked up going through old photo albums with Barb.   Hopefully, I will remember some and enough to get my brother interested to make a drive up to Madison to get his own memories  stimulated.

My grandfather's Poultry business.   At one time he was also Head of the Poultry Department at the University of Wisconsin.

A stayed an extra day at the state park campground outside of Madison so that I could drive to "House on the Rock" and take in the sights.   It had been over 30 years since I was last here.   It is one of those places that is very hard to describe, it is such a combination of things.   The initial "house" was built in the early 60's and then the architect, creator, OCD collector just kept adding collections and interesting "stuff."

Large decorations lining the road in and the parking lot.   Let there be dragons!

The Japanese garden had been added more recently.

Looking out the sides windows.

Or walking down the room and looking straight down at the trees below.

Mr. Jordan like stain glass.  These pictures are just a small sample.   If there was something that could be collected, I think he collected it.  Some small collections like Disney telephones to large rooms filled with  doll houses  which are all filled wiht miniture furniture.

This bottle collection is tucked away in one of the women's bathrooms.

Everywhere you walked and looked you could get a peak of items that he had "collected" and then figured out a way to work them into a display.   This window is of the "Silver Shop."  My friend Sarah would have been able to tell me exactly what the pieces all were. She is just that good.

And everyone needs a huge room with a gigantic whale being attacked by an octopus in it.

And wall after wall of model ships.

Rooms full of old carriages.....

Rooms full of very old, large, mechanical,  music machines.  Lots of music.

The extremely large carousel.  

And none of the figures on the carousel are horses.

Not that he didn't collect carousel horses but making a carousel out of the them would have been too easy.

Large pipe organs anyone?

The tables in one of the snack shops all had individual quotes inlaid in their tops.

In the circus section, among the collections of miniature circus collections was also his collection of large circus wheels.  

In the armour section.... Every elephant should have his own.

I noticed that Mr. Jordan had died several years ago and they have added a whole section on his life and how the property and attractions were designed and built over time.  By the time I walked back to the car my Fitbit had added over 2.5 miles and my brain had overloaded on images and information.

I also found out that if you want to tour Frank Loyd Wright's Taliesin which is right up the road you need to make reservation on line ahead of time.   Maybe another trip to Wisconsin is in my future.

On the way back to Madison I discovered where those cranes from McIntosh, Florida, might spend their summers.   

My last stop after leaving Madison and before finding my way back to the driveway in Ohio took me to the back lot of Kolh's at the Mall in Bloomington, IL. Thanks to a call to mall security from my friend Kathleen, I had permission to park overnight.   For future reference, this "campground" is only a block from Kathleen's new condo and easily within walking distance.  I got the new house tour, met Margie, Kathleen's daughter (who as all protective daughter's had to be sure that one of those women from that women RV forum wasn't really an "axe" murderer),  enjoyed Chinese carry out and a wonderful visit.

Kathleen's sweet Shadow.

Okay, I am caught up to the present on travel adventures and laundry.   Liz arrives to a nearby state park tomorrow and the final "what fits in the suitcase" games begin as Liz and I explore around here a bit and get ready to leave for Ireland next week.