I don't know if it was sleeping in the RV or something else, but I was awake shortly after six, and that's pretty much completely atypical for me. Still, it was a good thing, as it allowed us a quick breakfast of mini-bagels and bananas before the short drive to the Kelley's Island Ferry.
I'd never been on a ferry before, so I was pretty intrigued by the whole process. We got there just before the departure, and in fact were one of the last vehicles to load up.
|Cars, semis, bicyclists... it was all on the ferry|
|Morning sun on the water|
|Arriving on the island|
From the grooves, we went back to the south side of the island to see Inscription Rock, which had evidence of petroglyphs on it.
|The petroglyphs are faint and hard to see.|
|The Garmin GPS indicates that we're on a boat|
The path was wide and fairly level, so mom didn't have too many issues navigating it up to the farm area, which was only a few tenths of a mile away.
We continued on a little ways towards the Bailly Cemetery, until we came to a bridgelike area.
I hustled back towards the Chellberg farm, stopping only to try to take a few photos of frogs or other critters along the way. When I got back to the parking area past the farm, before I could continue on to the homestead, I see mom outside the RV, so I go over to find out what's up.
We'd left the generator running while we went up to the farm, and it had stopped. She noticed it before she had been able to continue on to the Bailly homestead, and was trying to figure out what was wrong. We chalked it up to there being less than a quarter tank of gas, and then hiked to the homestead.
Over a mile of hiking had been a stretch for mom, so she was pretty achy when we got back to the RV. We discovered that the fridge was beeping a warning because not only was the generator not working, but the gas-power that was supposed to be an option for the refrigerator also wasn't functioning properly. We chalked it up to lack of use over the last two years, and drove up to the Lake Michigan shore so that I could say I'd been to two of the Great Lakes in one day.
|An actual dune|
|A lot of people were enjoying the nice day|
From the Indiana Dunes, we traveled through Chicago and up to near Rockford before calling it a night at an RV park. It was here that I began to suspect two things : 1) all RV parks have railroad tracks next to them, and 2) RV park offices close at 6PM, making checking in and/or finding a site after that time difficult.
The next morning, we again woke early and were on the road by seven. As we traveled through Wisconsin, the overcast skies looked threatening. We were a little behind on my proposed itinerary, and I didn't exactly have anything in mind for Wisconsin, so when we saw the sign for the Omaha Trail, I asked if we could maybe check it out. I was thinking that it might be something historical, like the Oregon Trail. Then I saw that there was supposed to be a tunnel, so we tried to find it.
Turns out that the Omaha Trail is a bike trail that runs along a former railway (so, a rail trail). While it's scenic and all, I didn't have my bike, and the Tunnel Hill Road we were following eventually turned into a dirt road, so we gave up on the tunnel.
|The Omaha Trail is wide and semi-paved|
|Former railroad bridge|
|Berries along the path|
|Blue Earth provides many of the peas and other vegetables used by Green Giant|
The Blue Mounds State Park was supposed to be next.
Well, we arrived after the visitor center was closed, and once we parked at the non-camping parking, it turned out that the actual blue mounds cliff was over a mile of hiking away. While I was fine with that, mom wasn't; her knee was still bothering her from the walking at Indiana Dunes. So, we took a few photos of the bluish purple stones that we could see.
|Lots of the blue-purple stones in the rise across the water.|
|A green locomotive in Luverne, MN|
It was a stressful day, but it ended with the promise of Badlands.