Thursday, July 10, 2008

Our Travels Continue

On Sunday, July 6, we moved on to Baraboo, Wisconsin about 130 miles away from Rockford and close to Wisconsin Dells. We saw my corn fields that had been flooded. We had reservations at Fox Hill Campground, a pretty nice campground but like Illinois had lots of mosquitos. We went into Baraboo to find a grocery store and before finding a grocery store we located a Gander Mountain store. Since we had never been to a Gander Mountain store we stopped there and looked around. And then we went to an IGA store for some groceries.
Monday we got up and set out a little after 8am for "The House on the Rock" which is about 60 miles southwest of Baraboo. We had passed this area several times and for many reasons never stopped for the tour of the "House". We traveled through beautiful farm country. There were areas of water laying in the fields from the recent floods. One little community, Spring Green, had large fields under water and we observed a road in the area that was still closed due to the flooding. We have been told that this area had a dam had broken that caused the massive flooding in that area. We came to a roadside scenic view that we could see the "House on the Rock" a distance away. The "House" was located back a long wooded road. We had been advised by some friends to plan on a full day and to take the full tour package which we did. There are 3 tours available, the full tour includes all 3 tours. The first tour is the actual House on the Rock which was built by Alex Jordan in the 1940's. The house is indeed built on a large 60 foot chimney rock. The 14th room of the house, the Infinity Room, projects out over the valley 218 feet and contains 3264 windows. Alex Jordan built this house as a weekend getaway but the uniqueness caused aroused curiosiy in ther people that Jordan finally opened it for the public. He was quite a collector. The other 2 tours were through rooms housing the large collections. Many types of music machines that purchased tokens could activate the music and animation. There were also collections of weapons, armor, doll houses, Oriental art, model ships and planes. There were 2 areas that food could be purchased. The newest area called Inspiration Point had quotes from famous people displayed throughout the dining room but the most observed spots were the restrooms. These restrooms were decorated and painted beautifully. After about 5 hours we made a return to the campground and had a night of thunderstorms.
Tuesday we made an early start, traveling about 300 miles to St. Cloud, Minnesota to a Newmar FMCA pre-Rally. There are 45 Newmar motorhomes at the pre-rally. The rally began Tuesday evening with a pizza dinner. After a continental breakfast on Wednesday, Tom and I went to Clemens and Munsinger Gardens nearby. The flowers were just beautiful. In the afternoon, we caravaned in cars to the New Flyer Bus manufacturers. New Flyers are the largest city bus manufactures in the country. They build both diesal and diesal-electric hybrid buses. It was a nice tour.
Thursday was a full day. After a breakfast a represented from the Newmar Corporation had a open forum. We then had a business meeting and dispursement of doorprizes. We got a nice pullover shirt that fortunately fits me better than Tom! In the afternoon we again caravaned in cars to St. John's University and Hill Library. Benedictine monastary is also located here. We were given a tour by a monk through the new church and the old church that is now used for social functions. From there we went to the Hill Library where a Bible is being hand written in calligraphy and beautiful illuminations done, the first Bible done this way since the invention of the printing press. This Bible is the St. John's Bible. Donald Jackson, a Welshman, is the master calligraper and illuminator of the project. Several completed pages were on displayed. Upon return to the campground we had dinner followed by entertainment by a couple, "Ron and Opal". A full day!