This installment finds us still hanging out at the Wisconsin campground, where we spent the morning doing some housekeeping chores. The RV was relieved of six coats of dirt. This was the first washing since Minot,, ND. The carpet was removed and given a through shaking and brushing. These chores plus others took up most of the morning. During lunch with Hugo and Betty we and made plans for an afternoon drive around the area so they could show us where they had lived before retirement. We saw their former house in Oconto Falls, the paper plant where he worked, the school where their children were educated and several other landmarks of their hometown. Arrangements had been made to visit a dairy farm.
On the way we stopped one of the many Wisconsin cheese plants in the area. We purchased some of our favorites, cheese curd, and some cheddar. At the dairy farm we were shown a carousel milking operation. The carousel holds 17 cows and makes a complete revolution in 7 minutes. A milking machine is attached to each cow as it enters the carousel and is removed at the end of the revolution just before the cow backs out and another takes its place. The 150 cows are milked in one and a half to two hours. A seemingly simple and efficient operation left us impressed. The milk from this farm is sent to one of the area cheese plants. This is one of four such operations in the state.
A view of Lake Michigan taken by Curt Richardson from an overlook.
We returned to town and had dinner at The Main Event. We ordered prime rib for Hugo and me, and fajitas and taco salad for the girls. Back at the campground we indulged in two more games of cards (the men won again) before we turned in for the evening.
Today we had only a short 75-mile drive to Manitowoc, WI for our ferry ride across Lake Michigan. We had reservations on the SS Badger that would take us to Luddington, MI. This 4-hour trip across Lake Michigan saved us 450 miles of driving. We said our good-byes to the Delzers and left the campground about 9 a.m. We arrived in town with plenty of time to spare so we stopped at the Mirro factory store in town and made a few simple purchases (we were running out of room in our little RV).
We were in line for the ferry at noon. On all of the ferries we had been on, up until now, we drove on our own car. On this ferry they had a crew of drivers to handle all of the cars. We walked on and picked out some good seats for the trip. Along with many others, we watched the loading of the vehicles. Our RV was one of the last five vehicles to be put on so if things proceeded as usual our RV would be one of the first off. This was good because we had another 75-mile drive and it would be getting dark early because of the time change.
A four-hour trip took five hours by our watch. It was a beautiful sunny day for such a trip and the water was relatively calm. It was not a very exciting trip. A few brave souls were sun bathing but we chose to stay out of the wind and just enjoy the scenery and do some reading. The arrival at Luddington, MI was on time but as luck would have it our vehicle was not one of the first off! Their procedure, to drive the cars around the entire car deck and head the out, made our vehicle the next to the last one to be unloaded. It seemed like it took forever for these car jockeys (I think there were five of them) to drive 180 vehicles off the boat and park them. As soon as a familiar car was parked the owners did not waste any time getting underway.
We headed north on US 31 and Michigan 22. By prior arrangement, we had permission to use a parking space at Sunset Valley Motel, near Arcadia for our overnight stay. The motel is located on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. It was dark and by the time we were set up it was starting to rain. Our niece, Erin, and her family were visiting her mother-in-law two houses away from the motel. We visited with them for a short time. When the rain stopped we decided it was time to return to the RV for the night. The waves hitting the rocks along the shore lulled us to sleep.
To be continued.
The Richardsons reside on Pumpkin Hook, Van Hornesville.